With apologies for the one day delay due to workload and a somewhat unpleasant cold, I now unveil my 31 January 2014 submission for the delightful Barbara Fraken’s AWAKENING series at her blog Me, My Magnificent Self.
Barbara is a decidedly spiritual person in what I would describe as a New Age way sort of way, and her enthusiasm for spirituality is infectious. Her series deals with awakenings, or decisive points within a person’s life when they achieve quantum advances in spirituality. Her guideline to structure submissions is:
*Remembering My Childhood… and ‘if applicable’ Shutting down the contact with my soul to fully experience my humanness…
*First Stage of Awakening… My Call to Attention…
*Second Stage of Awakening… Dismantling my Life…
*Third Stage of Awakening… Glimpses of Clarity and Releasing Human Desperation
*Fourth Stage of Awakening… Quiet Time and Potentialising…
So here goes:
The journey to a spiritual existence is, I suppose, different for different people. Who can say if any two journeys are exactly the same? What follows is my journey, as best I can understand it, and placed against the framework that Barbara has kindly suggested:
Remembering My Childhood
We were a military family, and so we moved rather frequently. I have generally fond memories of my family. I remain close to my two younger sisters, and I also enjoy wonderful relationships with both my parents, who are now in their early 70s. Ours was a moderate Catholic family that focussed on love, forgiveness, charity, and generally behaving in a good way. No fire-and-brimstone. It was an excellent start in life towards a spiritual existence, with my father being more orthodox in his interpretation, and my mother being more intuitive. Due to the frequent moves, I was always the new kid and was often bullied and occasionally beaten on. Thus, I had plenty of learning experiences in terms of forgiving, although I was decidedly imperfect in this.
But I did try.
First Stage of Awakening
I suppose this could be said to have started when I was in high school, when I began to think more actively about being a good person in the moderate Catholic context. I was to later learn, thanks to an insightful question from blogger Kim Saeed, that I am likely INTJ on the Briggs-Myers personality type inventory. Basically, everything in my world has to logically fit together. Even spirituality. My brain is constantly trying to knit things together to find patterns amongst even disparate things. The pursuit of wisdom at this early age seemed to me to be a very logical and noble quest, as with wisdom one could discern between right and wrong in God’s eyes, and thus with some confidence one could lead a decent life.
I thus carried on in the tradition of my father, being a moderate Catholic, getting married, and having three children. Well, at least contributing to having three children, to give credit where credit is due. };-)> Tai Chi was a part of this in the earlier years, and it is something that I enjoyed and would like to have the time and resources to be able to pursue once again.
Second Stage of Awakening
Given my INTJ nature, in the mind-body-soul triumvirate, my mind is, perhaps, senior amongst equals, or tends to be. The dismantling of my life began intellectually with a book by the late Professor Charles Hapgood titled Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings. Succinctly, Hapgood’s analysis of maps that stretch as far back as the Library of Alexandria showed or implied geographical, mathematical, and clock technology knowledge that history records us not having achieved (together) until the late 1700s. Mind blowing! This, in turn, opened my eyes to the field of alternative research – history, archaeology, science, engineering. Together, this implies that there perhaps was, in high antiquity, a unification of all branches of knowledge that continues to elude us today. Maybe the biblical story of the great flood isn’t so crazy, after all.
Third & Fourth Stages
I am not certain where I am in terms of the third and fourth stages. I had a terrible divorce starting in 2008. My ex-wife, it turned out, has expert-confirmed narcissistic personality traits. The utter opposite of genuine spirituality. She severely alienated our three children from me during this, and every feminist within 100 miles seemed to line up to assist her – social workers, lawyers, politicians, and judges. I still haven’t seen my daughter in over five years due to this, although with a prolonged fight, I was able to salvage relationships with my two sons.
Learning to forgive and let go of the anger has been a challenge, but I’ve made progress. If there was a purpose to it all, it was that my mind could see the underlying pattern in everything the kids and I went through, and then tie it into the broader world that surrounds us. I’ve had some magnificent insights into people, narcissism, and society, and I am capturing these in a two book set, the first of which will hopefully be out next month (i.e., end February or early March): The Mirror, Book One – Welcome to the Evil Sisterhood. I’ve never written a book before, so this itself is exciting, especially as I’ve had highly encouraging test reader feedback.
The books are an emotional, intellectual, and spiritual catharsis. Through these, I hope to be able to move onto to the fourth stage of awakening and learn to live a truly spiritual life. I invite people to visit me at http://www.navigator1965.wordpress.com or to email me at email@example.com if they are interested in having a read of the book (free, of course!).