How much is there beyond death?
How does an atheist base her life experiences around religion?
I was raised catholic, was baptized, got confirmed and everything. During elementary school and into the first half of junior high school, I was religious.
Drifting From Religion
I was never religious due to my own personal experiences. I purely liked religion because I enjoyed having something to believe in, something to practice. I wanted a sense of community outside of the same few friends and a participation based basketball team where I didn’t know anybody.
Religion helped me feel a sense of importance. However, I never felt true purpose from it, or looked deeply for a reason to believe.
Once I started learning more about science, I lost any belief I had in religion. I pushed it all away, and sneered at the idea of anybody in the sky, or a mythical tree of knowledge that put women below men.
It seemed like a cult-y, misogynistic scam to trap people into a total fantasy across countless cultures. So I stopped believing in anything.
As a person, I adore science and fact. I see the proof in evolution, as it is there in fossils, in our DNA. There is logic and reason behind everything, and it is tangible proof of the past.
Where Was My Future Without Religion?
I was stuck in a world of black and white. I didn’t want to believe that there was nothing beyond death, but deep down I truly thought that there nothing when you finally closed your eyes.
It is saddening and scary and dark to think that you as a person can, and will cease to entirely exist.
I knew that it was incredibly painful to have all of this… beauty and love and ugliness and hate and life and death, and yet it could just end in a small, insignificant moment.
And yet I told myself that it was true. And I believed it.
Questioning Beyond the “Here”
As a person who loves questions and knowing the factual, real, proven answers, I was, and still am, very preoccupied with where the intangible things come from. Our personalities, consciences, why I am specifically me, and all things in between… The idea of realities that are proven to exist and where they exist, and what is beyond the ever-expanding universe.
These questions are difficult to answer with science. While some have somewhat proven answers, there is an almost infinite expanse of the unknown, and I constantly have that at the back of my mind.
However, as somebody who has experienced trauma, I have seen some really dark sides of humanity.
I have also, however, been able to really notice and appreciate light, and because of this, I grew a sense of spirituality over the years. I noted the energy of nature, and try to remain mindful of how my environment makes me feel, along with what I eat.
Quarantine Pressure on Religion
I’m sure we all understand how quarantine has really placed some challenges on us. It could be social restrictions, difficulties with work, being laid off, or even losing loved ones.
I have lost a loved one during quarantine, but not because of covid.
It was one of my closest friends that passed. She had been battling cancer for over a year, and they ran out of treatment options. She was ready to be done. She was tired, and fought her own fight, and she knew what she wanted to do.
When she decided to let go of wrestling with her cancer, she was able to focus on her own comfort, and peacefully drifted away this summer of 2020.
I was the first person in the door to her funeral. I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that she was gone… I literally could not comprehend it. There was no possible way that she wasn’t here.
Experiencing Loss and Finding Perspective
To me, it broke down the facts and the logic that she had passed. My mind refused to admit that information.
But when I went in and saw her, I knew I wasn’t looking at her. I was confused because it didn’t look at all like what I remembered. It was like somebody painted her face on a mannequin!
But it was her. While she was physically there, she wasn’t spiritually there. The life that made her a person and not just a body was gone, and with that, came my questions.
How on earth could one of the kindest people I know be taken? She didn’t do anything wrong. It wasn’t anybody’s fault! Her body just had a few cells mutate, which happened out of pure chance. Those are the facts… and yet those facts are because something that shouldn’t exist did.
We all shouldn’t exist if we look purely at the math, and that’s just talking physically. Need proof? Just look it up!
The chances of YOU as a person existing is 1 in 102,685,000
That number is ridiculously close to zero….. basically, we shouldn’t be here, in this moment. However, we are living the proof of it right now!
But what about mentally? What about what tells us what is right and wrong? What about the voice in our head that reacts to the world around us, and gives us our personality? Why do I hate vanilla icing but love vanilla cake?
How is it logical for me to know that these things all exist, and we all do purely because we exist, and yet I push away religion?
There has to be more. And science agrees.
So I started looking into religion.
Would you like religious search updates?
Has religion ever helped you through coping with loss?
I love you all,
– mad hattered