“It is an interesting and demonstrable fact, that all children are atheists and were religion not inculcated into their minds, they would remain so.” Ernestine Rose
In the past few weeks, I’ve noticed more and more people questioning, not only the daily horrors that are so rampant in today’s world, but the existence of God when no answers are found to explain the hell that life has become for so many. Whatever the hellacious circumstances that weigh so heavily on so many hearts, the pain has become palpable and overwhelming for anyone who feels. When things go so wrong, when the horror reaches beyond our ability to manipulate or control is when, in self defense, a person will look outside themselves for the cause, for something, anything to blame for all the bad that has happened.
That I understand, or at the very least have an inkling of why, does not belittle the fact that my heart cried out when I saw the above quote by Ernestine Rose floating by on my Facebook wall. You see, there is no connection between atheism and religion, though religion – organized religion – may be the driving force behind the choice to doubt the existence of God or a Supreme Being. A child is born into the totality of life in a pure state, and a child is able to perceive more of life for the simple reason that language and linear thinking has not yet had the chance to veil the child’s vision. You have experienced this sort of solidification of your being into your body just as you have witnessed it happening in the children you’ve met. You reason it away by the terms and phrases you learn from others and from the countless organized religions out there. Even if you come from a family that did not “practice religion,” much of what constitutes organized religion is incorporated into our culture and is inseparable. Regardless, logic dictates that a fundamental belief in God is not a given in the particularly religious, nor does the opposite, that a particularly spiritual person is religious.
Religion, all religions are a man-made construct. “God created man in His image, then man turned around and created God in his.” At best, religions are organized to pass on morals, mores, values, ideals to everyone and each successive generation. At worst, they are manipulative, controlling and dominating – never for the benefit of all.
Take the words out of the equation. Do not think of God or a religion. Instead, think deeply enough to dig down to and through the walls that language and thought have built. When you find your heart, listen. Listen hard.
A mind committed to compassion is like an overflowing reservoir - a constant source of energy, determination and kindness. This mind can also be likened to a seed; when cultivated, it gives rise to many other qualities, such as forgiveness, tolerance, inner strength, and the confidence to overcome fear and insecurity. ~Dalai Lama