I am not today who I was yesterday.
Nearly five years ago, under the fading trees, I reached an important decision in my life. I left the church, never to return. I left because the church became more about absolutes and rules than it did about spirit.
Before the "rising" and the "setting" of the sun, I declared myself a Spiritual Agnostic, after much soul searching. (I am Spiritual, in the sense I feel our humanity connects us to each other [though we are different from one another, we are not separate from one another], and Agnostic, in the sense I am without knowledge in God’s existence—as a physical entity. I am also without belief in God’s existence—as a physical entity.)
I grieved the loss of my religion for quite some time, after I accepted the tenebrous fact I would never again see my brother in his physical form—only in his spiritual form. (Indeed, when he died, his atoms dispersed out into the universe. The Great Circle of Life is endless, inexhaustible, infinite. His spiritual form lives on.)
To Spiritual Agnosticism I was introduced by reading the ethereal Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke and You Can’t Go Home Again, Thomas Wolfe’s magnum opus. These books do not advocate for Spiritual Agnosticism, per se, but their themes (soul searching, ‘reality’, meaning of life) irrevocably do.
Letters to a Young Poet presented itself to me in the most donnishly possible way: on a dusty bookshelf, with its pages open, it cried for me to take it home.
In my personal library of 1,100+ everlasting books, my copy of Letters to a Young Poet is nestled, comfortably, between The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde and Mortality by Christopher Hitchens.
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You may be wondering what Spiritual Agnosticism is. It is a philosophy that condemns the conservative “believe-or-burn” religious ideologies, places importance on actions, and maintains life is a mystery.
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I do believe God is a spiritual energy that is ever-present. However, I do not think this spiritual energy needs a name. I have felt said energy. It is alive. That is all I need to ‘know’. A name would only anthropomorphize said energy, which is what spirituality is not; spirituality is above that. Spirituality is.
Regarding actions: my spiritual accountability comes from within. The good deeds I commit here will be rejoiced hereafter, while the bad deeds I commit here will be condemned hereafter.
The spiritual energy I speak of gives my life a deeper meaning. In nature spirituality thrives (nature and spirituality are symbiotic): for in nature there is a pulse, a rhythm, a meter; a musicality that binds all life together.
In the city I witness the construction of a skyscraper, but in nature I witness the growth of a Sycamore. In the city I witness an ever-expanding crack in a street, but in nature I witness roots digging into fresh dirt. In the city I witness an airplane flying overhead, but in nature I witness a Blue Jay flying, lithely, through the branches of trees.
I feel at home in nature.
When a street is abandoned, nature takes its course. The street itself begins to crack, through which grass emerges in time. Nature is the most powerful force, the wisest teacher.
Nature has revealed to me I am lucky to be alive, that my existence is as probable as a rock hitting an ant at random between Seattle and Miami. I, therefore, cherish every inhale and exhale of breath.