I find it interesting that I’ve gone from being a convinced atheist in my teens – to: maybe there is more than just what can be explained by science – to believing in the Divine and, well, I guess I have become a pagan.
I had a Protestant confirmation when I was 15. it didn’t even occur to me then not to have one, and we didn’t have a secular confirmation as an option back then.
During the school year before the confirmation, I dutifully attended all preparation classes. I wanted to believe.
On the day of the Confirmation, I expected something to happen when the priest laid his hand on my head and blessed me. I expected to feel something special during the blessing, have some kind of spiritual experience, since – I thought – a Confirmation was supposed to “seal the deal” made during Baptism, strengthen your bond with God and bring you closer to Him.
Somehow I seem to have got a Lutheran confirmation and a Catholic Confirmation mixed up…
And I felt nothing, just a clammy hand on my head.
This was the first time I though: “bah, humbug!” when it came to religion.
After this grand non-experience, I became a convinced atheist. When I was 18, and legally an adult, I cancelled my membership in the State Church.
In my early 20s, I began reading about Paganism and Wicca and such, out of curiosity. I also began to read about different old myths and religions again (I read a lot of mythology when I was little, along with myths, legends and fairy tales from different countries).
I spent a lot of time pondering “life, the universe and everything”.
I realised that I wasn’t an atheist after all, or I wasn’t one any longer.
I believed there was some kind of Divine power.
One part of me was (and is) is still very logical, sceptical and scientific minded and has a knee jerk “bah, humbug” reaction to any mentions of anything supernatural, including faith and gods.
The other part is of the opinion that just because you can’t prove some phenomena with our current technology, doesn’t mean it can’t exist.
I believe there might very well be a universal Creator, and that what we call gods might very well exist. This me’s current theory is that our gods are local, planetary entities/forces; tiny parts of the Creator shaped and given form by different beliefs of our species.
I have this theory, that the Creator (which is a force so vast and different from us that we can’t ever understand it) is pure mind/energy, and that this Creator created this universe, turned it’s thoughts into physical matter. This means that all particles in the universe is of the Creator, and that what I think of as the Divine is in everything and everyone.
So, when you pray and ask the Divine for something, I see four possible scenarios/explanations (yeah, the logical, age-of-reason part of me wants to explain everything):
a) what happens is that you tap into your own subconscious mind, and activate resources you didn’t even know you had
b) you tap into the Divine that is inside you, and it helps you find answers and strength within yourself
c) you draw the attention of the (often) anthropomorphic representation of the Divine that you believe in, and it helps you find strength and answers
d) a combination of some or all of the above
What I don’t believe in, is a God/Goddess that fixes things for you without you having to contribute anything but a prayer – as if praying is dial-a-miracle.