Saturday, August 24, 2013

Defining Spiritual Atheism

I only knew of Danny Boyle as a director who made the movie The Slumdog Millionaire. Until recently curiosity rang a bell in my head and I decided to read more about this guy. I hopped on to his profile from the Slumdog Millionaire's wiki link. Of all his achievements and beliefs, what caught my attention was a term that very much sounded like an oxymoron to me. It was "Spiritual atheist". How can a person be an atheist and believe in the sacred supreme being at the same time? Until I googled to find more. Wikipedia defines a spiritual atheist as a person who self-identifies a life stance of spirituality that rejects traditional organized religion as the sole or most valuable means of furthering spiritual growth.

Perhaps most religions around the world propagate this thought. And so did ours. From covering your head during the mass to learning to twist and turn to fit the whims and fancies of a social order by accepting marriage when I want to be tilling a conscience that regards the equality of the two sexes. I don't say marriage is unequal but the kind of marriage that was being slapped on me was surely something that did dangle on the balance.  As per any religion in the world, the man in a marriage is the head or the pati parmeshwar and the woman the tail or perhaps some invisible matter, as the church propagates. To stay on in a social order that couldn't fight evils like dowry and vanquished the voices of women, oh and not to forget we have ancient rituals like the purification period of a woman after childbirth where in she is prohibited from going to the church. A woman isn't also allowed to attend the Sunday masses if she is menstruating. As if childbirth was the fruit of Eve's curse and menstruation its seeds.  We were no different from most world religions except perhaps, Buddhism and Sikhism. I decided to call it quits, from thence. To be able to stand on your toes in a society where an unmarried woman is labelled as sexually promiscuous and considered as a burden to the family, I really needed a longer backbone to not stutter,  that I don't have at this time. As and when I compassed Catholicism with open arms, life did become easier. Although I don't give them the benefit of doubt either. Catholic women are still in a feud with the religious order to get contraception, abortion, women's ordination and same sex marriage legalized. So the grass wasn't greener on that side either. But yes, there in the church no one asked me to cover my head nor did anyone prohibit me from entering the courtyard of the church while I was menstruating. I could partake in the Body and Blood of Christ as a Christian famously believes in, even when I was bleeding which was forbidden in the parental church I had dissed.
After having torn apart my hair in frustration in trying to give a "brand name" to my kind of spirituality, by then I had realized that being in the spirit had nothing to do with a doctrine (formed by the men, for the women, of the men) it is better to believe in God, pray and be a good human being. Yes I pray for two hours a day, and believe in God, read the Bible and swallow sayings from the book that help me better myself as a person. My kind of spirituality thereby promised not to support killings that Bible circulates nor get terrorized by rules and regulations that religion had rigged into my mind, for me to follow as a woman. My spirit had nothing but love and compassion to proclaim and not definitely at the cost of the rights of women. Freedom then, gave me hope with feathers.

After all Karma is the queen here. You do good, you get good and if you do bad you will be bitten hard. Everything else would fall in place by itself if you are humane. 
Thus my kind of spirituality was born. One that wasn't a school of thought built on religious ideologies propagated by the men, for the women, of the men. Thanking Danny Boyle for having given it a name, day before yesterday. 

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