Her Talking Cure

"...here there is no place that does not see you." (Rilke)


West Virginia, U.S.A
December 16
poet, writer, teacher, student, wife and mom
Semi-retired and on the road: a threshold existence informed by myth, Jung, great Christian theology, episcopal church, poetry, prayer and transcendental meditation (TM).


FEBRUARY 8, 2012 3:55AM

God and Atheism: Being of Two Minds

Rate: 0 Flag

I am often torn here between choosing god or choosing atheism. This is because I, like most people, am of two minds: one is rational and materialistic and gets me through my day; the other is symbolic, metaphorical, poetic, and highly malleable. This, dear readers, is in my opinion exactly how it should be.

We live split lives or lives that split along these two congruent axes. From the one mind we support our families, balance personal accounts, form opinions. From the other mind we offer prayers to the darkness of our dreams and wishes. We write poetry, fall in love, create novels in our heads and read novels in our minds.

We are a society of two-mindedness and that’s all there is to it.

What is agnosticism but a spiritual longing looking to justify itself under the guise of rational thought?

Sometimes I have thoughts like these only they come at me all day long. This is what always pushes me to get back to writing, the one vehicle for communicating where I can talk as much as I like and get to go back and correct and edit to boot. Not a bad gig.

Your tags:


Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:


Type your comment below:
What is agnosticism but a spiritual longing looking to justify itself under the guise of rational thought?

I enjoyed hearing about your being “torn”…and I would love to comment on your search, but I sure do not understand what you were trying to say with this statement.

Any chance you would like to expand on it a bit?
Yes, I'd love to expand upon this. Your question, as I say in my next post, is the one that got me to the next stage here. As I propose in that post, I do agree with Carl Jung and others that as humans we are archetypally predisposed to a need for reverence and belief in something greater than ourselves. Jung calls this the transcendent function. I'd say we are as much driven by this need for something "more" in our lives as we are by other more ordinary, hum drum needs for food, love, sex, relationship, etc. As someone who has sat on both sides of this belief issue it seems the years in which I called myself and Atheist (then lightened to Agnostic) I was as much in search for some higher value as the years in which I have called myself a "believer." I think spiritual or higher longing wears many faces and that Agnosticism (and Atheism) has its own way of keeping itself alive. We like to think we are "beyond all this" when really we just get to call it more "rational seeming" name. Not sure I am at all answering your question or even clarifying my thought but would like to continue in other posts. Thanks for the question, truly.
Thanks for your response, Meg. I have already read the other piece.

The comment that formed the basis for the question I asked seemed to be a disparagement of agnosticism, which was the reason I questioned it. But with your explanation, I see that it was not.

In any case, I do not see agnosticism as a spiritual longing of any kind…and I certainly do not see it as an attempt to justify itself under the guise of rational thought.

Agnosticism (at least as most see it today) is simply acknowledging that we do not know the true nature of Reality…we do not know the answers to questions about what “has to be included” and “what must be excluded” from what the truth is about Reality.

I see no reason to suppose the existence of a GOD or gods is impossible. I see no reason to suppose the existence of a GOD or gods is necessary to explain existence. And I see no unambiguous evidence that would lead me to make a reasonable, meaningful guess in either direction.

So I use the term “agnostic” to describe that position. I guess I could do away with the term agnostic and go through the complete explanation each time…but that just does not make sense to me.

I consider that to be the perspective that works best for me.

Good luck with whatever avenue you choose for yourself, Meg.
Yes, yes you are so right. I guess my comment does sound a bit patronizing for which I apologize. Words always reveal more than we often intend which is why this blogging thing has me a bit rattled. I appreciate your clarification of what was bugging you and yes, I get it. I dislike how these kinds of labels attempt to disenfranchise the most interesting voices and opinions among us. Art, poetry, and prayer, pick your muse -- all speak to me of something close to a divine spark within us. It's that spark which I was wanting to acknowledge, not much more.