Atheism and Spirituality Are The Same Thing

In my post last week called Regrettably, The Minimalist Path is Bumpy Now, I told you how The Minimalist Path blog has declined since David Damron sold it. I was fortunate enough to have a guest post published on the site in August 2010 while David was still running it. (Many of you already know that because it’s how you first discovered So Much More Life.) David thought the post was so controversial that he ran it with a disclaimer. It has never run here, but I’m running it today. Do you think it is controversial?

When David posted his seven links recently, he included a link to a simple little post he wrote called Pray LESS & Do MORE.

I don’t remember reading it before, but one thing about this controversial post struck me: I don’t disagree with praying less and doing more. And I’m a deeply spiritual person.

If you want to follow a minimalist path, you have to confront religion. To strip your life down to its essence, you have to examine every aspect of it. As your life gets simpler, you mind gets clearer. As your perceived needs diminish, the silliness of the religions so many people rely on becomes apparent.

You see, a truly spiritual person isn’t much different than an atheist.

If that statement surprises you, read on. Atheism and spirituality are not just similar, they come from the same place: religion. Because religion is a prevalent force on the planet, you have no choice but to accept it or reject it. It can’t be ignored.

Atheism is often a reaction to narrow-minded religion and a life situation that has forced someone into too much exposure to it. Spirituality is a different reaction to the same thing. While an atheist may reject God because she rejects so much of what she has been taught about God, a spiritualist embraces a fully-available spirit that isn’t restricted by the caracature of God created by religion.

Here’s what I believe: We are all one thing. We are all — as some have put it — little pieces of God, each complete in itself. We are all creators. Every person on the planet is connected, and so are the animals, the plants and this planet’s forces themselves. Devaluing or weakening any part weakens the whole system. We are interdependent because we are are all made of the same stuff.

This isn’t just my idea either. The idea of “oneness” is common among spiritual people who have moved beyond the idea of a needy God with dominion over small, unworthy humans and into an idea that we all have value — and power.

And here’s a hard fact: Religion stands opposed to both true spirituality and true atheism. And atheism and spirituality stand together as two things so similar that they could actually be the same concept.

Atheism is a belief that humans hold all of life’s power within themselves. Prayer doesn’t help you if you’re an atheist because you already have everything you need — if you can only access it.

If you’re a spiritual person who believes in oneness, you also finds strength within yourself — placed there when you were created — to accomplish things beyond your wildest expectations.

For both of you, the strength comes from deep within — from the core of your being.

And what’s at your core? Power. It doesn’t matter how you think it got there.

I wrote a follow-up to this piece here on So Much More Life. Please see Religion is Like The Letter People.


  1. As a fellow atheist and spiritual person, I look forward to seeing other comments 🙂

    To me, it all goes haywire when you add the element of worship. If we all truly respected everything, that would see us through far better .

    1. The idea of worship causes problems for lots of people. It doesn’t bother me because I look at it as a temporary role.

      For example, tonight I’m writing some SEO copy for someone else — playing the role of a lowly, low-paid copwriter when I’m capable of much more. Tomorrow, I’m organizing a game night. Soon, I’ll be totally in charge of writing more for my blog. Tonight I’m the staff, tomorrow I’m the boss.

      So… I’m happy to worship a god now if he or she will worship me sometime — or if I can recognize that he or she is worshipping someone else. I’m happy to play a role temporarily but not to base my life on it.

      I worship a god as that god worships its god… or something like that.


  2. @Gip Plaster I completely agree with you, even most of the times i used to get such thoughts in me, like we are praying to someone and to whom this person will pray to..Anyway interesting post buddy.

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