Over the past couple of days, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking on the topic of theology. Specifically on Naturalism, the idea that the core fundamentals of the universe and the world are discovered and that there are natural laws that govern us, as dictated by a God of some kind; and the antithesis, with positivism, where we are free beings, not governed by a God but by ourselves, as humans. A lot of this enquiry has only strengthened my resolve in my atheism.
However, I also believe that, if you take the time to look around you life, and smell the roses from time to time, a lesson shows itself to you, hidden but still there to the eagle eye of someone who takes simple things waaaaay too seriously.
Arguably, the biggest question that people have is “Why are we here, and how did we get here?” You know, the question to life, the universe, and everything. My friend believes he found the answer in Christianity. He believes in God now, and has his idea on how everything works. In complete contrast, I ended up as an atheist. Whereas he felt a connection to the world and called it God, I saw a lack of connection on any such level, and called it life. We’ve been debating over the specifics of his ideals now for a week, going to all sorts of different paths of reason, belief, and crazy ideas for me to come to the conclusion that I still feel absolutely no connection to an all encompassing being. As for him, I don’t have the right to say, as Ted is his own guy and is kind of impossible to read on these matters.
But ever since I discovered this lack of connection, there’s been a lurking feeling in the back of my mind. Indiscernible, hard to correlate… but it was there. Since I am an atheist, and since there is (for me) no God, then there is no set road for me, no fate, no destiny. I am truly and completely free to do anything I please.
Interestingly enough though, that was not the idea in its entirety: it was satisfactory, but there was still another lesson to be learned. Was it that I now had more responsibility? That’s a given. Redemption and forgiveness were now dictated by other people and myself, and not an omniscient thing? Well, duh. The fact that without a God, I now had more personal power? That’s cool. I like that.
And then tonight happened.
I went to go visit Kitteh for awhile tonight. It’s a ridiculously hot March evening, and I’m wearing shorts and a t-shirt. I’ve just eaten dinner with my Mom, and I was really content. Kitteh and I talked about Mad Men (she loves it), skirts, mail, work, involuntary voluntary work (or “training” as it’s called) and all kinds of things. But eventually, it was time for me to go. I helped her with her laundry, kissed her goodnight, and started to head home when all of a sudden, I stopped.
In front of me was a back-alley dirt-way. The path stretched out in front of me, long and dark in areas while light in others. The pebbles and gravel of the path lent a rough, callous quality to the path, its bumpy texture evident in the strips of light from the parallel residence building. Overhanging branches from nearby trees cast long, spindly shadows over the path while the poles and pillars and supported wires cast their suitably thicker, dark umbrae over the path. Tire tracks from muddier days drew gouges in the pathway, crisscrossing and intersecting with footprints to show a road travelled by many, remembered by few.
And I thought to myself, my, what a simple way to represent my life; simple at its outset, yet a closer look reveals a bumpy road that winds a little. Light represented the good times, only bright because the shadows could provide the contrast needed to make the good times great. Gouges and sticks showed that things can change my life irrevocably, and will leave me scarred. As easy as it was to imagine that this path was my life, I realized something a little terrifying.
At the end of the path, there were no more lights. The adjacent building blocked the lights from any nearby rooms. Meanwhile, trees clawed across the gap, blocking my vision of the end of the path.
It’s at this point I figured out what a terrifying choice I’ve made, for I knew that, unlike what Ted thought, there was nothing at the end of this path.
At the end of the path, I was going to be alone in the dark.
I have to remember my earlier lessons though: it might be dark, but that’s if I leave it like that. I have the responsibility and power to change that. I have Kitteh. I have goals, and I have dreams.
I’ll light my own way, and people will be there to help me.
I refuse to be alone in the dark.