I don't know why this happened, but this weekend i've felt I want to go to church.
Like actually sit through an entire service for just one time.
To delve deeper, its been almost 5 years since i've been to church, and by saying "been to church" I mean actually sitting through a service/sermon.
I've of course been inside of a church once in the last 5 years, to do a photography shoot, which was the most fun i've had in a while. I really grasped the meaning and power of photography and what religion is.
To go into my religious views, is opening a can of worms that can potentially hurt me and others. Of course i'm rather open about my views and my religious standpoint, so I'll state it now.
I follow and practice the teachings of Buddhism. Of course a lot of the views are very hard to keep up with because we are all guilty of performing them. But hey, we're only human right?
But my views are very "mixed" with different aspects and ideals from other religions, because i've grown up in many different religious households.
Mainly being, Christian/catholic. I also lived with family that was Lutheran.
Of course my religious views have changed over the last 19 years. Going from Christian to Catholicism, then to Luthernism, moving onto being agnostic, then dabbling in wiccan, and finally falling smack dab into Buddhism.
To really explain how that hot mess of a mixture of views came about, I'll explain.
I was born and raised in a Christian family, my mother being agnostic, my father Roman catholic, and his family mainly a mix of Christian and catholic. For about 15 years I was raised on the value of going to church each Sunday morning, and if we missed that service, we'd go on Monday. Now, being young I didn't fully grasp what the meaning of it all was, it was just a place we went. I knew a lot of the prayers and hymns pretty well, and liked the way the words were wrote. It was poetry to my young mind.
Of course, I was raised in that environment, so it was just habit. I never did prayers before bed, only when I really wanted something good, kinda like wishing on that shooting star ideal.
Childrens views always make me giggle knowing we have all done so.
But I was raised in that environment, and enjoyed it I guess. Of course being around 10 I noticed I started looking at boys very "funny". And hearing a lot from the grownups/adults, having such thoughts were very bad and not good for me. Of course I kept my mouth shut.
15 years I lived that life, and never understood it. It still feels odd to look back, and judge how I was, and how people act now in religion.
Why should we allow religion to standardize us as people, and make our personal views be based off a philosophy that has been around for ages and has been manipulated and torn apart multiple times and re assembled back to make it more "modern".
Now i'm starting to open a can of worms. Oh well. I think I can, seeing how this is my blog? Right?
Oh fucking well. Suck it. :)
Back to my story.
After being raised in a Christian home/environment, I was moved with other family members (my father abandoned me and my brothers and we got seperated to live with other family members). They were not Christian. They were Lutheran.
Now l personally didn't grasp the religion at all, cause it seemed the same, so I just blew it off. They put us in catacism (sic) classes, which was even more weird, because it was like a recap on the creation, etc. So whatever. I also "cheated" on our quizes our pastor have us. We had to learn verses, so I wrote the first letter of each word down and memorized the words and placed a word to a single letter.
Kinda a sneaky way to do it. Improved my memorization skills magically.
But I never fully grasped or delved into their religious views.
After we moved to Alaska in June of 2004, making it almost 5 years now, I was basically given the choice of freedom of choice.
Let me attempt to explain. I came here expecting my mother to be religious, and everything to be just like back home in Wisconsin. Boy was I wrong.
The atmosphere and ideals of this town was a total culture shock to me. It was weird adjusting to such new things. I of course was stil very involved with going to church, and asked my mom if I could get a ride to church and if there were churches here.
Of course I dropped that quickly. I suddenly felt free when I came to Alaska, as if though I wasn't being pressured and being upheld to responsibilities of maintaining my religious views established by my family. I was able to destroy myself and rebuild into a person, instead of being a force fed specimen that was told what to do, and did what I was told.
Of course I started to really collect myself together on what I believed, and what really made me think of how we are here.
I fully understood after a while. There isn't a god. But something obviously out there that has powers over what we do, etc.
Not male or female, just a being. Or a force. Something there but really not.
I of course at the same time was intrigued by the views of witchcraft and wiccan. So I dabbled in that, and really enjoyed the views. Its not black magic also. Its just embracing who you are and respecting nature and yourself.
Oh and I just realized. I also studied satanicism ...err I think it's called satanism? Fuck it. I owned the Satanic Bible. Yes. :) call me a hypocrite, or a blasphemer. I'm young and still wanting to learn the world.
But back to my new found open ideals. I was basically handed the opportunity. Take it or leave it.
So I took it. I needed it. I was done being fed things that I personally thought to be "false" and "made up". How so? Because I always wondered. Who wrote the bible? Yeah yeah yeah. I know "supposedly" multiple people wrote it or something, but seriously. Its just a book. A fucking stack of papers bound together with string and hard covers.
Whatever. It just seemed like I was being fed information that wasn't relative to what I personally viewed as my world.
After being able to respect myself and learn about who I am, I felt that knowing something was out there but isn't primarily a masculine ideal.
Now this makes me laugh also, I wrote a poem/interactive art piece for a first Friday even back in 07 that I attempted to use at a christian homeless shelter. The kicker? I stayed clearly and bluntly that "god is not a man. For he is a she. Yes...god is a woman"
Now, that got me in a pickle, I had to cut the piece, and it made me mad, but of course I had to be conservative about their establishments views and morals.
But back now, I finally was able to cope with myself and feel expressive. It also helped me realize being gay isn't a bad thing, its actually the most liberating thing. It makes you respect who you are and what you are doing.
Now, I found the religion of Buddhism while on my stay at the same organization that I almost preached god was a woman. Shit you not. Its fucking hilarious.
But one of the staff workers knew about Buddhism, and listened to my life views and told me about Buddhism, and said that it fits me more than anything.
So he lent me a book, which I still have somewhere, in which its a different type of Buddhism, its based on 5 precepts.
Now these are hard to follow of course, but i've done my best.
Okay, now back to now. I think that's a reasonable amount of my religious views and history
But the reason i'm posting this is cause lately I feel like i'm still raging a war against my religious views. Like I said earlier, i've been wanting to go to church. No reason as to why I want to, I just feel I want to see what I used to do as a child, and see how much my views have changed to really respect the views of another man/woman.
Ugh. I just feel like i'm battling myself, and that my choice of religious views is of course correct, but also at the same time I feel lost in my own views. Like they are to much for me at times, and I just want to collapse and give everything up and just say fuck it.
Religon is not my strongpoint, and neither are politics, but my views are very diverse and rather entensive. Its hard to explain them fully, because I even get confused by my own views and feel like i've lost myself.
I just feel I want to escape. I don't know why I feel like i'm having a war either. But it's an uneasy medium of good and bad i'm feeling. I try to understand it, yet am afraid to try to understand fully.
Of course it also allows me to open myself up and allow others to poke and prod at my insides. See what makes me tick I guess.
Well i'm off. Need to sleep.
-Dr. Jared Michael
Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone