Okay, so, probably like most of you, I grew up with an religious background. In my case, growing up in rural (and I mean seriously rural. My hometown Loco had a population of about 150) Oklahoma, I was of course exposed to the baptist bent of christianity, as my grandmother was a devout baptist (I can remember going to church with her on some Sundays and it being only she and I in the church. Not even a preacher). 

 

So when I was a child, up until I was mature enough to begin questioning things at about the age of 17 or so, I believed in god and prayed now and then and just blindly accepted that whatever things happened in the world, good or bad, happened  because that's just how god wanted it to be and that he wouldn't interfere with the affairs of man and this was why he allowed babies to be murdered and etc..etc...

 

Well of course when I put all that nonsense behind me and had the good fortune of meeting and becoming friends with some wonderful people who were also atheists, I of course came to understand mankind and world in a much clearer fashion.

 

but here's the thing...

 

Many of my friends are not atheists. They are pagan in some form or other. They are Wiccans, or Druids (and even one is an Odinist), and they are by far the coolest people I've ever met in my life. And of course aside from having these wonderful, accepting and wise personalities, they have these really cool rituals associtated with their religions.

For example, one of my friends invited me to a "drum circle" and it was awesome! It was just a bunch of folks gathered around a camp fire, pounding out a rhythm and getting into it and having a ball!

 

And I feel left out a little.

 

You see, my brain, my logic knows there's nothing up above and knows there's no supreme deity. Yet I find myself drawn to the religions of the ancient druidic religions. The very same religions that my ancient Welsh-Nordic ancestors likely practiced. Runes and things of that nature are very interesting to me as well as most things Pagan.

 

Now, part of me thinks this is probably more of a search for identity, rather than a search for a god, but I wonder if anyone else has ever had these kinds of feelings. Knowing, logically, that a supreme being doesn't exist, but wanting in your heart to be a part of such a cool lifestyle. Anyone feedback or advise is of course welcome.

 

Thanks guys.

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Sounds to me like it's more of a desire for community than a search for identity.  You say you felt "left out" and yes, everyone feels that at times.  Participating in a ritual can be fun and interesting, even if you don't accept the belief system from which it originated. I think that it offers many advantages if you maintain the ability to have fun with it and at the same time remain rational about what it is and don't assign it any supernatural meaning.  Be aware that the reason people engage in these kinds of rituals is that they often generate some strong emotional response that serves to bond the group within the common beliefs, and that is why they are so successful; it's easy to mistake the emotional trigger as something much more significant.  You might think of it as a way to learn more about the belief of others, as long as they don't object to you participating.

Thank you so much, Wanda. That was a wonderful reply and excellent advice.

You're welcome and thanks for posting. Seems like when I engage in a discussion like this I always get a fresh perspective on the topic in the process of composing a response. Another great benefit of sharing experiences.
I agree with Wanda and also I like to think of it as sort-of just 'worshiping' nature and animals and our connection to the Earth.  Being appreciative.  :)

 

 That sounds like kind of natural response to me. When I was 4 years old my parents took me to a high school football game. I was petrified by the herd behavior. I didn't understand why all these people had some connection that I didn't. It's the same today for me. Your response, unlike mine, is entirely natural you have that connection with the group, the people, not the reason. If it feels good do it, and don't ask why. I would if I could.

Philip, you made me realize something about myself. I love college football. I'll watch it on my own, but I try to go to at least one game a year. I go to participate (make noise with crowd to influence game) to help the team win. I've never considered part of the desire to attend was to actually be part of a group. It's one of the few things I have in common with my community. Thanks, and Roll Tide.
Lots of people choose their "religion" by its "coolness" factor, I changed my "religion" frequently as an adolescent just to be different, but not threatening (which most perceive atheism to be).

I believe Sam Harris talked about the sense of 'spirituality' in his blog.

It's a valid emotion, and can be achieved by rituals, meditation, being in nature, etc.

I think as long as one recognizes where it comes from, and that it doesn't necessarily mean one holds a greater truth than everyone else, it is a good and beautiful thing.

 

Go for it Hoss.

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