Are Atheists Spiritual?
Atheists have fervently detached themselves from the word spirituality; the word makes them awfully uncomfortable. And yet, some of those very atheists have lately sought to liberate the term. A few individuals who have been skeptical about the existence of the deity, who discard the tenets of religion and stick to practical science, haven’t been reluctant to use the word spiritual.
There is a lack of agreement among the experts on what spirituality or being spiritual truly means. Spirituality originates from the word, “spirit” which originates from the Latin spiritus, which means breath. Through the middle ages, the word became associated with the supernatural, which did little to help its empirical credentials.
A lot of people misinterpret the word spirituality to be connected to worshiping or praying the Almighty. Could they be more wrong about this notion? It’s important to understand the word’s significance. Spirituality is solely an adjective that is used to describe the search for one’s place in the universe.
No one wants to feel isolated in life, and even if you are isolated, being spiritual makes you feel attached to the world and other people in it. Atheists get that, and it is important, maybe even essential, to our species’ psychological makeup to feel this way. Many atheists lead strongly spiritual lives, without believing in the universal life force (God) or practicing a belief.
Spirituality is not associated to being religious. As a matter of fact, spirituality became a break away movement, denying the disruptive religious beliefs. You can not believe in the supernatural and still be spiritual, and this isn’t a new marvel. Most atheists avoid the word spirituality. The problem is, very few words convey the true meaning of spiritual or being spiritual, modern devotees connect the word spiritual to mystical, numinous, transcendental or contemplative, but they do not seize the depth of the word.
The purpose of this article is to see a renewed definition of spirituality focused on connectedness and awe. Connectedness is the understanding that everything in the world is interconnected.
Neil de Grasse Tyson, a renowned non-believer, expressed the feeling of awe and connectedness beautifully yet so simply —
“We are biologically connected to every other living thing in the world. We are chemically connected to all molecules on Earth. And we are atomically connected to all atoms in the universe. We are not figuratively, but literally stardust.”
Religion is belief in someone else’s experience. Spirituality is having your own experience. Every mortal being has had a familiarity of insignificance in the face of something sincerely amazing, the feeling of infinite happiness when experiencing something spectacular. Spirituality appreciates the reality of this emotion, that the world is gifted of arousing feelings of remarkable beauty.
So, Who is a Spiritual Atheist?
A spiritual atheist is self-aware, sympathetic individual who awaits a deeper hidden connection with other individuals and nature. A reasonably inclined and yet personally aware person, who exercises meditation, contemplates awareness and concurrently rejects the beliefs and superstition surrounding these very proficiencies.
S/he is somebody who isn’t anxious of getting immersed within to discover the diverse aspects of life and consciousness. They might practice yoga and mindfulness without the requisite to believe in an invincible God.
Spirituality is a term highly mistaken as I mentioned earlier. For a lot of people, it comprises of a variety of very particular things like self-realisation, philosophical searching, etc. For others, it is something like a very deep and solid emotional response to “miracles” of life — for instance, staring out at the universe to watch the northern lights, seeing a new born child, etc. Alike senses of “spirituality” are wholeheartedly compatible with atheism. There is nothing about atheism which prevents a person from having such experiences or quests.
With that said, Atheists can be spiritual too.
P.S. I am not an Atheist.