My Philosophies: Spiritual. Not Religious.

Gnostic Mountaineer


 I had been, slowly, building an enlightened approach from a very early age. Having been raised in the late 50's and throughout the 60's, in a very restrictive religious environment, where judgment of 'good' and 'evil,' jumping to conclusions without the asking of questions or any communication to speak of, and, severe punishment for perceived indiscretion, were the norm. Rather than a calm, caring, nurturing approach, assisting in our education toward a positive reality and thought process, threats and punishment were guided by a church “child-rearing” booklet. We were restricted in so many ways. There were rules for everything. What was and wasn't considered a clean meat, what various things should mean to us, when we could participate in activities and when we couldn't... the list went on and on. I remember being commissioned to get my younger siblings out of parties at school if the religion didn't support such holidays. I was never able to participate in anything on Saturdays, as all my peers did. Basketball games, track meets, a weekend job to help with expenses... all were out of the question.

 In 1971, my questions began to be answered. Oddly, it was due to the last thing I could have imagined! We were transferred to a little church-run school in Texas. It was here that it all started to gel for me and begin my life-long study into reality. At one point, I was part of the church-school's Boy Scout Explorer program and my interest became radio broadcasting. The school allowed me to use the recording studio from which the worldwide evangelical tapes derived. I composed and recorded about 5 half-hour recordings a week, where I played current rock and made the school announcements to be played over the lunch hour on the school's P.A. System. One time, I played Black Sabbath's “Lord of this World.” I felt the message of the song supported everything I had learned in life and spoke highly of what I had been taught. Total agreement with the message of the church... Hmmm... I was immediately yanked off the air, permanently, by a high-ranking school official!

 The next evolutionary insight came when a couple of my Teachers, my Bible and Science Teacher and my gym coach, took my small class into the closest big town to see a movie. The movie was “Marjoe.” Marjoe Gortner was a former, charismatic, child-evangelist who turned his back on the big business of religion. I pondered a question. “Why?” would they take us, students of such a school, to such a movie? What were they thinking? I now know it was all part of a much larger plan.

 Throughout my childhood, I saw the pain and suffering of many of the church's lay-members. I saw the deaths of the chief evangelist's wife because they wouldn't accept medical assistance but only allowed direct intervention by God. She died due to a simple intestinal blockage. This was obviously not MY idea of God. MY God was powerful and loving and kind and wanted me to do everything I could for myself before calling on his help.

 I saw letter after letter go out, telling the lay-members that the church was in financial trouble and that they should take out a second mortgage on their houses or sell possessions, even if such things were of extreme sentimental value (if they were of any value, otherwise) and send it in as an offering and that they would be blessed exceedingly by God, while their children went hungry and didn't have proper school clothes and shoes. This was on top of a first tithe, to help the church finances, a second tithe, which could only be used during official festivals, and, every 3 years, a third tithe, to help the needy. That is 30% of a family's income on top of what government demands. Beyond this, if a family farmed, they were beholden to give the first 10% of the product of their labors, to the ministry of the church as “first fruits.” Was this 'right?' The faithful followers did just that. I always understood it and questioned it. But – these people had made their choices and possessed “free will” just as everyone else.

 I should point out that my awareness stemmed from my Dad's high position in the church. He was a minister and the church's architect. We would move about every 2 years to start a new festival site being built. When we traveled, we stayed in the homes of top evangelists. I grew up with their kids who were my age. At the same time, I had Catholic family members and sat in a pew a time or two, attending services with them, wondering all the time, “why?” so many rules and controls when we are supposed to be simple and Spiritual? Is THIS what God is about?

 Later in life, I had a 'baby' brother who suffered from 2 collapsed lungs and pneumonia, in a comatose state, and I was called at a business meeting and told that if I wanted to see him again, I had better get there quickly. There was never a thought that he should be rushed to medical care. He lived, due to the intervention of my older brothers, in a moment of lucidity, and an Uncle, and is healthy, today. Strangely, my 'baby' brother holds a high position in an off-shoot of that original church.

 After high-school, I embarked on a never-ending study to explain what I had seen so far. I became immersed in study of every known religious philosophy I could examine. I started with martial arts and Asian philosophies, Metaphysics, Buddhism... I looked at Scientology, LDS (Latter Day Saints), Hindu, Native American philosophies, Islam, Judaism, any and all 'Christian' derivatives... Bahai, Paganism, New Age, Shinto, Sikhism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism, Kabala, and on and on.

 Time marches on and I find myself in raw wonder at a phenomena I have witnessed. Many of those who I thought were on a path have returned, or, partially so, to various and sundry, freshman philosophies and misunderstandings of childhood and repeatedly try to 'convert' anyone who will listen, to them. And they won't respect the education or the wishes of anyone who does not see things their way. Elements of the Jehovah’s Witness methodology seem to completely short-circuit their thought processes. They want you to believe they are Christ-like but – you need saving! “You need converting!”

 Let's examine that. Christ was chronicled as a caring, extremely tolerant man who preached “Love One Another” as the only rule. He was friend to everyone and didn't interfere with their life or try to control them. He taught tolerance, peace, harmony and love and stopped an indignant 'stoning' and comforted a 'harlot' a time or two. He was non-violent and didn't push a strong opinion or look down on people and judge them and punish them. He was very much against what we know as religion. I had a friend who, partially, understood – and, made an amazing statement one time. She said, “Jesus came to teach us to be Buddhist!”

 We see reverence, love, caring and tolerance disappearing, faster and faster, in the world, due to meaningless controls by those who see themselves as an authority whose job it is to turn you around. It is incumbent upon all possessors of Free Will to find their way by doing everything in their power before asking for outside assistance. I find myself disappointed that the many purveyors of “Status-Quo” wish to discourage enlightenment. They may dismiss my Honorary Doctor of Divinity degree as it was not issued by an accredited institution. And – although I earned it over these many years of research, they will continue as they will and I will not judge them. That is their right. Although I will probably not see the transition from the Age of Pisces to the Age of Aquarius (2150), I believe the world will be ready for such an event.

REFERENCES: (watch the following films)


Zeitgeist (and, the addendum)


America: Freedom to Fascism

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