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.
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,