I know I wasn’t more than 5 years old when I had my first doubts in religious dogma. I’ll never forget that pivotal life event, nor the pure anger that coursed through my mind and body. That sharp, intense anger carved into my memory like an etching laser into a headstone. Something indeed died that evening – my unquestioning obedience to authority – creating a space of amplification for an inner voice.
It was the eve of Easter, and a time of new beginnings. My family was getting ready to dye eggs. I was watching Charlton Heston on the TV. Was it Ben Hur or The Ten Commandments? I don’t know or care anymore. All I know is the film and everything I was told about Easter suddenly upset me to my core.
As I watched the film unfold, my inner voice cried out, “This is wrong. This is all wrong! Everyone gets to go to heaven. What kind of god would let our faults and mistakes keep us from heaven?” As the film played in the background, I remember asking my mom why some people had to go to hell. But I found her reasoning unjustifiable. How could loved ones be separated from each other in the afterlife? The idea seemed flawed and cruel. It angered me to think I could be separated from my brother or someone else dear to me because they or I had sinned.
“So what if someone does a really bad thing in life? That shouldn’t keep people from forgiveness and love. What parent would abandon their child simply because that child caused another to suffer?” My inner voice railed on, and I was never the same for it. Later in life I learned of many parents who would abuse and/or abandon their children. Are these the behaviors that caused humans for thousands of years to believe in a god who could do the same to them? Dogmas and silly myths that convey god as a punisher and abandoner of “his” creations no doubt give rise to multitudes of atheist converts.
But my inner voice has not led me to atheism. Quite the opposite. Over the past three decades, my inner voice has led me to discover ancient wisdoms that are all around us everyday. These wisdoms speak of a force that cannot be named but connects all things everywhere, is everywhere and is everything. I’m in love with this force and the journey it and I co-create. My love moves me to express my wonder and awe. And with you, dear brother and sister, I have a deep desire to share my precious moments of awakening into wonder and awe.
Always questioning what others say and listening to an inner voice is a method I hope you practice while you read my stories and tangents. Gather from my words the grapes you choose to nourish your soul and leave the rest to rot. It is yours to cast away or use in your own journey. But above all, enjoy this turbulent ride into your own awakenings.