Beyond Atheism: Tell Me More
Spirituality and religion are not synonymous, and religion has no monopoly on spirituality or morality. Spiritual atheism seeks to discard the irrational beliefs and dogmatism of religion, while respecting, adjusting and expanding its beneficial practices. If we reject religious visions, we must develop our own spiritual connections and moral practices, create our own meaning and purpose in life, and develop psychological practices to soothe and heal ourselves. Without invoking bogus spirits or immortality, secular spirituality celebrates two gifts: consciousness and connectedness. It nurtures spiritual emotions such as awe, gratitude, humility, love, and existential joy. Religions have invented invisible, unverifiable gods to make us feel good. But in doing so, religions violate their own values of humility and gratitude, inviting us to feel pride as God’s pet species, and greed for immortality. There is abundant evidence that human needs drive religious beliefs. But atheism is not a belief system; it is a statement of opposition. We must clarify what we do believe in, and more importantly, develop practices to put our beliefs and values in motion.
In this three-part contribution to the spiritual atheist literature, Part I: The Intelligent Design of God, examines religious delusions and their motivations. Part II: Building Secular Spirituality, examines the concepts and practices of secular spirituality and morality. It explores methods of developing consciousness, internal and external connectedness, personally driven morality, and the imperative to develop your own meaning and purpose in life. Part III: Psychomechanics, is derived from Dr. Chandler’s clinical psychology practice. It begins with a philosophy of the mind (and insanity), and examines the management of stress, anxiety, depression, frustration, and anger, as well as trauma resolution, and positive psychology. Beyond Atheism implores you: don’t just believe; practice!