Wednesday, January 20, 2010
and in the end...
photo by Kathleen Kimball-Baker
I wish I could say that my journey took me to exotic places but it did not. I didn’t go on retreat to India nor to Tibet. I didn’t go to Macchu Picchu or climb the holy mountains. I didn’t even go to Native American pow wows. I was married to my first husband then and I had to work since he would not. So, although my body did not travel, my mind soared. I read.
I read about the Findhorn Garden and the amazing communication that went on there. I read The Secret Life Of Plants by Peter Tompkins which served to confirm my experience that trees and plants were sentient beings. The empty slate of my belief system began to fill with love and respect for the earth and all the forms of life on it. I became committed to an organic lifestyle, to nurture and protect instead of use and abuse. I stopped killing things. Creatures who found themselves trapped in the house were caught and released. When I began to garden in later years, I was mindful, letting the plant go through it’s entire cycle. I read up on herbal medicene and, much later, alternate forms of healing.
A fan of science fiction, I had read Microscopic God and More Than Human by Theodore Sturgeon, Nightfall by Issac Asimov, Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein. I had started reading Greek Mythology when I was in the 3rd grade and continued with myths and legends of many cultures. I checked The Golden Bough out of the library repeatedly. I read about Hinduism, Buddhism and Zen, Taoism and Native American beliefs. I embraced karma and many years later, reincarnation. I read Life After Life by Raymond Moody.
When I became pregnant at 26 I became even more interested in religion. Having seen many kids get sucked into cults when I was in college, I wanted a foundation for my own whether they stayed with it or not. Since I had married a Jewish man, I went to conversion classes to educate myself and was surprised to find that most of what I heard, I had already come to. I liked that it was was a religion that focused on life, not death as Christianity did, that you lived a good life because it was the right thing to do, not for the reward of heaven or fear of the punishment of hell if you did not, neither concept being a part of Jewish theology. I raised my children as Jews and went to Torah study. It was a good home for me while I continued my journey.
I became very interested in the origins of religion, the religions of ancient cultures and the evolution of religion. I read Sarah The Priestess by Savina Teubal, When God Was A Woman and Ancient Mirrors Of Womanhood by Merlin Stone among others. I railed against the Patriarchy, embraced the Matriarchy, learned how inheritance rights shaped religion. I read in the Kaballah. I pissed off the old men in Torah Study. Eventually I grew away from Judaism as well.
I read about the millions murdered and burned who would not convert, the millions killed and burned in the name of holy war. I learned that religion was a man made institution whose purpose it was to control men and most especially women. I learned that when conqueror’s came the first thing they did was demonize the local dieties, destroy the holy places and usurp the holy days for their own ends. I learned that the dead and risen god was ancient long before christianity came on the scene.
I read Carl Jung and finally found equality. I read Joseph Campbell. I read The Time Falling Bodies Take To Light by William Thompson, I read about the power of the sub-conscious mind and New Age mysticism. I read about Theosophy and The Consciousness Of The Atom. I read Jane Roberts’ amazing channeling of the spirit Seth. I read about how we create physical reality, not only our own but the nature of physical reality as well, that there is no Evil in the world, only things we do not fully understand or comprehend, that some thing that is good for one person, can be devastating for another. I learned that thought is energy and energy becomes manifest. That what you put out there is what you get in return.
The specific books mentioned are, of course, just some of the very many. Through 30 years of reading and perusing, questioning and pondering, my understanding evolved, my belief system emerged.
So what DO I believe? This was my comment on Bonnie’s post :
Here's the thing. God is the sum total. God is the good AND the bad. As compassionate beings we should try to relieve suffering when we come across it. But God cannot 'do' anything about evil or suffering since it is part of the sum total. The All That Is. And the all that is is the full range of existence. God is existence, from the smallest mite to the grandeur of the cosmos and everything in between. It is the black as well as the white.
There is so much more, of course, to what I perceive to be the nature of god/dess and the universe from grand concepts to the smallest details but it would take many more pages. We are the Dream. We, and by we I mean every mote of physical existence, are the Avatars by which the Source is manifest. It is to this Source that we return when we are done on the physical plane.
...the love you take is equal to the love you make.