I drew 60 illustrations for this fun philosophical book
which was authored by my husband Soren Sorensen.
How could this book "change the world"?
You'll have to read it to find out!
So... what's Grace doing illustrating a book with the word "ATHEIST" in the title, and what is a "spiritual atheist" anyway? I expect these questions are going through a few reader's minds. Of course, I had similar questions when Soren first began sharing his ideas with me.
I will borrow Soren's own words to share what he means:
"SPIRITUAL ATHEISTS are people who are:
1) ATHEISTS: Spiritual Atheists do not believe in the existence of an entity external to the universe that supposedly created and rules the universe.
2) SPIRITUAL: Spiritual Atheists believe that the entire universe is, in some way, connected; even if only by the mysterious flow of cause and effect at every scale. Therefore, Spiritual Atheists generally feel that as they go about their lives striving to be personally healthy and happy, they should also be striving to help the world around them be healthy and happy. (See 'Universal Spirituality' and 'Wholistic Ethics')"
Soren has been "gardening" these (and other) ideas on the internet since the late 1990s, and has watched them slowly grow into an evermore accepted way of clarifying one's spiritual perspective, which many different kinds of people have adopted. Now with the book we did together, and his more in-depth book entitled "Spiritual Atheism: The Way of Wisdom", we are watching the movement grow even further.
As I suspect many of you also experienced , I came to feel very early on in life that the God I was being taught about in church was not the real truth of how things are. How could a God who was all-powerful and all-loving simultaneously be vengeful and ready to throw non-believers into the pit of hell? I just couldn't believe that a vast portion of the world's people, who by the way were supposedly also created by this same God, could really be destined for burning flames because they did not share the same belief system as the church I was in. I think I gave our pastor a bit of a start when in my pre-baptism interview (age 11) I told him I did not believe that hell was a real place, but that it was a state of mind. For this and many other reasons, I thoroughly agree with Soren's definition of "spiritual atheist". I do NOT believe in a God external to the universe who supposedly created and rules the universe - with a heavy hand no less!
Instead, I believe similarly to Soren, that the Universe is connected in every way, and that we are an infinite part of it. I believe that "God" is the Universe itself, constantly changing and unfolding in myriad different forms and energies. The ideas shared in "A Book that Could Change the World: Confessions of a Spiritual Atheist" make sense to me. I feel they are universal truths that go beyond religious beliefs, and that they provide a wise ethical path that could truly assist humanity in improving its direction and experience as a people.
The process of illustrating this book with Soren was fun, satisfying, a lot of work, and in many ways, challenging. The process provided many opportunities for me to reach past my ingrained fears in order to understand what Soren is trying to communicate. I am happy with the result, and feel that I reached success with illuminating his content through drawings. I particularly enjoyed drawing the cat (whom we have dubbed "Abierto") as he explores the universe and the world of people. This cat represents God, and the knowing that each one of us, and in fact, everything, is God. Since cats seem to innately know this already, the drawings were particularly entertaining for me to draw. I am including my favorite one here (see left). This is the concept I most need to meditate upon: "The Time is always NOW!" I think I need it on a mug so I can look at it every morning with my breakfast for the reminder. Maybe I'll make that happen soon, and make it available to you, too :)
Soren and I remain committed to sharing our creative and spiritual offerings with you in hopes of contributing to an ever-better world. I hope that you find value in these particular creative offerings, and that your own life might be blessed with a little further illumination through them. With this in mind, I encourage you to read "A Book that Could Change the World" and post a book review for us on Amazon.
If you want to know more about Soren's perspective, read his second book (see right) for deeper clarification. A large portion of "Spiritual Atheism: The Way of Wisdom" is dedicated to teaching people how to navigate life, in ways that I have personally found extremely helpful and liberating. I encourage you to check it out!
I look forward to sharing more creations with you. I am grateful for the support of each one of you, and I send blessings through the infinite oneness to each one of you!