Who’s Out There?

After reading “Who Do You Call On When The Plane Shakes?“, I gave some serious thought to the question of who I call on/pray to when I’m faced with moments of terror and anguish. When I’ve been on a plane and thought I was in mortal danger, when people I loved went into the hospital with life-threatening problems, that time I was driving on the interstate in heavy traffic and one of my tires blew out…who did I call on? Who did I ask for help from?

And I realized the answer is: no one. In moments of crisis and panic, I feel alone on a spiritual, cosmic level. I might ask “the Universe” for help or relief, but I don’t really feel there’s anyone or anything actually listening to my prayers. In those moments, I hope my desperate wish for a good outcome will somehow influence the cold, uncaring universe, but there’s also a small voice in my head that speaks at those moments, saying, “Things will unfold as they will, and you’ll have to do your best to deal with them.”

Which explains why the only religions that have ever really spoken to me are Taoism (at least, by way of The Tao of Pooh) and Discordianism. It’s why I feel completely comfortable telling people I’m an atheist, not agnostic. When faced with the stark terror of death (my own or someone I love’s), I don’t see or feel any kind of sentient, divine presence in the universe. When I look into the abyss, I don’t see anyone looking back.

And you know, I’m quite fine with that.

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