Fuckers are at it again. They moved something on me, and now I don't know where it is. And no, it's not something that I moved to another location and forgot about. It's something that is gone that was here yesterday. And by tomorrow I will have either forgotten about it, or have doubts as to the veracity of my memory, or I will find it in a semi-obvious location that is different. Like right there.
I don't talk much about spirituality. I was raised as a Lutheran, brought to church by my parents. My exposure to said church was frustrating: I had honest questions about everything from spiritual matters and bible stories to sex and death and everything in between.
The pastor, Rev. Roy Nickels, was excellent in that no question was a stupid one, and he honestly tried to answer. If he didn't know, he'd say so, but he'd also go back and try and come up with an answer. He was great.
He was forced out of the church for political reasons. I don't know the details, but the essentials were that he didn't follow the don't ask stupid questions policy that came into play afterwards. The new force majure was definitely oriented toward literal interpretations of the King James, and outside thinking was not tolerated.
I was disillusioned and disheartened to see these "christian" folk being intolerant and narrow-minded, and I ended up losing any interest at all.
Fast-forward a few years. Getting married, the soon-to-be wife a member of the Church of the Nazarine, though perhaps less than ritualistic about it. This happens to be the church that my mother goes to, and I figured that in the meetings with the pastor, I'd ask some questions to see where he stood on things. And as it turns out, he wasn't exactly a biblical scholar. I went to a few services, and they were nice, but pure whitebread northern Minnesota.
A bit later, divorce comes into play. The spiritual issue is one of having made vows to God, and turning around and saying "hey, just kidding there big guy". I couldn't reconcile the two, so either I had to stay married to a woman who actively hated me by this time, or walk away from God.
I got the divorce.
And I started on a path of investigation into various religions. I became what could pass for a biblical scholar and philosopher in the small northern town with its limited resources. I looked high and low, into historical figures and myths, ancient religions and the whole ball of wax. I nearly converted to Judaism for the practical sense of it, but when I started getting closer to the realities, I witnessed the same political maneuverings that turned me off before.
I kept searching, and discovered that the core of Judaism was in fact derived from the ancient Sumerians, and so many of the parables and stories that I had heard in Sunday School were myths from far more ancient times, changed to fit the mold of what some old men wanted to hear. I learned some of the ancient gnostic gospels that were discarded, and learned the original Adam and Eve and the Fruit of Knowledge mythos, where the heroic roles were reversed and the bringer of enlightenment was the one who encouraged Eve to eat from the tree, thus bringing mankind into the enlightened state of quasi-godhead.
I learned the tales of Zoroaster and Zumzamim, Inanna and Enki and Erishkegal and the story of the underworld. I learned of the invisible world, and the beings that dwell within.
And it came to pass that I realized that religion-- organized religion-- was a political tool, and had been for centuries. That the true meanings of what make a person good and evil are not dictated by what is written on a piece of sheepskin or a clay tablet, but by what comes from within that person, and how they treat others. Human concepts, not divine ones.
Thus I became a heretic.
I do have rituals; I suppose I could be considered Pagan, though I don't really cling to icons or identites. I have a spiritual side that runs very deep, and I believe in the power of personal ritual. I shan't go into detail as the rituals are private and really only make sense to me. And really I haven't done any ritual for several years now, ever since my last prayers were answered and I got exactly what I asked for.
I learned that I am stupider than the universe.
So now I basically choose not to meddle. Once in a great while, Deus ex Machina makes certain decisions in the direction that my life is going, and I've learned that it is best to just go along for the ride. And in the meantime, I do what I can to survive.
Perhaps it is time for me to revisit the old ways. It's been far too long.