A personal story of my spiritual journey.
Does God exist? This is a question that has plagued me my entire life, but in my years of searching, I have come to recognize that the answer to this question does not lie in books, other people's beliefs or religion. These things can lead you to an answer sometimes, but God is an experience.
I began my spiritual path raised as a Catholic. After 19 years of
church Sundays, religion classes and studying the Bible, I no longer wanted to hear about God, Jesus or the Holy Spirit. I wasn't necessarily Athiest, because that was illogical to me and depressing, but I did need a break from the Bible and the Catholic view of God. I was angry, because what I was taught had contradictions, and God couldn't be that stupid to constantly contradict himself. Or herself. Of whatever the case may be. I spent 2 years from age 19-21 blocking all of that out, God, Jesus and Holy Spirit, so I could figure out what I believed, not what I was told to believe. Its like when you are trying to think of the name of a song, and you have to shut the radio off, because the song that is currently playing is distracting you from remembering.
I was 21 and living in a small apartment in New York City at the time, in a room that was half of a kitchen with a bed, dresser and plenty of roaches, but such is affordable living in New York! I was reading an Elvis biography, a book by Larry Geller about Elvis' little known spiritual life and quest. Elvis was studying a lot of metaphysical material until, according to the book, Priscilla made him burn all his books, because he spent too much time reading them and not enough time with her. Anyway, in this book, Mr. Geller mentioned Elvis' favorite quote from the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13 "Love is patient, love is kind..." After being away from the church for a period of time, I heard these lines in a very different way this time. I could feel them. As I read those words, I had an incredible spiritual awakening and experience of God. I could feel light coming down around me and covering me. I felt an incredible sense of joy, peace and LOVE fill me. It wasn't personal love I felt. It wasn't the immature "I love only you and not these other people." It was an all-encompassing higher love for all. It was then, in that moment that I knew God existed. There were no words to explain it to me. I just knew that GOD IS. And the feelings I felt were an experience of his true nature. It wasn't a male presence or female (I use "He" in this article for ease of writing) but a wonderment and ecstasy. I knew that anything that didn't ignite that feeling of true real love in me was not God, but a man-made description of God having a character, a body, a human personality and the like. I didn't need anyone to tell me none of that was true, but I was still brainwashed with old thought forms/teachings that would continue to haunt me until I discarded them from my conscious brain and replaced them with truth.
Hence began an intense spiritual search for answers. I was now open to hearing about God. I spent the next 15 years researching where the Bible came from, what parts were changed and when, were cut out and/or found in other books etc. so I could decipher which parts were true, and which parts were just made up mumbo jumbo. Since the general public could not read until the 1700's!!!, they believed whatever they were told by the Church. In perusing the history of the Bible, and the frequent convening of Church officials and Bishops to change the Bible message and Church beliefs, I found I just couldn't trust a document that had been altered so often and for so long. A grade school teacher had instilled in me the importance of words and their meanings. She said, "If the police were looking for a criminal in a red car with no hubcaps, would it make a difference if you said to the police officer 'I saw the car.' or 'I saw a car.' Two very small words of "a" and "the" can change the whole meaning. My lack of trust in the Bible increased when I was helping my mother clear out her books. She was throwing out a Bible printed in 1967 bc it wasn't the REAL Bible. The New American Catholic edition was the REAL Bible, having been printed in 1994. I glanced at both of them looking for differences. In Genesis, the older version says gods made the earth. The newer version said God singular. (...Hmmm could gods have meant aliens, us thinking we're gods, a misprint???...). The only way for me to recognize which snippets in the Bible contained truth, was by the way they made me feel when I read them, and the rest was just the jumbled mess of interference, deletions, misinterpretations and changes made by the Church. (who is still changing and reinterpreting the Bible,by the way.) If it made me feel bad, confused, or contradicted with something else, I threw it out of my head. Pieces of what Jesus said in the New Testament made sense, and others I could feel were made up, as I sensed his entire message was most likely misunderstood. I didn't totally reject the Bible, though, and I still felt a kinship with Jesus.
At the same time, I began reading about reincarnation, since John the Baptist was the reincarnation of the prophet Elijah (here the Bible supports reincarnation and prophecy/fortune-telling) I experienced a few past life regressions. When I looked up what I had seen in my regressions, and they proved to be true, I could no longer deny the existence of it. Nor could I deny that reincarnation was continuing to happen, with my psychic senses picking up on it as well, while doing readings for others and seeing their past lives revealed to me. I KNEW what I was seeing, and I had to piece it together somehow into an overall picture that made sense. Reincarnation was not what I was taught in religion class, that's for sure. Past lives were going on, I was having it proven to me over and over, so I chose to believe, because it made logical sense, and it felt correct on a deep level, but I also knew reincarnation was a temporary condition, not the be-all-end-all, but rather designed to lead to something else much more important.
My experiences with past-life information, led me to study Buddhism for a time, and I liked the detachment practices that helped my pull away from the pains in this world. Parts of Buddhism helped me let go of things which didn't give me that sense of peace and love I had that day in my apartment in New York. I began throwing out worldly possessions to release their hold on me. After a time, this didn't work for me, as I found myself without things I needed, and Buddhism was missing a HUGE fundamental element...God. I didn't think God wanted any of us to give up anything we needed. What would be the point? I believed Buddha achieved a state of enlightenment, where he realized he was not of this body, but I didn't really know if he had broken free of the need to reincarnate, returning to God at the end of that life. So I kept on with other studies I was into as well, and left Buddhism behind, which was a beautiful religion, but not enough for me.
During all of this I also studied Pagan beliefs, which were the origin of a lot of Christian holidays and a lot of the Catholic rituals. I loved their connections to nature. I sensed my own pagan past lives. The pagans I was around wanted me to believe that Jesus didn't exist. He was made up as a replacement for their gods, when Christianity was declared the official religion, and the Church's holidays were celebrated around pagan holidays to get pagans on board with Jesus. They had already gotten a lot of Gentiles with the program, by writing/creating the New Testament stories to reflect/prove the old Jewish scriptures of a coming Messiah. Several hundred years later, they wanted pagans to stop their forms of worship and conform as well. So Jesus' life events mirror almost exactly the events of the life of Bacchus/Dionysus and other gods, with a virgin mother, born on Dec. 25 etc. BUT, this does not mean that Jesus wasn't an actual historic figure, like they wanted me to believe. I knew deep within me that he had existed, and Pagans or Atheists were not going to get me to believe otherwise. (But I still didn't want much to do with Jesus in my spiritual life...other than still being interested in attempting to prove that he actually existed. I liked him, after all.). Pagan literature also wanted me to believe the Holy Spirit does not exist. According to them, it was what the Christians made up to replace the existence of the feminine side of God. The Holy Mother got deleted from their patriarchal control of the masses. I didn't sense that God was a product of opposites like this world of male and female. (When new agers used to pray to the Mother/Father God, it seemed strange to me). I felt a oneness about God that didn't have separations or distinctions, but I took this Holy-Spirit-disguising-the Mother-God-principle belief on anyway, because I hadn't come across a better explanation for the Holy Spirit. Was it the Holy Spirit that descended on me that day in New York, giving me a sense of God? I was seeing so much through my psychic abilities on top of all of this, so I needed to put the puzzle together and find the truth. Paganism also had some really nasty origins, and my pagan friends were practicing spell work, which gave me some first-hand experience on black magic (being a recipient and watching others suffer). I kept searching. It
was only until very recently, 20 years after my NY experience that I did find answers. I can now say I found the truth (even after being taught by many new age philosophies that you can never find the truth, and to believe you have found it shows your ignorance, lack of spiritual evolvement and ego). But truth I did
find. I think if it wasn't there to discover, I wouldn't have been driven to search. Jesus wouldn't have asked us to seek. For me, in my spiritual practice, (which is daily living for me), the Holy Spirit is real. Jesus was a real person like you and me, who accomplished the extraordinary...the ultimate goal of exiting the cycle of reincarnation and returning to God. Jesus is here to help me do the same. And God is real. God is. And because "God Is", one does not have to believe or even know of His existence to be part of His oneness. One just has to find Love. It is always a free will choice. He does not side with anything. To side with something
would make it impossible for Him to be omnipresent. It would be impossible to say "God Is" and still have the total truth in just those two words. I can't give you an experience of God, I can only share my own. Many
blessings to all on your own journey to your truth, whatever and wherever that may lead you in this life. And Elvis, "thank you, thank you very much."
Question: What about you? Where have your feet tread along the path of your spiritual journey? What are your experiences of God? Did any of my story resonate with you?