Earlier this week, I was listening to a podcast recommended by a co-worker about matters of spirituality, and one message really caught my attention. The speaker asked the people in the crowd to raise their hand if they believed in God. Of those who raised their hand, he asked them why they believed in a God. The consensus was that people believed in God because they learned about God as kids from their parents, schools, family, churches, etc. Of the people who believed, none mentioned their belief came from a direct experience of the divine. None of them believed because their intellect agreed with their parents. They just ate it like pudding and didn’t ask questions.
Of those who didn’t believe in God, he then asked the question “why?” Again, they pointed to parents, families, etc., but they also explained that because they had no experience of the divine, they had no reason to believe.
Fair enough. Then he asked how many people had an iPhone. Of course, most of the people raised their hand, and he laughed. He explained that he was not surprised at the amount of people who have an iPhone because the funny thing about the iPhone is that you’ve totally lost the experience of the “i,” and that was apparent in his questioning about God.
I’ve been working on this “God” blog for months, but I really needed something inspirational to get my butt in gear and finish it up. This was it.
I grew up in a pretty strict Catholic family. Considering my mom is one of 11 siblings and my dad is one of 15, you could say my grandparents took their faith very seriously. Attending weekly mass was a must, and those who didn’t go to church regularly were “fake Catholics” or ones that had *gasp* “fallen away.”
My parents sent me and my two sisters to a Catholic school. They felt the Catholic faith was so important that we should have religious education as a part of our daily life. While I’m grateful that prayers and religious studies were part of my daily life, the school, church and my family didn’t actually teach me anything about spirituality – real spirituality. There were no tools available for me to have a direct experience of the divine other than the natural intuition and inner knowing that I was born with. Even when I asked my teachers and playground attendants (I just loved Mr. and Mrs. Brown) about God, they offered no answers. Why do we believe in a God? Why is God a man? Why does God have a son and no daughters? Who made God? Here I was, surrounded by priests, teachers, and lifelong Catholics, and no one could answer the fundamental questions of life.
…and I knew why.
One thing you learn early on as a Catholic is the Profession of Faith, also called the Nicene Creed. You can Google that if you’re interested in reading the whole thing.
Basically, you go to mass, and there are a series of prayers and rituals that take place. Like witchcraft or other ceremonial practices, there’s a guy running the show with his helpers, an altar, transformation taking place, and it’s where you learn knowledge about your religion. Going to mass reinforces the belief that a group of people (well before our time) decided what was true, and they pretty much brainwash you with it until it’s part of your subconscious experience.
I know that sounds a little rough, but that’s literally what’s happening. …and it’s not necessarily a bad thing either, unless you stop using your own mind and God-given intellect and don’t work toward having that direct experience with the divine so that you can personally experience the truth.
When I was only three years old, I had my first experience of seeing spirits from a non-earth realm, so I knew there was much more beyond my comprehension. Throughout my entire life I would hear voices, see spirits, and commune with people who had passed away. Normally this happened in a dream state, but many times (especially when I was under the age of 10), it happened when I was fully awake. Outside of my sisters and some close family members and friends, I haven’t mentioned this to anyone. This is mostly because of the stigma in my family with my father’s diagnosis of schizophrenia. My favorite experiences have been seeing my Grandpa Geno, Grandma Joanie, Uncle Beaver, Greg’s friend Jason who passed last year, his Great Aunt Mary and my spirit guide, Caleb. They’ve helped me resolve some things within myself, given me knowledge that has helped me in my own life, and helped me to comfort those who are grieving.
After my accident, my brain was a total mess. I lost my ability to think let alone have any experiences with Spirit. Once I learned Transcendental Meditation, and started on my fully raw, organic, vegan diet my nervous system became more stable and purified. In fact, I suspect that due to my body being in a healing process that it was able to clear out a lot more cobwebs and see more clearly.
So over the past two years, I’ve really been thinking about what it is that I believe based on my own personal experience of the divine. From my own experience, I know that God is not a man. I believe in one God made up of the Divine Mother, the infinite unmanifest, and an Almighty Father that through the Spirit (karma) manifests everything into creation. I believe in Jesus, and all of the divine incarnations of God on earth. I know that Jesus is the manifestation of the most pure and unconditional love on Earth. He’s not “coming again” because he’s already here for those who want to have a direct experience with him. I don’t believe heaven is in the sky or far away, because it’s right here existing along side us. Those who have purified their bodies and nervous systems can experience those in heaven, we can see heaven, and we can see the most subtle realities in all of the monotony of creation. Yes, even the Washington D.C. metro sparkles when you’re firmly established in this state of pure Being. You are divine. I am divine. All of nature is divine because all of it is a direct reflection of God. …I could go on and on, but I’ll stop here. This is my profession of faith.
Faith is supposed to be based on a direct experience, but most people use the word faith when they’re really talking about hope.
Faith is knowing your alarm clock will buzz at exactly 7 a.m. because it has every day for the last five years since you set it YOURSELF.
Hope is a wish or a preference that SOMEONE ELSE set that alarm for you to make sure you wake up on time.
Despite the risk of being labeled “crazy” for this post, I’ll offer this up: Do you believe based on what you have experienced yourself, or what someone has told you to believe? If you aren’t having your own experiences, but you profess a faith based on what someone else has taught you, I challenge that’s “crazy.” HA!
Do you have true faith or do you just have hope?
After years of going to mass and reciting creeds and prayers that don’t even scratch the surface of my beliefs, I realize now that everything I openly said about my belief in God has been a lie – or at least a half truth. This is a big lie in my life. It’s one that I’ve told myself just as much as I’ve told others. I didn’t want to believe in my own personal experiences because my entire life I was afraid of a label. I’m not afraid anymore. This is what it means to be born again.
I challenge everyone who reads this blog to examine your beliefs and your faith. If you’re lacking a direct experience, seek it in all that you do. Get lots of sleep at night. Don’t fill your body with drugs or alcohol. Eat an organic diet that is in line with your digestion. If you must eat meat, make sure it’s humanely raised and killed. Drink only purified or spring water without fluoride or chlorine. Spend time in a state of transcendence. Clean out your emotional baggage with the help of a therapist, family and friends. Don’t believe everything that you think – question it. Trust your gut, and definitely trust your intuition so it will grow.
I promise it’s worth it!
With all my love,
The Guru Girl