Thursday, 15 July 2010 15:50

Appreciation for My Atheist Friends.

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I feel that atheists are often quite malaligned. OK, some of my atheist friends think what I do is a little wacky. That's cool. I think there is more to the universe than the material reality, and that these things can not and should not be explained by logic. I do recognize and understand that logic does not apply to the realms of myth, magic, imagination, and the mystical experience. "The Tao that can be explained in words is not the eternal Tao." However, I find that on about 95% or more topics, I am in complete alignment with the way they view and approach things.

I am a skeptically-minded theist (I don't know if theist is the right way to describe me, but I'm not atheist. I have a philosophic explanation that I am constantly evolving which reconciles both - a pantheism of sorts.) However, so much of that relies upon the freedom to question, to make a fool of yourself (so that you can learn from the Trickster!), to accept and then to deny after re-assessing the acceptance. Freedom to express, to blaspheme, to question, to mock, to celebrate, to exalt anything and everything which comes from your own connection with what you see as Divine (or if you're a non-theist, what you see as Pretty Awesome But Not Divinely Inspired Whatsoever.) - these are all as important to me and my seeking as they are to the atheist.

Click to view largerAtheists often loudly question and denounce Christians (and often Islam, for the same reason) because they seek to deny that freedom to everyone - their followers included. So with that, they're my best friends politically and socially speaking. I often invoke Dawkins' quote, "We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further." I add, "and I just go a few gods less." I don't often see atheists griping about Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, or Sufis... or Pagans, or Witches, or Chaos Magicians, or Hermetics or Thelemites or even Satanists! That's because they typically don't cause any trouble... they're happy to live and let you live as you see fit. Again, I have a very moral fit. Like them, freedom is one of my most treasured virtues.

I often find mysel
f thankful to the conversations I have with them because they keep me on my toes. They point out my nonsense. Sometimes I have to say, "Well, that's my mystical nonsense, and you it wouldn't mean much to you because you don't accept the existance of the non-material realms. So we have no common ground to speak on this matter." And the conversations go on, typically, to topics we can talk about (there are so many!). I realize that certain things I do will not ever be a part of a conversation we can have to any depth. That's fine. I do have theist friends too. Sometimes they point out my nonsense and I realize that what they are saying makes great sense and I grow as a result of it.

 I think that as a magician, it is very important to keep re-assessing my own beliefs. "If you see the Buddha on the road, kill him." To keep questioning and examining - that is a key on the road of the great work.