Religion is a strange thing, isn’t it? We associate it with miracles, stories taken out of context and, sometimes, the best or worst of our nature. In an age of rampant Atheism and Extremism, we are growing more accustomed to associating religion with kooks. In fact, even mentioning religion nowadays will make people get ready to have the fight of their lives.

Understandably so, as there is a lot of emotional backing from history and current events based around religion. Religion has an ugly side, but I’m here to say that humanity’s ego, not religion, has an ugly side. You can apply any ideology, including science, as having a potentially dogmatic and dangerous mindset. It isn’t ideas that are dangerous, it is people that are potentially dangerous. It is what we do with those ideas that are potentially dangerous. It is our decisions that are potentially dangerous. All ideas, ideologies, faiths, theologies, theories and what have you, are completely neutral at their very core.

Everything is meaningless.

Let me say that one more time. At their very core, everything is meaningless.

Why? Simple.

We give everything meaning.

Beings, especially human beings on a very impactful level associate neutral things with having meaning. Let’s take something physical, for comparison’s sake. A gun is seen as a piece of killing technology because of what it can do and how it has been used. I am not advocating gun use, but it is an object created out of curiosity and fear, and is at it’s core, neutral. A gun is a gun. It is made of metal that has been forged by flame and is shaped by precise design. But when we put this tool in one’s hand, it then and only then has the potential to become a weapon.

It is the same for a stone. A stone is a stone. However, a man choosing to throw the object has created a weapon out of his decision to take action with it. So, is a stone then bad? Do people make the argument that we must destroy all stones in order to save ourselves from future stoning? Because of the countless lives taken by being killed by them? Does it make others uncomfortable speaking about stones? No. Stoning a person does, however, and that is the divide: our actions. One may instead walk on a beach, throw a stone into the waters to make it skip, perhaps pocketing the beautiful ones as keep-sakes.

But what of an idea or belief? I am sure we know of many dark and disturbing things, but is this knowledge a common practice within your life? It is what we do with an idea, a thought, a theory, a spiritual perspective… It is what we do with ourselves that matters, not what we acknowledge or learn from. The knowing and reception of all things in our world and that our beautiful and creative nature produces in our reality is, what I call, great empathy.

I am an omnist for this reason. You are my teacher. I believe in what you believe in, dear reader, on such a personal level that I will fall to my knees and wish to know more. Why? Because all things are real on some level. Because I accept that I know nothing. Because I love all beings, perspectives and strive to understand the root of our actions, good and bad. We may be led astray from time to time, but we can change for the better at any given moment. We must arm ourselves against our petty nurtured weaknesses with wisdom, with love and great empathy. Why? Because our tiny existence is fleeting. Nothing should be above connection, life, enlightenment, harmony and love. Nothing. That is why forgiveness is of great import. That is why reconciliation is of great import. That is why growth is of great import. Beauty does not exist without the observer, so let us cherish that while we yet exist, and keep the suffocating darkness at bay as well as we can, just as the sun does. Our existence matters on many levels, and we must acknowledge these in order to sustain ourselves, but we should only do so in the name of enlightenment, love and harmony.

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Like the many berries of a blackberry bush, there are developed ideas, beliefs and thoughts. People tend to be afraid of the deplorable thorn-ridden vine. Why not pick the enjoyable ripened berries?

I initially had my spiritually creative beliefs when I was young. I would play with the wind when I was a child and thought of it as my greatest friend. But of course, people will tell a child that they are wrong at some point in their lives, or an imaginary friend becomes forgotten. A friend to speak to when things were tough… Under a certain way of thinking, one begins to question if this so different from one praying to a God. In any case, with the help of growing trends, I became an Atheist, and later an Agnostic. While Atheism deals with the belief that there are no Gods, I believe on a more significant level, many (not all, of course) Atheists suffer from spiritual unawareness. Spiritual unawareness is a thing that happens when we consciously, or subconsciously do not wish to experience the unexplainable or repress our receptivity to certain spiritual creativities (whereas Agnostics, I’ve seen, are in a more receptive position and accept that they do not know or are undecided. This is perhaps because they are more receptive to the idea that they do not know anything, which is a wise thing to acknowledge). Backed by the mighty hand of current science, discovery and theory, I would make light of beliefs and presumed unknowables whenever I got a good chance at a pub (fueled by a few drinks of course. Not that it excuses me.)

You certainly have to deal with a profound moment in your life to completely alter your way of thinking, or even approach to life. Only a significant event can wake you up to the truth: life is important. We must strive to sustain it. Humbling experiences are but a moment away.

Faith is quite possibly the strongest trait a human can wield. It is bravery and trust. It is the forethought of positivity, confidence and righteousness. But who’s righteousness? We must strive to abandon blind following and awaken to what we know, really know deep down is right and wrong. Not solely what mother or father has told us is right or wrong, but what we feel is. And this is not even good enough, because we will ultimately not have the answers to what is good and bad. However, I can offer this. You are a being, meaning you exist on some level. Therefore, you have a duty to maintain being, with minimal sacrifice to harmony to sustain being. Why? Because on the tiny stone floating on the edge of the void, we cling together whether we wish to or not. We hurdle through the void, unsure of what will happen at any given moment. We must pull together, man, beast and world and stop the inner destruction and learn to live harmoniously without unnecessary sacrifice. How?

Learn how to better serve those to your side, whether that is man, beast or our mother nature. We must be caretakers of this orchard we call Earth. Remove the greed, apathy, dread and hatred from your heart, before they remove you, and potentially, everyone else.

Keep the faith and give good meaning to all.