Tuesday, February 12, 2013

How I Found the Goddess, Part I

The Goddess is not a person.  Neither is God, by the way. 

I figured this out when I was in elementary school.  I was fascinated with lots of subjects and religion was one of them.  On the occasions I went to church, I felt in my heart that there must be something to all that ritual (yes, it was a Catholic Church) or why would people bother to participate at all. 

One of my dad’s cousins was a really progressive Priest who was –and still is—super handsome so it wasn't too tough sitting through Mass with him running the show.  Also, it was the late 60’s and Vatican II had just happened and there were hootenanny masses with folk music and guitars and homilies against the Vietnam War.  I loved that stuff.  But, even despite all that, I trusted my reasoning skills and it seemed that most of what was taught at Church made no sense at all. 

Yes, I loved Jesus.  In fact, he reminded me of me in certain ways.  He was a smidge defiant, he was really inquisitive, he stuck up for the underdog, and he had a temper.  I think we all see Jesus the way we want to see him.  But all the rules and regulations—and the dogma—I just couldn't see why not eating meat on Friday had anything to do with anything or how Original Sin was a constructive point of view.  But at the time the biggest obstacle holding me back from embracing the faith of my ancestors was the idea that God was Jesus’ father and that Jesus was his only begotten son.  If Jesus was human and was God’s only son, then God had to have been human.  When I looked up begotten, it was defined as “generated by procreation,” and even as a fifth grader that meant sex to me.

Except there was no sex—God used Angels and some kind of magic to impregnate the Virgin Mary so Jesus could be born here with Joseph, a carpenter, as his stand-in dad.  Then, after growing up, questioning his elders and kicking tax collectors out of the Temple, Jesus heals the sick and does his level best to preach a new philosophy which he taught in the form of obtuse riddles. He makes enemies with the Jewish leaders and the Roman Empire, is tortured and then dies a horribly painful death on the cross.   God, his father, can’t or won’t intervene because it had to be that way to save humans from their sins.  And somehow, as a result of what went down with Jesus we are all saved and we are supposed to be kind and loving to one another and do what the Church tells us to do.   

I was very confused—I knew from elementary school science that this story wasn't literally true—God could not be a person.  Humans aren't omnipresent, omnipowerful and omniscient.  Humans can’t create planets, stars, and black holes.  Not even Superman could do that.   But I also knew there was some important information that “The Greatest Story Ever Told” was trying to convey that like Jesus’ parables, wasn't obvious on the surface.    When we started studying Greek mythology in school, I figured it out.  Christianity was a myth and I had to decode it to find its deeper meaning.  This point of view was and still is blasphemous to many people across the globe.  For me, figuring this out has been the most liberating achievement of my life.  Unraveling the myth of Jesus led me to deep spiritual insights and to the Goddess herself—but it took a really long time.

I was 33 years old when I found the Goddess hiding in plain sight.

Stay tuned for Part II…