What I Learned from Being a Fake Philosopher: The Teenage Years Continued

This post is a continuation of the post The Journey of a Christian Agnostic Theist: The Teenage Years

Now as many of you would know, when I first showed up in this country of Australia, I wasn’t necessarily a popular person. That was probably the main catalyst behind what I lovingly call:

My Really Fake Philosophy Days

I was angry at the world and angry at everyone. For some reason I don’t quite understand to this day, I took all that anger and channeled it into trying to disprove the existence and authority of Christianity and the Christian faith.

Cue the Internet

And so I got online and started searching for any way to disprove the existence of Christianity. In addition to that, yet again for reasons I don’t quite understand, I got quite mesmerized by Eastern philosophy.

And so I began to study, especially meditation and yoga, and the wonderful effects they had had in riding people of all sorts of mental and physical ailments. And just because I was a super spiritual person, all this was somehow mixed in with porn.

And so my quiet moments away from the world would be spent watching a documentary on Confucianism, reading a website that nit-picked at every little contradiction and misspelling in the “good book”, and finding it how many licks……..another sordid tale, another sordid time.

When I Did Meet People

I became, and to some extent still am, that really obnoxious person who kept pointing out the truth that we all know but don’t like to be constantly reminded of:

All ways of life, schools of thoughts, paths and directions are flawed and incomplete.

Unfortunately though, I wasn’t comfortable with this ambiguity, I was just angry, very very angry and kept trying to attack any ideas that I could find a flaw in. Like I will never forget when I first heard a sermon on providence.

Are You Saying It’s all Predetermined?

The wonderful thing about her preaching style was that she was raw and she was open. If she forgot her thought, she would tell you, not really care and move on. If something angered her, she channeled the Incredible Hulk and went for it.

I think this was the first time I ever saw her preach. And she preached on providence. Now in truth I loved her sermon, I loved her style, but the fake philosopher wasn’t having that message.

And so I got an envelope, got a piece of paper, and across two pages managed to stretch out one basic idea:

If there indeed is providence. Then what’s the point of my doing anything. Isn’t it all predetermined anyway?

Robin Hood Story

I don’t remember who told me this story or even if it’s true. But apparently in one of the tales of Robin Hood, there was a time he was in the dungeon with other people waiting to be executed.

Everyone in the dungeon was going absolutely ballistic. But Robin Hood was as cool as a cucumber in a North Pole ice party. When his coolness was challenged, his response was simple:

What will happen, will happen. The course is already in motion. No use worrying about it now.

And that’s how I saw providence, albeit through much angrier eyes, as I wrote that letter.

The Response

Was totally, unequivocally nothing. I left the letter at the church reception to be sent to her and that was the last I ever saw or heard of my letter. Not a very good start in my philosophy career.

The Meditation Quick Fix

As I said before, I was obsessed with studying yoga, meditation and Eastern philosophy. In truth, I didn’t really care too much about understanding or following my Tao, or living by the principles of Confuscious, or achieving the enlightenment of the Buddha, I wanted a quick fix cure for my mental anguish and I thought meditation would be the cure.

I remember the first time I ever experimented with meditation:

Constipate Your Way to Enlightenment?

I went to the book shop and got this tiny booklet that explained step by step how to meditate and achieve inner peace.

1) Find a quiet place (there was background noise from the family TV in my room but I didn’t think this mattered too much)

2) Sit in a comfortable position ( I lay down on my bed)

3) Quiet your mind ( OK, Mwangi…….quiet your mind. Be still, stop thinking Mwangi. Stop thinking, QUIET your mind for Pete’s sake, stop thinking, AAAGGGHHHHH, BE EMPTY ALL READY)

4) If you are having problems quieting your mind ( phew a section for hyper-kinetic stimulus junkies like me) then simply focus on your thoughts and detach yourself from them until you achieve a state of peace. This may take time – “I don’t like that!” ( Alright Mwangi, focus on your thoughts, hmmm should I focus on the good ones or the bad ones, JUST focus, and then what, what do I do when there’s this empty vacuum and nothing to fill it? hmmm, still your mind, still your mind, STILL YOUR……Oh forget it, what’s on the porn tube)

Second Time was Never the Lucky Time Was It

The second time, I went and got not just a meditation book, but a book on ESP: Extra Sensory Perception.

Apparently there were some people who were able to bend the rules of reality and physics and bend spoons with their brains (I might have been a detached philosopher but I wasn’t above such superficial validation of such cool tricks) and move mountains all with the gray matter combined with the endless energy inside of me.

To be honest, I don’t even remember how I failed at this one. All I remember is one day, ESP was all I could think about, the next day ESP was nothing but a pile of……………………………..

Kinda Like Saul Before He Became Paul

Back to my Christian bashing era: I was hell bent on disproving Christianity and I found a cyber idol in some aethist from the States. I don’t remember much about the man, but I do remember that he said that simply because God didn’t exist that shouldn’t stop us from being moral beings who did fun things like spending time with family and tennis.

For that reason let’s call him Mr. Aethist Tennis (AT) and his site the AT site.

The AT site had listed every problem with the good book you could imagine. Where verses and ideas clearly contradicted each other:

Faith without actions is dead vs No one comes to the father by me vs All you need is the faith of a mushroom seed vs the wages of sin are death = How the heck do I achieve salvation and eternal life?

It listed times when family trees didn’t quite add up. And according to Mr. AT the Catholic church had a book full of biblical difficulties, which I have yet to read to this day.

So Am Sure After Reading this Convoluted Tale You are Wondering What the Heck I Learned

What’s interesting is that, it was in the midst of all this that I was blessed with the most wonderful gift: I stepped on stage for the first time, acted and actually moved people.

It’s amazing how in an 80/20 analysis, the simple acts of moving a crowd of people on a stage and having them admire and respect me afterwards cleared all my philosophical raging and bitching.

As cliche as it sounds, all I ever wanted was to be needed, wanted and cared for. And I think that’s probably the main thing that I picked up: as long as we people are unconditionally loved and cared for by at least SOMEBODY, a lot of things that would be problems just melt away.

I also learned that I really didn’t hate the Christian faith. After all, I still ended up going to church on a semi-regular basis and still do to this day. All my life I could still say that the most wonderful people I have ever met were all Christian people and that has never changed to this day. So sometimes what we are talking about and what we really need and want are really 2 entirely different things.

Thirdly, as I stated before, I learned that every way of life, including the Christian path was flawed. If it weren’t 1500 denominations would not exist, not to mention the many cults that use the good book as their guide, Da Vinci code wouldn’t have resonated as much as it did and we would all follow the same path.

Whereas I have no doubt that there is probably something deep at the core of all of us that connects us all and brings us closer to God, I personally think that fully understanding it is above the human experience. I also learned that there were probably some things I just wouldn’t know.

Finally, I learned that, even though I never ever truly know my perfect purpose and reason for being here, I am here. I have been loved and cared for and taken a chance on, even at my most wretched and my most wicked. I best make us of this life I have and make sure that somehow someday I repay the favour and love and care for folks who wouldn’t have gone very far otherwise.

I hope that kinda explains just a little bit more why I am particularly fond of the catchphrase:

Be blessed and bless others,

Mwangi

No Comments

  • By daddy diablo, July 24, 2008 @ 6:37 pm

    Been through a similar path. Conclusion….i’m a pawn in God’s chess game…must be kinda boring for Him knowing that he wins anyway…but if He’s narcissistic enough, then maybe not. For me, plod through A1 to A2 to A3 as i wait to devour or be devoured….maybe i’ll make queen (that’s a laugh!!!)

  • By Mwangi, July 24, 2008 @ 7:03 pm

    @daddy diablo: Lol! Clearly, you and God do not have the most harmonious of relationships, huh?

  • By Pink M, July 24, 2008 @ 7:20 pm

    “And just because I was a super spiritual person, all this was somehow mixed in with porn.” LOL I love your honesty.

    Quite a spiritual journey that was, but I’m glad that at the end of it you found peace. Teenage is hard enough without a religious crisis already.

    I do Yoga once in a while, but I’ve never managed to empty my thoughts etc, I use yoga time to think things through actually :) For me, I have never doubted Christianity (with all it’s flaws), though I have had issues as you’re aware.

    Your teenage years were remarkable my friend!

  • By Mwangi, July 24, 2008 @ 7:39 pm

    @Pink M: This blog wouldn’t have been blessed the way it was if I didn’t at least share some of my more, shall we say unsavory sides.
    Yeah, I am pretty glad it had a positive conclusion, some of the things I used to think about and imagine as a teen were pretty dark and self-destructive but fortunately I have always had this compass guiding me towards the light.
    Oh yes, yoga, if I continue with the series I will touch on my experiences with yoga. Now the mistake I made the first time I showed up in Yoga class is I rode my bike there and never stretched. Mid way through as I was lying there face down, muscle puuuuuuulllll and there I lay missionary against the floor for like 10 minutes as the instructor tried to help me to my feet. It didn’t empty my mind at all, it felt more like an intense workout that beginer class.

  • By Gal africana, July 25, 2008 @ 4:59 am

    *revised to fit into Gals rhetoric when she tried to still HER mind during her early yoga days*

    “Quiet you silly mind, Ok Gal, you REALLY SERIOUSLY need to STOP thinking…….. Be still, stop thinking. But duuuude what will I think of if I stop thinking? Just stop thinking *peeking at the other folks, wondering what the HELL they are thinking of, hmmm I’m going numb in my legs, how can THEY sit cross legged for so long?…oh drat I shouldn’t be thinking, am I thinking? What does it feel like not to think? I’m pretty sure everyone else is pretending *chuckle* they’re prolly all are thinking harder than I am lol oh bollocks at LEAST I’m only thinking about thinking LMAO…, I had better get flexible seeing as the mind stuff is not working for me..oh no! NO thinking…or no thinking about anything but thinking…bugger I GIVE UP!”

    Hahaha…not an easy feat dude!

  • By Mwangi, July 25, 2008 @ 1:26 pm

    @gal: Your legs went numb too? They don’t talk about that in the Karate kid, why don’t they talk about how uncomfortable these positions are for some of us who have grown up being used to comfort.
    Yeah, I would love to meet these folks who can empty their minds. Heck, even my grandparents who can sit and just appreciate something for an entire day or hours on end fascinate me. Anybody who isn’t addicted to the go go go go, I just flat out admire, I am knee deep into the stimulus junkie lifestyle.

  • By Gal africana, July 25, 2008 @ 7:19 pm

    “Yeah, I would love to meet these folks who can empty their minds.”

    You are one of those folks. Try this…

    Sit still wherever you are, doesn’t matter where, close your eyes, pay attention to your breath…pay attention to how your abdomen expands and contracts, pay attention to the air as it flows in and out, follow the air as it goes in and out….just that. If a thought comes up, let it be…ask “I wonder what the next thought will be?” and then listen….

  • By Mwangi, July 25, 2008 @ 10:05 pm

    @gal: That curiosity as to the next thought appears way more reasonable than my old approah of QUIET YOUR MIND. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but me thinks it not only keeps humans alive but helps quiet their minds :D

  • By Gal africana, July 26, 2008 @ 1:43 am

    I cant tell from your answer whether you tried it or not…thats just the first step though. If you cant shut off your thoughts then they very well may be in control…food for thought ;-)

  • By Mwangi, July 26, 2008 @ 9:53 am

    @gal africana: I definitely haven’t tried that, I am yet to throw away my stimulus junkie ways. Aaah you know me so well, that was the perfect angle to use to motivate a person who values control like I do. Anyway as I said in 8 things I want to do before I die, I really want to learn how to control the flow of my thoughts.

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