Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve used this blog. I had been journaling privately more but this is a cool place to publicly share some thoughts/beliefs.
Today I want to talk about why I’m not a spiritual person. My religious background: I was raised in a semi-religious jewish household. My mom is jewish and my dad is religiously unaffiliated. At my most religious point I was in 7th grade, I was attending hebrew school twice a week with one day being more Sunday school/history/prayer focused and the other day with more of a hebrew reading focus. I had hebrew lessons once a week to help me prepare for my bat mitzvah later that year. I was never forced to go to synagogue but strongly encouraged and I was in an open-minded jewish community where it was ok to question God’s intentions or even existence and we were encouraged to be openminded and leave every prayer open to our own interpretation. I gained a further interest in religious studies after becoming close friends with a muslim girl and ended up taking an honors religious course in my senior year of high school.
However, despite my appreciation and fascination towards religion and judaism specifically, I always felt kind of atheist or at least agnostic. My friend who is pretty religious once asked me why I don’t believe in God and she seemed sad and skeptical when I couldn’t explain why. I respect that others believe in a higher power, but I believe otherwise. I believe we are guarded in our own thoughts and actions and that there is not an external force that causes me to live out certain life choices. I believe no one is here to protect me but myself and that both scares and comforts me greatly. It gives me fear but also great joy to know that no one is governing my actions and purpose besides myself. I believe that when we die we finish our existence. This belief also comforts me because it encourages me to live life fully and not glamorize the future. I have strong opinions about the corruption behind the concept of heaven and hell and sin but I won’t get into that now. I always felt extreme guilt at synagogue that whenever I prayed I didn’t feel an emotion. When people would smile peacefully as they talked about God’s miracles and wished I could have that feeling.
I’ve come to realize that personality plays a lot into whether or not someone is spiritual and I find that being stubborn, skeptical, and analytical are three traits that I notice in other atheists (including myself). I felt a lot better when I began defining myself as culturally jewish and religiously agnostic. Sometimes I refer to myself as atheist and sometimes as agnostic. I find that the biggest difference between these terms are others perceptions towards me. For people, saying I’m an atheist makes them angry and concerned. I feel they are judging me for judging them. Neither of which I intended. I even write this delicately in fear of offending someone who is very spiritual. I hope others interpret this more as two different beliefs and perceptions. I feel comfort in the known and the visible world around me, while some others find comfort in the unknown and the unseen spiritual world and afterlife.