Beyond curiosity, we’re convinced that atheists need to learn about their spirituality.
We’ve come to think that tending to your spiritual side is an essential component of maintaining a healthy mind, it enhances your daily life, it improves your ability to know yourself and understand and appreciate others from the inside. It is surely a component of being human. We believe it to be a byproduct or another aspect of our human evolution and more importantly an essential preparation for where ever that road takes us in the future. We have found numerous studies that suggest that overtly spiritual thoughts live in the more recently developed parts of our brains, particularly the large forebrain area where conscious thoughts also reside (for the studies, see below).
Spirituality is certainly qualitatively different than the hardwired early primitive survival adrenaline-pumping emotions like fear and rage and sexual needs. Those built-in responses are located in areas of our ‘old brain,’ that part which is similar to and found in most living creatures.
Animals access those emotions directly, we humans have of necessity adapted so that we can control and postpone and sublimate ours in order to live civilized lives in our modern, oft-crowded communities, but then what happens to the traces of our stronger animal imperatives? They often don’t dissipate, instead they crawl about in our subconscious minds and keep itching away instead of getting used up as they should, you know that can’t be good for you. We haven’t yet physically and mentally adjusted to our modern ways of life which are fairly recent in terms of human evolution. The fundamental adaptations occur at a slow pace ; if evolution is ever going to adapt our bodies to our modern behaviors, it is still way behind the curve, so for now as you hopefully deal with the excesses of modern living through exercise and include at least some healthy foods, we urge you to consider taking the time and effort to care for your spirituality too.
As a thought, although the idea appalls some, especially the religious who claim we are “made in god’s image,” perhaps we have to come to terms with the idea of tinkering at the genetic level or by using our technology to boost brain power by implanting bio chips and becoming bionic beings, particularly if it turns out that evolution has done just about as much as it can for us. And an argument to the religious: who’s to say we weren’t intended to evolve to the point where we could take over the genetic tinkering for ourselves? Waiting for random beneficial mutations to occur makes no sense when we could direct for ourselves where and how we want the human race to change, but of course the problem is who would decide which traits would be good and which traits not, spare us from the politicians and warmongers.
Perhaps our experiences with so-called “Frankenfoods,” (no, not foods eaten or sold by Al Franken the humorist/writer, they’re genetically modified plant foods likened to the manmade creature immortalized in Mary Shelley’s book “Frankenstein”!) and “Frankencritters ” will give us some useful clues before meddling with human genes for improvement purposes as opposed to for amelioration of disease, which is of course a very laudable motive of itself, except for the medical Luddites amongst us. And time has usually proven them wrong!