Belief in a higher self is essential for normal human beings. I believe that few true atheists (loosely defined) exist. Most people who think they are atheists merely have a problem with the definition of God. The label ‘God’ is loaded with all sorts of dogmatic implications. The term ‘Higher Power’ is used by 12-steps groups but is not without its own problems. I sometimes prefer thinking of God as a ‘Higher Self’. Anyone who believes that there are things in this universe more important than themselves believes in a higher self. Anyone whose sense of self extends beyond their immediate individuality – such as family, community, humanity, life, totality – believes in a Higher Self. Perhaps only sociopaths can be atheists in this sense. [1 Corinthians 3:16]
Ah, yes. That. The sin of being happy or excited. According to my father, we must guard carefully against such things. According to my father, these emotions are the equivalent of dancing on out fifth-floor window ledge. Clearly inviting a nasty fall.