Fear Promotes Ignorance

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Shortly after I stopped being one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, I was introduced to an amazing tool that has been invaluable to me on this journey–The Tarot. In the three years since I started learning Tarot, I have been amazed how it depicts the ups-n-downs of life, the major life lessons, and the paths that bring us greater success. Its wisdom is incredible and it never ceases to amaze me.

I have traced my entire life’s journey with Tarot and predicted challenging times, including the sale of our house, the death of my husband’s mother, and the breaking of my leg last year. It’s the most valuable tool I possess.

So, perhaps you will understand why I became incredibly incensed by a conversation I encountered on Facebook recently. I just started an advanced Tarot class through Biddy Tarot. The webinar has created a group page for students to interact, trade readings, and post our homework. One of my fellow Tarot readers asked how many of the students hid their Tarot from censuring friends and family. I was amazed, and angered, to find that many did. One attorney can’t even bring his deck into his house because his ex-wife has threatened to take him back to court over child custody if the deck is even under the same roof as their kids.

Is our society really so slow to evolve that people with alternative beliefs still feel they have to hide from puritanical witch hunts?! It’s the 21st Century! How are we, as a society, supposed to evolve to the next level of enlightenment if we keep hiding who we are from narrow-minded Neanderthals?!

People who are judgmental and narrow-minded are the ones who should be forced to hide. Society shouldn’t support their attitude, nor fear their judgment. The world is evolving away from such limiting paradigms. The more we hide, the longer it will takeĀ for ignorant superstitious fears to be eliminated by human evolution. We’ve become so conscious of “other people’s feelings” we have become a society of apologizers and doormats. Those of us who actually worry about offending others end up enabling such ones to keep their ignorant, barbaric perceptions. Growth requires change. Change requires exposure to new paradigms. If people who are afraid of change must hide to protect their paradigm, let them. Let them hold onto their ignorance! If we hide from such ones we are contributing to their ignorance. We are hiding our authenticity behind fear of criticism.

Never fear censure, but fear a society ruled by fear.

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Religion vs. Spirituality

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Spirituality is an ever-evolving thing. Over the last year and a half, I moved across country, broke my leg, and struggled to secure a new career. As things have settled down into a routine, I have noticed spirituality is lacking from my life due to the many distractions. I am not, in any way, hungering for the kind of spirituality I was brought up with. I wouldn’t call that tyrannical paradigm spirituality. Religion and spirituality are often two diametrically opposed entities. Spirituality can be felt anywhere, by anyone, and it is transformative. Religion is abiding by rules set by someone else and judging anyone who doesn’t abide by the same rules. It is destructive to individuality and authenticity.

I prefer being responsible for my own spirituality, as defined by me. I am minister and laity all in one. My church is mother nature, or my very own house. I can practice my faith in the nude, if I so choose (and I often do). Such practice helps me rid myself of the shame heaped upon me as a child of Christianity. Religion teaches that we are all one step away from damnation because of our sinful flesh and never-ending streams of temptation. When people spend their lives obsessing over sexuality and fleshly desires it is no wonder it becomes the first thing they turn to when their resistance is low. The forbidden fruit is always the most appealing. If we as a society were taught to love our bodies despite their imperfections and desires we wouldn’t wallow in perceived weakness. We would be strong, capable of making wise choices.

What happens, though, if we realize we are strong and worthwhile? What happens if we grasp the fact that we are spiritual beings apart from churches and organizations? What if we comprehend that salvation doesn’t rest within a certain denomination? Then the churches would empty. People would find happiness without the spiritual leaders. The financial backing these churches need would crumble. Civilization would finally rid themselves of a weight that has been holding evolution back for thousands of years. The next millennia would be a time of unprecedented scientific and societal advancement. And it would all be because we have finally cast off the detritus that has kept us in the Dark Ages.

I have reached the sweet spot where I rarely think of Jehovah’s Witnesses, or talk of them. Such is the benefit of moving 3000 miles away from anyone I knew attached to that religion. I live in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania now and I haven’t even laid my eyes on a JW, let alone had them knock on my door in almost a year. I am reviving this blog because I feel the need to make spirituality a part of my life again. Ultimately, I do believe we are spiritual beings (something the JW’s teach quite regularly to prove the existence of God). Not everyone finds spiritual fulfillment within the walls of a church, however. I think it can be found wherever someone finds fulfillment, happiness, and gratitude. This can be found in a career, on a hike, or within the pages of a book; and it neither confirms nor denies the existence of God.

I have not found the form of spirituality that brings me great contentment. I’m not even sure if I ever will. As I said at the beginning of this post, spirituality evolves over time. But I do feel like I am in a better position to fill the holes left after departing Christianity.

I have also recently agreed to read and review books on alternative spirituality published by Moon Books. So when you see book reviews pop up, that is why. Feel free to read them, or not.

Thank you for going with me on this journey, and please share in it if you so choose. Cheers!