Reblog: Does anyone speak the truth?

I’m reblogging one of my posts on another blog of mine.

I am going through a dark mood right now and I don’t have any new material forthcoming.  And I wrote this post three years ago.  It was one of the first queries I made public as I was sorting through my views on spirituality.

I might re-post some other ones too (I’m really feeling spent lately).   But I’d like to continue documenting the evolution of my thoughts.

***

Does anyone speak the truth?

I really want to know.

Seriously.

God…if you exist…point me in the direction you want me to go.

Most of your humans are liars and I don’t know who to trust.

I’m in a church right now that is fun, entertaining, seems harmless enough, the kids enjoy it.

Only I come to find out it might be based in some bad doctrine. And potentially REALLY bad doctrine.

Damn. Damn. Damn.

I’m tired of the religious rollercoaster ride I’ve been on. I’m an ex-Catholic married to a Baptist and apparently attending a “Purpose Driven” Protestant (for lack of a better word) church (hence the bad doctrine which supports “Babywise” and James Dobson – of the train your child like you would a dog cult) and have been in the middle of a religious tug-of-war for years.

My mother refused at first to attend my wedding when she found out I was getting married in a non-denominational religious service.  She capitulated when I decided to make the wedding on a day she could NOT make it. She called me up and relented.

My sister-in-law (a Baptist) confronted me and during a two-hour conversation (that felt more like trial) demanded to know why I wanted to get my first daughter baptized in the Roman Catholic Church since I didn’t get married in one.  I already felt guilt because if I hadn’t baptized them, I’d damn my baby to hell.   And then she was making me feel guilt for not having strong enough convictions TO get them baptized.  There was NO way to win.

Now that my three daughters are older and about ready for religious indoctrination teaching, my sister is pressuring me to get back to the Catholic church and get the kids through catechism.

My mother-in-law is constantly talking about the end of the world and the “signs of the end times”, and was extremely worried for my children’s souls when we were churchless. But she’s certain she’s among the saved. But she’s not not according to what they told me at the meeting the other night. For me, by leaving the Roman Catholic church, according to THEIR teachings, no matter even if I go to church somewhere else, if it’s not the Roman Catholic faith, I just voluntarily chose to separate myself from God forever.  Yeah, right.

My friend is trying to logically point out the flaws of the Roman Catholic church.

Many of the splits–especially the Lutheran protest–came about BECAUSE OF the corruption, rebellion, breaking of rules being committed by the Holy Roman clergy. The Protestant “Reformation” attempted FIRST to resolve “differences”–and criticisms–with “the Pope.” He condemned them to death. How very Christian of him, don’t you think? All I’m saying is that I think it would be a waste for such a great mind and heart as yours to be sucked into a whirlpool of sentimental conjecture simply because you are facing a difficult time.

He forgot to remind me about all the sex scandals in the Catholic church too in recent years.

Damn.

I’m just about ready to become an atheist. Or divorced. (just kidding on the divorce).

God, if you exist, I’m trying to find my way. I really am.

Remember when I was a girl of 10, and I prayed to you one night, saying I would gladly DIE if the REST of the world could live in peace????

Remember when I was a girl of 12, and I prayed to you one night, to take my pain away so I wouldn’t have to commit suicide because the kids in school teased me so bad and I woke up in the morning I felt as if a huge burden was lifted in my heart and soul and I could face going to school?

Remember all those other times I needed my spirits lifted? Who did that if it wasn’t you?

Who placed all those people in my path when I was downtrodden…when I literally had NO place to go…near strangers who took me in, gave me a home, when they could have easily turned me away?

Remember when I lost my two babies, and then gave birth to two more that were born in the SAME months the first two babies were due [babies 1 and 2 were due in January and September, respectively, but I lost them. First born daughter (3rd pregnancy) was born in January, second born daughter (4th pregnancy) was born in September]. I know that COULD be purely coincidental…but I find it hard to believe it is merely coincidence.

My third born daughter (fifth pregnancy) was conceived the day my husband was supposed to get a vasectomy. Another mere coincidence?

I find my life to be full of too many coincidences to be just coincidences and not a little bit of divine intervention.

***

I will another post about a comment that resulted from the initial post.  In some ways, I feel I let that person down the most.  Because she seemed to be sincere, seemed to be genuinely kind and caring and strong in her faith.

For the record, I don’t consider myself Christian anymore.  I like Eastern spirituality a lot more and it fits more with my experiences.  I realize it was the Christians themselves that made me turn away from Christianity.

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About Casey

“the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!’ ~ Jack Kerouac, On The Road Again
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10 Responses to Reblog: Does anyone speak the truth?

  1. Erik Andrulis says:

    “God, if you exist, I’m trying to find my way. I really am.”

    Oh, I exist alright. I am Casey. God asking Herself if She exists.

    Peace on Earth,
    Ik

    • Casey says:

      I will be out the door soon with my girls, so I have no time to respond to your recent comments which touched me. But I will as soon as I am able.

      I just wanted to say, I’ve lived a sometimes tumultuous inner experience and it often shows up in some of my writing. I was blind to more than a few things in my life but I believe I’m gaining a lot more clarity.

      I often blush as I re-read some of the silly things I’ve said. But I still cherish these parts of me that was crying out rather desperately.

      And thanks so much!!!!!!!!!!

      • Erik Andrulis says:

        🙂 With you. Know it. I lived it. And, being All people, I live it now.

        I look back on All that I was – all of the horrible people I was, all of the bad things I have done in the evolution of humankind (and all of the good things I have done, too), and have to sigh. It’s humbling and liberating at the same time to know that it’s “Your” Creation, if you get my drift.

        Enjoy the day. Going to take my three kids to piano practice, so I’m out too. Peace.

      • Casey says:

        It’s warming to know you are with me.

        “I look back on All that I was – all of the horrible people I was, all of the bad things I have done in the evolution of humankind (and all of the good things I have done, too), and have to sigh. It’s humbling and liberating at the same time to know that it’s “Your” Creation, if you get my drift.”

        I do get your drift and this is beautifully said.

        I was out with my daughters and we met with my sister and her 5 year old son at my favorite park. They played, we went for a walk around the pond, and then sat and watched the ducks and ducklings for a while.

        Going out again to get school supplies for the coming year.

        I hope your children find piano lessons rewarding. It’s one of the three instruments I wish I knew how to play.

        This is one of my favorite piano pieces –

        Christofori’s Dream – by David Lanz

        My husband was able to play it for me once upon a time at his mother’s house (she had a piano).

  2. Casey, thank you for sharing your journey. I find every person’s story interesting but yours especially so as there are some parallels to mine, albeit from a different gender (young children, miscarriage, disillusionment with organized religion, seeking meaning in life). I am very curious to see how your trip has gone over the past three years.

    “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” — Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

    Peace,
    W. Ockham

  3. Casey says:

    William –

    Thank you for your kindness. it’s interesting to me that you shared that quote. I just came across it (again) yesterday. When I took a peek at your blog, I thought, “now where have I heard of Pierre Tieilhard de Chardin?” It’s amusing, though not surprising to see you shared that very same quote – this happens quite a bit to me. Synchronicty is wonderful, isn’t it?

    I have had a very strange human experience. I wish I had what you had said on Erik’s blog about Julian May’s series “based on the premise of a loving and doting parent, helping their child from the crib and teaching them to crawl, toddle, then run free”.

    I didn’t have that. And recently I’ve been wondering who would I be if I HAD that.

    My grandfather was very intelligent, perhaps profoundly so. So intelligent that he worked stateside for the Army Intelligence in WWII. He was a probate lawyer, a general contractor, and either by skill or mere luck, made some great investments. He was always kind and respectful to me and the only one to take my intellectual leanings seriously, except for a brief period, when my mother turned him against me, then he wrote me a scathing letter threatening to disown me. That hurt deeply, but I knew it didn’t come from him, but from what my mother’s distorting the truth.

    I think he was the wrong kind of doting father to my mother. He gave her things, and she wanted more and more. She chewed people up, especially men. She had such a hatred for my father, and my step-father too to a lesser degree, but only because she needed his income until she could inherit my grandfather’s money.

    My father was…loving, though a bit um…reckless. Perhaps even the proverbial “bad boy”, from what he’s told me.

    The men she chose were out of her class, which would have been fine if she actually was capable of loving them. But she wasn’t.

    I don’t know what happened to my mother (though I’ve had my speculations). She was smart, too, but often used her intelligence to manipulate people for her own ends. Her family most of all.

    She rebelled against my grandfather (for whatever reasons) and married my father, who apparently is very much unlike her and I think I take after more in spirit. Which might explain why she and I clashed so much.

    But then, after a few dysfunctional years with him, she divorced him when I was 2, and managed to banish him completely from my life when I was 11, until I contacted him on Father’s Day 13 years ago.

    My entire life could be summed up thusly:

    “All I really wanted was to try and live the life that was welling up inside of me. Why was that so very difficult?” Hermann Hesse, Demian

    I have been asking the question of why was I born to the family I was born into when I didn’t belong there. I have to trust it was for reasons I just am unable to comprehend with my limited human mind, but I have had so much pain related to this. As a child, I often wondered, what did I do to deserve what I got from them? I have cried out to God so many times. It’s because of this crying out that I’m even still here. Whether or not God, the Universe, or a higher Self within me answered, I suppose I’ll not know for sure, but I’m still here.

    As to what happened in the interim? Hmmm…I won’t be dishonest. Things got worse before they got better as I struggled internally and with my relationship with my husband. I’ve made some egregious mistakes, and learned some difficult lessons.

    I am, after all, my Father’s child.

    When I think of all that I have experience, some of the mistakes I have made, I have realized, with compassion, that there was some reason I was born into the family I was born into.

    I can’t change the past. I can only hope to change the future by working on my self in the present. Finding appropriate mentorship and spiritual guidance in this day and age has been difficult, as you may know – so many choices, so much care needs to be taken to discern the wheat from the chaff.

    I find one thing to be bringing me round back to softening towards Christianity is the Christian mystics. I mean, I haven’t studied them yet. I just was reading some passages in Jack Kornfield’s After the Ecstasy, the Laundry and found myself reading some passages by Christian mystics. I find myself more and more open to learning. My journey may bring me full circle. I don’t know.

    And yet, even without the proper guidance, I think I’ve done my best to correct the deficits in my upbringing and the flaws in my character.

    One thing has reassured me, however.

    “There are, strictly speaking, no enlightened people, there is only enlightened activity.” – Shunryu Suzuki

    I think there is hope for me yet. 😉

    • Casey, thank you for being so open and for sharing your amazing story. In many ways, my life and my faith journey has been fairly circuitous. I am reminded of G.K. Chesterton’s phrase of the man phrase of a person who starts in England who sails around the world to think he has discovered a new continent only to realize he ended up back at England. As I get older (mid-40s) I am beginning to realize that the joy of life is not as much in the destination as the journey. I strongly encourage you to enjoy each day and each experience as much as you can.

      It is interesting that you are drawn to Christian mystics. They have a lot of wisdom that is applicable to non-Christians and non-religious persons also. A couple of my favorites are:

      Teilhard de Chardin’s Mass on the World: (available on-line http://tinyurl.com/257cnoa)

      Cloud of Unknowing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cloud_of_Unknowing. This is also available on-line for free (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/anonymous2/cloud.html) but it is written in Middle English which I find challenging. A really good modern translation of “The Cloud” is by William Johnston and Huston Smith

      Peace,
      W. Ockham

      • Casey says:

        Thank you for sharing. I read most of that Mass on the World, then started crying. I’ll have to pick it up again later.

        I understood that intensity of feeling and expression.

        I had no idea he was a paleonotologist. I always wondered, even just recently as I sat talking to my husband’s pastor last week, how one resolves the creationism/evolution debate. We were talking about whether or not I would be coming to church with my husband or not, because I had a lot of personal reservations, and, quite honestly, I have problems with sensory sensitivity and it’s difficult to be in their church with as loud as it gets.

        And, well, honestly, with as much as I have sinned, what keeps me most from embracing Christian theology is my own failure to be a good person. I know that God granted salvation to sinners, I just don’t feel that it applies to me.

        You know, I thought you were an 80 year old man, by the picture you use for your avatar. I wasn’t quite sure if that was Chardin, or you. I didn’t check, I just felt that must be you. I just turned 43 on the 20th. I was really confused by your name, too. The minute I saw Ockham, I thought of Occam’s Razor, but I did not my homework to check. For as smart as I can be, I can also be quite dumb. =)

        When I have more free time, I’ll check out the Cloud of Unknowing.

        Thanks so much.

      • Casey: Lots of good thoughts there. I will try to address them briefly.

        1. Yes, Teilhard de Chardin was a paleontologist (a very well-respected one at that). His story is extremely fascinating. in the briefest of summaries, he was attempting to use his scientific findings on biological evolution to enhance Christian theology. He got ahead of the institutional Church of the 1920s and they essentially told him to stop writing and speaking on theology and exiled him to China to dig for fossils. While the institutional Church has accepted the biological fact of evolution, it has been very slow to incorporate the theological implications of this (which both Teilhard and I believe lead to a much richer understanding of Christianity).

        2. I find the evolution vs. creation “controversy” to be much ado about nothing. I did a blogpost a couple of months ago on an M.I.T. study that showed that the vast majority of world religions affirm biological evolution as the domain of science and defer to the overwhelming scientific consensus of its fact. However, there is a vast ignorance of both science and theology in the U.S. that allows an eccentric minority to get a lot of press. http://wp.me/p3pJsV-9h

        3. You are way too hard on yourself. I believe that the Bible is the revelation of God and I take great comfort in the fact that the “heros” of the Bible include murderers (Kings David and Solomon, St. Paul), adulterers, liars, cheaters, cowards, phonies, selfish egotists, etc. I’ve done a lot of horrible things in my life, but it’s not as bad as many of them. If God’s love continues to reach out to them, it is there for everyone.

        4. I hope to become an 80 year old man someday, but not for another 36 years:-). Yes, the picture is of Teilhard de Chardin during his later life. The name William Ockham is an alias after the Ockham’s Razor (or Occam’s Razor, depending on your preference). Like Teilhard, William of Ockham was a priest and philosopher who challenged the status quo and ran into trouble with the Church authorities, but whose ideas later became part of mainstream theology and philosophy. (Do you see a pattern:-).

        Peace,
        W. Ockham

      • Casey says:

        =)

        I’ve no time to make respond adequately, as my daughters and I just got in from the park and we need to eat dinner, then run out again for my oldest daughters’ softball practice. Her last All Star tournament is this weekend.

        I wanted to say thank you, very much.

        Warm regards,

        Casey

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