There was a time when I renounced god, I renounced all the stories that kept me bound to traditions and beliefs that were based on ancient desert tribes trying to make sense of their experiences.
The process of renunciation was tough; I thought some power would smite me dead, I would lose all sense of proportion about what was good and evil, that I would lose my support community, that life would have no meaning or purpose and I would wallow, alone, in a hostile world.
Quite the contrary, life has become full and full of meaning. I have all my sense that make it possible for me to see, hear, smell, taste, feel with my tissue and feel with my heart and gut, without any restrictions or presuppositions. My mind functions fine, even as my memory gets a little foggy at times and my body enables me to participate in life, even as my joints get a little rusty and I don’t have the stamina I once had. After all, I am 76, quickly approaching 77, and brain and mind do just fine, thank you very much.
Performing daily tasks presents pleasure because I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do. So the windows get dirty and the floors have spots, in 50 years, who will notice?
Observing my grandchildren and great-grandchildren grow brings me so much happiness and I can play with them in ways I wasn’t able to with my children. They all have wonderful manners, treat me as a valued elder, and seeing the world through their young eyes presents even greater joy than seeing with my own eyes. They know how to solve problems and resolve conflicts. They all communicate their needs, wants, and desires, even as they listen to each other and to their elders.
Living with care and compassion provides such superior results than obedience and self-sacrifice. Oh what headaches I had trying to obey and sacrifice myself for others. Stress is gone and I can rest in the knowledge my family members have all the skills they need, or are learning skills, to get along in the world without resorting to violence.
Watching birds in my garden trying to convert a bat house into a bird house gives me great comedic pleasures, the mice near the compost pile bring in all the cats in the neighborhood and even though I feel sad when a cat catches a mouse or a bird, I am in touch with the processes of nature.
Human beings have all we need to be in touch with wonder and miracles of life and living. Living authenticity as a fully human evolved from some green slime eons ago fills me with appreciation for the processes of nature over which I have little control. I am created to participate by living fully and ceasing to exist as a body with consciousness and then transcending into elements of the earth in the form of atoms. I shall become stardust.
I shall be immortal through the memories I leave behind, good or bad. Future generations will know me by the stories others tell of me or from the words surviving after my death.
My personal power comes as a result of knowing I exist, fully human, descended from a long line of evolving life forms, with characteristics no better than other living forms, just different. Recognizing the value of diversity, I cannot say I am better than other forms, nor can I say I am inferior. I exist. I work. I belong to a community. I think. I transcend into that which all living forms evolve.
When god died I was born.
A wonderful book, Loren! It filled me with the sort of laughter that breaks bars.
Loren, I just discovered I had not opened this message and remember our previous discussion about Heinlein. OK! Promise, I shall read him. Several others have recommended him as well. He seems to have a following in Atheist Nexus. Thanks, dear friend.