As I move forward in my training, the one thing I notice more than anything else is that I’m starting to build belief in the process. This belief has changed my outlook on life very dramatically, and it is becoming quite difficult to keep my mouth shut at times.
A little bit of history about me: I was raised in a loosely Christian household. We went to a Methodist church, which is about as loose as you can get and still be a Christian denomination, and God/Jesus were not really talked about as a part of our daily lives. We never talked about religion, we never said grace; I guess other than the fact that we went to church on Sunday, you never would have guessed we had any religious beliefs at all. My dad was the primary reason we went to church. It was something he grew up doing on Sundays, and he figured it would be good for us to be exposed to it. My mom’s side of the family never went to church or spoke about religion that I can remember. My grandmother and grandfather were immigrants, and were very secretive about everything that had to do with their homelands.
A couple of years after my mother died our church got very internally political so we stopped going, and never went back. It made no difference in my belief system at all. I never believed anything they said at church, so I really didn’t have any faith or belief to move away from. It eventually evolved from apathy to atheism, which fit me just fine, and lasted me well into my mid-twenties. In my mid-twenties I decided that I wanted to be a part of something, so I hooked up with the local Catholic church and went through their RCIA program. Why the Catholics? Well, there were a couple of reasons. First, I liked the fact that their services were very respectful and didn’t have people flailing about like the evangelical jackasses do. The other thing that I really like is most of the people were very, very active in practicing what they preached. I know other areas may be different, but in our community the Catholic church parishioners do tons of excellent stuff. Despite my changing beliefs, I still know many of them and respect what they do for people in our area.
Being a part of this group had me doing missionary work inside of our state prison, playing and writing music for services, and volunteering where I was needed on a regular basis. I had a good time, I enjoyed the people, and I liked the work we did. So what was the problem? I didn’t believe any of it. I spoke a good game and I even walked in the path, but inside I knew it was all garbage. Hell, I was even really, really good at apologetics, even if I didn’t agree with them at all. I eventually parted ways with the church and went back to my original mixture of apathy and atheism. It served me well until I had an interesting experience.
I had heard of EVPs for years and had just written them off as rubbish. Then, I had an opportunity to go hunting for EVPs. I decided that if I was going to go, I was going to debunk them. It was my duty as a rational human being. So, for the hunt I bought all new equipment, new media, and kept them under my strict control until the time of the hunt. I was within visual range of every piece of equipment during our outing, and to my surprise we got a really clear EVP. The truly shocking part is that it came off of my recorder. I know that nobody tampered with it because it never left my sight. I controlled everything through the experiment, and we got one anyway.
This made me think that there were things I couldn’t explain out there, and being a knowledge seeker (almost to a fault), I decided to learn more about what was out there, and the ideas surrounding them. To be honest, most of what I have found is total crap. I wouldn’t give you a nickel for more of the information that’s out there. Getting a hippie high, rubbing stones on his nipples, and treating what he says as gospel is even more unreliable than mainstream religion; and that is very, very sad. I’m glad that some people are fulfilled by that stuff, because it makes me giggle and then want to throw up.
The primary reason that I am drawn to Chaos is because I can control the input and record the output. Are the results a placebo effect? Could be. Do I care? Nope. For me, it works. There is no dogma, there are no rules, there is nothing but the way you choose to affect your reality.
I’m becoming so comfortable in it that I find myself taking little jabs at other religious groups, at times even to their faces. I try to be respectful, and I’m really, truly happy for those of you that find comfort in other traditions, but you just can’t hop around and jabber at people like they agree with you. Outside of this blog, I will never be the guy that brings up religion, but if you start trying to flail me with your beliefs I will do what I need to get you to stop. I’m not usually overtly rude, I just like to stymie people a bit because it tends to shut them up long enough for me to escape. I laughed out loud at a guy who ran up to me and declared that Jesus loves me. He stopped dead in his tracks and just looked confused. An evangelist accosted me in the occult section of our local Barnes & Noble and asked me if I knew Jesus. I simply told him that I knew all about him, but I was more of a Batman fan. As he stood there, mouth agape, I just walked away and went about my business.
I’m not in this to torment people, to turn their faith, or even to make them question what they believe. I just want people to leave me the hell alone. When asked what religion I am I usually say, “I’m something different. “ When pressed I usually just tell them that the specifics are not important and I move on to something more pleasant. If people ask at the office, I just tell them that religion and politics are two things that I refuse to discuss at work. It usually works just fine, and people let me go on my merry way. It’s the ones that insist on being a part of my personal life that get messed with, but only to the point of creating an opportunity for me to exit.
In some areas of this country there is true religious freedom, where I person could walk around with a ëHail Satan’ shirt on and not get into an altercation. In rural America, that’s not the case. Christian beliefs are embedded into government and businesses, and there isn’t one thing anybody can do about it. They know the rules, and they know how to have things happen behind the scenes so it is very discreet, and there are too few people in our community for you to get away with being a whistleblower. My strategy is to do my homework so I can fit in when I need to, and it has served me well. I can be what I need to be at any time to get ahead. For those of you who haven’t tried it, invocation can be one of the most powerful forms of magick available.
Remember: Nothing is true, everything is permitted.