I consider myself to be a "spiritual agnostic". This double-take-inducing shred of nomenclature may seem oxymoronic, but I feel it appropriately captures the gist of the belief system.

I have friends from many different religions. Among them are Christians, Jews, Muslims, neo-pagans, wiccans, and a handful of other divine flavors. I've never been keen on the idea of committing myself to such a group, however, because I don't know for sure what this "higher power" may be, assuming that there is one. There have been several times in my life in which I've felt "tapped in" to some higher power/energy, but I've learned to take human experiences and sensations with a grain of salt.

There is a tentative scientific explanation for feeling "tapped in", of course, but it's not without problems. From what I've read in hardprint articles from publications along the lines of Scientific American, certain normally-dormant portions of the brain become very excited during "religious experiences". The experience- the sensation-, then, is very real. The cause of the sensation is the mystery. Are we hard-wired with receiver-like tissues through which we tap into this higher power? Or are the experiences born purely of natural biological prompts?

Lacking more information, the "safe" thing to do is to just assume that there is some divine power. Then, the question is one of definition.

If this all-powerful being/energy were to really want me to worship it by name and creed, it'd tell me all the details straight out. It could easily do that, being omnipotent. Furthermore, if it's omniscient, it knows that I don't know what it is. How can it become angry, then, if I worship it "incorrectly" or not at all?

Judging from the dearth of Old Testament-style divine ass-kickings in the modern world, whatever higher power there may be probably doesn't really care what you call it or how you want to worship it. It might tap you on the shoulder sometimes- just to say, "Hey, how ya' doin'? I'm still here, just so you know"- but it's not overly picky about how you want to interact with it.

I'm not affiliated with any religion, but I occasionally say/sing portions of the Catholic mass or requiem (in Latin, of course). I've never even been Catholic, so why would I do such a thing? Basically, I like the text. I'm not too picky over the specifics... But I like how it rolls off of my tongue, and I like the emotions behind it. And if that ain't good enough for Deity, then it'd better drop me a line. So far, though, I've had rather amicable relations with whatever powers there may be, so I figure I might be on to something here.

What of atheists, then? To further extend the image of this laid-back, carefree deity, I imagine it'd not be offended by them. Atheists usually make up for religion with logic and science; if this deity is omnipotent and the creator of all, then it created everything that logic and science are based upon. Atheists, then, inadvertantly end up humoring and honoring this being by categorizing and theorizing about its work. Or... They might be right, and no such being even exists. Either way, it's all good.

So my point is, whatever works for you, go ahead with it. If you find structure and comfort in organized religion, more power to you. If you live for logic and empiricism, good luck, and be sure to send me your theories. And if you're just an independent spiritual agnostic musing about the possibilities and implications of it all, don't let others get blinded by their own agendas. Everyone fits in somewhere, but not all in one channel of belief.

My creed, then:
Communication, understanding, and respect are of primary import in life. Whatever makes you feel good- and for whatever reason you think it makes you feel good- are yours to decide upon. Just give everyone else the same courtesy.

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