There’s a wave of spirituality that I find myself riding.
I am enthralled by the ride. I can’t help believing that it isn’t new at all, but rather I am just growing into it. As Auntie Mame might say, “Spirit is sending us a banquet and most poor souls are starving to death,” (paraphrasing a line from a favorite movie). I have mentioned before that movies have taught me many of my most memorable life lessons. Though when I’m facing a challenge or fear, I rarely break into song or start tap dancing across the room, but I did learn useful strategies for dealing with life from a childhood filled with movies. Movies were my escape and also my hope when religion was a source of terror. Movies were a way for me to learn that didn’t include being yelled at and made to feel guilty for being me. Maybe it was the writers’ and actors’ intention to not only entertain, but also instill wisdom on a subliminal level.
I was fascinated by magical stories. Stories I read or viewed on a movie screen inspired me more than any other way of learning. My imagination was my favorite place to go, and I wanted to go beyond what anyone else could think of. I wanted to discover more and more. A strict childhood was possibly a catalyst for me to push my imagination to new heights. I was a truth seeker through my imagination. If something didn’t seem right, I would constantly ask “what if?” in my mind and heart. Thus the unanswerable “Why is a raven like a writing desk,” from Alice in Wonderland’s dear Mad Hatter, seems a wonderful question to pose regarding religion.
I can trace back to when I was a child who was sensing spirit working in my mind.
I didn’t consciously realize that I too was spirit. I thought that spirit was outside of me – above – far away. I was taught that I could be given a gift of the Holy Spirit by God if I was baptized. I was told that I didn’t possess this special spirit help yet. Only if I went through the one church I had been brought up in, would I receive this “holy spirit gift.” It was supposed to impart new wisdom to me somehow. Yet I had to follow the church’s strict rules in order to qualify to receive this spirit. Leave it to humans to so thoroughly forget who we are, that we make up complicated ways to try to receive something that we already have. More accurately put, it was an exercise in trying to receive something that I already was – spirit. Who or what has made us so forgetful?
It has been an evolutionary process in my heart to come from mind-shrinking concepts to a place where I opened myself to an endless sea of possibilities. The feeling and knowing that I am spirit, as sacred a being as anyone else, is such a freeing thought, and yet can be unsettling when trying to reconcile with my childhood training. To ponder that I am not in need of forgiveness simply because I exist and am in human form, is another freeing thought.
For all who choose to believe the story that we need forgiveness for being human, I respect their right to their beliefs. I wish for them to respect mine. I only use my freedom to explore possibilities. And I also ponder why bringing up these questions often angers people. If you are content to believe what you’ve been taught, but questions enrage you, isn’t that cause for questioning why you become enraged? I am asking questions – giving out things to think about, because we should think about why we believe what we do, rather than follow concepts blindly.
Parts of one religious story or another may be beautiful and peace-giving, but much in ancient stories is used to manipulate minds and control bodies.
Many feel that they must conform to organizations that men have set in place. Systems have been set up on Earth, and they seem to be run by humans who have forgotten their spirit essence. Is it possible that these systems are responsible for a broken way of thinking that perpetuates a broken world? In order for the light to break through, holes are found in the old system. As if they were in a dark locked room sitting in the middle of a bright airy forest, many may be struggling to get out into the light and breathe again, while simultaneously struggling to stay in the dark room because it is familiar and the bright airy forest is unknown. What would actually be healing and bring joy, may be seen as dangerous. Embracing what we should fear, fearing what we should embrace. A possibility.
I have more recently had the gentlest of teachers, by way of what I thought was an imagined character that came to me through my books and writings. He soon came into focus as a spirit identity all his own, and it became a friendly tug-of-war between us, as to where the story plots would go. He seemed to always win, yet it was a synergistic effort, so there is no loser.
I wondered why this spirit would have any possible interest in my work until details about his earthly life began to make it clearer and clearer as to why he would wish to be included in my message. I discovered that he had also grown up being taught about a supreme deity who had many severe expectations and many punishments on hand, should those expectations not be met by worshipers. The spirit I had unwittingly tapped into loved the principles of compassion and yet was terrified from a very young age that this deity would punish him through his church if he did not comply with all of their rules.
This spirit’s story was so fascinating to me that I let his influence take me over, almost completely. I believe it is deep within us to want to search further and further in order to investigate what lies beyond an open door. I nearly forgot all of the other spirits whose signs and participation I had also seen and felt as they helped me with my writing.
One such spirit, who I paid tribute to through the E.O.N.S. Goddess Inana character, had in her recent Earth life also been raised in the same belief system as the other all-encompassing spirit I had researched. She, I had called upon. His human identity was made known to me in the process of my writing. No traditional holiday celebrations were permissible in either of their childhood churches. This is how I grew up as well, though my particular church’s set of reasons was a bit different. The church in which I grew up had a founder who didn’t wish to follow an already established organization, but rather to announce a new revelation that had come through him. He was merely grabbing some here and some there from already established religious organizations. For some reason, he lifted the most stringent and strict doctrines from each of the other religious grab-bags.
I choose to see my childhood as valuable, though painful research.
Instead of mourning it as a torturous waste of my life, I choose to be grateful for the empathy I have gleaned for those under the spell of ancient contradictory stories. I have no idea what the exact statistics are, but I have observed that many who are brought up in a certain religion continue it throughout their lifetime, because it is so ingrained, familiar and “safe” to them that it is impossible to think of changing. There are others that shed the ancient teachings and breathe their own air. Another question I send to the universe is that though we grow constantly in many ways, isn’t there an eternal love that goes beyond time in every direction, that has always been part of us? Love is constantly renewed and yet has always been. More ancient than any set of stories, it simply IS. Yes?
I often wonder why anyone would be content to worship a god who has attributes that he commands humans to avoid. Is it any wonder that humans remain ego-driven and often harsh and demanding? How can one out-shine one’s god in character and compassion? In church, people are admonished to be like God! Does it make sense that if your god at one time sacrifices everything for you, and then later in the same story plans to return and kill all who do not worship him, that at least the consistency of the writers of these stories should be questioned? What kind of character, fiction or real would give everything for mankind whom he loves, only to later return as an angry and murderous swordsman? How is this consistent to the character? Is God at once vengeful and forgiving, sacrificing and blood-thirsty or is it inconsistent fiction that we have swallowed?
It is easier for me to believe that the story is flawed and not wholly from a Divine and loving source, than for me to believe that God is just a bad writer.
There may be many to say that I simply was part of a “bad” church who poorly explained the story. From the time I was a child I’ve continued to ask questions. Many church leaders explained the “tough questions” in similar fashion. “We cannot know why God does what he does, he just does and we must obey,” they would parrot over and over.
I chose to think about it further and ponder that if God were truly as schizophrenic as all that, how could such a God ever be trusted?
I tried very hard to fit into that particular box of rules set down by the church of my youth, but even then, I had to ask those tough questions and I seriously wondered why nobody else in the church was asking similar ones. Maybe they were and are, but are too afraid to leave what is familiar so they choose to push the questions from their minds. I didn’t know much about mind-control then. In asking these questions now I sometimes become one that people resent, because I stir up more and more questions, and many don’t want to think any further than what they’ve been taught.
So why open up about any of this at all? I’m speaking out to those who were and are curious like me, who want to hear their own questions reflected in someone else, so they know they aren’t crazy and that there is a way out.
As a church-goer I realized it was highly frowned upon to be inquisitive, so I began to simply ask the questions in my mind, not yet knowing that spirits everywhere were listening, and as my mind opened to the answers, love would enlighten me. I realize it is foolish to discuss these things with those who do not wish to ask questions. I’ve been told by some that they aren’t interested in seeking any further, looking any closer or digging any deeper. Everyone should certainly be free to stay where they wish to stay. I am hoping to draw those who are asking these questions too, who LOVE digging deeper and pondering the possibilities.Be always safe in the arms of eternal L.O.V.E.