Has Richard Dawkins met himself in his neighbour?
Are pigeons - to his neighbour - symbolic of Religion to Richard?
He doesn't want their shit in his mind?
Wherever there is the sense of 'I am' - and a corresponding definition - such as I am this and not that, then there is an identity in reaction, that gathers and constructs a self justifying mythos, that is also the nature of the 'religious self'.
As for True Religion or Spiritual illumination; let 'I am' abide without an assertive or reactive defining and justifying overlay of mind and see what you will see.
Nothing has a right to exist (or an actual existence), independent and apart from its Total Environment - which is Infinitely more Alive and Wonderful than religion or science could imagine - though both can point to.
The capacity to love, that is to transcend the limits of one's personal identification, in an extension of trust, care and honouring, is itself the opening or awakening of a greater Identification - that comes of a deeper source than self-survival mechanism.
I love that we all have this capacity for love - whether we can ever account for it or not. There are always wishful substitutes for love that mimic form without embodying the Spirit - for it is the nature of self-will to usurp Life. That is its 'job description' and what it is employed and engaged for.
Richard Dawkins does true religion a service by challenging its 'sacred cows' and attempting to deny any access or landing place to what is not legitimate.
But like Paul of Tarsus, he has done so - its seems to me - from an identification with his own thought, that has not awoken and yielded to a direct intimacy of Life.
Why do I say that?
Because when such an intimacy is yielded to rather than used for our own self-definition, we open an experience unlike anything that thought can encapsulate, contain or describe.
This also opens a capacity to discern a deeper vocabulary in all things and all people, such that the Spirit of communication is embraced rather than communication engaged as an act of self-survival; the wish to prevail.
Survival is quite natural as a key aspect of our being - but it is not ultimately at stake to the Root Awareness that is beneath and beyond all of our experience in self-definition.
Pigeons (are doves) that I note for their swooning dives of joy. You might say, how do I know they express joy - and surely I am imposing my thoughts upon their behaviours.
Well I don't 'know' what is truly in anyone (or anything's) mind excepting that there is an arising quality of being to awareness that not only looks like something - but feels like something. When these are indivisibly one, there is a freedom from the story of 'me' and my attempts to make meanings that validate or justify self concept. It is a spontaneity - that cannot be defined or expressed except that it translates into terms of external or internal 'things' forces or attributes - that is; the concepts of my mind (which is concurrent with yours).
But even if I define or describe everything accurately in the heart - as symbol, image, mythos and story - or via the mind of observed and verifiable attributes or 'facts' - I will be 'stepping outside' of the Spontaneity of life in order to construct in my own image. This is not a sin - because Life remains utterly undivided while my own mind engages imaginatively in its play. But it is a context in which the idea of self, sin, guilt and fear can arise and be validated as experience. For its nature is of an eclipsing of a wholeness of being in order to 'think, and then think some more on the basis of the think'.
When we know we are in 'as if' we do not react as if its content were real - unless of course that is our desire - such as getting lost in a movie or story.
But for those that are identified within a script as if they were the characters it gave them - will defend the basis of the story from exposure, as if their very being depended on it, by acting out the proxy characters of its thought.
Self will is a kind of choice to experience limitation, and none can take it from them. This itself indicates the power and freedom of your mind - and all of your experience (of a self in a world) proves it.
The conjecture as to whether there is a God or not is irrelevant to 'Only God'. Perhaps 'God' is not the best term because it is so misused - but there are no terms for what is unspeakably Present and witnessed in every moment of every experience, whether directly in clarity - or indirectly as the distortions and conflicting perceptions of Mind in self concept.
In all things in the world are both tares and wheat, or the baby and the bathwater. Discerning the true amidst the false is not a result of a polarised assertion of one part over another (or any result of the resulting and evolving chain of reaction). It is the result of a true receptivity to Life resulting from releasing or putting aside such identifications.
Jesus was a true scientist, because he was awake in and as that which can observe the processes of the human mind that acts out one as if it were many, and guide it to the acceptance of its true nature in a way that itself expresses the qualities of love to the recognition of love in the 'other'.
The belief that one can observe the outer as if it is actually and truly divorced from the inner - is understandable in the light of the horrors of the mentality it replaced. But the 'orphaned' or independent consciousness that seems to live by the 'death' of its 'Father', is not an innocent or true perspective, no matter how many proofs can be gathered to validate its seeming existence.
Innocence of judgement is available to any who calm their mind and release the self assertive will. Wisdom is remembering the value of this practice amidst the temptation to react. The dawning in our mind of a Unified and Unifying awareness is the basis of this step we take now. There is no way to sleepwalk through life as if we are an independent knower and doer - and know joy of Life shared. But in knowing the sharing perfectly, is a different order of certainty - in which fear and isolation are dissolved.
Let this not be a basis to imposture our 'self' in presenting some specialness over another, but grow a culture of listening and challenging our own thinking - and the experience that our beliefs create. This is not humanly easy - for we are programmed to defend and act out FROM beliefs as if our experience was in fact true. Any seeming stuckness of heart or mind has to be seen as the opportunity for a deeper curiosity as to what is actually going on here.
An unquestioned life is not living its worth. But the questions of the true desire uncover truth now - wheras the questions of the mind's disconnected thinking set up endless processes of further distraction from recognizing and appreciating the Presence of Life, moving all things (as) one.