I have been an atheist for most of my life, there were times when I felt as though I wanted to be more connected to my Jewish heritage but I never throughout that time felt there was a god or other ‘higher power’. I personally have no issue with others’ beliefs; religion has been an inspiration to many wonderful and brilliant artists and writers. In fact, I enjoy many religious texts and works of art and can still feel as much awe as any divine believer.
The point of this post is that I’ve always had to justify my beliefs (or some would argue the lack of) even my mother flinches at the term atheist as if I had harmed myself in front of her, she is not a religious person herself, but nevertheless dislikes the perceived hostility she feels a life without recognition of a higher power holds. The main issue people have found difficult to understand is how I can be happy without some sort of relief that there is an afterlife. I find the thought of an afterlife pretty depressing, it seems to take all the novelty out of this life, it excites me that this is everything, it spurs me on to do more before its all over for my conscious, because that’s all that will be lost. I’m excited by how amazing each life is, how our short lives fit into the vastness of the universe, of which we are made of.
Since having Elka, there is a small part of me which has a fear, a fear of which I know is very basic and instinctive. I fear for the finality and how this will affect those left behind, or more selfishly, how I will feel when those who I love eventually leave me. It’s these times that can be hard, I cannot begin to imagine the feeing of losing a child, it must be the most painful experience many people go through in their lifetime. Although we all are aware of life’s belligerence at times, I still feel that religion would serve only a superficial sense of comfort.
All in all, I am filled with both awe and comfort when we have real answers to the universe. If there is going to be any purpose for our existence it should be that we can give a conscious translation of the environment that we have, by absolute chance, become a part of.