Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Happy Holidays

Happy holidays everyone. I'm going to take a little break from blogging so that I can focus on all the things needing my attention in my life. I will resume things in early January. I hope that each of you is able to connect with the joy of the season and can carry that joy with you through the coming year. I wish you all the best in all that you do and send you wishes for a joyous and bright New Year.

Peace is always the answer!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My background

A couple of postings ago I mentioned that I’m going to take these messages a bit deeper now that I have the basic groundwork laid out. It occurs to me as part of that process I should share my vision for where this is going and why. When I started the blog I told you why I was doing the blog but not really where I was headed with it. If you’ve been reading along you may have a sense of where I’m going but I feel it’s a point that I need to clarify and even explain. My hope is that as I take the messages deeper, if one rubs you the wrong way because it challenges your belief system you’ll see it as an opportunity to examine your views and beliefs in a slightly different way rather than writing me off. I don’t need you to believe what I believe but rather I offer this information as simply a different way to look at love, life, sex, religion, evolution and what the planetary changes ahead might mean for us.

To help understand my views, beliefs and the purpose of this blog, you need to understand a bit about me and my history. Some of that history is available on my website at www.maleeroticevolution.com/About%20Michael.html but I want to offer you more as a way to help you understand me and my journey better. It is my hope that this understanding will help you connect to the messages more deeply and perhaps even see yourself in my story.

I was born in a small town in Alabama called Arab. In some ways it was an ideal town for a child to grow up in. We had an almost non-existent crime rate, the county was dry so there were no bars or clubs, and the people were friendly and caring. It was/is a typical small town in size and attitude but atypical in other ways. Since Arab is in the heart of the Southern Bible belt, we also had lots of churches mostly of the Baptist, Methodist and Church of Christ variety. On the surface it was a quiet, safe, close knit community but for anyone seeking excitement it was boring.

The town also had one distinct characteristic that set it apart from most every city around it. Only white people lived there. The town has a racist past and when I was growing up in the 60’s a very visible KKK presence. This should also help you get a feel for the churches as well because of the narrow ethnic population of the town. Only white centric, Jesus focused, God fearing churches were in this town. It’s mostly the same way to this day. Attitudes and beliefs in small towns like that take many generations to change especially in a place where no one is really pushing for change.

As a boy I grew up in the Baptist church and quickly learned to hate myself because of my gayness. I struggled so very much with that. When you’re told by the church that the God who created you hates you for what you are there’s not a lot of room for love there. It’s easy to hate yourself when you’re in a place where you’re told that God hates you, the church hates you and the society hates you all for being something that you were born into. Fortunately I had the love of my family and friends otherwise I might have met an early, tragic ending.

I share this with you so that you can understand the environment I was raised in and the belief systems that accompanied it. While I was raised in it, I never really agreed with it mostly out of defense for myself. I knew I wasn’t a bad person simply because I had homosexual desires. I also struggled to believe the stories in the Bible from a real world perspective because they just didn’t add up to me.

In the Christian religious system they believe that the Bible is the written word of God. This belief is key to understanding the power that the Bible holds for them. They believe that there is a powerful superhuman being, God, sitting in Heaven up in the clouds, watching us all, judging our every action and in essence running the show here on Earth. They also believe that there is another superhuman, Satan, sitting in Hell at the center of the Earth presiding over the dead sinners and trying to lure humans into a life of sin. All of your actions during your short time here on Earth are then used at the time of your death to determine the final destination for your soul for the rest of eternity.

That is the core of the belief system as taught by the Christian and many other religions of the world. Within that Christians believe that Jesus was the human-born son of God and some believe that Jesus was/is God. Jesus was born 2000 years ago, lived for approximately 33 years and then was crucified to get rid of all of the sin up to that point and all the future sin for those that believe that he is God. It’s a classic archetypal story of the battle between good and evil with a struggling hero in the middle.

You can take this same ancient story of the struggle between good and evil, change the hero from Jesus to another figure (Moses, Abraham, Mohammed, Zoroaster, etc.) and you’ll have the core of the belief system for that figures followers. The stories connected with each of these individuals then forms the groundwork for the overarching belief system, or dogma, for each of the world’s religions.

The Christian belief system dominated my childhood. Whether I agreed with or believed fully in it or not is incidental. God, Heaven, Jesus, Satan and Hell were entities and/or concepts which transcended the belief system from which they originated and permeated the culture of my small town. As such there was no questioning that there was a God who lives in Heaven, a Devil who lives in Hell, and a man who lived and died 2000 years ago that is the hero between the two.

I’m not saying any of these are right or wrong but rather laying out the belief systems that formed the cultural environment in which I was raised. The church members populated the town, schools and businesses and brought their belief systems with them. As such anything or anyone out of alignment with these belief systems was evil and clearly the work of the Devil. Everything came down to this type of “good vs. evil” judgment.

This was the core of the belief system that I adapted as truth because it was what the wise adults around me were teaching me. Therefore I was taught that any problems I experienced were simply due to my lack of faith. All my sins would be forgiven and I would be guaranteed a place in Heaven if I would simply accept Jesus as my personal savior. Of course if I didn’t then I would spend the rest of eternity in the fiery tormenting pits of hell. As a small boy, given those two options as my only choices, the Jesus path seemed the most palatable.

I share all of this personal information on myself with you so that you have a framework for understanding my past and the beliefs that shaped me as a person. In the information that I have to share with you in future blog entries it will help you to understand my journey since then and the struggles involved based upon this ingrained core belief system. My intention is not to prove that they are right or wrong but rather I hope to offer another interpretation of some of the stories buried in the Bible based upon the historical perspective of the Bible and the church. I hope to help unveil a deeper truth which underlies and transcends those limiting and often hurtful beliefs.

While I work on that I’ll leave you with these questions: What core beliefs do you currently hold regarding spirituality and how do they differ now from those of your childhood?