It's been a curiosity since it came to me that the first half of my life and the second half have been like two sides of the same coin. Unto the age 33, parents and church had made an atheist of me for so many reasons it's too many to list. As soon as I stepped out onto the plank with a sword poking me in the rear and jumped, I fell into a world of people that were quite different from the blind sheep following the blind ram. I become acquainted with people who read books and thought about something besides the usual. All I wanted to do was read. I saw more and more I'd been beyond sheltered, even going to public school. Sequestered is more the word, sequestered in a belief system that was absolute, no two ways about it. Breaking free of that belief system required that I turn my back to all of it. The next 15 years I sifted through all I'd been taught to believe, throwing off everything I could decipher that came from the human mind, concluding eventually that religion was a bureaucracy set up for the few to control the many. That's not reason enough for me to take it for inspired by anything but money. I've come to believe I was led to look through the unreality to find the reality. I had to find my way through what I take for a false belief system.
That, however, was the religion I had argument with. I hadn't yet seen that the religion was not of God. The religion was a bureaucracy like the school system, a creation of the human mind. I wasn't yet able to see through it to the real thing, God, God that religion stood in front of like a shield blocking the light. I had to get through religion, like through a tunnel, to the light on the other side. Religion is a good first step, but, either fortunately or unfortunately, I was unable to drown myself in denial. I take it for fortunate. One of my big questions was, how can all the rest of the world be wrong? If you don't go to this church and believe this preacher in particular, you're wrong, you've failed, by God. It does a number on a kid's head to sift through obvious nonsense presented as Truth. Even in these latter years of the life I deal with there being no Truth. All the way along through religion and school I was trained to believe there is Truth. Now I don't believe it. I've even come to see that what we call morality is self-serving self-preservation. Act "morally" and what comes back will be moral, as well, leaving me in peace--no turmoils with other people, no turmoils within. Morality basically amounts to not stepping on other people's toes, not provoking. Like the saying, If you don't want it started, don't start it.
I do want the return on my actions to be to my liking, so I treat people around me to their liking. There are some who call that kissing ass or being a chameleon, but I'm not seeing it a means to an end, but a way of being. I'm not a chameleon to pay attention to somebody besides myself. Nor am I kissing ass treating somebody right. I see in my baby friends my own memory of that time, how good it felt to be fussed over, talked to in baby talk, served unconditionally, held as center of attention. We still are like that, though we get it in different ways grown up swimming about in the world of others. This is where morality comes in. Bump into somebody and it starts a fight. Morality is about not bumping into others or guidelines for how to get out of it when it happens. Asian martial arts is about not fighting. I'm finding that regarding others more gently than I have been in the past has a subtler but similar affect to petting a cat. We tend to calm down when somebody is gentle with us. I think of Suzanne (Mellow) Irwin. She's a calm, quiet soul. I feel it when I'm around her. I like being talked to by her, because her gentle demeanor relaxes. Like William Blake wrote, Damn braces; Bless relaxes.
Caterpillar has her song I've sung to her since she was a kitten. It is her song and it's around her name. As she grew I continued to sing the song to her. It relaxed her every time. It set her to purring right away. I felt like it took her back to her inner kitten. I continued to sing the song to her throughout her life. She's fifteen and the song relaxes her as quickly today and as thoroughly as it has all the way back to kitten. I rub her lightly on top of the head between her ears where mother licked her in her first two weeks. I find that relaxes her as quickly as the song. Going by my belief that a cat's consciousness is along the lines of a young child, a simple song a one year old could distinguish its own name in would be understood by a cat. A cat that understands, Want some catfood? Want out? understands the sounds in relation to experience that these sounds mean food and door. A kitten can understand its name in a brief song same as a baby can. Her name calms her. She knew it was her name when she was a month old. They understand their names, and their names are important to them.
In the first half of my life I didn't understand any of that. I didn't understand anything, actually. I'd learned a lot of answers to test questions, but couldn't put together the why of anything. My adult education has been about why, seeking principles and patterns, learning to see, for one thing, history repeat itself. And to see prophecies work out enough to learn they can only be recognized after they've manifested. Cannot be predicted exactly. Like all the guessing now about who is the red dragon. What if red dragon has been here and gone? Came, did his work, and gone by way of Alzheimer's back to the dark side with the lizard people. The funny part to me from what I've seen of prophecies is the people most afraid of worshippers of the supreme demon turn out to be the ones worshipping that which the supreme demon symbolizes. And I've seen that when you give an evangelist enough time, you'll find him involved in what he preaches most vociferously against. It doesn't really do to make a fuss against something, because it then turns out it came from within self, projected like a movie on a screen, giving the illusion it is out there, not in here.