Religious Beginnings

Hi, I’m David, and in this, and following posts, some of our forgotten religious and scientific heritage will be shared. I’ve gone deeper into our heritage than most, because my mom ran away with my sisters and me when I was a child, and indoctrinated us in a fundamentalist Catholic cult. The hypocrisies I witnessed left many questions, and started a multi-decade quest for understanding.

My formative years

Some aspects of our ancestor’s religious endeavors are illuminated which have been forgotten for two thousand years, or more. Just as they helped me cope with my situation, and grow beyond some painful limiting beliefs, they may help you view our religious heritage more clearly, and see things from a new perspective. My hope is these discoveries help broaden our ideas, and lead to a more inclusive and tolerant world.

When Mom drove us four hours from our childhood home, she did not tell Dad where she was taking us. Many years passed before I could understand how strained their relationship had become, but almost no time passed before I understood things had changed. After a quick greeting by the nuns and girls at the boarding house, everyone knelt and prayed for what seemed like eternity. And then bed.

Mom started sneaking prayers with us a few months earlier, after school before Dad got home. At the boarding house we prayed morning, noon, and night. Later, when they entered me in their schools, even the bus rides were filled with them. During those trips we were also told to look at the floor, to keep from being tainted by the sight of any outside non-believing sinners.

Dad tracked us down shortly afterwards, and tried to make the relationship work, but the cult interfered. They chaperoned his visits, and insisted that he accept all their beliefs so he could marry mom in the church, since they didn’t consider the previous marriage valid. He attempted to, but found several contradictions in their teachings they couldn’t reconcile.

One morning a priest met me and two of my sisters as we got off the bus to go to school. They herded us into a parishioner’s car and took us to a farm outside town, where Mom and my other sister had already arrived. We were being hidden from Dad once again; tensions had gotten so high that he was no longer a ‘good person.’

Dad turned into ‘Satan’s Son’ a couple weeks later, when he found us one more time. That is how I remember his sleuthing power being explained, and since Mom and Grandma both said it with conviction, I was young, and I was impressionable, I believed them, as did my sisters.

This thought became the greatest cornerstone for change in my life.

For some unknown reason, the cult moved us back to the original boarding house when Dad found us. (Possibly because they really figured he was in cahoots with Satan, so failure would be the result of any action other than prayer.) Several weeks later our place was surrounded by cops, and Dad got us from them.

Years of drama followed.

Grandma’s prayer farm

At the beginning my parents were allowed to live as ‘brother and sister’ by the church, so Mom could be with us. But their relationship continued to degrade, largely because Mom considered my father to be related to the devil, and she and Grandma gave us religious paraphernalia to hide around him, to ‘convert’ him. Of course he found those items, and wasn’t happy.

Eventually he filed for divorce, and obtained one, after a lot more drama I won’t go into here.

During that time Dad forced us to broaden our perspectives, even if only slightly. We went to some Protestant and Baptist services. I was unwilling, until Dad’s ear twist brought tears, and changed my mind!

Slowly, my thinking shifted. I did not convert to a new religion, but I did begin to know Dad was not the evil being I had been taught. He didn’t perform pagan rituals, nor did a smoky apparition of his supposed ‘father’ ever float about him. More importantly, in spite of his sometimes forceful nature, I began to know his good and caring sides.

As that caring became more apparent, I started questioning my aversion of him, and finally began changing my beliefs and accepting him. After much more than a year I started to wonder, “If the church was so wrong about Dad, what else were they wrong about?”

Eventually, I forced myself to tell Grandma I wasn’t going to be her little priest any more. I have never done anything more difficult. No religion appealed to me at that point, although I did believe Something was responsible for creating the awesomeness of reality. ‘Something’ just couldn’t be defined in the terms the priests used – they had all shown a lack of comprehension.

The stumbling block was every preacher said a ‘Perfect’ God wanted us to accept teachings only they knew, and other people must be converted. This reminded me too much of my relationship with Dad. I only began making sense of things when I stopped trying to convert him, and started to understand him. That is when I gained a little happiness, and became more secure in myself.

I started calling myself ‘spiritual, not religious,’ and began building my life. Engineering became my major, in order to understand reality from a different perspective, and find out if I could make deeper sense of the God concept from that viewpoint.

And then I worked, and started to see how our plethora of conflicting beliefs cause a lot of chaos in the business world.

Slowly, I forgot about my quest to understand ‘God.’

Then, one day in about 1994, I went to the library for a book – I don’t remember which one. I do recall perusing the shelves for fun, and ending up in the mythology section. A thick tome seemed to beckon me, and upon reading, I was hooked.

Thumbing through the pages, I came across reference after reference to connections between some early myths and astronomic events – or what appeared to be connections between some early myths and astronomic events! For over thirty minutes I stood there, flipping through pages, soaking up the information until my hands began to numb. Then the circulation desk rescued me, and the secrets of the universe poured into my head for the next three weeks!

Well, not quite. I spent about four more hours with that book, and they became progressively more frustrating. The writing was terrible– skipping from topic to topic without closure. Never making the connections between subjects understandable, nor the author’s point clear. And, worst of all – although I didn’t know it at the time – they proposed a hypothesis which didn’t make sense in light of the historical relics we possessed when the authors wrote it.

That known history, and some of our more far-fetched efforts to explain it, will be the topic of the next post, because those authors were far from the first to make such a mistake, and it took almost twenty years to get to the bottom of the puzzle they opened up.

The result is a far greater understanding of our history, and I look forward to sharing some of it with you in the next post! See you in a day or two!