I do not wish to convert people from one organized religion to another; I have no interest in any of these organised religions. My interest is in Dhamma - the truth, the Teachings of all Enlightened ones. If at all there is any conversion, it should be from misery to happiness, from defilement to purity, from bondage to liberation, from ignorance to enlightenment.
- S N Goenka

As a Christian living in Rhode Island, as part of our ministry outreach we would go and "preach the Gospel" to anyone who was interested in hearing our message. We sang songs and preached our message weekly in one of Providence's largest "projects," a large complex housing most the city's poor and black population. We would speak of Jesus to people on the street. Any segue that presented itself would soon become that of "Jesus and him crucified." The story of sin and redemption.

It wasn't long before I was in trouble with my existing religious authority. It was reported that in my street meetings and such, I stressed the belief that no one should take my word as truth; that I wasn't interested in "beefing up" our church membership. My belief was that God should prove himself. God should lead them to whatever church they were inclined to attend. That if any major life changes were to occur, any epiphany's, if any enlightenment was to present itself, it would be the result of their prayer and not a reflection of my convictions or religious experience.

Well, apparently this was not the way of things. I was in God's army and I should respond in the affirmative when told that increasing our church membership was important. Bringing any eager listener to "us" and "our church" was the way.

I was a poor soldier.

I have had very profound "Christian experiences" and Epiphany's that greatly impacted my direction in life. The same can be said for my experience with the Chi of Tao and the awareness of Buddhism. My experience in Freemasonry is only a continuation in my journey.

I have scaled the cliffs, trudged a beaten path. I have swam, canoed, rafted and almost drowned. I have been lost in deep forest and have screamed for joy on a high mountaintop.

This Being Human... is a guesthouse of great and low. It is not my intention to do anything other than tell stories that reflect my experience and journey as you do yours.

Comments

Loralee Choate said…
I think you represented Gods Army quite well, thank you. As I get older and look at what I want for my sons my only hope is that they have Joy and Happiness. Whatever path leads them to that I am ok with.
Zeteticus said…
I have had a similar path, including being involved in Freemasonry for a time. I was mostly interested in the ritualistic aspects and how they effect the psyche. It's a very complex system of imagery. Fascinating. The problem was, the lodge had sort of degenerated into a social club for elderly gentlemen, which I couldn't relate to.
Kathy said…
Me too! I was a poor soldier. I was raised in the Jehovah Witness cult. Glad to be out. I'm a loner now (not associated with any religion) ...but i try everyday to feed my spiritual side.
Hillbilly Hotei said…
The constant evangelizing and rampant hypocrisy were two of the biggest problems I initially had with organized Christianity as a whole. We each have our own path we must find and follow.
I felt wrong trying to ramrod a belief system down someone's craw, much as I resent the reciprocal treatment; even if their intentions are good.
Keep on with the storys and postings, brother. They usually resonate and never irritate.
"James" said…
I find great enjoyment in studying the different religions too and believe that we can learn from them all.

We are fighting the good fight my friend. I know that I'm not always making the right decisions. However, i'm committed to not giving up on myself and have faith in the Self.
Who was it that said, "who you are speaks so loud I cannot hear what you are saying"

Peace
Mark
{illyria} said…
happy new year's, hon. more insight to all of us this 2007.
Don Iannone said…
Wonderful thoughts. Thanks for sharing your wisdom with us all.
Tim said…
Rubik - the blog is always brighter when you stop by :>)
zeteticus - I hear you. I do have an interest in reform freemasonry in an effort to help it regain some of its earlier mystery, but that may be just a fleeting thought.
Kathy - continue to feed your spiritual side. You are what you eat!
Hotei - Thanks Bro'
James & Mark...my two brothers from the great state of Colorado!!! Namste....
illyria!!!! My gal pal from across the great water...hope to speak with you soon.
Don- you wonderful poet and master of inspiration!