The Atheist's Way: Living Well Without Gods

The Atheist's Way: Living Well Without Gods

by Eric Maisel
3.0 9

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The Atheist's Way: Living Well Without Gods 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
CynthiaSueLarson More than 1 year ago
In a rather odd twist of fate, I found myself reading Eric Maisel's "The Atheist's Way" on the first organized observance of Blasphemy Day, on 9/30/09. This was not on purpose, mind you... but just my normal way of living a spiritually guided life of synchronicity, in which the universe constantly converses with me. Clearly, I'm not the target audience for "The Atheist's Way," as my recollection of existence before I was born does not neatly fit into any of the categories outlined by Maisel. Maisel presupposes that most people have had some manner of organized religion foisted on them, or have at some point felt oppressed by religion. Those of us who enjoyed the freedom to experience a wide variety of spiritual traditions first-hand, noting the intrinsic beauty of each will find "The Atheist's Way" a disappointment, for differentiating atheism primarily in finding fault with all the world's religions. The bulk of "The Atheist's Way" has to do with finding meaning in one's life in a godless universe. Maisel describes humans as being the sum of whatever we choose and intend to be. Many stories of atheists are presented with descriptions of how they receive inspiration they do not consider coming from any kind of divine source, as they discover meaning that they view as being entirely their own. I find the real life stories of people finding meaning, inspiration, and confidence in "The Atheist's Way" as they make ethical decisions very uplifting. Inspiration truly comes to everyone in times of need, and while atheists may insist the source of such inspiration cannot possibly come from God, perhaps it is enough that they feel a sense of empowerment and direction exactly when they need it most... perhaps it really doesn't matter whether credit is given to anything other than themselves, as that is all atheists believe truly exists. My favorite stories in "The Atheist's Way" are the ones featuring people who use words such as "blessings," "meaning," and "inspiration," in which they describe a sense of being part of something larger than themselves. After each set of such stories, Maisel wraps up that particular segment with seemingly unrelated commentary about how "... there are no gods... the universe takes no interest in you and me." Whereas Maisel presumes the stories to clearly indicate an absence of spirituality, I see quite the opposite. I love the way Maisel calls on us to be the heroes in our own stories, creating meaning in our lives. Maisel suggests we "nominate ourselves," in a way similar to what Joseph Campbell referred to as the hero receiving a call... but in the case of an atheist, apparently, the call is not so much received as initiated. This seemingly minor distinction of whether we "receive" or "initiate" inspiration and/or a calling is perhaps the core of atheism as presented by Maisel, as atheists do not recognize anything falling outside the realm of the visible spectrum, audible frequency range, and ranges of the other three senses of smell, touch and taste. "The Atheist's Way," will be most enjoyable to those who seek guidance in thinking for themselves as they find a way out of overly structured religions, as well as those who do not believe in what they cannot directly sense or perceive. Readers with high sense perception or who view other spiritual traditions than their own with open minds and hearts will probably enjoy reading something else.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The crux of this book is how atheists make meaning. Maisel expands some of the principles he began exploring in his book "The VanGogh Blues." Because atheists, being independent thinkers, don't look to religion for meaning, Maisel describes the process of making meaning, an intellectual and emotional act that is unique to each of us. What do we find important? How do we ensure that we keep those things in our lives? Maisel has been a pioneer creativity coach and now has set out to train meaning coaches. If he's half as successful at that as he has been with creativity coaching, he'll have made a great new field for everyone--even the "believers" out there.
ArmandoYP More than 1 year ago
Reading this book was very rough. As a life-long atheist, even I had a had time making sense of what Maisel was trying to say. Although I eventually understood the meaning of all the messages Maisel was trying to project, this book was simply horribly written. I had to constantly reread many sentences to make sense of what I just read. I felt Maisel was constantly talking in circles, beating his points and ideas in which he was talking about to a bloody pulp, and seem to overpack each sentence he wrote with useless ideas and examples. I have read several books about atheism lately, so for those of you who are starting to question the ideas religion and the existence of god, I would not recommend this book to you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you are truly an atheist, life has no meaning. Even the search for meaning is meaningless. The only ethical foundation would be hedonism. As all the intellectual atheists have stated, such as Nietzsche and Sartre, atheists are engaged in self-deception by looking for a meaning to life. Pretending that your life has meaning is "wish fulfillment."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is another reason why empathy is at an all time low and narcissism is at an all time high.... more of the same self centered teachings leading the lost further down the meaningless path. Pure Poop.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This .is a book for people who think they are smarter than everone else they are only fooling themsei L