A few days ago I asked why so many have left our group, why so many have stopped reading the posts. Understand that this is not about keeping up the numbers. My existence is now in service of others. What use have I for statistics?
One of my fellow Congregation members provided this insight:
“I want to know more about that guy. I want to know what you think the divine looks like, or how involved He/She/It is in your personal life. I want you to draw those lines. I think a lot of us came here because we wanted to see other beliefs more clearly. I’m not sure you’ve done your own beliefs justice.“
Thank you, Julie, for your candid answer. Here is my reply…
Last year you followed a daily, journal-like odyssey of personal transformation via the crucible of unexpected–even unwanted–faith. I shared personal experiences, trials, blunders, discoveries, and the reactions of my gracious family. Then, at the culmination of my trek at the River Temple post, I submitted myself to the very Power and Presence I had declared war upon for so many years. Today, with the former model of Project Conversion over, I am struggling with that calling.
But for some of you, it isn’t enough. You want the show to go on. You want more of my struggles, my insights, my spiritual rapture, my cancerous doubts.
Some of you, now that I’ve submitted myself entirely to 12 distinct faiths/philosophies, want me to provide personal criticism and analysis of these traditions, quite frankly, so that you might chose one for yourself.
That is not my purpose, dharma, or destiny.
Those words sound familiar, don’t they? Purpose, dharma, and destiny. That is what I’ve written about all month. We’ve watched personalities from the faiths of the world struggle bitterly over these terms.
Congregation! Have I taught you nothing?
Hear me now. Why do you think I’ve taught on this subject? Did you not hear the pains of my own battle with these words? But I am a teacher now. I must show, not always tell.
But you want more, don’t you? You, as our sister Julie pointed out, want to know who this Andrew is that you’ve read about for so long.
Here I am.
Andrew, who/what is God? Give me mankind’s consensus on who/what God is and I still won’t give you an answer. I am not here to define That which Is, but to fall completely in tandem with It, for in our articulation we create the very idols the faiths of our world fight over.
Andrew, what are your personal beliefs? What is your religion? What are your rituals/routines? I am no longer myself. Superficially, I am the mirror above: a reflection and, sometimes, magnification of what is brought before me. Bring me a candle and I will show you a roaring hearth. To the Christian, I want to reflect Christ. To the Jew, one of the prophets or Torah. To the Hindu, I want to reflect Lord Krishna, Shiva, one of the myriad devas or even Brahman itself. To the Muslim, they see the character of Prophet Muhammad. To the Sikh, I am one of the Guru’s. To the Wiccan or Pagan, I am the God, the Goddess, the ancestor, or other deity. To the atheist or the skeptic, I am doubt, I am humanist. To one looking for the One, because they may have no other source, I am the One.
Those are my manifestations toward my fellow beings…but I can only do so by continuing the journey.
Once full of ego, I am now a more passionate, committed, and humble student and servant to the One and to humanity.
I am developing into what Is commanded I be. That which Is. No-thing, That which is seen in all, yet above it and beneath it. Creator. One who is Formless and yet takes form. I am nothing, that like my Master, I might be what I am needed–not what I want–to be. In losing myself, I merge with the supreme Self which animates all. I am ex nihlio.
Therefore my rituals, given to me by That which ordered my way at the River Temple, are not merely forms of worship, but daily exercises and sacrifices to make me one with my purpose, dharma, and destiny. I cannot share these methods. Not even my family knows them, because in my position of assumed credibility, one may want to follow. I am not here to begin a new religion or philosophy. I am here to end the war between, within, and without faith. I am not here to blur the lines between religions, but to help create a seamless humanity. I am both the master and the servant, for the wise know there is no distinction between the two.
So in this I may carry many names: Prophet, mad man, false prophet, anointed one, guru, incarnation, insane, faithful, misleading, saint, a man, a child, bodhisattva, devil, no one, everyone, etc.
Some of you will leave on account of this post. Go in peace. Some of you will remain. Welcome again. Others will define me as they need me to be defined. May you find your peace.