A Message From “The Family”: On Atheism

celloatSarajevoMister Rand is often disturbed when he encounters advertisements or Internet posts from and about persons espousing atheism as a rational, more balanced approach to understanding and coping with life than theism, religiosity, mysticism, or theomancy. He is disturbed because deep down he himself does not entirely believe that he can be lucky enough for his channelings of unconditional love and light to be accurate and valid. Particularly since his mystical experiences feel so undramatic to him—familiar, almost ordinary in their safeness and familiarity—and never accompanied by UFO sightings, beams of mysterious light breaking through ceilings, angels with outstretched wings, and so forth.

But true mysticism is not always expressed via the melodramatic  memes one encounters in television and film. True mysticism is less likely to be a riotous adventure of alien abduction and much more likely to be turning a corner in one’s day and discoverin g that one is suddenly seeing everything afresh, as though one were awakening from a dream.

Beliefs are not the same things as experiences. One can experience the mystical without believing in it; similarly, one can believe in something without experiencing it. The keynote of whether a belief is core or a superficial adoption lies in whether one takes that belief and builds a world for oneself to inhabit out of it.

Atheism is currently fashionable, particularly among certain classes of intelligentsia in the USA where Mister Rand dwells. As a belief structure, atheism dates back thousands of years in Western civilization, and like religious beliefs, atheism often arises from (1) trauma, (2) acculturation, (3) home rearing, and/or (4) gender role identification.

Traumatic atheism, like traumatic religiosity, arises from unbearable psychological wounds such as those suffered by rape, war, accident, and bereavement victims. Traumatic atheism, however, often can be traced to an individual’s abuse in childhood or another vulnerable life period at the hands of overtly religious persons or institutions. Hence, for the traumatic atheist, atheism can be experienced as a liberation from the manacles of “terror theology”—religiosity rooted in Force, Threat, and Blame, that seeks to expunge the individual self and soul in order to make the self more easily controllable by the religious hierarchy. Where traumatic atheism does not arise from religious abuse, but from unbearable pain due to violence and loss, it can provide liberation from the torment of a sufferer’s wondering whether their suffering is a “punishment” by Deity for some deed or character flaw in a given or former lifetime. Traumatic atheism can also be an expression of rage against a deity one secretly still believes in, the atheist “punishing” that deity (or one’s parents, or one’s pastor) by refusing to worship the deity one has been taught to venerate. In all these cases, therefore, atheism serves the same purpose as other belief systems: protection or liberation of the self from the unbearable weight of pain.

Opportunistic or social atheism is our term for atheism arising from an individual’s desire to fit in with a desireable social group, usually a group that confers upon its members or adherents social, intellectual, [monetary] or political status not afforded to individuals who are theists or religious. Fad atheism, like fad religion, depends upon group pressure for its continuation; when the individual outgrows the need for group authentication, fad atheism—like fad religion—often fades.

Environmental atheism, like environmental religiosity, is atheism arising from family or bonding-group indoctrination. It is cultural in origin, with powerful emotional triggers and anchorings. For such atheists, theism can seem like a betrayal of intensely intimate familial and cultural values and kinship ties.

Gender-based atheism arises, usually amongst boys and men, when they are exposed to the notion that religiosity is somehow effeminizing, something that “real” men do not believe in—the province of moral, intellectual, or sexual “weaklings.” The statement, “Religion is the opium of the people” is [in our view] an expression largely of gender [role] based atheism.

Then there is a kind of atheism that arises from a genuine, heartfelt examination of one’s observations of the world and experiences therein. This kind of atheism, which we may term “true” atheism, is a true reflection of the internal process whereby an individual seeks to make emotional, intellectual, and philosophical sense of a frequently violent, apparently heartless, and often random and impersonal world. Just as “true” religiosity may be said to arise from an openhearted examination of evidences for universal consciousness, “true” atheism may represent a “high” and transfiguring awakening within the individual to a broader sense of reality. As such, true atheism can be a powerful tool for healing, acceptance, resourcefulness, and balance within the individual. And we thank you for sharing. •

— Channeled by Rand B. Lee on 7 September 2015 6:40 AM MT.

A Message From “The Family”: On Hope

ImageWhen a child is born into physical reality, from a psychological perspective it has no hope or despair, for it is aware only of the present moment and the universe of itself.  When a child “hopes for” something, it is not hope that one speaks of, but desire: craving, wish, longing, which all humans possess from inception. If it were not so–if the human infant did not feel and communicate its cravings–it might well die before its caregivers, or those around it, noticed it needed anything. The same is true of dogs and cats and other domestic animals. At birth they live in the present, and their internal lives are characterized by desire: for the warmth of the body of the caregiver; for the milk the caregiver provides, or other sustenance; and for the chance to exercise, play, and learn from their environment and peers.

Hope and despair become conscious emotions or experiences when the child reaches the age when its brain is sufficiently developed for it to be aware of the passage of time, and when it is able to distinguish between self and others. This may take place [by] the age of 8 in many cases. This is why little children were able to play even in concentration camps. Fatigue, exhaustion, and terror were all available to them, but not despair as such, although they could become afraid and depressed at the despair of the adults around them.

We mention these things because to understand hope one must understand  that hope, like despair, arise when one achieves the maturity to sense boundaries to gratification and also the possibility of a positive or negative outcome in time. God, for instance, does not hope, because God is outside of time, and is complete in Itself, of Whom It considers you a particle. God knows that Love is Its nature in all parts of Itself, including you; and that on the divine level,  Love is never defeated or denied. Therefore It need have no anxiety about the future or regret about the past. Amor vincit omnia: love conquers all resistance eventually. Eventually, everyone who has turned its back upon Love will be wooed back into Its arms (we speak figuratively of course).

What, then, is hope, and how does one attain and maintain an attitude of hope when one is beleaguered by unpleasant or discouraging circumstances?

On the Wheel of Creation, Mr Rand and Mr Alex’s template for manifestation in physical reality, hope is allied with belief. To increase belief (in positive outcome, in the eventual victory of Love over all resistance to It) one must look across the center of the Wheel, across the hub called Harmony of Desire, to the spoke opposite that of belief: the support spoke. Put simply, if you lack hope, it is because you lack a sense of support for your longed for condition or goal. To increase hope, therefore, it is necessary to increase one’s sense of support.

How does one do this, particularly when one is discouraged or depressed? . . . By seeking out those who share similar beliefs to your own: similar values, similar cultural backgrounds, similar mindsets, similar thought processes, similar interests and experiences. As support grows, so does belief that positive outcome is possible.

A basic principle in physical reality is that it is extremely difficult to find hope without interaction with other sentient beings. In short, it is very very difficult to climb out of despair alone, or in isolation (though not impossible if one has already developed a rich sense of Divine Love and a habit for dialoguing with It). Twelve Step recovery programs work in part because they offer addicted individuals the hope that, if they work the introspective and self-revelatory meditative exercises expressed in the Twelve Steps, and find a sponsor and attend regular meetings with others like themselves, they will find relief from addiction. For it is a fact that despair can become an addiction: a habituated pattern of emotional response to life that is driven not necessarily by present difficulties, dramatic though they may be, but by the brain having become so drenched in force, threat, and blame in the past that it cannot right the chemical imbalances created by such drenching.

WheelofCreationTo lift one’s brain out of despair-drenching, one must begin by accepting that one is trapped in despair with a desire to learn from the experience. Then one must begin asking questions: How did I get into my present situation? What actions or inactions did I perform, and what strategies did I use, to create or fall prey to my present difficulties? By coming to grips with the physical and psychological processes that led to the choices that have led to one’s force-threat-blame experiences, one then must begin inquiring into whether there are deeper forces at work—spiritual, intellectual, or evaluative patterns that are feeding into one’s despair. If one asks and keeps on asking for enlightenment on this issue, one will certainly be rewarded with an answer or answers. And the answer or answers discovered will contain within them clues as to how one may escape from, or work with, the present difficulty that has led one to give up hope.

When light begins to dawn, and one begins to see the reasons physical and spiritual behind one’s difficulties, one must then commit oneself to finding the path of Love through one’s difficulties. How can I learn to love myself given the choices I have made? How can I learn to love my enemies to the extent to which they will allow and without violating myself in the process? Taking these questions to one’s Greater Self, and to one’s support systems (friends, family, doctors, counselors, teachers and so forth), one will eventually come up with a plan of action the sole purpose of which is to find the most direct route to giving myself the solace, information, help and resources [I need] to change [my] difficult circumstance into one that is more life-affirming. For some persons (and some circumstances), science yields clues to the most direct route to harmony. For others, philosophy or religion; and for still others, the taking of practical physical action to find support for the next step in one’s strategy for self-rescue; or a combination of the utilizations of all these tools.

And we thank you for sharing. •

— Channeled 17 January 2014, 5:20pm MT, by Rand Lee. All rights reserved. Edited 23 January 2014.