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Not All Spirituality Is Ignorant and Counter-Productive!

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posted on Oct, 21 2007 @ 05:31 AM
Everytime an argument about the validity of religion arises, whether here or in the real world, I find myself floating around somewhere in no-mans-land, unable to join or fight for either side. Traditionally, this argument is the dominion of pro-Judeo-Christian and other mono-theists on one side, and on the other, way across the battlefield, the seething hardcore atheists. Rarely does there seem to anyone who fits into niether category.

To most atheists, religion is religion. Anyone with a scientifically irrational belief system is game for criticism and attack. I'm here to say that things really aren't that black and white.

During the many years since I turned my back on Christianity, I have felt a constant urge to criticise and attack the Church and God. If God is all-powerful, why has my fiance, one of the most good, compassionate people I've ever met, suffered so much? Why has so much war and death occurred in His name? Why is there no evidence of the Christian God? Why does the law of God dictate the State laws I am forced to live by? So when a religion-vs-atheism discussion rears its ugly head, I am often compelled to involve myself, pitch a tent in the atheist's camp and start firing away. Usually, however, after the discussion has begun to pick up pace, I am forced to turn away from the atheists due to the fact that quite simply, I am not an atheist!

I believe that existence extends beyond what we can see. I believe that we, as humans, are comprised of more than just flesh and bone - that our flesh is a shell for what we really are, spirit. I believe that nature is sacred and that our relationship to it is a vital component in our long term survival and happiness. And I believe that God is in fact many gods, spirits, and entities. Yet most atheists would choose to label me ignorant and backwards along with the followers of Mono-theistic religions.

So why should atheists consider this type of spirituality as more credible than the "religion" they oppose?

Well for a start it has existed since the very beginning of modern man, and very much in similar forms across millenia and across the globe. Shamanism, which for all intents and purposes is the same thing as Paganism, poly-theism, heathenism, Assatru, Shinto, etc, is chronologically and geographically the most universal and extensive form of spirituality this planet has ever seen.

Perhaps the strongest argument for Shamanism deserving more credit than the usual targets of atheist attack is that it contains within it the Science, Medicine and Astronomy that serve as the faith of the atheist. I won't go into this in too much detail here (for that, I recommend reading "The Cosmic Serpent" by Jeremy Narby, or perhaps "Supernatural" by Graham Hancock) but countless tribes across the globe have known about the double helix form of DNA for perhaps tens of thousands of years. Some peoples have stories about life being carried to earth from space by winged serpents, a probable metaphor for the Scientific theory about DNA (which is universally symbolised by twin serpents winding around each other) being brought to Earth by Bacteria on an asteroid. Furthermore, the botanical knowledge and medicinal properties therein that remote tribes have held since the beginning of modern man is (relatively recently) being stolen by Western medicine.

So forget the mystical aspects of Poly-theism for a moment and see that the myths, creation myths, gods and spirits contain within them scientific knowledge that has helped many to understand and often to harness, the power of the natural world around them. I would venture so far as to suggest that modern science and civilisation would not have been able to come about without the thousands of years of nature-based spirituality. Whether the same can be said for the more recent Judeo-christian religions is another question.


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