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Thursday, July 11, 2013

One creature to another….

I don’t believe in gods. I don’t believe in life having meaning. I don’t understand why people need meaning. Isn’t it enough to be a human, in a world full of beauty, filled with plants and animals, amazing geological structures and incredible events like sunsets and rainbows?

I feel incredibly lucky to be alive. Doesn’t every body? I feel free to be entirely who I want and I take full responsibility for how I am. I rarely even think about this but I have been watching Richard Hawkins’ programme called Sex, Death and the Meaning of Life in which he explores various ways people seek meaning.

It seems to me that a lot of people are bogged down trying to find a meaning or a purpose, when there is none. Humans are not special and they do not have meaning any more than an ant or a cabbage. To me that is entirely liberating. When I am totally responsible for my life it empowers me to take charge of it because if I don’t then my life is a waste of time, time spent waiting for someone or some god or some fate to guide me.

I really think that humans have become entirely self-centred; rarely thinking of the wondrousness of life at all; rarely taking time to watch the light falling on a frosty leaf or listen to the croak of a frog on a pot plant and certainly almost never feeling connected to these things, one creature to another, as I do.

So obsessed are people with meaning and believing in things that if you are not like them, then you are not often allowed to say so…. although I do make a point of saying so, at times. I said so recently, to a dear, Christian friend of mine. I think she felt sorry for me; me not knowing God as she does. We talked about the soul. She said I had a good soul. Evidently God gives us our soul. Well, I said I made my own; I am the accumulation of 54 years of being who I choose to be with life’s ups and downs moulding me along the way.

We were sitting by the window at the shack. Being there, right by the sea, for a great part of my life; seeing and smelling and feeling all that such an opportunity has given me, has definitely influenced my love of and connection to everything around me. That is where my soul comes from, not from a god.

Get rid of the gods and we would get rid of most of the fighting in the world. How can you fight with someone when you are standing under a beautiful tree or cooling your feet as you walk in the sea or watching an insect crawl on your hand or smelling the delicious aroma of a mango?


Michelle said...

Well said Kate, I agree with you completely.

Jess said...

Great post Kate :) I believe that the earth is our "god" - it supports us, feeds us, and when we die, we return to it only to form part of the cycle of life itself. As they say, pagans are great friends because they worship the ground you walk on *grin*

Kirsty @ Bowerbird Blue said...

Brave lady, plenty would disagree with this post, love your conviction. I don't think its just Gods causing all the problems, we're swarming like locusts over earth, something has to give. I love this quote “We're all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn't. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing.”

― Charles Bukowski

Dennis Argall said...

I agree, but the question is, how to get that shift you would welcome in your last para.

Carl Sagan in notes that we share with dinosaurs and ants the 'R complex' and that from that primitive level we acquire our potential for lining up, bowing down, inventing ritual to enforce disciplines, and putting the wagons in circles to defend against others and other minds.

Edward O Wilson has speculated that human religions arise from management of meat shortage, the cooking of meat having enabled the development of the human brain.

Sagan notes, as I recall, that what we call humanitarian warmth is really what we share with many other species with developed limbic systems.

My notion is that the big frontal lobe in humans developed when that cooked meat eating hominid on the hot African plains, handily upright to be able to see predators coming and run away, was inadequately hirsute and those with big frontal lobe cooling devices were the ones that survived. Thus, evolved as a cooling device, the frontal lobes sought other things to do, not least imagining, in their big empty space, that they had to be the ant's pants. The rest is history... and capacity for idle speculation, like mine. Better than creative destructionism, as we get from those with better connection than mine between frontal lobe overthink and R-complex underthink.

Regarding the disconnect of our over-reasoning brains from the real world, more thoughts here: