The first moment of the realization there was no god was overwhelmingly lonely, and painful but at the same time it was wonderfully freeing. Being alone means being free, and to be free one needs to be alone. Whether that means being a reductionist, oversimplifying reality, stripping it from layers of distortion, atmospherical effects, myth making, illusion and fear, or simply arriving there using the philosophical method of logic, the paths being different but the result is the same. It leads to aloneness and freedom.
The keyword is separateness of events in the universe. Aloneness is the basic condition of all being, as it is separate from each other but linked separately in the consequential universe of a web of prerequisites and postrequisites, pre-events and post-events. The evidence is in the lack of knowledge of origin and destination of all conscious being, constantly seeking the truth and meaning of its own existence.
Logically, if a supernatural power does exist at all it has to mean that it is separate from our existence. It may be linked in some sequence, being a prerequisite to us as it is wildly hoped, or may be a consequence of our existence. But does it matter whether that being existed before us or exists because of us or after us? No. Not to us, not to “It”, whatever “it” is. The separateness of being in the infinite linked existence is the rule and the law ensuring freedom. The number of potential possibilities of links between prerequisite realities and its consequences is as large as the chances of finding a single electron on the quantum level. So to say there is a single precisely described deity with a number of hoped for and wished for features (the almighty, the supremely good and loving heavenly father, etc.) is like trying to catch a single molecular particle, paint it with a rainbow palette of hues, stripes and patterns, and then hold it up on the tip of the fingernail and say: look, here it is…
Andre Comte-Sponville in “The Little Book of Atheist Spirituality” writes:
“Once the finite nature of the idea of infinity within us has been acknowledged, the brain suffices to explain it; the brain can very well be the mind’s potential just as the mind is brain’s actualization.”
The material existence (the brain or physical universe) may be a post-requisite of the mind (the non-material existence) or it may be its prerequisite, the mind is its actualization. However, it cannot be one and the other in the same spacetime, as it violates the basic rule of separateness that ensures freedom.
The material universe can very well be a supernatural being’s potential just as the universe is its actualization. Each separate link that comes after the previous link actualizes it. But the freedom is ensured through an open potential of post-requisites. Each link in the consequential universe experiences aloneness of being. I am one of the infinite multitude of links, and I experience aloneness in each and every moment.
When I realized at first that there was no god, I also realized that not only am I alone but that also my thoughts are alone, separate in their own existence. It means that no one can hear them, listen to them, track them, and judge them. Wow, I know! Pretty an amazing perk to come with all the aloneness and panic of being an atheist. The consequences of being alone are amazing.
No one knows what I think and what my intentions are until they materialize in some form, whether in writing or via oral sound effects known as speech. I can let my mind wander where it wouldn’t wander thinking it would be judged. I can explore so much more, and go where many minds don’t dare to go. Fear is removed, limits shattered, the ceiling open.
No one can ever know what I intend to do, which ensures freedom of action.
With the aloneness of thought comes aloneness in spacetime. This is the most pleasant experience I can think of when talking about being free, separate and alone. I experience it in every moment of every day and it feels free. Being alone is a bit scary but being free is quite the opposite, which cancels the fear of aloneness, and returns me to balance, it is an anchor stabilizing the fear.
Being separate in spacetime means that even when surrounded by people who are random strangers, I feel invisible, free and unique in my present time existence. The feeling is reinforced much more so when being alone in a closed space with surrounding walls. It feels as if I don’t exist to other people and the world, and it gives me comfort and the pleasure of being free and separate. How many people do we not know about that exist concurrently with us in the world on our planet. How many people existed in the history before us. How many people will exist after us. How many people exist on other planets. The multitudes of histories. Can you embrace it with your mind, and imagine all that existence? If you can, and embrace the available spacetime and the infinite multitude of being, do you not think that all the existence, all this reality suffices as it is? Is there a need for a deity? It seems as though it is an excess to what is. And it is.
With what is, postmodernism comes to mind: layers of spaces upon spaces, each separate and elusive, ready to explore far, far down the rabbit hole.
Consequently, freedom is a dynamic movement through spacetime. No movement (or absence of Einstein’s E=mc2), a static being (like a permanently existing god) is not free, which cannot exist. No freedom, no existence. No existence, no freedom.
There is no God. God could not exist permanently and be less free than the dynamic, moving existence.
Aloneness is separateness. Separateness is freedom. Freedom is existence, and there is nothing else.
Atheism removes noisy spirituality in the sense of removing the fear of absolutes. Fear is noisy. Atheism creates a different type of spirituality that is quiet, that is more natural, more organic and more sustainable. The toil and the struggle you see around every day are no longer frightening, they are a part of me. Irregular heartbeat, pain, people dying, blood, violence, are no longer horrifying. The noise of life becomes quiet. Everything you see is a part of you. You understand frightened people, protesting teabaggers, greedy politicians, misguided leaders, violent youths, murderers, serial killers, the mentally handicapped, people with disabilities, people of other races and beliefs, the ‘freaks’ of all sorts, etc. You understand all life, and accept it in the quiet of your heart. Death is no longer frightening. Nothing is. All fear is gone. Because all life is carried on the shoulders of multitudes, in the strong current of the river of life. There is nothing outside of struggling life, and so there is nothing to be afraid of.
It is the ultimate freedom, compensating for the weak individual link of life that is me. The average lifespan of any living creature is the cost of freedom. The weakness of life, feebleness, short longevity are a consequence of freedom. Freedom being the most precious of benefits of life. Freedom stems from separateness, from independence between causes and consequences and the balance is preserved.
When fear is removed, the consequences in the reality of life are freeing.
Life is less stressful, which leads to a more healthy heartbeat. Which in turn, consequently makes my life more sustainable. Eventually, when action is calculated into the equation of life choices, life can become so much more fulfilling and so much more alive. But freedom is there, and it is most reassuring, more than a belief in an all loving deity. The benefit of free life, the conscious freedom of choices, is the basis for a progressive, sustainable society of the future. As the human kind we are still far away from there, hindered by fear and absolutes that don’t exist. Our fears make our societies less sustainable, and less successful as a species. We don’t embrace life as it is fully, we are still frightened, we are still making noise.