Renee’s Click

This is the second time Renee has written a “click” for me.  The first one was a fictionalized click. I introduced you to her last Wednesday so the only thing I’ll repeat here is her blog which you can find by clicking here.

I’m generally not the type to dwell on the past or even think too much about what’s happening at any one particular moment. I go with the flow and deal with things as they come, my mind quickly racing through ways to solve specific problems and come out on the other side with my life intact.

So when Leslee asked me last week to write a Click Story for her blog, it wasn’t easy to come up with an idea. I racked my brain trying to think of a moment in my life where I suddenly realized something profound, a moment that maybe changed my life – for good or bad. I couldn’t think of anything for a couple of days.

And then it came to me … the perfect “Click” moment for a blog about finding one’s spiritual path. In fact, there are two of them and they are both connected, so I chose to write for Leslee about the moments I discovered who I am as a spiritual being, what I believe and why.

My mother grew up Catholic and my father Jewish. Neither was or is especially religious, but I learned about Jesus and heaven and hell and all of those things. We lit Chanukah candles and exchanged Christmas presents under a decorated tree. I even went to church or synagogue every once in a while. In fact, I still do all of those things, but they have different meaning for me now.

Like many, I grew up with a belief that there was a God in heaven and He was a man and that all things Judeo-Christian were, without question, the Truth. It’s in our American culture, so unless a person either thinks more profoundly than a teenager usually does or is brought up in a home with an alternate religion, one tends to blindly accept these things.

I had friends who were Hindu or Buddhist, but never really thought much about that. Religion was religion. My mother told me once that no matter what religion a person is, there is still only one God and everyone worships Him in his or her own way.

But then I grew up. I went to college. I started thinking more deeply.

I took astronomy.

To pass my class, I had to go to the community college’s observatory a few times and look out at the heavens and write a report about what I saw. I went at a time when a local astronomy club met so they could help me with using the telescope: the general mechanics as well as finding specific stars, asteroids, comets, the moon, whatever.

As I peered through the telescope at the millions – billions! – of stars and planets in the sky, I had an epiphany (a Click moment): we are not alone in this universe.

I’m not a person who necessarily believes extraterrestrials visit Earth and probe people. I’m not sure it’s possible to ever travel that distance in a lifetime. But I do know that in a space as large and endless as this universe is, there’s no way that we are all there is.

When one looks at most religions, especially Judeo-Christian religions, they are very Earth-centered. God created the Earth and all the beings on it and he watches to make sure we don’t swear or have sex with someone to whom we aren’t married. And if we mess up a little bit, fire and brimstone await us in hell. But why, with all that’s out there, does He care about those things? He must have more important things to worry about, right?

And then I started thinking about how life comes to be. No man or woman alone can create a child. Some asexual organisms can, but with both male and female anatomy only. Even with cloning and in-vitro fertilization, one needs male and female elements. So how can one, single, male god create so much life without a feminine partner? The laws of Nature are against that scenario. Therefore, in my reasoning, if there is a god, there must also be a goddess.

And that was the moment I realized I am not Christian and I don’t want to be. It’s a lovely religion at its most pure, but to me, there isn’t much sense to it. There’s some, but as a whole it’s not something I can buy into.

But what now? I’m not Christian or Jewish. I’m not Buddhist, Muslim or Hindu. What am I?

It would be several years before I’d have that answer, my second Click moment. It came about two months ago when, out of curiosity, I attended a gathering of pagans. We went around the room introducing ourselves and stating what pagan path we each were on.

I didn’t have an answer. I didn’t really know enough to say. I still don’t know for sure, but one man’s answer hit me hard where it counts. He said, “I am a religious eclectic.”

And that is exactly what I am.


10 thoughts on “Renee’s Click

  1. mama mia November 23, 2010 / 9:19 am

    when you were a baby, i took you to touch the feet of a master spiritual teacher. you were only 3 or 4 months old, but after we approached him, and touched his feet, you laughed for 2 hours. you were totally blissed out, so radiant and beautiful.

    and when you were older, i told you that your breath held all the answers and all the peace you ever needed for your life.

    you don’t remember these things, but they are what happened.

    • lesleehorner November 23, 2010 / 10:21 am

      Wow Mama Mia! What a wonderful mother!

      • mama mia November 23, 2010 / 11:16 am

        Renee was a wonderful baby and is a wonderful daughter !!

    • Renee November 23, 2010 / 12:00 pm

      I remember you telling me about the guru thing. Wasn’t that the trip where the guy drove 100 mph all the way there?

      • mama mia November 23, 2010 / 1:41 pm

        yes. we drove 110 MPH on route 81 to Montreal. sounds crazy, but we were running on total trust in the energy of Pure Love.

        you sat in the back with the sweet gentle people who raised goats and lived on a farm out near Alfred. they loved my sweet little Capricorn baby. everybody loved you.

  2. Joey @ Big Teeth & Clouds November 23, 2010 / 10:56 am

    My faith, wavering and difficult as it may be, is in a God that forgives continually my shortcomings. He’s the Guy in the New Testament where you’ll find less fire and brimstone.

    Plus I take great comfort in the universe being way to complex for me to ever understand. It’s like comparing the consciousness of a worm to a human. In this case we’re the worms and God is the human. There’s a big knowledge gap between us and divinity.

    • Renee November 23, 2010 / 11:59 am

      I totally agree about the universe being too complex to understand, but I guess I see patterns that repeat over and over and make some sense.

      As for the fire and brimstone, it’s a very Christian concept. You see it mostly in the fundamentalist sects, especially with the hard-core Baptists. I know it’s not all sects, though. 🙂

  3. meeshelleneal November 23, 2010 / 2:43 pm

    What a great way to describe how I feel about my own personal beliefs – religious eclectic.

    I believe in light and love and the mystery of the universe 🙂

  4. Todd Pack November 24, 2010 / 12:23 am

    Wow. This is a really good read, Renee, and I love the phrase “religious eclectic.” I think that probably describes a lot of people, whether they’d all admit or not.

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