Opening your mind

Opening one’s mind is a life long experience. I’m not talking about opening your mind to drugs and all that stereotypical crap. I’m talking about daring to accept or be open to the customs or practices of things that you have known. For example, I was born a Mormon. I was Mormon until about the age of 10 or so. My parents got divorced and I failed to see the purpose of going to church since my mother and both my sister weren’t going anymore either. Besides I wasn’t hip on the beliefs of Mormonism anyway. For several years after, I was extremely confused about my belief in religion, God, and everything related. I finally came to the realization that the single set of beliefs I was raised to understand were just one of many out there.

 Mormonism fits into the category of Christianity. At one point I thought that anything within the title of Christianity was okay, but anything outside of that was kinda messed up. Recently I have come to the conclusion that there were belief structures out there that were just a "true" as Christianity.

 One day I was sitting in my Astronomy class and my teacher used the word "Pantheist" and he vaguely described what it meant in context to what he was saying. The word struck a tune with me and I wanted to find out more about it. I went home and looked up the word. The exact definition of the word Pantheist from the Marriam-Webster dictionary is,

"Main Entry: pan·the·ism
Pronunciation: 'pan(t)-thE-"i-z&m
Function: noun
Etymology: French panthéisme, from panthéiste pantheist, from English pantheist, from pan- + Greek theos God
Date: 1732
1 : a doctrine that equates God with the forces and laws of the universe
2 : the worship of all gods of different creeds, cults, or peoples indifferently; also : toleration of worship of all gods (as at certain periods of the Roman empire)

  • pan·the·ist /-thE-ist/ noun"

I think that word describes my philosophy the best. I believe that God is something that can’t be categorized or be confined to single definition, and in thinking that I can’t say that one religion best describes God.

 A friend of mine once told me his idea of religion in relation to God. The basic concept was that God was  bright shining white light and religions are that light passing through a prism coming out as different colors. However all of those colors are from the same light. It's a just a different was of looking at something that is pretty much the same.

 In my pursuit of knowledge and an understanding of what I believe, I have opened my mind to many practices and religions. I researched everything from Buddhism to Wicca. I like to use bits and pieces of everything I have learned to enrich my life and help others. When I take those bits and pieces from all those beliefs, I finally get a sense of who I am and what I believe.

I want to know who out there thinks the same way I do. I want to know how you came to your own realization and I want to know whether or not you are happier for it. I want to know what you think of people who limit themselves to a certain belief and can't accept the fact that there are others out there that are just as correct. Tell me what you all have to say I am dying to know.



well lets see, where do i start
i’ve been a long time episcopalian christian. it’s basically catholicism where the priests can marry. I dont see any one religion that i completely and utterly without a doubt agree with but this is the one i agree the most with. I see many parts of Taoism i agree with, and i see a centralized theme throughout all religions. that there is a major oversee-er over everyone and you have to be in good with him before you pass on to some final resting place of great utopian. many religions talk about a great flood (including, christianity, cherokee indian religions, etc. etc. ) and many religions have many many common themes throughout them. I do not sense that any one religion can be all encompasing and correctly hold all knowledge. Devout christians will argue that the bible has no mis-truths in it. however, it was only influenced by “God” on the thoughts of the writers and it is still human creation with human error. The chapter of Genesis is even said to be written to have converted an african tribe many years ago because it was so in tune with what they believed. I cannot write about many religions other than christianity, taoism, and a few others because i haven’t done a lot of research on them but one thing i know is that no one is entirely correct. and you must be open-minded in this world if you want to feel like you have any clue what really happened.

My parents were both natural nonbelievers, but when I was four or five years old, a nice neighbor lady offered to take me to Sunday School (my grandparents, whom we visited nearly every summer, were devout Baptists), and I was saved as a Christian, at age nine, in the First Baptist Church of Port Arthur, Texas. An old deacon put his hand on my head, and I had a strong impression of white light, an electrical transfer from his hand to my head. So I have a lot of respect for the idea of blessings and whatnot; that energy can be transferred from body to body in special (or quite ordinary, but ignored) ways.

It always struck me as odd that the main way we were supposed to express our Christianity was by cornering other people and trying to talk them into being Christians. I never wanted to do that, though I couldn’t have explained why not, and at 15 years old, since I didn’t have to please anyone by going, I stopped going to church, and a couple of years later started reading about other, particularly Eastern, religions, prompted by a book called The Private Sea: LSD and the Search for God, which discussed mystical experience in the light of the psychedelic exploration of the time- it was about 1967.

I loved reading about Zen and Taoism- the Tao Te Ching still provides my root philosopy. Later on I read about Sufism, and finally started “following”- in the sense of paying a lot of attention to them- a couple of American gurus, E.J. Gold and Lee Lozowick, who embody for me the best of Sufi, Taoist and other wisdoms. I am amused that Jallaludin Rumi, founder of the Mevlevi order of dervishes (the famous “Whirling Dervishes”) is reportedly now the bestselling poet in the United States. A famous poem of Rumi’s, “Moses and the Shepherd”,gives Mevlevi’s opinion that God does not wish to be worshipped only in one particular way.

Omega007, you’ve been here a while, right? You know how things work around here, you’ve seen the different fora…

So why the heck are you witnessing in GQ?!?!?

If you want to continue this, do it in GD. I’m closing this.