As you can tell from my post from the other day, I’ve been thinking a lot about how my spiritual journey was really started by simply acknowledging that there’s more to life than the measurable. After a lifetime of insisting that all emotions, gut feelings, thoughts, etc. were nothing more than mere chemical reactions, at some point the dam began to crack and I could no longer keep up my stoic facade. Too often I came across an image, story, song or work of art that evoked a sensation that, to me, was clear evidence that there was some source of greater good (and evil) that lay beyond the material world. At some point the evidence overwhelmed me, and I just couldn’t deny that there was more to life than meets the eye, and that there is such a thing as the eternal soul. Whenever I come across such things these days, I wonder how I could have ever denied it.
Since I’ve been meaning to start using Blogger’s category feature anyway, I’m going to start a category called Evidence of the Soul, where I’ll post examples of the types of things that slowly chipped away at my rock-solid atheism.
These pictures I recently came across from Pompeii are a classic example. Though I’ve never visited the site of the 79 A.D. eruption myself, every time I see pictures of the figures of the people trapped beneath the ash, my heart almost skips a beat. I remember the first time I saw photos of these plaster molds made from the holes in the ash left by the life in Pompeii. A friend brought back some prints after a vacation to Italy, and the scenes from Pompeii took my breath away. Yet it just didn’t seem logical that I should react so strongly to the deaths of people who could not have anything less to do with me. I’m not related to them, their deaths didn’t improve my or my offspring’s chances of survival, they lived and died in a very far away place more than a thousand years ago…why should I care?
I tried to think of a good evolutionary reason that I would feel so deeply touched to see photos like the one of the form of a mother comforting her child as they suffocated to death so long ago, but I came up short. Nothing from the material world fully explained it. Now I understand why.
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