The bird fights its way out of the egg. The egg is the world. Who would be born must first destroy a world. The bird flies to God. The God’s name is Abraxas.
The best spiritual systems I think are the ones which function effectively in secular metaphors. The dominate types of belief systems today create a false separation between real life and the “afterlife”, or reality and the supernatural. I also appreciate a heavy dose of cognitive psychotherapy. Buddhism is a favorite of mine, though I haven’t taken the preliminary vows and don’t label myself as a Buddhist.
The only concept of divinity I can accept is one without the false dichotomy of creator being separate from the created. It would be an intelligence that exists for the sake of enjoying the evolutionary process and all the narratives and experiences that each individual has in its lifetime. Each person would be a fragment of this collective consciousness, forgetting for a time it’s origin so that it can be completely immersed in the experience. And, in death, the compartmentalized consciousness will either dissolve back into the whole (if the work was done to realize the true origin), or continue on as a new existence. A different entity, but containing the same karmic imprints that create a similar experience.
I think these ideas can be adapted to a secular context. We’ve grown from an intelligence that perpetuates itself without a creator and self-regulates itself towards perfection. We live and die many times throughout our life, and our next stage of experience is dictated by the karma of our previous one.
This is speculation, and I don’t care for holding beliefs for sake of having them. I’m open to differing ideas, and the only religions and spiritual traditions I engage are the ones who permit you to doubt and encourage you to experiment. Beliefs to me are working theories that are strengthened by experience, not dogmas that must be accepted blindly. It is not virtuous to believe, and the creeds which teach that deal in assimilating people for political and power-based ends.
I’m currently working with Western occult philosophies and Thelema in particular, as it merges the best of Eastern philosophy with the Western importance of the individual and its Will. It treats religion as a form of psychology in which the gods (archetypes) can be called forth internally to imprint and modify your consciousness. It deviates from religion in that it permits objective analysis and detachment, which avoids the pitfall of becoming a ‘true believer’ in any paradigm. It is a path of evolution that advances the mind from the conditioned, ignorant and helplessly reactive state towards a higher state of purposeful identity and intention.
I’m not nihilistic as I do believe in karma as taught by the Dharmic religions (not the Western/New age concept in which karma is an agent of justice that rewards and punishes). I believe thoughts and actions all have implication, and imprint patterns which easily become downward spirals and prisons. I consider myself lucky that I’ve awakened as much as I have, and want to be a catalyst for others. There are things I don’t want to experience, and don’t want others to experience, so I avoid putting into motion those karmas. It also takes a lot of discipline and self knowledge to recognize when you’re doing so unintentionally.
There are also destructive and chaotic elements of existence. You have to play your side and not let the false dilemma of ‘the problem of evil’ compel you to an infantile world view. Stories can’t happen without conflict, and evolution can’t occur without environmental pressure. I think it’s important to serve what you think is the highest end and not take anything personally.