Losing My Religion (3 of 5)
Posted by Earthianne
Being a proud Scorpio, I can confirm that I, for one, was very curious about life’s secrets and mysteries, and had a strong desire to understand the nature of our existence and to know if there is such a thing as the ultimate truth.
However, for a long time I didn’t dare approach the metaphorical door and venture into the unknown, mysterious world of our existence because of fear, fear induced by my Catholic/ Christian upbringing. The fear of being sent to eternal damnation if one delves into the occult or, at least for me, delve into the mysterious, through countless books and magazines, pre-internet.
Until about two decades ago, when I found myself at a friend’s place in Mascot, Sydney, sitting next to a cabinet full of books on metaphysics. Yes, these physical objects, within my easy reach, beckoned to me and became my passport to delving beyond the physical.
Finally giving in to this long-suppressed interest, out on a limb, I leafed through one. That one small book became the catalyst in my breaking free of fear of the unknown and into the world of mind-expanding, awe-inducing, limitless possibilities.
With nervous excitement, my passion for reading books was rekindled. Moving from one author to the next, I scoured the libraries in Liverpool, North Sydney and Crows Nest.
I gobbled up books based on opinions, assumptions, logic, first-hand experiences or purported-experiences, philosophies and other thoughts, and travelled with various authors of different nationalities at various times through different places, planets, galaxies, universes, realities and dimensions.
One of those travels was right here on Earth and became my reason number:
2. Reading about the mysterious death of Pope John Paul 1 and the subsequent findings of the author into the Pope’s death affected and disturbed me.
David Yallop’s ‘In the Name of God’ is an eye-opening account of the vast network, power and financial clout of this church of 1.16 billion. Most of it is maybe not news to some but, at that time, it was to me.Pope John Paul 1, real name Albino Luciani, by all accounts, was a simple, humble, kind, humorous, intelligent man. Qualities I hold dear. God knows how the tide of history would have turned out if he was allowed by God (or by man?) to continue his role as Pope. The author’s numerous interviews with people who knew and had close contact with the Pope also reveal him to be a pro-poor, incorruptible, down-to-earth man.
This Pope, when once a Patriarch, would rather visit prisons or the sick than attend cocktail parties and receptions. He shunned wealth and extravagance and he, controversially, was open to allowing the use of birth control.
Surrounded by poverty all his life and experiencing it first-hand, he had emphathy for the poor, the difficulty they experience daily in trying to feed mouths they can’t afford to feed. He was suspected to be on the verge of implementing revolutionary changes in the church hierarchy, however, just a month into his papacy, a day before he was due to introduce these courageous changes, he suddenly died.
The author asserts the Pope was poisoned. The Vatican of course denies the allegations and had commissioned another book author to present their versions of events. No autopsy was apparently ever conducted.
The Pope’s untimely demise was very saddening and a great disappointment. I’ve wondered what could have happened if he was able to live long enough to implement his purported radical changes.
David Yallop’s allegations might turn out to be seriously flawed, but who can dispute how seriously powerful and wealthy the Vatican is? To be fair, it’s not only the Catholic church which has accumulated large wealth. Other major Christian denominations, other major religions, and even other relatively new religions are reportedly very wealthy as well.
Why did this event affect my judgment about religion? I had this fairytale idea that religion is beyond politics, that houses of God are beyond corruption. These days, being older, wiser (I hope), more aware, with unprecedented access to a wide array of information (provided we try to discern factual information from the useless information or outright lies), we have a better idea of what goes on in this world.
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However, in trying to get a glimpse of the truths of the various religious beliefs, on which one is right and whose path is the most correct, I dove into more and more books and thought more and more about life and the metaphysical side of things.
One thing that became apparent from all my armchair adventures is that the going isn’t going to be easy. You will get confused… very confused. Just when you think you thought you found the one right path, doubts seep in. And when you’d think you’re finally going somewhere, you see yourself end up being at the same place where you started. You’ll hear conflicting ideas or claims or assertions that contradict what others say.
Only attempt to step into this deep and dark void if you have the mental stamina. For a long time, I was discontented and unsatisfied with the information I was getting. There was a gaping hole I desperately wanted to fill. But I didn’t give up. The more I got confused, the more I tried to know some more. The more I got dissatisfied, the more I tried to search further.
If you are wondering and still searching like I once was, go, search and explore.. You may find what you are seeking, but arm yourself with the sure knowledge that it will get very perplexing and disheartening before things become clear and sure.
That is, if you ever get there. (To be continued…)
As always, your comments are welcome and appreciated.
Next topic: The Heart of the Matter