Getting older is a reflective phase of life that goes beyond the physical alterations that get more stunning with each passing year. There’s an appreciation for the privilege of our existence that serves as the alarm bells for what is going to transpire when leave this earth.
The past three years have been a brutal lesson when it comes to the reality of how powerless we are when faced with the inevitable departures that are expectedly harder on those who are left behind.
It’s not like the notion of death is the best kept secret that reveals itself with blindingly abruptness when we’re old enough to appreciate its levity. But perspective on this never-ending mystery centered around the proof of where we all end up when bodies are free from spirit, becomes that much more urgent when you can no longer pretend that living forever is an option.
My childhood was immersed in the practice of Christianity, and our assigned branch was Anglican or the Church of England, and it would take adulthood for me to discover that the illustrious doctrine that acknowledges the Queen as the supreme leader, was founded by the gluttonous and murderous King Henry VIII, who left the Catholic Church and formed his own version for the purpose of divorce and marriage to the mistress that he ended up beheading.
Of course the violent arrival of White invaders from Britain resulted in the erasure of primal blueprint for the sake of a scarring conversion that was really a weaponized method of coercion. The Black brutes had to be taught how to be civilized by White captors, who were devilishly plotting our permanent destruction while enriching Western civilization with stolen resources and gems.
Sunday mornings in my household was the mandatory wakeup call for the preparedness that would get us to church for the 11 am service. My mother was more religious than my father, who accompanied his wife and three children occasionally.
Once my teen years arrived, my investment in the Sunday ritual was enhanced by the desire to look fancy for the cute boys who would notice my efforts during the communion when we had to hit the runway to the alter, and then back down to our seats.
My confirmation at the age of 14 was just another formality that meant that I was mature enough to finally partake of the red juice and coin-shaped slivers of bread. Sometimes the “blood of Christ” was sweet, but the “body of Christ” remained a tasteless and stiff snack.
When you’re forced to memorize the Lord’s Prayer at the age of 9, and spend your boarding school years reciting verses during morning assembly, it’s hard to find fulfillment in the forced regimen that comes with the threat of hell fire for those who aren’t capable of being “Christ-like” in the lifelong adherence to perfection.
Young adulthood presented eye-opening scenarios that saw me naively join what turned out to be a religious cult, headed by a charismatic male leader, who was slight in build, but evidently wielded enough power that allowed him to be surrounded by pretty young women, who served as loyal recruiters.
Years after that experience, there was a tumultous season of combativeness with God that was brokered by the guilt that manifests when you’ve been brainwashed into accepting the teachings that warn against questioning the motives of the Most High.
The reconciliations were brief and the emptiness made me wonder why I was so committed to the belief system that was delivered from White colonizers, who committed the unforgivable act of violating Black cultures.
The first call of duty was to claim the status of an agnostic, while spending quality time searching for the answers that I hoped for, as a spiritual seeker, who can’t be seduced away from the task of recovering my own personal Jesus.
“Jesus,” is the most famous prophet, and Son of God, who was born on Christmas Day, only to be nailed to the cross before his ascension on Easter Sunday. When you consider the utter chaos of the upcoming holiday season, which takes on a mammoth-like fiesta of superficiality in the United States, it’s not shocking to note why Easter isn’t exactly revered on a similar scale, despite the victory of resurrection.
Christianity is a profitable performance for leaders of the blasphemous “mega-churches,” who shamelessly flaunt the wealth that’s supplied by legions of generous congregations, who don’t consider the blatant scheme of sleek-suited men, building massive structures that house the direct deposit into generational trust funds.
When 2019 began, there was the promise to experiment with the freedom of creating my personalized road map to soulful meditation. As the earthy Taurus who feels connected to good energy and the organic refreshment of chill vibes, I knew that it was possible to combine the elements of worship into the daily greeting that would check all the boxes.
Introduction to Buddhism happened in late 2015, but I wasn’t ready to dig deeper. But after a couple of years of a minimalistic lifestyle without the hovering fog from mind-altering substances, the interest was reawakened. And after several months of applying the principles that mesh with my emotional vocabulary, I can confirm that the quest of finding your own replica of what Jesus would look like is definitely worth the trip.
Taking ownership of your spiritual nourishment based on what is worth internalizing is a powerful declaration of independence.
My parents are suspicious about my refusal to regularly attend church, and when they dare to ask, instead of lying to avoid further questioning, I simply confess the truth.
Perhaps my stark honesty causes them to lightly caution about what happens when those absent days accumulate, as opposed to the judgmental lectures. And it also helps that whenever we gather for dinner, and I’m asked to pray, my spirited delivery assures them that I haven’t been possessed by Satan.
But that’s exactly the point when it comes to the various interpretations of spirituality that shouldn’t be limited to a stringent rule book that humans devise as the weaponry of choice when condemning groups that are vulnerable enough for the abuse.
Why are most evangelists hard-hearted assholes, who worship the audacity of a White supremacist as Commander-in-Chief, and encourage the potency of this hostile climate that doesn’t resemble the righteous characteristics of godliness.
The truth is that when we die, we all end up in the same place.
There’s no heaven for good people, and there’s certainly no hell for the burning of demons for eternity. That’s simply a devise that’s being used to discipline those who are fragile enough to actually believe those lies. It’s also the instrument of trauma, that frightens us into submission, which isn’t necessarily healthy for body and soul.
I’ve finally weaned myself off that harmful formula, and what remains is the ability to stay on the path of enlightenment, without the scornful messages from ill-equipped messengers, who don’t possess the anointment that makes them more knowledgable about what none of us can confidently establish until the moment our spirit soars.
Who you are and what fuels that will be the deciding factor when it comes to the route that stretches for miles without end.
So far the ride has been splendidly illuminating with detours of newly-implemented tools for guidance and direction.
Maybe we will all converge one day!