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How can I find a spiritual archetype that inspires me when I don’t have a religion to point the way for me?
Organized religions have a multitude of characters a faithful person can draw inspiration from. Christians have Christ, Buddhist have the Buddha, Muslims have Muhammad. There are gods, saints, prophets, holy men, characters from mythology and scripture. Organized religions also tends to codify the characteristics of a devote follower. They set out guidelines for daily and weekly religious practice, and observance of holy days and rites of passage.
I would say my religion is nature-based. Nature – by this I mean the physical world, from the subatomic to the cosmic. When some people talk about nature-based religion they mean things humans didn’t make. So forests are ‘nature’ and cities are not. But when I say my religion is nature-based, I mean that it is based in the physical world.
So where do things like ‘gods’ and ‘supernatural beings’ come in. You can’t have a religion without those things! (Well, actually, you can.) I would describe myself as a polytheist / pantheist / panentheist / animist / monist. And I’m also an atheist and believe the gods are only metaphors constructed by humans.