Although I’m not a Christian anymore, I still appreciate my Christian upbringing and background. Because of the way the mind works, everything I learn on this spiritual path is always shaped by my thorough understanding of the bible and Christian values. I have a great foundation from which to discover my own Truth. I hope one day we can raise our children up in deeply religious and/or spiritual homes while also giving them the understanding that “my path is not your path. My truth is not necessarily yours. Here’s a foundation, now go discover You.”
I did not have that freedom. I had to fight my emotions, my indoctrinations and my family’s judgment in order to be free enough to begin seeing the Truth for myself. There was so much confusion and angst surrounding me at the time. “Why am I questioning God and the bible like this? What’s WRONG with me?” I did not understand how I could still feel Spirit but question it at the same time. I did not recognize how religion is reinforced by society, culture and education and how all of these things came together to shape my “beliefs.” But if they are from society, culture, education, family history, etc., are they really MY beliefs? It did not make any sense that I would be among the lucky few who happened to be in the right section of the right country at the right time in history among the right family going to the right building on the right day of the week.
There was so much pressure to be just like everyone else, but the underlying thought process of being “on the right side” of the religion issue was the true warden of my Christian Jail. “I must do this or else I’ll go to hell.” “I must do this or else I will not be blessed.” “I must do this or else God will punish me, or disown me, or Who Knows What cuz He’s God and He can do whatever He wants with a Backslider like me!” Seriously disturbing thoughts for a young man just trying to do some good in this world! *insert laughter*
I became so lonely, and although I’m a naturally distant person I became extremely so. Depression loomed on the horizon and I would have to go through that illness before I came out on the other side. But that’s a different blog. I was lonely because there was no one I could talk to about this issue. All of my family and Christian friends would just direct me back to the basics of not questioning our faith. Any friend that I had who happened to not be Christian could not comprehend my plight as it was a foreign experience to them. So with no one to talk to and no understanding of how to channel these thoughts and feelings, I strayed.
Just like every other concept and thing in the universe, DOUBT must adhere to the law of paradox. It is through Doubt that we begin the journey to find our Truth; and it is also through Doubt that we can become lost forever. I will not go into the details of my sinful living during that period of time, but it was…significant. I’m still processing through some of the repercussions and habits I picked up during that period of my life. I’ll never understand when people say they have no regrets. I am completely satisfied with Life and understand that what I’ve done and what has happened to me is part of my Beautiful Process. I love it. But I regret doing some of the things I’ve done, hurting some of the people I’ve hurt, and losing some of the things I lost. It did not have to be that way.
This isn’t even what I intended on writing about today.
I appreciate my Christian upbringing because it is my foundation. I have great options available to me when I receive teachings. I can hear something and recognize it as my truth and in line with what I’ve heard before. I can recognize it as my truth and not in line with what I’ve heard before; giving me the great opportunity to figure out how the Bible can be interpreted within this Truth. I can recognize a teaching as not my truth and understand, from scripture, why that is the case. So forth and so on. I’m thankful for this.
Therefore I’ve decided to share some of my insights on how scripture relates to Agnosticism and Hedonism and Zen and Buddhist thought and philosophy and Taoism and Hinduism and just about everything else that encompasses Life. I was going to share one today but apparently I needed to write briefly about my journey instead. So…maybe next week.
All my Love.