Born Again Christians

August 7, 2008

I had a “one in a lifetime” opportunity (at least one in my lifetime) to talk to a born and raised Born Again Christians few days ago. It was two wonderful young people visiting from Virginia. They were both raised in a very strict, very literal christian way, and they both realized at some point that it’s not quite for them and started searching for a different path. I was very interested in what they had to say. I have often wondered at the thought process that would lead to conclusions, values and ideas so very different from mine. I surround myself with people who basically agree with my model of reality, so I had no chance to find out how the “others” think, until now. We had a very nice conversation, I heard all kinds of stories and as I listened to them I started realizing that the problem (if there is one) doesn’t lie in Christianity or Catholicism. It doesn’t matter what the particular religion is – what matters is what we do with it. It occurred to me that religion can be a guide, a path to God – just like any other spiritual practice. Religion can provide a way and a reflection, religion can help one create a personal relationship to God. I have met some, and heard of some more, Christian monks and priests – wonderful people, incredibly conscious, open-minded and loving. There was not a bit of judgement or dogmatism about them. They did not depend on the religion to provide answers, they did not simply obey the rules – they meditated on them, considered them, allow the rule to develop them and help them grow. Religion is a tool, the question is: what are we going to use it for? To discover our own connection with God, to, ultimately, discover that we are God and there is no other God – or to use it as an excuse to avoid responsibility, as a way to simply follow orders and remain “safe” and “taken care of” with the comfortable knowledge that we are “on the right side”. Things change in the world these days, quite rapidly. I can’t quite put my finger on it but I have a sense that the old rules don’t apply anymore, old ways of life, old structures don’t bring the results that they used to. The system crumbles. I see many people around me whose life falls apart – they don’t seem to have any money anymore, they don’t seem to know what to do with themselves, they seem lost and confused. When I open to this change what occurs to me is that this is the time to take a stand. This is the time to say: this is who I am and this is how I am going to create my life. Depending on a system, on a company, on government, on economy, on religion, to organize my life for me doesn’t seem to work anymore. There doesn’t seem to be anything to be dependent on, nothing that could tell me: do this and that, obey the rules, and I’ll give you a comfortable life. What is there, however, is a space. An open space where one can say: I am creating this. This is who I am, this is how my life is. I have spoken.

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