This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.


← Inspirational atheism

QuestioningKat's Avatar Jump to comment 5 by QuestioningKat

I like finding quotes that are meaningful in a secular way. Views or words that reframe events so that they are no longer charged with religious meaning and have value on their own, speak to me personally. I also like art and nature.

When I was deconverting, I struggled with the idea of death being permanent and without an afterlife, life seemed meaningless. I was deeply upset and depressed. Then I took a trip to NM and visited the Millicent Rogers museum. An inconspicuous letter was framed near a door. I read it and wanted to cry right there in the museum. Millicent Rogers struggled with illness most all of her life. My guess is that her words are influenced by Native American beliefs, but they spoke to my non-belief.

"Darling Paulie,

Did l ever tell you about the feeling I had a little while ago? Suddenly passing Taos Mountain I felt that I was part of the Earth, so that I felt the Sun on my Surface and the rain. I felt the Stars and the growth of the Moon, under me, rivers ran. And against me were the tides. The waters of rain sank into me. And I thought if I stretched out my hands they would be Earth and green would grow from me. And I knew that there was no reason to be lonely that one was everything, and Death was as easy as the rising sun and as calm and natural - that to be enfolded in Earth was not an end but part of oneself, part of every day and night that we lived, so that Being part of the Earth one was never alone. And all fear went out of me - with a great, good stillness and strength.

If anything should happen to me now, ever, just remember all this. I want to be buried in Taos with the wide sky - Life has been marvelous, all the experiences good and bad I have enjoyed, even pain and illness because out of it so many things were discovered. One has so little time to be still, to lie still and look at the Earth and the changing colours and the Forest - and the voices of people and clouds and light on water, smells and sound and music and the taste of wood smoke in the air.

Life is absolutely beautiful if one will disassociate oneself from noise and talk and live it according to one's inner light. Don't fool yourself more than you can help. Do what you want - do what you want knowingly. Anger is a curtain that people pull down over life so that they only see through it dimly - missing all the savor, the instincts - the delight - they feel safe only when they can down someone. And if one does that they end by being to many, more than one person, and life is dimmed - blotted and blurred! - I've had a most lovely life to myself - I've enjoyed it as thoroughly as it could be enjoyed. And when my time comes, no one is to feel that I have lost anything of it - or be too sorry - I've been in all of you - and will go on Being. So remember it peacefully - take all the good things that your life put there in your eyes - and they, your family, children, will see through your eyes. My love to all of you. "

As I read this letter, I came to realize that I am living in an incredible world. I am part of this grand dance which is precious and impermanent. Even with no God, life is magnificent and that is enough.

Inspiration exists, we just need to look a little harder to find it.

Wed, 16 May 2012 04:12:47 UTC | #941769