I remember when I was an atheist. It was at a time when I didn’t want to be limited by any religious dogma. I was at a point in my life where I only wanted to believe things that I knew deep within me resonated as true or morally right. I had decided to draw no conclusions on any topic until I had a knowing. To remain open to all perspectives on all topics until I could contemplate and come to a true sense of knowing of right and wrong. I knew that being open-minded was right and so I started there.
I took a philosophy class in College, actually I took many philosophy classes – Philosophy of Art, Ethics, Western Religious Thought and others. I also took a Cultural Anthropology class. I loved these classes and their quirky professors. They taught me to see the world through other perspectives and narratives different than my own. To question and acknowledge my own biases. To appreciate that ‘right’ for one may not be ‘right’ for another and that both may be based on truth. That truth is universal. And so I came to understand that truth is rarely what seems obvious to one perspective. It’s usually buried and only becomes known when multiple perspectives align. For example, why does one culture accept infant mortality while another fears it? Somewhere between these altering ways of being there is a universal truth about life. A truth that is deeper than one perspective alone.
So from my atheist perspective I began a journal about truth. I was in my late 20s. I asked myself about the word ‘spiritual’. Do I still consider myself a spiritual being? The answer that came from within me was ‘yes.’ So then, can I be a spiritual being if I don’t believe in a central god? Again, the answer that resonated with me was ‘yes.’ Yes, I am a spiritual person.
I remember talking with some Anthroposophists who were teachers at my oldest child’s school. They were trying to understand my choice to indentify as an atheist. I said, “I’m an atheist because I’ve denounced dogma. But I still consider myself a spiritual person.” The older teacher nodded her head in agreement and understood that I was open to spiritual concepts and she accepted me. The younger one struggled a little longer – she later told me that she had really contemplated how Atheism could be a spiritual path. She didn’t say to what conclusion she had come.
This truth that I had come to – that we are all spiritual beings, was not tied to any one religion or belief system. “Spiritual” is not a religion. Religion tries to explain the spiritual. And there are a lot of ways to explain it.
Many people in the world, the vast majority believe in God, angels, a spiritual realm and most subscribe to a particular religious lens and in general nearly every lens portrays a spiritual realm. Even the atheist believes in science which also peers into the spiritual realm through quantum physics and other theories that illuminate the inexplicable.
In my exploration of the spiritual realm – because it is not seen or generally sensed by our 5 senses, I notice that we resort to a lot of metaphors to explain what we sense about it from our extra sensory perception of it. Many seers, psychics and religious leaders have written many volumes on the spiritual world, not the least of which is the Bible, the Torah and the Koran – compilations from multiple authors of ancient times that mix accounts of dreams, spiritual experiences and ancient religious dogma. Today’s seers and spiritual gurus also write about their perception – its so compelling. When one perceives a spiritual truth or experience, they are compelled to tell about it. We want everyone to “see” what we see.
Here is my metaphor: Imagine being at a party where you can see bugs crawling on the walls but no one else sees it. People start getting tickled and itchy from the bugs – but they don’t see them. They start taking medication to stop their skin from feeling. From feeling tickled or itchy. The medication has negative side affects – but it works. You tell people about the bugs – but they look at you like your a little crazy. They smile politely at you. This is the experience of many seers and psychics. It’s a strange world.
All my life, I’ve known that there is a spiritual realm that I am a part of. I perceived it but didn’t understand what I was perceiving. I divorced the religious lens that I was raised in and began the long journey of coming to my own understanding. Through many experiences, wise teachers and guides I’ve had my own ‘seeing’ of the spiritual realm. I’ve seen angels and water sprites. I’ve perceived negative energy and felt it dissipate with the burning of a beeswax candle. I’ve witnessed negative entities and ghost clearings. I’ve become aware of past lives and experienced myself as a mermaid. Are you looking at me like I’m a little crazy right now?
I am spiritual. And so are you.
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There is a spiritual realm that exists in and around all of our perceived reality. If you ask – it will show itself to you. It cannot be perceived through the 5 senses. Sharpen your extra sensory awareness and listening to your intuition is the only way to incorporate the spiritual into the physical. Relying on perception of only one reality is always just half the picture. All light with no dark is a blank page. All dark with no light is a black page. Mixing light and dark brings shadows and when we adjust our lens those shadows can become a clearer picture of the energetic and unseen realms that interplay with our reality. That’s not religion but it is spiritual.
Many are afraid of the shadows. Of the bugs on the wall. Pretending that the bugs don’t exist doesn’t make it so. Numbing our perception also doesn’t rid our space of the bugs. Seeing, feeling, and sensing the bugs allows us to treat them like physical bugs in our material reality. We would remove them from our home. Clearing negative entities, asking ghosts to move on and keeping a spiritually clean space will have a positive effect on our health, our relationships, behavior and on our lives.
One cannot throw out common sense just as one cannot throw out intuition. Both must be kept in balance. To physically harm a child to rid it of demons is completely out of balance. Just the same – to Medicate a child with behavior issues without exploring all other possibilities including extra sensory perception and dietary issues is also out of balance. Not to say that medication is bad or exorcisms are bad but neither is good if not implemented with equal attention to intuition and common practical sense. If common sense says medicate but your intuition is making you worried or anxious about the decision – lean in. Both realms must be considered. Nothing is one sided. There is a ripple affect by the physical world into the spiritual and by the spiritual realm into the physical. It’s not about religion. Religion is one lens and it may not be a clear perspective. It might be shadowy. Don’t rely on it.