When I saw Carl Sagan’s Cosmos I felt I had found my “God” — as an atheist. I was star dust. You are star dust. Everything in the universe is natural and connected, and isn’t that wondrous enough?
Raised in a fundamentalist home, I can’t escape constant fleeting notions of deities. I read a lot of Richard Bach for a spell there, so he dangled the whole notion of reincarnation and karma in front of me at an impressionable age, too.
There’s this personal imagery I have often of an afterlife where our souls go to a collective like on Star Trek Next Generation with the Q. It doesn’t have a God. It just has everyone I miss who’s passed on waiting in a big community.
I appreciated your thoughtful essay on this topic.