Is the Sunday Assembly the next step in Athiesm?

20160430_170010While I admit to not having been before I’m openly curious about the Sunday Assembly. It’s new take on organised services that are open to people of any religion or none (including spiritualists and agnostics) and focusses on celebration of life and positive feelings over preaching about organised religion.

From what I have gathered I support the concept and welcome the fact that its gaining momentum and here is why.

I have seen critiques of atheism by atheists that say that organised religion gives people community and actually strives to help people and listen to their concerns and that in many cases atheism of the past rarely did anything like this (at least not en masse). This sort of idea and concept could bridge this gap that many atheists are rightly concerned about.

Celebration of happiness Most people whether religious or not would prefer to be happy and embrace positive feelings both with friends and wider community and sometimes on their own. This concept makes a lovely excuse (not that one’s needed) to partake in happier feelings in a communal sense. It’s not about non-belief but what can be achieved together as why should organised religion hold the monopoly on gatherings to share in happiness and good feelings.

Would like to see a community support function if it doe’s not already exist.* Projects like helping the homeless and aiming to better the lives of impoverished children as examples. Such projects could take place after the Assembly services for those who bear a keen interest in service to others.

*may exist already in some locations.

More calm and collected the Skeptics Society I have never attended a Skeptic’s Society meeting but have seen their forums. There is a lot of debating about belief/or lack of but very little else from what I’ve seen. This provides atheists and others who have either grown tired of Skeptic’s Societies or were never interested at all a viable alternative with a whole lot less need for debates.

Great for those seeking community If you are seeking new circles and new friends this might be a relatively quick way to find a new sense of community and even some new friends. It’s not entirely uncommon for people to move cities or countries and it’s likely to be something that many can get involved with quickly. The necessity to not be religious in order to share in church/congregation related community is a bonus either. I’ve known people who are not religious but have pretended to be in order to feel a belonging with somewhere, this requirement isn’t truly necessary anymore.

Due to its generic nature it’s fantastic for those who struggle socially There are a fair number of reasons why some of us struggle socially. Because this is fairly generic while also being an organised activity it provides an easy backdrop for these people to find community easier.

Multi-generational I am told that many generations attend the Sunday Assemblies and this is fantastic as young and old can learn from each other and share with each other i a gentle environment. There is also an increased likelihood of other diversity.

I admit that the Assembly is in its relative infancy and is building an entire culture from scratch because of this. I would also like to see it expand further into the non english speaking world within time.

Samantha Eaton

La Reina Razonable

When is a good time not to care?

20160922_1156291One of the key tenets of this site has been ways in which to aim to lead an easier life. I’m not suggesting giving up all cares for key areas required for life to go smoothly, but give up or limit cares for things that will not help us or will help us very little. There are a few for all of us.

I will give examples to show you what I mean, these examples may relate to you or they may not.

Even if some of these do relate to you I’d suggest doing even further soul-searching as there will be some unique to you.

Gossip (the extreme variety) So I’m not talking about the odd new bit of must know news that’s just got round the office quicker then the next derby winner, but I am talking about that insidious form of gossip that ruins people’s lives in one way or another. I’ve been lucky to experience this a mere handful of times, but thats enough for me.

Biting ones tongue (for the ladies) At some point we have all been there. A recent one for me was when there was a bee or wasp passing by our table regularly in a country pub in mid summer. After it came too close to me for comfort at least twice I had to politely ask if something could be done, despite another member of the group gesturing for me not to. Sure I get it wasn’t their fault but this example is a great example of what I mean.

Small talk (the variety that’s leading nowhere) I understand the world is made in such a way where often times small talk is needed. I’m OK with it if it leads to something bigger but have no real sense of caring for anything that never passes mundane small talk. I am an introvert and its the way I roll to a large extent.

Work Stress This is one of the more relative ones but there are ways to cut the level of care you give to aspects of your work that do not interest you (even if its only in your mental chatter). Breathing exercises can be great for trying to keep stresses at bay during work. Mindfulness (internal brain chatter only) that a lot of managements problems are thier problems and not directly yours can help.

Over accumulation of money This is another relative one. Sure its nice to have money to pay the bills and live a reasonably decent lifestyle, however accumulation of money to the extremes could actually serve to limit happiness from the perspective of having to work harder or longer hours. Money sure does aid hapiness but only up to a certain point.

Alcohol Since I started my journey without the ethanol molecule I’ve learned to love life without not only booze itself but hangovers and that awful groggy “alcohol tiredness” feeling. Life is for living and with non alcoholic beers wines and cocktails (mocktails) why would I ever want the ethanol molecule again?

Football (and the rivalry that goes with it) I really have tired of “the beautiful game” and its rivalry even more so. In my eyes the games boring and I simply have not got either the energy nor the desire to care if Burnley beat West Ham. I thought I’d add this as in the British Isles football is quite a big thing and not to be into it is reasonably subversive. I prefer  racing as there’s no rivalry and its much more exciting to watch (for me)

Fitting in This is one of those things I never have done. I barely know what the concept means. I get why people feel the need to fit in but its one of those concepts that simply doesn’t appear on my radar.

I hope the examples I have given will aid you in soul-searching for things you really don’t need to care about, or care less about.

Samantha Eaton

La Reina Razonable