Repelled by Richard Dawkins, drawn to Julia Cameron

1585421464It was  one of the irrational experiences that drive Richard Dawkins crazy.

Several years ago, before I started this blog but when the idea for it percolated in my brain, Dawkins published a book: The God Delusion. I don’t care for his writing—I find he adopts a condescending “I’m smarter than you are” tone—but the subject of his book related to topics I pondered then, so I resolved to buy his book and get through it.

Like a dose of Buckley’s cough syrup.

I made a trip to the book store. I saw the silver glint of the book face-out in the “New Arrivals” section. I couldn’t get close to it. Something about that book repelled me. I had a little talk with myself. “Now, Arlene,” I said. “You came all the way to the store. You’ve got the money in your pocket. Don’t be ridiculous.” Intellectually and rationally, I knew I needed to read Dawkins’ arguments. But I couldn’t take that step closer. A force pushed me away from the shelf.

After some mental back-and-forth talking, I turned away. “I’m going to a friendlier section,” I told myself. I wandered around for a while until I landed in “Art and Architecture.” I saw The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity. I had the opposite experience with this book. I felt drawn to it. I couldn’t keep my hand from picking it up.

I used the money in my pocket to buy that book instead, and the ideas in Julia Cameron’s book transformed my life. The stories in this blog come through the morning pages I write every day. The ideas for my fictional creative writing come through the same process.

I borrowed Dawkins’ book from the library later and read it, and, yes, I bristled at the “I’m smarter than you are” tone. He worked hard to convince his readers that there is no God separate and apart from us, and some believe he succeeded. But he didn’t manage to convince me that there is no God-ness. I experienced that while buying, or rather not buying, his book. It was one of the irrational experiences that drive Richard Dawkins crazy.

Life overflows with them.

2 thoughts on “Repelled by Richard Dawkins, drawn to Julia Cameron

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