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Aetheist, Rationalist, Believer

Posted on: January 3, 2008

Climbing up Hyalite this beautiful December day with friends Geoff Heath and Carlos Buhler. Geoff an accomplished all-rounder; Carlos, world class. Me a "recreationalist" who has had the good fortune to know these guys and tag along. I haven't been out much these past few years and feeling the effects of age sixty. They cruise "Dribbles" while I hack my way up and manage to peel off the steep second pitch. Thanks for the catch Carlos.

Senses awakened, my hungry rat "fed", we get a little philosophical on the drive home. Somehow the conversation segues into "what happens when we die?". Geoff (the aetheist): "lights out man, game over". Kind of like having general anesthesia except you don't get to wake up. Existential. Carlos: "I'm an intellectual aetheist and a spritual believer". Does that make you an agnostic Carlos?

Me: Well, I relate the time in Boulder, so many years ago as a rookie carpenter. Sheeting off a roof in a t-shirt on a brilliant January day. Gazing along the foothills up towards Lyons. A sublime wave swept over me permeating every cell of my being. I was truly at ONE and I understood. It came, it went after about a minute, and it left me with a huge shit-eating grin on my face.


I believe. "Climbing... climb on".

—Ken Ryder, Bozeman, MT

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I am interested to see what follows. Interesting subject for climbers to talk about. Where do I stand? Not sure. I ask myself that a lot. I have two kids and a wife who was raised Baptist. We don't go to church now. I don't really care for "organized" religion. Too much "we are right and they are wrong". I wish I had the answer to share with my kids. I do believe in living a good life, doing some good in this world, and being happy. I have a hard time NOT believing that there is something bigger than us out there. Call it God, Allah (sp?), Buddha or whatever. I guess I just try and live a good life and do as little harm as possible. Am I naive? Aren't we all on this subject?

2008-01-07 19:00:21

...I'm not sure exactly what you're saying, or if I agree. But I certainly think that its great to bring it up. Climbing makes us face these questions in a much more personal and intimate way than most other activities. Keep it up.

2008-01-03 18:01:11
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