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Old 12-27-2002, 02:24 AM   #12
Jeff Tibbetts
Dojo: Cedar River Aikikai
Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 142
Damien, you ask what brought about the change in my thoughts? I think that there may have been some amount of the resentment of materialism in society, although I am more inclined to justify why that is and try to understand it then just resent it, but more than that I think it just happened over a period of time© This is something I'm thinking about tonight, actually©

I just finally brought this up with my wife© She is the one I was really talking about in my first post, no matter what my opinions on spirituality are now, I can't communicate them without being a hypocrite to my own ¥2 years ago¤ self© I just brought it up as I was giving her a back massage, and I phrased it as though spirituality was difficult to discuss with others© Of course I haven't discussed it with anyone but all of you, she didn't know that and so I was able to make it into a situation where she could give me advice on the subject instead of judge me© You see, she's been into Native American culture and spirituality for some time© She's been to a sweat-lodge ¥sort of a misogi ritual in a ritual sauna¤ that caused very powerful group hallucinations© For her this was a powerful spiritual event, and I was still in my Atheist period and I said some rather unsavory things about the theory behind it and drilled her about why she made it into a spiritual thing© Anyway, suffice to say that this has been something of an area of contention and conflict between us, and for me to change my tune must make her feel a little cheated© Like it's good enough for me to have a moving spiritual expierience but when she had one I belittled it©

The point that I came up with when I was talking to her about it was that the way I was before was an especially strong reaction against religion because I percieved it's influence on me to be especially strong© I still maintain that it's hard to be a non-christian in this society where the ten commandments are our laws and there are crucifixes on so many necks and walls© When I was coming out of catholic school, their heavy push caused me to puch back heavily© This is one of those yin/yang things© The yin of religion trying to influence me was balanced by the yang of me resisting© As I grew a little older and did maybe less searching for impossible answers, the influence seemed less and less, and so required less and less of a reaction© Now it's gotten to the point that I can sit closer and closer to the center of the yin/yang and see both extremes getting further out into the distance© So in all, I think that what's changing is that I'm seeing things from a more balanced perspective© For some time I had the idea in my head that "an open mind is like a fortress with it's gates unbarred and unguarded"© Bonus points to anyone who knows where that quote came from© I thought that the armies of the faithful were so strong that I could not afford to have an open mind, lest they invade and take over© I think that while this may have gotten me through some tough times in high-school, it has ceased to be important to me and now I have enough strength of mind that I can invite the army in for dinner and chat, then kindly take what I want from the conversation and invite them to leave© This may not be the best analogy, but in my mind it's crucial©

Of course I'm ramblng© I think most of you expect that out of me by now© I can't ever shut up, there's no-one else to talk to in the non-wired world© Hope some of that made sense©

If the Nightingale doesn't sing-
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