Ep.06 ~ The Atheist Mind 

“The clouds come and go but the sky is always here, so, you can’t disbelieve the sky when you see everything going through it. You may not be able to see the sky, but you know it’s there.”– Krishna Das


Q: I heard someone say on a podcast once, “I’m a Hindu and a Jew, and 50 percent of the time, I’m an atheist.” And I thought, yeah, that’s me. And the longing and the looking for something and the even thinking I’m not getting it, those parts aren’t so bad, but the part that says, “No, there’s nothing here” and looks at all of this with skepticism, that’s really hard to take.  What do you do with the atheist part?
KD: I’m an atheist. I don’t believe in anything I haven’t experienced myself. Period. What I have experienced, I believe, but an atheist is somebody who hasn’t experienced anything other than, you know, his own mind and whatever else the senses tell us, and never experienced anything beyond that. So why would they believe that? Blind faith is useless. The problem is that person also doesn’t have an understanding that his suffering is coming out of his own Being and until he changes that, suffering will never change. Atheists don’t want to suffer, either, you know? They just don’t think there’s any end to it.

Q: Maybe you’re luckier than I am. There’s a part of me that can disbelieve what I have experienced.
KD: Who’s saying that? That you can’t disbelieve. You can disbelieve your thoughts and your feelings, but you can’t disbelieve who just said that because that’s who’s here now, that will be here later, that was here before when you had that experience. You just, the clouds come and go but the sky is always here, so, you can’t disbelieve the sky when you see everything going through it. You may not be able to see the sky, but you know it’s there. So your Self, you know your self is there, but you don’t, you can’t see it. But that doesn’t mean, you know it’s there, but you can’t see it. If you want to see it, you have to do something. If you don’t, you don’t. But you still know you’re here. You’re always here. Whether you’re feeling like shit or you’re feeling good. Whether you’re driving a car or watching a movie. Whether you’re doing this or something else, you’re always here. That here-ness is the Self. It’s not being, it’s not the thinking about it. It’s what’s behind all that all the time. So it doesn’t matter what you think. You’re still here. Try not to be here.

Q: I am.

KD: You can’t. But it would be a good work, because eventually, if you really tried hard enough not to be here, you’d see how much, how here you are. And then all that other stuff would fall into place. But you believe your emotions. You believe your thoughts because you haven’t gone deeper than that. You haven’t anchored yourself. You let them take you away. We all do. We let all that stuff just pull us away, like an eagle. I saw this thing on Facebook, this eagle picked up this little kid, right? An eagle swoops down and takes this little baby and starts to take off with him, but a few feet off the ground, the baby fell. That’s like we are. We’re those little babies and our thoughts swoop down and take us away. They don’t drop us for a long time. So, but even that happens inside the sky. So, you have to do some practice. Practice just means sitting there and help trying to let those thoughts kind of dissolve as they go away. Watch them come. Watch them go. Who’s watching? It’s not the same one who’s thinking. The watching, if it was, if you were the thought, you know, there would never be any awareness of this Being, but there’s the awareness of the thought. You know, this, Ah, thinking, I’m thinking, ok. Come back to the chant. Come back to your breath. You know, we’re like, we’re in a raging river heading towards a waterfall, and we look at the bank of the river and we think that’s moving, so we just relax in the boat. Woosh, over the falls. Because we think the bank is moving, the bank of the river, and we’re still. So that’s why we have to do some practice. If we don’t, nothing’s going to happen. That’s ok. If it is. If it’s not, do some practice.

Suggestions for your practice: Devi Sadhana | Sri Ram Kirtan Sadhana

Call and Response podcasts are made possible by the Kirtan Wallah Foundation

Your support via direct donations go toward offerings such as this series, new teaching materials,  as well as the the compilation of all of KD’s work on the Path, for the purpose of sharing it with everyone in a variety of media. Kirtan Wallah Foundation is also be able to offer assistance to organizations around the world, whose efforts are in alignment with the teachings of Neem Karoli Baba. For more information about the work of the foundation you can visit our blog for recent updates as well as sign up for our foundation news letter.

A note about your donation:
Donations can be made via Paypal below and are tax deductible under 501c3 guidelines. If you prefer to give via a check, please send your donation to Kirtan Wallah Foundation | 35 east 4th Street | Apt #1 | Brooklyn, NY | 11218. We thank you in advance for your generosity.

“Donations are like streams, flowing into the great river of compassion that carries us to the ocean of Love.” ~ KD

Leave a Reply