Is there a purpose to live without religious faith?
The fact that humans, (including you, dear reader) are alive in the present moment is a miracle. Miracles that suspend the laws of nature seem rather goofy, but miracles that surround lives at every turn are worth noting. A top ten list for drawing inspiration should first and foremost include that star stuff came to know and contemplate the cosmos.
To realize that everything from glittering dew-drop to dazzling Deneb is connected is, in short, astounding. Knowing life is a system of dynamic dances realized from a few atomic elements, hydrogen, helium, oxygen, and carbon, stirred with energy and drifting is space not only seems spiritual but likely is the fundamental reason that human beings discovered inspiration in the first place.
Speaking of inspiration, the root word for both spirit and inhalation, a good number two concept to inspire anyone is breath. Wind, carrying the seeds of all life, flowing, surging, planting, creating and destroying, fills our bodies with oxygen that drives the dance onward. In ancient times, (before God became something to just shed blood and exploit others over), the soul, or spirit began with moving air. Air, within us, and beyond us, was believed to be that which is animate, and therefore life-giving. Whether standing upon a mountain top huffing clean air or gasping for breathing in sexual joy, to breathe is to live. Everything known touched, felt or alive is related to the many miracles that connect between aspiration, respiration, and inspiration. The spoken word was dependent upon living breathe when it became the written word, it lost some of its power. However, today literature, music, poetry and more still draws heavily upon sound, and not just thought.
Whether family includes primarily biological relatives or all the way up to the family of humanity, the family is one of the most moving and motivating connections eve experienced in life. Love and attraction draw us in to create the security of immediate family, but there is even more than that to celebrate.
DNA connects every human being in brotherhood and sisterhood to every other human being. As humanity matures to recognize the human race is indeed one race, social evolution could mature past petty tribalism and differences. In fact, to really realize family, is to also realize the fundamental connection for wishing to live and thrive that all organisms share.
The big bang burst matter into existence and no one knows just how this can be, although most of us were taught it was created by God for human beings begun with a cosmic Father and Mother figure. Family, woven together by DNA, teaches love, appreciation, compassion, and reasons to celebrate life.
Four: Knowledge, learning and exploration.
No one many questions, why so many stars whirled around for billions of years, why life crept slowly up from star stuff elements and the incredible beauty of bio-diversity was around without us for so very long. And it will be after humanity is done, as well. It does not seem logical that all of this, on one insubstantial planet, had anything to do with Earth people being special, or some pinnacle of creation. Truth can be harsh sometimes, but it is always better than ignorance. Learning truth is never useless. To learn, explore, discover and appreciate the revelations of enlightenment through science is very inspiring.
Five: The arts.
As mentioned above, great literature, music, painting, dance, sculpture and much more came about from inspiration, but they also provide inspiration. Art is that which moves, provokes, teases, teaches, invites, dazzles and entertains us. Everything from bible stories to The Simpsons provides bits of information about who/what/when/ where and why humans are everything they are.
Falling in love is just one of the many forces of nature given with the laws of attraction.
Romance need not be bound by the dizzying heights of just lust, romance should be experienced with all the senses and in all places.
Romance, passion, urgent need, animal magnetism, whatever it might be called, it is in the dance of the bee to her flower, the raindrop to the field of wheat, the sunlight upon the living soil, the surge of a wave pulled to shore by the romantic moon.
Romance is the love of life, and that is why evolution designed it as an attraction for the basis for life.
Greatly related to romance above, senses, if heeded provide a sensory immersion in life. It is important to turn off anything that bleeps, rings, blares, spews, belches or distracts and discover the joy of the senses. Walking alone, with a loved one, or with a thousand people scattered throughout a national park, tuning into the senses including all those far beyond the usual five will always restore, reflect, rewind and regenerate a feeling of the world is rich, diverse, abundant, worth preserving and appreciated. Inspiration doesn’t just knock, it tickles, it fragrances, it trills in birdsong, it cascades as waterfalls, it soars, creeps, dazzles, and whispers.
Eight: A just cause.
Having experienced any of the previous seven leads people to find their true calling in a myriad of ways. Whether a cause is related to abundance and diversity, conservation of wildlife, art or preservation, science or truth, fighting disease, or working for eradicating poverty and providing education; all are worthy. Compassion for humanity, or for the more than human world, having a purpose is essential to inspire one to live. Realizing that each moment is all the more precious because there may be no afterlife is crucial to helping sow the seeds of truth, justice, over-turning exploitation and realizing abundance. Carpe Diem.
Nine: Faith, trust, and hope.
Many people do not understand that self-reliance can be liberating and even empowering. Losing religious faith is seldom easy in a demon-haunted world, still, there are so many things that people can trust. That the sun will kiss the dawn, that natural laws allow for magnificence, that hope can grow despite humanity’s awkward terrible “tweens”, is a good thing.
Love is related to the romance of course, and to the bee and blossom above, and to family and the senses. Love, if thought of as related to all the laws of attraction from gravity spinning planets in orbits around a star, to craving excellent lasagna, to viewing a ribbon in the sky painted with rainbow light, to a sensuous kiss, to watching two kittens play, to leaves of grass, to all the senses immersed, turned on, tuned in and connected, love is truly worth pursuing in its many, many forms.