I tend to discuss other people’s religious views but don’t really dwell on my own. Its something that has evolved and as of late it has put me into great internal conflict between what has been tradition and what I have found to be true.
For the most part I believe you should partake in whatever belief system that makes you happy just as long as you aren’t cramming that belief down someone else’s logic pipe. Some old texts say the you must convert unbelievers lest they suffer eternal wrath for their “sin”. Others want you to outright kill those that do not believe. The undertones of hate for another because of their ideas are instilled, from all angles apparently.
My personal experience with religious belief had a rough start but I think I’ve got it worked out. I was raised through the Zion Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and at times I had a grasp on the lessons and the path to a future with God but there were complications. With the exception of one pastor, I got the feeling that my free thinking, creativeness, and individualism were seen as foreign concepts to the church leaders. There were a few times I tried to run away from those that were trying to teach this knowledge but since it was considered mandatory by my mother and other church staff, I had to be yelled at to get the message through.
Going to college helped me get away from the oppression of Christianity and allowed me to feel around and make a decision for myself. Over time I read and experienced different belief systems to get a better view of the complexities that make up belief in a higher power.
Most of the time I tried to avoid going to church but still was interested in the major ceremonies such as weddings, baptisms, and funerals. I guess the ceremonies themselves were more fascinating than the content of the scriptures read. I still held on to my roots because of respect for my grandparents but something major was going to change.
I invest a lot of love in my friends, family, pets, and other personal objects that mean the world to me and to lose any one of them is a hard process to handle. At one point I had a puppy that I adored named Onyx. Nearly everywhere I went, Onyx was in tow and he was my little buddy for more than a year. When a tragedy befell me and Onyx died, I looked to my faith to help heal me and show me a way to cope with my loss. I went to the pastor, (the pastor that is still there by the way), and he told me flat out that Onyx was only an object to God because animals were created without souls. People were the chosen creations and only they deserved the right to heaven.
This ended my belief in God.
You can look at any religion in two ways: from the inside or from the outside. From the inside you learn about the characters, the lessons, the morals, the path you should follow and the deeper you explore and believe the harder it is to see your religion as you see other religions from the outside. from the outside, you can see the origins of the stories, the myths based on other stories, the facts that were manufactured and the facts that are real. What it comes down to is what you feel is the right story to believe.
For me my experience has shown me how ancient beliefs have evolved into both powerful and shallow religions. The core fibers of a lot of religions today are tied to the frayed ends of the long strings that lead back to the origins of beliefs. Everything that I’ve tried to latch onto never felt like anything to me. One thing did feel right and it wasn’t so much a religion but rather a culture that I could feel that I was a part of, something I couldn’t feel with God, or Jesus, or any other division of the larger faiths that exist today. Somewhere in the distant past the mysticism of ancient sages was calling to me and I had to explore, learn, and feel out what was whispering to me.
Okay, let’s just cut through all of the fancy talk here. What happened is that I found that I connected better with a pagan life eventhough I don’t look at it completely as my final path. It’s a science of thought and through experimentation and repeatable results I’ve found that certain elements of life, death, and energy have to exist together to guide you through life and beyond. I feel connected to spirits and the Earth. I can feel sensations of rooms and objects with a subtle touch. I can see with my mind the creatures and people that society has taught children don’t really exist. And most of all I have found people that have the same insight and can give me a sense of what to look for but most of all I feel more loved not following a set of rules that are interpeted a thousand different ways.
I don’t really talk about this mainly because I come from a small town and people tend to get carried away with their ideas of what is right and wrong and also because I just flat our feared that some of my friends wouldn’t understand and not talk to me again. Then again, I figure that if they are truly my friends, they would understand this what makes me happy and it’s not hurting anyone. So now, I figure, what the heck.
If you want to know more just ask me. I tried to explain this the best I could with the amount of mental poweress I have these late nights after winding down from work. I’m still the same guy except I’m happier this way and I feel I have a direction to follow. I’m just hoping that refraining from talking about it until now was a good decision.