How I Became an Atheist

When I was a child I used to believe in things like ghosts, monsters, god and equality. I’ve since done away with many of those beliefs, though I still believe monsters exist, I see them on the news sometimes.

To be clear, I stem from a fairly conservative middle class family. My mother was wholly in favour of having a religious scholar come around every evening to compound my material learning with the spiritual kind. This entailed reciting verses in a language I didn’t understand, but was taught to read fluently.

It was a beautiful thing, come to think of it, chanting those delectable words without being encumbered by the banality of meaning. If I were an aesthetic purist back then as I am now, I would have loved it. But I was just a kid, and it made little sense to me.

Sometimes the Qari, as he was called, would sleep in his chair while I was reciting. Sometimes he would snore. My mother once complained of sleeplessness and I offered to read her the Quran, she was not amused.
When I finished the verses, it was deemed important enough an occasion to merit it’s own celebration. We in this culture share our joy by making each other fat with sweets, and then spend the days in between being miserable for putting on weight.

In school, they taught us about the history of Islam and how gloriously it was spread on the back of the sword. The kids would chatter about the tales of bravery and courage by the early caliphs, they’d invoke the names on the playground, where some skirmish or war was reenacted every day.

Back then, all I really wanted was a bicycle. I would see all these kids flying around on the streets outside like they were roman warriors on flattened, awkward looking chariots, basking in the dust and glory of the streets of Lahore. Seeing no imminent signs of procuring one, my mother had played the ‘it’s not safe’ card, I turned to prayer.

But just when I was about to ask for one, I realized that god must be a busy person, entertaining prayers from kids like me all over the world, not to mention those annoyingly needful grown ups. It was unlikely that he’d be in the habit of answering more than one prayer from the same person; simply not enough time. So if I wanted to ask for something, why not make it really good?

I upgraded my prayer from a bicycle to a jeep, and on further reflection, from a jeep to a helicopter, and finally a yacht. That was the limit of my imagination back then.

I would be the happiest kid in the world if god just gave me a yacht. It needn’t be the biggest yacht in the world, but what’s size to the purveyor of all the universe? It might as well be.

I got up from the prayer mat feeling pleased with myself, I had reasoned myself into an enterprising supplication. God had to give everyone at least one wish in their lifetime right? So if I just kept asking for a yacht I was sure to eventually get one.

That didn’t work out the way I had planned. I have a car now but it sinks quite easily in water. See that’s the thing with religion and reason. If you try and apply one on the other, well, it’s like oil and water, they never mix and you just get scolded by your mother for making a mess.

But I was a slow learner, I would contest religion with reason many times over, and think myself into tiny little migraines.

I was always told that something could not come from nothing. Everything needed a creator and a sustainer. My young mind likened it to the things I consumed every day. Everything came with a manufacturer’s label. I wondered if there was a print on my butt that said ‘made in heaven’. But found none.

Then I realized the same thing could be said of god. How did he come from nothing? Without a creator or a sustainer? How was he just…there? Was that not nonsensical too?

Then there were god’s widely proclaimed attributes.

God was great.

God was all powerful.

God was all merciful.

Yet he was the most just too. Just what? Confused? How could something be the epitome of both justice and mercy given that god’s justice is the retributive kind. That’s the same concept of justice and mercy that our father used when grounding us for the slightest mischief, “I am strict, but kind, it could’ve been worse, I could’ve disowned you”. Way to playing on people’s fears.

God was also all knowing, he already knew which people were going to end up in heaven and which people in hell. So what was the point of playing it all out? It’d be like watching daytime reruns of an old and unpopular soap opera.

He was all seeing, that meant he saw you when you were in the loo, or in the shower, rubbing soap under your armpits and squinting into the water. Or when you were…you know.

Watching it all. What a voyeur! This kind of stuff would land him in prison quicker than he could say khyber pakhtunkhwa. Had he never heard of privacy laws?

If god resided on earth he’d be a registered stalker. Everyone would have a restraining order against him. He’d be like that homeless guy looking into people’s windows and stealing their mail. Nobody would like him. Nobody would want to be friends with him. Who wants to be friends with someone who already knows all your dirty secrets? That’s just no fun.

He was also all wise. Yeah, a huge, endlessly sprawling universe and 7 billion people stuck on one tiny planet. That was some municipal development level wisdom right there.

Then came a point when I realized that I could do a lot of things that god never can. I could lie, cheat, steal, get drunk, have sex, rickroll people online and, you know, die. By the end of my life I’d have experientially defeated god, for he is bound by his goodness to never indulge in vices.

Then came a point when I realized that the idea of heaven was pure torture too. What would I do for all of eternity? Really, what?

Eternal existence without any sense of time or how or why would be just as unbearable as senseless oblivion, so why fear the one thing and not the other? The fear of death was at the core of all spiritual longing, but I didn’t understand how people couldn’t fear perpetual meaningless life? The thought terrified me. Especially with the kind of company one could expect in heaven.

Then I realized that god himself must exist in an existential quandary. He must be the most tortured soul of them all. His existence does indeed precede his essence and he is compelled to exist, there is no way out. He must ask of himself the same questions that we do here on earth. Why am I here? What is my purpose? Why am I talking to myself? Is that a strawberry muffin in the fridge?

He must be lonely. And miserable. Having no equal, nobody to look upto, no mentor, no closure, no sense of belonging.

Finally I realized that sitting around trying to rationalize an abstract entity that may or may not exist is probably not the best way to spend my days on earth. Reason and religion, oil and water, I was slow but it came to me at last. But something still bothered me, why did other people not think like this? Like me? Why did they cling on to their beliefs?

I would see my mother fastidiously kneeling over her prayer mat everyday and figured that okay, people need this like they need caffeine or alcohol or happy pills, who was I to take away their crutches. But then you never realize how dangerous handicapped people can be until they turn that crutch skywards and bash you on the head with it.

See I never wanted to be a militant, take a stand on things sort of an atheist, primarily because I loathe to think that atheism is anything that defines me as a person. I am not a contrarian, I don’t want to rest my world view on denying somebody else’s. Atheism was just the first step in my personal development to something more fulfilling and wholesome, without the incongruency and limitation of religion.

But, we are forced to define and defend ourselves against an aggressively vocal majority. They deny us the space for personal growth by making us defend our lack of credence in their tales. They keep pushing us back to the point where some of us are even inclined to think that atheism, the denial of an imagined worldview, is indeed the crowning achievement of human rationality, that it is something to be proud of. That it is the battle won. It isn’t. Atheists can be just as bigoted, biased, racist, sexist and immoral as anyone else.

So now I’m a pretty vocal atheist, despite my better judgment and distaste with the term itself. Even in a country where that is ostensibly masochistic behaviour. Sometimes I get threatening stares in the market place or even at home when unsavoury people are around.

But I am compelled to explain to them that I no longer feel the need to be coddled by concepts of godhood and immortality, because they answer none of life’s inherent, puzzling questions.

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38 thoughts on “How I Became an Atheist

  1. Ok, so I can’t believe that I am going to be posing a serious comment here, but it’s that kind of a post.

    As several people on Twitter have already mentioned, your journey echoes a lot of ours as well.

    But doing away with the imaginary world view is part of it.

    I mean, especially in Pakistan, one doesn’t even need to go through the humorous thought exercises you did (as an aside, Kundera on his eight year old self contemplating whether God took a dump or not is an all time favorite) because there is so much brazen chutyapa in the name of religion – not just suicide bombings and the like but the daily minutiae of people’s lives justified by their unquestioned beliefs – that any faith in religion falls apart rapidly.

    But once you’ve gotten rid of the big G, what next?

    I mean, a lot of people take on atheism as simply an identity whose sole purpose is to ridicule religion. Now you already mentioned that being atheist doesn’t make you a good person, but with perhaps one or two exceptions, I have never met someone able to articulate a sense of the world and life that draws upon their atheism.

    I think that is perhaps where things really begin to take shape. Because at that point, you begin to realise that God or not, most people have no sense of belief, or conviction. No sense of what it means to realise the strength and terror of making sense of the world.

    • Haseeb Asif says:

      yes, you’ve hit the nail on the head. atheists struggle to articulate a world view that would both be appealing and easily translatable into all cultural contexts/experiences. i mean, i do not agree when dawkins says that religion has zero utility.

      in a world with millions of lonely, starving, shelterless, devastated people religion does have utility. a lot of it, that is why it continues to thrive.

      that is precisely why i say, that atheism must not be the end, it’s based on negation, what is needed is some positivism that can help people travail the cruel uncertainties of life.

      however, atheists are so consumed by defending their own position, and some fault of this is their own obsession with proving theists wrong, that they just digress and dissipate when the real hard work and alternative world view building begins

    • SillyTiddy says:

      I don’t really see why Atheism has to be used further than just that rational output of the non-existence of G. I mean that is IT if you think about it, that is the penultimate conclusion of that thought process. Making sense and articulating a sense of the world is not a job for your belief that god doesn’t exist

      Your beliefs i.e morals, ethics etc every thing gets evenly slotted over a well distributed array of factors (genetics, up bringing, environment etc) after you let go of religion … that should already be the case under religion but we never tend to see it that way, and blindly constrict every thing under that one very leaky umbrella of faith.

      And that is the point of it all isn’t it? Being able to see that not every thing, nothing actually, in your psyche and personality should be controlled by some delusional belief system but has a logical reasoning that draws from that factored array. It is up to the individual after that to make what he can of it all, very similar to a faithful being left to interpret religion that way he wants to.

      Articulation of the purpose of life and a sense of the world therefore has very little to do with faith or no faith in my opinion and seems a very futile exercise if you approach it that way. It is something very subjective, that you find out as you go along I assume.

      • Haseeb Asif says:

        not atheism, atheists.

        i mean that atheists have to go further than atheism. you’re right, it’s something subjective and experiential, you learn as you go along, but then there is also a need to articulate that learning, to facilitate a general consensus on what the world is or how it works, because civilization thrives on aggregated subjectivities, things we agree on.

        because there is much to redress, and just getting out of the folds of religion is not enough for me. all oppression is tied and interlinked. think about the ties between religion and patriarchy. how can i just be an atheist and not work to redress gender bigotry?

        i meant something more, in that sense, something positivist after the denunciation. life affirming, not just myth dispelling.

  2. Kaif says:

    With all due respect to your opinions/ideas, I would like to pitch in a different side of your views (not to debate you or to lure you to come to the other side but only to garner more discussion on this).
    The point that stood out for me: if God knows who goes to hell and who to heaven, then why the trial? Well, it’s sort of like going to university. You are taught lessons, you write and exam. Based on the outcome, your life changes accordingly. Us as humans are taught many life lessons. To give us ups and downs, to test us, is an examination of life. To make sure that we put in enough hardwork to get where we deserve to be. Many times it’s the journey that counts.

    As an atheist, I am interested to know how you view destiny, karma, failures, successes etc.

    Apart from my two bit, you have a great writing style. But am sure you are already aware of that.

    • Haseeb Asif says:

      thank you for the comment. i appreciate all opinions.

      destiny? i think it’s a mixture of stochastic processes and choiceways (path dependency, material determinism). so it’s not entirely determined nor is it entirely random.

      i don’t believe in absolutes. i think life is inherently contradictory so there’s no point in ironing out the contradictions in theories.

      and if something can be both a particle and a wave, maybe sometimes it’s destiny, sometimes it’s will, sometimes it’s just bloody bizarre😛

  3. Minerva says:

    Brilliant.
    ‘Nuff said.

  4. Taimur says:

    dude, you’re excellent.

  5. Shayan Afzal Khan says:

    I have really enjoyed reading your post. Although a believer myself, I understand and appreciate the journey that has brought you to your beliefs. As a believer, what I find you might have missed though, is that its precisely because life is full of inherently puzzling and complicated questions, that we believers are able to say we believe enough to leave them unanswered! Also, let me assure you, there are no quick fixes or soothing assurances provided to the questioning believer in any organised religion either. At the end of the day, this life remains a mystery, whether one believes in a god or not. And, we are all still looking for meaning, and some easier way to deal with the reality of our own mortality. Good luck in your journey!

  6. Omar says:

    I don’t know if it’s because I just turned 24 or if it’s life in general, as far as Pakistan is concerned but I seem to be facing the same sort of dilemma as well. I remember sitting down with friends one night to have a religious discussion only to end up with the consensus that God does not actually exist (for the judgmental folks here, no were not drunk or high on Pepsi). Like you said it’s oil and water- and I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to reconcile the two or be happy by just relying on faith alone at this point.

  7. Ugly Shoelace says:

  8. M.Abdullah Khan Wazir says:

    you are a confused individual. You have pointed out flaws in almost everything, Religion, style of living etc etc, i didnt get past the second paragraph to be exact because even though your “inner struggle” has been titled as quite a sales pitch. You have vague ideas on religion on the universe and a weak belief, its your life, i don’t care if you convert to anything. My comment may seem rude and extremist (yes now that you have looked above the bounds of religious belief im quite sure you think the rest of us are morons or me defending or criticizing you makes me wrong no matter what) but if you were going to write such an article i would have wanted to see the following things:
    1 Research, Actual research not the forbidden questions many of us have asked ourselves and some of us who have actually read up on it and gained some insight
    2 A little respect because when you write such an article, it atleast must have the dignity to be thought provoking.
    I know, Ofcourse I am deemed to be titled the villain or something like that because of the liberal fad that seems to be catching on but ill leave with a simple example, Your article is a combination of wish and belief. So is my smoking.(no need for details. humour me) Everyone knows the effects of smoking as do I, but i will always defend it, or try to protect it somehow… that is human nature. Protect your ideas, but portray them better, chiselled english and sloppy animations is injustice. A last note, you level of imagination is about the level of the things you know, things humans think they know, those are your standards to which you compare everything else and tightly clutch “science” because it brings sanity to your life. The universe is a big place, this teenie insignificant labyrinth of information you have built your entire belief on (science) may as well be completely wrong, or actually is… this language and numerals that you write down combinations and complex functions to obtain a result that may as well mean nothing, what is 9.8g ? i dont think tht you could really explain, it may as well be bullshit we are making up to sate our inner fire of arrogance. no, i am not against science, i measure in inches. I go to the doctor, and I pray as well.
    Ps. i dont think id come back to check for any witty answers of yours, so i wudnt bother

  9. M.Abdullah Khan Wazir says:

    and one more thing if your article nearing the end shifts to how religion is O.K. or something since i didnt read it then all Id say is, my bad. Human nature

  10. asad says:

    It took too long for you to understand that. I was high with same questions when I was a high school student. I wanted to ask my father but gave up thinking about the consequences (and the stick/danda abbu used to punish a rogue child like me). Then I asked my school teacher of Islamic studies. He first told me that you are too young to think about such things but when I insisted he told me that phases of Embryological development in the human as described by modern science are exactly the same as described by the God in his book Qur’an in 7th century. This was one of many answers I got from him which badly hit my brain. Now whenever I come across any point where I doubt the existence of God, I ask myself “OK then who described the human development in womb in 7th century?”

    ————-

    Read the below text:

    In the early 1980s, Prof. Keith Moore, formerly an
    anatomist at the University of Toronto, Canada
    produced a special edition of his embryology
    textbook, the standard version of which has been
    widely used in medical schools around the world.
    Apparently when he first read what the Qur’an
    had to say about the development of the human
    embryo he was “astonished by the accuracy of
    the statements that were recorded in the 7th
    century AD, before the science of embryology was
    established”. Much has subsequently been
    written by Muslims in an attempt to demonstrate
    that the Qur’an, which is claimed to be God’s
    ultimate revelation contains statements about
    how humans develop inside the womb which
    could not possibly have been known at the time
    that it was revealed to Muhammed.

    Sura 23:13-14 repeats
    this idea by saying God “placed him as (a drop of)
    sperm (nutfah) in a place of rest, firmly fixed;
    then We made the sperm into a clot of congealed
    blood (alaqa); then out of that clot We made a
    (foetus) lump (mudghah), then We made out of
    that lump bones and clothed the bones with
    flesh; then We developed out of it another
    creature.

    • Haseeb Asif says:

      Um, many ancient cultures showed a remarkable insight into what we call modern sciences like physics, biology, chemistry, astronomy. Remarkable because our modern arrogance does not fit such advances into the historical narratives we build. There is nothing remarkable about what you’ve mentioned. More obscure cultures have come up with more ‘startling’ revelations.

      Which aren’t startling at all given mankind’s unquenchable thirst for knowledge.

  11. kona berwalla says:

    Consciousness of existence is a burden. We know we’re going to die one day, and we don’t know what will happen when we do. Even people who have read into the whole life after death experience still can only ‘imagine’ how it would transpire – like reading a book on swimming but never actually jumping into water.
    But until that happens, it’s all game. Who knows the exact details for sure. May be god did create everything and was all serious about it in the beginning but then changed his mind. And now suddenly the neutrinos are outpacing light, and we’re all going to dogs.
    Maybe it is all a part of god’s grand plan, which we petty humans don’t understand because we don’t have the capacity. Things metaphysical just can’t be reasoned using rules of physics.
    maybe there’s really nothing out there and we are all on our own learning from nothing but our experiences and building on others’.
    Who knows if 2000 years is long enough to cause a significant change in humans, intelligence wise. Maybe people 2000 years ago were nearly as intellectual as we are now – minus the technology, and they invented religion to shield us from getting entangled into questions of existence.
    What we do know, and everyone agrees, is that fire burns and we need to eat. Existence can mean different things to different people and it’s important to learn to not get too worked up if the definitions don’t match. Beyond that it’s anybody’s guess.

  12. Sir, have you heard of Pascal’s Gambit?🙂

    But seriously, going through Rumi’s poems and Attar’s anecdotes, it’s obvious something inspired them. Something much greater than themselves. It’s a trend you see throughout Sufism; the concept of Wahdat-ul-Wajood. And that, I think, if truly understood, has the potential to answer all questions.

    But what do I know, I’m no Sufi🙂

    But here’s something interesting by someone who did claim to be one:

    ‘Tis not in religion I believe
    ‘Tis love I live in.
    When love comes to you.
    Say Amen!
    ‘Tis not with the infidel
    that love resides
    Nor with the faithful.
    —Sachal Sarmast

    • Haseeb Asif says:

      thank you for quoting those lovely lines. i love sachal sarmast, the name itself is a philosophy. meri seraiki seekhne ki boht barri waja ye thi ke inka kalaam jab gaaya jaye tau kuch samajh ajaye. aksar sindhi mein he, woh tau seekhna ab mere liye mushkil he.

  13. One of the reasons I hated the concept of Atheism was the certitude that is attached with it. As you rightly said that the idea of it is actually a negation of the commonly-held belief systems, and it will just collapse without anything to stand against.

    For me agnosticism works better because thats the ultimate “Oh, I dont know and I dont fucking care” stance one could take! Perhaps, I still need some time to evolve!🙂

    • Haseeb Asif says:

      i think you ought to start your own religion based around that gravatar. i’d worship it

    • TLW says:

      I second Haseeb. I recommend we at least start a Piri-Mureedi from the great saint Sultan Rahi.

      And Haseeb; this was utterly sweet, and we’re touched that you think of your comic incarnation as a sweet little curious boy with glasses.

  14. Salman Latif says:

    Excellent article! And your point about how being atheist doesn’t, or shouldn’t, make religion irrelevant – bravo! I think someone who even claims that, while living in a society steeped in religion, is either shutting his eyes to reality or simply trying to play smug.

  15. Tazeen says:

    buhat ala janaab …

  16. fakkanguy says:

    You have articulated a lot of the thoughts which have been percolating in my mind this last year of faraaghat. Only you have done so more eloquently than I could ever hope for. Respect.

  17. aerial_meds says:

    What my fat little brain took away from this write-up was oil and water. Religion and reason don’t really apply onto each other. You can’t rationalize God, because your little universe of rationale just doesn’t hold enough weight in his domain, if he exists. So no point in trying to, really. You either believe or you don’t, or maybe you’re not sure yourself. Eh.

    And I agree with the bit about Atheism being a first step rather than an end.

    “The fear of death was at the core of all spiritual longing.”
    I would say isolation is at the core of spiritual longing. Death and aimlessness are just its subsets.

    And you have your sketches too. A page from The Ms. Kasana? Or was she the one to take it from you?

    Lastly, nice to see you can still be funny. Should visit more often.

    • Haseeb Asif says:

      a page from ms. kasana, definitely. i like the idea of blogdoodling

      isolation seems to me such a ‘modern’ concept, coinciding with the rise of the absolute sovereignty of the individual. in the more socially close-knit societies where people were organs of a larger body and not really independent, there is little spiritual concern with isolation and any primeval cleft that’s left man in a spiritually amputated material state.

      thank you for the comment.

      • TLW says:

        May I take a stab that the rise of Wahhabism in the late 20th century may have something to do with how it would easily match the absolutist sovereignity of individuals, as acceptable in the West for the last 30 years. Wahhabism accepts total alienation of a person or individual from all else, and takes it ideologically to ananti-social extent. And because this sort of totalised individualism is acceptable in the West, but sort of difficult in developing & traditional societies Wahabbism can take place either in the East, but also in the rational, yet alienating West.

      • Shankar says:

        from a marxist perspective, I would say the root of isolation is not in the rise of individual sovereignty, but rather they both co-evolved out of the change in the nature and means of production. Of course we could explain many of the previous issues addressed above about atheism not being a positivist philosophy in much the same way, through a marxist critique of religion rather than one based on purely technical use of reason.
        but as far as the abrahamic militancy for their world view is concerned, an atheist militancy is a good antidote, a la dawkins/hitchens though i otherwise find them intolerable, they do put the imaanwala mussalman in his place.

        but bro keep the humour flowing. maybe we will reach the truth this way. so long.

  18. treeant says:

    uncharacteristically juvenile mr. haseeb… ’tis an obligatory (farz alhamdullilah ahem) chide, which just could not be withheld, not because I am being contemptuous – far from it – since whatever your views regarding the ontology of this universe and more, your past writings are more than ample evidence that you ve got a good head on your shoulders; it would not be a travesty to call you a sage, of course with the additional caveat, by bloggosphere standards, and again, at the very least. My reaction is drenched more in disappointment, since silently watching you from afar, I had come to expect, if not swashbuckling inanities at all times then at the very least, an absence of non-sensical ideas, and to compound it further, donning the cap of absolutism with a plastic feather. Oh no don’t get me wrong, I love you so. But have you ever even seriously considered the notion that, perhaps, and perhaps its a very very long shot, but still, a third perhaps, the way you set up shop and proceeded from one mystical travesty to the other, perhaps (fourth – a quadruple emphasis on its improbability sire) your deliberations barely scratch the surface regarding such questions? suggesting, or otherwise, that your eventual edict should have been in favor of religion is far from my concerns right now. theology may or may not be a diamond – the hardest shit around – and thus penetrating into it, let alone cutting it in half being out of the question, but what i ask of you is merely, how do you aim to break down steel armor with plastic knives and forks? religion, both as a function of scholastic philosophy/theology, must not be so insecure so as to shun anyone asking it logical questions, a notion that most maulanas seem to not comprehend, and in fact, such discourse is extremely pertinent in this day and age. perhaps a possibility you should explore is that your deliberations have barely even scratched the surface of issues over which many a great mind have already dedicated their lives towards and have sublimated the debate to a much higher level than what your currently used intellectual tools can comprehend. i hope i have not said anything untoward since that was precisely what i wanted to avoid all this while but i shall end on an age-old adage to communicate to you the crux of what i wasted all the words (but hey, words are cheap so i can afford them in abundance, right?) over: in order to be a master, you need to learn to be a slave first.

    forever your lover, muah. x x *insert additional quasi-sexual innuendos here as far as your imagination can take you, or at least, allows you to go*

    • Treeant – do you write somewhere?

    • Haseeb Asif says:

      expectations can muddle the mind sometimes, ‘juvenile’ is exactly what this was meant to be, since this is me growing up, essentially. or well, existentially, at any rate.

      as for my final edict, that was indeed a jump from back then to now, but honestly, having run the gamut on those ‘great minds’ who have dedicated their lives (and the lives of others) to sublimating the debate to much higher depths of contradictions, well…they could’ve led more productive lives churning butter. i feel no need to write about them, they contributed nothing to my atheism, other than the occasional hilarity.

      besides none of them have ever answered the simple question i posed in kindergarten, how could anything intelligent have come up with the duckbilled platypus?

      • Cthulhu says:

        Dear Sir,

        I came up with the duck-billed platypus, and I resent the imputation regarding my intelligence.

        Regards,
        Cthulhu

  19. Henry A. Wilcox says:

    Once, I believed in a Lord. I thought of this Lord daily, and nightly, and did pray. I turned over my heart, and my head, and I turned over the contents of my wallet as well, in the undefined hope that, someday, I would meet this Lord and be deemed good. I did all this, and I did more, and I awaited death.
    Until it happened. It happened quickly, and it happened without warning. But it happened, and its happening is forever inscribed, in letters of vermillion, on the scroll that narrates the mundane and the profound events of my otherwise nondescript life.
    I would be amiss in saying that I did not want it to happen – I am human, and thus weak, and prone to foolish and conflicting desires. I am tormented by this fact – that the very act of wishing it weakly may have had been constructive towards time following that particular path – but that torment is mine.
    It concerned a muffin.
    Oh, dear reader, mon lecteur, please refrain from clicking away. This was no ordinary muffin. It was dark, it glistened, it was glorious. It had valleys, and crests, and deep ravines of chocolate. It invited the tongue as the summit invites the eye, and it caught the same spirit in one. It had style. Hell, it had topography.
    I held it in my gaze for as long as I could, and prayed for the strength not to smash through the glass case enclosing it. I had, you see, no money on me. My wallet was in my car, and my car was outside (aye, for what dread magicks could bring a car within a cafe?), and I had to run. So I did. And I ran, mon frere, I ran because, mein freund, I ran because I saw, as clear as the frost covering the glass case wherein it was kept, that it was the last one.
    And as I ran, as I heard cars veer past, and as the swearing of drivers in the hot summer sun was absorbed in my wake, I thought, briefly but damningly, that perhaps I had better lay off the chocolate muffins, because dammit I was panting.
    And it was this, dear reader, nay, close-souled friend of mine, that doomed me. I wished for another – oh, sweet End, ilyaa – I did think I ought not to visit obooshu r’luh shagg, visit hidden realm of dreams – that my vulgtm pray entreaty was goka grant allow redeem realise – oh, forgive me, my dreams, my delirium, quick, it is hot, I require a sip just one, please ftaghu fm’latgh – I – shame on ‘mnahm me – I wished for it to be gone, for the temptation removed. And Yahweh listened, and he decreed it so.
    It was gone by the time I had collected the necessary lucre.
    And so I knew, I knew kadishtu KNEW – that where there was one there would be another, to balance the madness of a Universe with One Pole, only One Lord, to embrace all who believed not in the stars but in the burning cold spaces between them, not in air but in the gasping that accompanies the lack thereof, I knew despite many y’hahs AMENS – that ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.

  20. Shivam Vij says:

    It may amuse you that the religion I was born into actually allows me to call myself an atheist without renouncing the religion: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism_in_Hinduism

  21. Barooq says:

    You are actually one of the smart ones dude.
    Respect🙂

    I have issues with so many atheists interested in dick measuring (Oh I know who Dawkins is and who is Spinoza and i can throw a 100 concepts around), but you seem to be an exception: you didn’t take the bait on Pascal’s Gambit some guy threw at you (boys will show the toys now, won’t they)😛

    My wife directed me to the blog and well, you seem older beyond your years. And that is the utmost compliment I can give.

  22. Hira Ahmed says:

    Can I get your facebook ID? I like smart people in my friend-list.:)

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