I was molded by an atheist father and a Christian mother

My parents' views on religion could not have been more polarized: My father was an atheist and my mother was a fundamentalist Christian. Surprisingly, they never argued over religion, in fact, religion was not a big subject of discussion at all. My parents just accepted each other as is. I was in elementary school when I learned that my father did not believe in a supreme being or any of the accoutrements, such as Hell, that accompany a god. I took the Christian God’s existence for granted. We kids sang “Jesus loves me” and listened to the state-mandated Bible verse every morning at school before the real classes started. God had always been a fixture in my life.

Daddy’s beliefs seemed a little unusual because everyone I knew was a Christian or, at the least, expressed a belief in God. My paternal grandparents, with whom mother and I lived while Daddy was serving in the army, were Christians. Grandma, a Baptist, came from a long line of believers, including an uncle and a grandfather who were itinerant preachers in the Ozarks during the 19th Century. Grandpa was a Methodist, and his great-uncle was the legendary James Johnston, who attempted to exorcise the Bell Witch from his young neighbor, Betsy Bell, in Tennessee. Author M.V. Ingram in his 1894 book, The Bell Witch, claims the witch whipped Uncle James's butt and he tucked tail and ran!

So with that kind of familial background, what would cause their son to be an atheist? I don’t really know, but I have a theory. The Scopes Monkey Trial in 1925 seemed to be a big influence on the youth of that day, and a group of young students in the Ozark Mountains who fancied themselves intellectuals fell right in step with Scopes. Some people can accept a parallel between divine creation and evolution, and some cannot. Daddy was one of the latter. He was an impressionable 18-year-old who had always gravitated toward science when the trial of John Scopes took America by storm. Daddy taught me the theory of evolution at a very young age, and I grew up believing that God and science worked hand-in-hand. Mama never objected, at least that I knew of.

Mama grew up in a Church of Christ household. She took me to church until I was three or four years old, but after Daddy was discharged from the army, we stopped attending. Daddy did not object to our going to church; Mama’s health was failing. When I was five, she nearly died from acute appendicitis. After she regained her health, along came my sister and brother in January and December of the same year, respectively, and church stayed in the background. Jesus was only a factor in my life at Christmas and Easter.

I am not sure exactly when it became clear to me that Daddy did not believe in God or an afterlife. He was a very honest, moral, and upright person who taught those values to us children. His word was his bond, and he expected the same honesty from others. If someone broke trust with him, Daddy didn't take it very well. He was kind and generous to our neighbors and always the first to lend a helping hand. No one would have suspected that he was not a Christian man unless he told them so. He wasn't perfect, in fact, he liked to drink a little bit, but so did some of his Christian friends.

He had always chalked up some religious beliefs as superstition, including the belief in ghosts. I was afraid of the dark and what might be lurking there. My grandparent’s house was very old, probably built around the early to mid-1800s. One bedroom in the house gave me the shivers after dark, and I refused to go in there unless the light was on. Daddy would reassure me that there was no such thing as a ghost and it was quite safe. He would laugh and turn the light on to show me that there was nothing there. The reassurance lasted only as long as the light was on. But I didn’t believe in ghosts either because Daddy said they didn’t exist. Going into that room, and Daddy's laughter, evaporated tough little me into a whining sissy.

By the time I was nine years old, we had moved into our own home in town. One warm summer evening a lady came by our house selling religious pictures. I picked out a cheap, but nice framed print of Jesus and asked Daddy to buy it for me. He refused. I didn’t understand why he wouldn’t buy it, after all, some of our neighbors had pictures of Jesus in their homes. I raised a fuss and we got into an argument. Then Daddy explained to me in no uncertain terms that we would not have a religious picture in our house. Mama was in agreement with Daddy, but for a different reason: Her religion forbade religious images just as it did instrumental music in church.

I disagreed with Mama on the music issue and didn’t understand why it was a sin to play church music on an instrument. I have never liked a cappella. Mama was a musician who played the mandolin and the clarinet, so why couldn’t she use them to play a hymn? Daddy, of course, didn’t care either way. He didn’t interfere with her religion, just as she didn’t interfere with his teaching the theory of evolution to me.

Daddy had taught school for a few years, and he had learned subtle ways to attract children to learning. He would tell wonderful stories, a lot of them exaggerated, but he was serious when he said that a great civilization had existed before ours. He explained that it was even greater than ours, in fact, people could do what we only dreamed about. “Who were they?” I would ask, wide-eyed, and his answer was the same: “I don’t know. I wish I did.” He left me starving for more, but that was all he knew.

I suppose I started going to church because all my friends did. I attended a Baptist Church and was baptized at age 10. Mama was hurt that it was not her church, but I explained to her that if she wouldn’t take me to church, then I would go where the opportunity took me. Besides, the preacher's wife was a great organist, and sometimes they would bring in a visiting violinist from out of town. I liked to listen to the choir and sing hymns.

Again Daddy stayed out of it, but his influence was still lurking in the back of my mind. The older I became and the more I heard the Bible stories over and over again, the more some didn’t make sense. I began to question the relevancy of 2,000-year-old customs that didn’t apply today or of laws that were now illegal. What relation did sheep and camels have to automobiles and airplanes? Who were the Nephilim, and why did Genesis mention other gods and giants? Who was Baal? If God had no name but called himself “I am that I am,” then how could his name be Jehovah? What was all this stuff in Revelation that sounded like a bad acid trip? I could not agree with the biblical creation story from an evolutionary standpoint, and the church could not answer some of my most pressing questions.

One in particular shook my very belief system to its roots. My church taught that the one and only God, Jehovah, was perfect. The perfect do not make mistakes! I accepted that until I came across 1 Samuel 15:10-11:

10 Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel: 11 “I regret that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.” (NIV)

Whoa Nelly! Did I read that right? I think God just said that he made a mistake! Sunday morning I slyly asked my teacher, “Do you think that God is perfect?”

“Of course he is,” she answered.

Then I showed her the verse and asked: “If God is perfect and doesn’t make mistakes, why does he admit to making a mistake in this verse?” She was dumbfounded, and I could tell that she was a little shaken.

“Well, he certainly does say that, doesn’t he?” she replied. “I don’t know. I guess it’s just one of those things we have to take on faith.”

No, I don’t have to take it on faith, I told myself. After all, there were multiple versions of the Christian religion, so I didn’t have to accept any one in its entirety, did I? I never questioned the existence of God. My conscience, or whatever that voice in my head is called, never told me to question a divine existence, just the whys and wherefores. When I went to college, I began to find some answers, and they weren’t in the Bible.

My freshman year I attended a local private college owned by the Presbyterian Church. One of the graduation requirements was two semesters of religion class. Very grudgingly, I decided to get it out of the way. I went into the class expecting more dogma, indoctrination, and yada yada because it was taught by a Doctor of Theology, and he was reputed to be tough. Did I ever get a surprise! A whole smorgasbord of spiritual beliefs and values awaited me: Zoroastrian, Hindu, Buddhist, the Native American Great Spirit, all kinds of stuff outside the Old and New Testaments. The minister-professor made it come alive like I had never experienced before. He would propound a theory and say, “now Presbyterians believe …, but you can believe it however you want to, or not at all.” We had long outside reading assignments, and I found myself eagerly gobbling up those and reading for hours after the assignment was finished. I aced the class!

It was not all smooth sailing with my parents. Mama’s reaction came from my biology class, not my religion class. She nearly had apoplexy when she found my little brother looking at my biology book and laughing at a picture of a human baby that had been born with a tail. “What are they teaching you in that school?” she demanded to know. I avoided a real scene because I hadn’t studied that chapter yet, and I could honestly tell her that I didn’t know anything about it. Daddy thought it was funny.

My attempted discussions of life after death with him went virtually nowhere. He held that death of the physical body ended a person’s existence. Gone. Nothing. Nada. He was not worried about going to Hell because Hell did not exist. His stance was as solid as a brick outhouse in a windstorm, even when I tried to use his own scientific logic against him: “Matter can be neither created nor destroyed but only changed in form, right?” I asked.

“That’s correct.”

“Energy can be neither created nor destroyed, but only changed in form, right?”

“Right.”

“Then if the human body goes back to dust, then where does his life energy go when he dies?” I asked him, hoping to get him to admit the spiritual.

He said he didn’t know, but he had an answer anyway. “There is lightening and electricity and wind energy,” he explained. “It must go there.” He never gave in. He was delighted when I found some recognized works that supported his stance against the literal interpretation of the biblical story of Adam and Eve. I lent him the first one I encountered, The Lost Continent of Mu by James Churchward. He devoured it eagerly, but then he died before I was able to find any more books on Lemuria. I had taken him a book by Edgar Cayce, but it was just another crock of baloney to him. Healing in any form besides conventional medicine was charlatanism, be it faith healers, metaphysical, or herbal.

My mother took the expected path; my father’s was the unexpected. They both affected the path I took, and I am thankful to the both for anchoring me like a piece of metal between two opposing magnets. Their influence kept me from polarizing in either direction.

I thoroughly believe that your life is what you make it. I made my own spiritual journey because I felt free to. I couldn’t accept that there was no more to life than a short sojourn on earth, nor could I accept a bipolar God who was loving one minute and fraught with wrath the next. I discovered that the teachings of Christ were like onions – in many layers, from little children’s understanding to learning so esoteric that I am still working on it. I discovered teachings in other religions that are worth exploring, and I have explored. I have allowed the natural feelings I had as a child to reawaken, and yes, I believe in ghosts.







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Comments 79 comments

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

MzBejabbers....I LOVE this truly wonderful account of your family and upbringing! I believe you were most fortunate to have your specific parents with their opposing views!

What impressed me the most, is that I appreciate how your parents' love and respect for one another was stronger than ...and rose above, the differences!

You were allowed the freedom and peace to find your own path and follow your heart and mind. Perfect!!


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 4 years ago Author

Thank you for your understanding comment.I do feel very fortunate that neither tried to force me into their way of thinking.


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 4 years ago from Massachusetts

Hi MizBejabbers,I really enjoyed reading your interesting story. It is funny how your father let you and your mother go to services, Why do you think he did that ? Do you think he did not want you or your mother to stop believing what you did believe in ?


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 4 years ago Author

You know, kashmir56, I really don't know the answer to that question. He could be so intolerant about some things, but not this particular issue. He was outspoken when I was older and we got into religious discussions, but he never said that we shouldn't exercise our beliefs. He did scoff at them, though. It may have been because everyone else in his family was religious, and he knew he was fighting a losing battle. Also, he would never have done anything to hurt his own mother. She used to sit in her easy chair by the radio on Sunday mornings listening to the church services because she said that sitting on church pews was too painful for back. Thank you for your comment and question.


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 4 years ago from Massachusetts

Thanks MizBejabbers for answering my questions !


Skarlet profile image

Skarlet 4 years ago from California

Interesting that your parents did not fight about it. Everyone was very much Christian where I grew up, and I felt kind of bad because I was not taught the same things that they were. My family were a mix of bitter Atheists, and Catholics. The result was I did not go to church.

I actually missed out on things because of that, and when the time came for me to go to college and take Humanities- The Old and New Testament- I had to work a lot harder than the others.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 4 years ago Author

Skarlet, it really is interesting that my parents didn't fight about religion, now that I think about it. Church was fun for me when I was a child. I think everyone should have the opportunity to experience their parent's religion, but I don't think it should be crammed down their throat. I especially liked the vacation bible schools that our church held in the summer time. Too bad you were not able to go.

The classes I took in college were actually called World Religion, so I was a real neophyte outside the church. Those studies really stirred my imagination, like a Greek classic or a good action adventure comic book. Thanks for stopping by.


Starmom41 4 years ago

Great hub!

I think it's wonderful when people can have two different beliefs, yet have that degree of respect for each other.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 4 years ago Author

Starmom, I agree. My parents had their ups and downs just like any other marriage. I neglected to mention that my dad was a country boy 13 years older than my mom, who was a city girl. I did hear some arguments over cultural differences, but not religion. I guess they had more important things to worry about. Thanks for stopping by.


SilverGenes 4 years ago

You are very fortunate to have had such loving parents and grow up in home based in respect. This is a fascinating read. Your courses in World Religion are very close to what my daughter studied in high school and she loved them as much as you did. I'm very impressed with your story about finding the passage in Samuel - not many kids would ask questions.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 4 years ago Author

Your comment makes me very happy. I think my parents "drove" me into a deeper spirituality because their beliefs were so unsatisfying to me. I have to admit that some of my comments, especially those about Paul, nearly got me in trouble in Sunday School. Thanks for the read and the comment.


SilverGenes 4 years ago

Funny you should mention Paul. He was the bane of my existence in Religious Knowledge class in grade nine and my views were not well received on the exam! I recall the teacher of that class asking me in an exasperated tone why I would not simply conform and answer appropriately like everyone else - I failed that one. LOL


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 4 years ago Author

Sounds like we agree on Paul. I have always felt that something wasn't right with him. It seemed to me that if he was a fanatical killer of my people, I would not have been so quick to accept his change of fanaticism. It is difficult for me to trust a zealot of any ilk, especially one who flip-flops. I have a book, a very thick one that I hope to finish reading soon, that quotes historians like Origen and Josephus who are of the opinion that Paul actually stole the Christian movement from Jesus' brother, James. He set the rights of women back, and it is taking us thousands of years to regain them. Thanks for reading my hub and commenting.


Louisa Rogers profile image

Louisa Rogers 4 years ago from Eureka, California and Guanajuato, Mexico

Fascinating! I too grew up with Southern parents, who believed in church (as as social injstitution) but were agnostics or in my dad's case, really atheism. Look forward to more!


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 4 years ago Author

Mysterious things happen. I answered your comment this morning, but it disappeared. Sorry. Anyway, I think a lot of Southern Christians, especially some deacons I knew, use the church as their window dressing. Thanks for reading and commenting.


ajwrites57 profile image

ajwrites57 3 years ago from Pennsylvania

MizBejabbers--what a heart-warming reminiscence of your family life! You communicate the flavor, the history, the depth of feeling for your parents, your understanding of them, your admiration for your father--all so well. Who we are, what we believe, grow over time and you share with us the path of the journey to your beliefs. We only have our time in history--thanks for sharing yours!


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 3 years ago Author

Thanks for your great comment. I'm just glad that I didn't grow up under any kind of zealot parents, either atheist or Christian. It gave me the chance to form my own views.


ajwrites57 profile image

ajwrites57 3 years ago from Pennsylvania

So true! Extremism in any realm--religion, politics, etc. without compassion, empathy or respect prohibits any chance of personal development.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 3 years ago Author

AJ, going back to your first reply. My dad could push me sometimes and make me so mad I could spit! Both parents could, so our family life wasn't always what you would call idylic. With Daddy it usuallly was about career choices, but I went my way instead of his, and he later was very proud of me because I chose to stand out from the crowd and was successful at it. I just didn't allow his sometimes extremism to get in the way. I am just thankful that neither parent was extreme when it came to religious beliefs.


ajwrites57 profile image

ajwrites57 3 years ago from Pennsylvania

Yes, I understood. Our parents definitely anger us to the point of spitting --among other things! Thanks for your new comments!


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

What a fantastic read and a very well balanced view between the 2 extremes of being a believer and a non believer. I think you explained the unexplained well by your last lines of religion being like layers of an onion, some layers being easily peeled off (easily explained) to others being not so easy to do so (experience that goes beyond the wisdom experienced by the 5 senses).

Great hub.

Voted up and awesome.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 3 years ago Author

Thank you, Rajan Jolly. I like your answer. I have kind of looked to the East for some explanations, and I love the teachings of the Tibetan, Dwal Khul.


Kellyilebode profile image

Kellyilebode 3 years ago

I have read this three times now!!! Love Love Love - Your curiosity and openness to discuss without judgement is so refreshing! The more I see the world, the more questions I have.... Great perspective... :D


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 3 years ago Author

Wow! Three times, Kelly, I must have struck a Love nerve ("Love Love Love"). The world needs more "Love nerves" like yours! My spiritual training today has been to try to understand and not judge others. Keep questioning, my friend, the answers are out there. They are being rationed out to us on our level of understanding. The more we absorb, the more we get. A triple thank you to you.


Kellyilebode profile image

Kellyilebode 3 years ago

Your last paragraph still gives me gooseflesh MizBejabbers :D - it is who I am in every ounce of my being. ....."I thoroughly believe that your life is what you make it. I made my own spiritual journey because I felt free to. I couldn’t accept that there was no more to life than a short sojourn on earth, nor could I accept a bipolar God who was loving one minute and fraught with wrath the next. I discovered that the teachings of Christ were like onions – in many layers, from little children’s understanding to learning so esoteric that I am still working on it. I discovered teachings in other religions that are worth exploring, and I have explored. I have allowed the natural feelings I had as a child to reawaken, and yes, I believe in ghosts"


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 3 years ago Author

Oh, thank you, dear. I believe you are a fellow seeker like I am. I am fortunate to be a member of a group of seekers in my city. We have been together for over 35 years, and they are my "church".


Marie Flint profile image

Marie Flint 3 years ago from Jacksonville, FL

I happened to be skipping around Hub Pages while looking for a topic on which to write (many of my ideas have plenty of hubs already, but, then maybe I have something different to add) and fell upon your hub here.

There was some schism between my mother and father, too. Dad was raised Grace Lutheran and Mom was an ex-communicated Catholic. (The Catholic Church excommunicated persons in those days for divorce, and my father was my mother's second marriage.) I instinctively knew not to discuss the Virgin Mary with my father. Neither of my parents were church-goers, but my siblings and I were raised Roman Catholic and received all the sacraments up through Confirmation. I'm pretty sure, too, my elder brother took his matrimonial vows in the Church.

I personally love metaphysics. I want to know how Jesus walked on water and healed the sick, so I can duplicate these feats. I respect the readings of Edgar Cayce, a man who helped so many overcome their afflictions by reading the aura of that person and prescribing holistic therapies as appropriate.

I have little knowledge of Lemuria, but I've come upon an interesting site called Mount Shasta Light Publishing (web address http://www.mslpublishing.com). I find the channeled messages there uplifting and a reinforcement of hygienic practices I'm attempting to incorporate in my life.

I am aware of at least one dream of being on Atlantis.

Thank you so much for sharing this interesting account of your experience with religious and atheistic views through your parents.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 3 years ago Author

Marie, your background is very interesting, and I can see how Grace Lutheran and Roman Catholic might be at odds, just like Southern Baptist and Roman Catholic. My twice-married aunt married a Catholic (his first marriage). The church didn’t excommunicate him, but it refused to marry them and they were married in a civil ceremony. It turned him off toward his church, though. It was a good marriage and lasted until death did them part, so what right does the church (any church) have to judge?

My metaphysical mentor is a former Polish Roman Catholic and she still cares about the church although she doesn’t believe in it anymore. We are taught that Jesus was a high level initiate who really didn’t need a body. He was able to call on his real spirit when he needed to work miracles. Edgar Cayce was an initiate who could heal the sick, and Jesus said that in the end times (meaning right now) others could do it too. Many people are doing it today, but not by snapping their fingers or speaking a word. It makes me wonder if there wasn’t a little historical exaggeration going on in our holy books.

I will check out the website you listed. Mt. Shasta is very important because it is a place of high-level spiritual energy. Years ago I had some past-life regressions, one of which took place in Atlantis. I read everything I can get my hands on about Lemuria and Atlantis, and I watch the History Channels for their features on Atlantis and Lemuria and the ancient “gods”. These men like David Childress, Eric Von Daniken, and Graham Hancock have done extensive research, and I respect them very much. I have met and spoken with Childress and Hancock and find them to be very down-to-earth and very nice.

I love the channeled messages from various people who were chosen to do so much more than I. I especially love the messages from Archangel Metatron channeled by fellow Arkansan James Tyberon. http://www.earth-keeper.com/earth-keeper-chronicle...

I have been to two of his Earth Gatherings in Arkansas concerning the 11-11-11 and the 12-12-12. I would like to do some hubs on metaphysics, and I may, but I’ve seen hubbers say that they are hesitant to write them because they draw some of the undesirable visitors to HP. Thank you so much for your interesting comment; it makes me glad to know that I’ve found a fellow spirit.


Marie Flint profile image

Marie Flint 3 years ago from Jacksonville, FL

I'll check out your link, too. And, yes, I agree that Hub Pages is not the best forum for metaphysical articles and studies. Rather, HP seems to promote popular culture and anything that is trendy. I was dumbfounded when I hopped some hubs and two out of three were just sexy pictures. (And, here I thought viewing a woman as a sex object went out with the antenna television!)


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 3 years ago Author

I totally agree. Many times I spend more time on selecting photos than I do on writing and editing the article. I refuse to buy photos, since this website doesn't pay enough to justify spending money on it. I've said many times that I am here to write, not be a graphic designer.


Marie Flint profile image

Marie Flint 3 years ago from Jacksonville, FL

Doris, I'm a writer first also. I posted on Facebook that I was "signing off" for the holidays. My sister asked me why and I told her I was tired of all the pictures. It seems people have very little to say about the pictures, too, often commenting with a one word response.

I don't buy photos, either. Instead I've learned how to use a memory card in my cell phone (I still prefer land phones) and even figured out how to edit the picture a little. Other than that, I use Wikimedia Commons almost exclusively. Occasionally I will email a site and ask permission to use an image from them. Some respond promptly; others not so promptly. If they take too long, I go back to Wikimedia.

Now I'm going to check out another channeled message at Earth Keeper.

Blessings!


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 3 years ago Author

Thanks, Marie. I will answer you privately.


jainismus profile image

jainismus 3 years ago from Pune, India

This is a great thing....


cfin profile image

cfin 3 years ago from The World we live in

It's funny how Jesus is always shown as having blue eyes and light skin. If we look at the inhabitants of the area where he was born at the time of his birth, he more than likely was dark skinned with brown eyes.

If the church of any christian faith are "good" as they say, why is it that they never remind their people of this fact to hep combat racism?


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 3 years ago Author

Janismus -- Thank you.

cfin: I agree with you wholeheartedly. Funny how the church where I was a kid every year gave a Sunday School lesson on the Good Samaritan and told us how we should never think we are better than someone else, but they would not have admitted a black person to their services.

Even funnier, a local Jewish family had converted to the Baptist faith and were members of our church (olive skin, brown eyes and all) and they were referred to as "Baptist Jews". Thanks for the comment and the memories.


Marie Flint profile image

Marie Flint 3 years ago from Jacksonville, FL

In the spiritual teachings I study, it is said that when one ascends, if the individual had brown eyes on earth, they become violet in the higher octave. Everything is lighter there. The teachings also stress that skin color has nothing to do with a person's spiritual state, rather the aura reflects that condition. The African race has been endowed with the test of mastery on the violet ray. The Asians are on the yellow, and most Caucasians are on a combination of pink and white. These color rays do not mean one is better than the other; all are necessary for the full expression of the Godhead. ***


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 3 years ago Author

That is beautiful. I haven't studied that teaching about the eye color. We do study that skin color or race has nothing to do with a person's individual soul. Our soul passes through all races in its evolution, so does this mean the ray of the oversoul of the race is violet or yellow, etc.?


Marie Flint profile image

Marie Flint 3 years ago from Jacksonville, FL

Hmm, I'm not sure about passing through "all races" as an individualized being (soul). We are here on earth to fulfill a dharma (duty), or assignment, if you will. Once that is finished, we graduate from earth's schoolroom to a higher octave. We maintain mastery over whatever we accomplished on earth. And, yes, it would be appropriate to say that the various races have group assignments. Qualities of the rays are wisdom (yellow), science/healing/abundance (emerald green), blue (God's will), pink (love, especially expressed through the arts), purple with gold (God's service, good works, such as the Good Samaritan), violet (forgiveness, transmutation), and white (purity). Our auras reflect the development of these colors as rings around the individual, much like the orbitals of an electron or the spectrum of the rainbow. Some may have a wider band of green, for example, if they have devoted their lives to the healing arts. It depends on how we use our energies and the purity of our intentions.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 3 years ago Author

I don't disagree with some of what you say, but your training is different from mine. The rays of which you speak surround people of all races, so there is no reason our souls cannot cross races. Part of our mastery is putting ourselves in other's shoes, and this is why we might choose to incarnate in different races. I have an affinity for a Japanese incarnation, and I've have been asked if I have Asian genetics (I don't that I know of). My mentor remembers our incarnation together as Mongol men riding our horses across the Steppes. She is an avid rider in this life.


Marie Flint profile image

Marie Flint 3 years ago from Jacksonville, FL

I believe in reincarnation also. The soul undoubtedly takes on various experiences through different races and sometimes crossing genders as well. Saint Francis, I have learned, was not only the brother from Assisi, but a prince in India who supposedly built the Taj Mahal. So, yes, we can experience different races. I think this is especially useful if one has a particular bias against a race--the harsh lesson, then, would be to reimbody as one of them! I don't believe, however, that we have to experience "all" races in order to ascend. ***


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 3 years ago Author

There are some who believe that Jesus was the reincarnation of Elijah. And you are right, that would be a very harsh lesson for a prejudiced person to become a member of a race they hate in their next life, but it probably happens frequently.


Marie Flint profile image

Marie Flint 3 years ago from Jacksonville, FL

John the Baptist was Elijah, not Jesus. See my Fan Mail link to you. It's footnote four on that page.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 3 years ago Author

You are correct. I was remembering it wrong.


Marie Flint profile image

Marie Flint 3 years ago from Jacksonville, FL

Jesus was here as far back as Seth. Imagine! No wonder I can't walk on water yet. I've only been here since Ancient Greece. Blessings!


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 3 years ago Author

Jesus was a 4th level initiate, which means his soul was working here for a very long time (I've also seen it that he was 3rd level, anyway he was high up there). A mere human won't be able to walk on water until at least the 3rd initiation. That's a few lifetimes away for most of us. Most of the chelas I know are 2nd level and working on their 3rd level.


Marie Flint profile image

Marie Flint 3 years ago from Jacksonville, FL

How do we know what level we are on? And, is it possible to slip back a level to find oneself having to repeat lessons (I hope not)? Things come and go. When I was doing Violet Flame intensely, I remember seeing rings of green light around my fingers. I don't see that now, however. Before that when working at Hippocrates Health Institute, I became interested in the Rosicrucians. One exercise was to make water in a bowl ripple by thinking and speaking aloud, "Ripple!" But, I asked myself what the point was because I didn't really want to make the water ripple. Eventually, one was supposed to be able to have the water splashing out of the bowl through just thought. My practical mind resisted, however, because I didn't want to have to wipe up the mess! (Maybe I could have trained the water to jump back into the bowl.) Ah, well--different strokes for different folks. The Rosicrucians did have a useful method for avoiding large crowds at the supermarkets, though.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 3 years ago Author

I don’t think we know for sure, but most of mass humanity is on 1st level working toward 2nd level. These are the people who look to the “God” they read about in a book. However, some of these people are so spiritually infantile that they may not have had the 1st initiation. The Ascension was an initiation of earth as a whole and not just certain individuals, but it would be interesting to know if it brought the uninitiated into a 1st level initiation.

People who know they are on a path but can’t do some of the things you mentioned in an earlier post are usually a 2nd level initiate working toward the 3rd, and I would consider myself there. You probably could, too. When you reach 3rd level, you may be able to do some of these things that are looked upon as "miracles".

The point of making the water ripple by thought was an exercise in telepathy and helping to develop the powers of the mind. It takes some work, and I gave it up before I had mastered it.I worked on controlling the feeling in my hands and got to the point that I could make my hand go numb at will. I wish I’d kept it up because it is good for pain control in other parts of the body, too. I do work the pendulum, though.

About the rings of green light, you have to keep up these exercises to maintain them. I used to see people’s auras, just barely, though, and now I have to look very close to see an aura because I didn’t keep up the practice. Another very useful thing I was taught was to choose my parking place at the supermarket or mall before I left home. I can also make a traffic light change safely. I haven’t studied the Rosicrucians, but they do have a lot of useful practices.


sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

sunilkunnoth2012 2 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

Nice article. I loved it reading. Good topic and good presentation as well. Thank you for sharing.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 2 years ago Author

Thank you for reading and commenting. I very much enjoy reading people's comments.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 2 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

I like the way your parents raised you -- steadfast in their own convictions without imposing them.

From "On Children" by Kahil Gibran:

"You may give them your love but not your thoughts,

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,

which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them,

but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday."


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 2 years ago Author

That is beautiful. I love Kalil Gibran. Thank you.


jainismus profile image

jainismus 2 years ago from Pune, India

That is a good story. I wish everybody needs such parents. It will lead the Kids to see everything in multiple viewpoints and think in both ways.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 2 years ago Author

Well, it certainly helped my find my true self. I am comfortable with my spirituality. Thanks for the insight, Janismus.


jainismus profile image

jainismus 2 years ago from Pune, India

Nice article, shared on my hub feed...


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 2 years ago Author

Thanks for the share. I really appreciate it.


Jay C OBrien profile image

Jay C OBrien 2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

I also grew up with a mixed background. My father was an atheist, my brother an agnostic and my mother was a spiritualist. My mother introduced me to Edgar Cayce when I was about 13. My stepfather (Jim) was Sioux Indian and had powers of ESP (telepathy?). Jim gave me a medical reading as Edgar Cayce would give. This shocked me even though I was familiar with ESP. Several verified ESP incidents have occurred in my life such that I accept the readings of Edgar Cayce. I do not understand why your father was not convinced.

On another matter, both my father and my brother were insane. I see the world as if everyone is at least a little crazy. I theorize a flood event (see Toba Catastrophe Theory) actually occurred and the survivors (Noah and family) had to commit incest to produce another generation. Incest caused insanity in all of us. I also believe in an Antediluvian civilization.

Are you a member of the Association for Research and Enlightenment (ARE)?


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 2 years ago Author

Jay, no, I’m not a member of A.R.E., but I’ve heard John Van Auken speak in person and he is a very impressive man. That’s interesting about your stepfather being a Sioux with healing powers. My husband is Cherokee and although he didn’t grow up on a reservation, he spent some time on one when he was a kid because his father encouraged it. He teaches Native American flute and shamanism online. I am some Cherokee, although my family distanced themselves from any tribal ties early on.

My father was part of the young “Monkey Trial” movement that formed back when he was a teenager. His friends later on were regular churchgoers after they grew up and became businessmen. He just never did. He crossed over in 1985 and tried to contact me in 2007. I’m not sure why, but I think it was to tell me that mom was going to join him and my sister soon. I don’t know why he and I were never able to make contact. Thank you for your comment and your story. Feel free to visit with me any time.


Joshtheplumber 18 months ago

Mizbejabbers, what a blessing it was for you to be raised by your parents. I know it must have been a confusing journey, but what fun is it to be born into a feathered nest? If you had been given all the answers, you would never have appreciated what you've found. I have much I could share with you, but I feel I'd be preaching to the choir ;-)

Shine on you crazy diamond!


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 18 months ago Author

I love it, Josh. Keep talkin'!


Joshtheplumber 18 months ago

Hmm... Well, I was raised Methodist. As a kid, I took Jesus's teachings very seriously, but I always felt it was being misrepresented in some way. In fact, I found it offensive how people who called themselves Christians behaved. So I rebelled and spent decades studying a variety of religions and philosophies looking for similarities rather than differences. For the past 3 years, some very odd things have been happening to me... Best way I can put it is that I've been taken very seriously... People tend to be unusually accommodating to me and I haven't understood how or why this is happening.

Anyway, my parents split up when I was 3, and I am just now getting to know my dad. He's the kind of guy that knows no strangers and has no enemies. He comes from a long line of 'Jack of all trades' types.

I was raised by my mother with my half brother, who is of a different race. Racism, as you can imagine, was not tolerated in our house, but as an adult I have come to understand where it comes from, so I don't judge... I just try to enlighten.

My grandmother was one of 3 daughters of a Methodist minister whose grandfather fought at the battle of San Jacinto. She's 97 and is one of the healthiest people in my family. My grandfather served 22 years in the military and was a 10th degree Freemason. He worked in military intelligence so I know very little else about him. I, personally, found him to be... Creepy.

Maybe if he had lived longer, I could've seen his other side... Or maybe I am exploring it in myself. Who knows? Answers create questions too ;-)

Anyway, that's a little background on where I came from. What matters now is where we are all going together.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 18 months ago Author

Very true, Josh, my grandmother's paternal family were circuit riding Methods preachers back in the 19th Century, but I didn't inherit their zeal. My philosophy is "when the spirit speaks to me, I need to shut up and listen."

Creepy is a proper word for military intelligence, I know because my husband is an ex-spook. So was his father. I used to think it was genetics until I found out that his father was one, too. Now I know it was military brainwashing.

I personally believe that 2012 was a turning point for the world. I think that is when people with true spiritual leanings came out of the woodwork and repudiated organized religions publicly. I've been called atheist because I don't believe the way the church does, but I feel more closely connected to the real universe than those people do. They are still trying to find "God." Yes, I think we are all in it together, but some people just have to realize that. Thanks again for your comment.


Joshtheplumber 18 months ago

I'm glad I'm not the only one who noticed things changing after 2012... For the better I mean

Thought I was going crazy :-)


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 18 months ago Author

Nope, only the head blind didn't notice. (That's Marion Zimmer Bradley's term for "normal" people)


Christopher Jay T profile image

Christopher Jay T 16 months ago from Fort Worth, TX

I am kind of in the same boat as you. I can no longer believe in a conventional god , nor do I believe things of the spirit are balony. I don't think I would ever think of my self as an atheist yet I am too smart to follow a dogmatic religion. For the past several years I have found myself in spiritual limbo as common sense has caused me to reject all religious texts as authoritative. In my spiritual journey is seemed like the more I knew, the less I knew, till I realized I knew noting at all. Now I don't know what to believe. I was raised Catholic. My parents weren't very devout but for nearly a decade we went to church every Sunday and ha devotionals. My parent's didn't buy into all the teachings of the catholic church. They taught me and my siblings to think for ourselves when it came to spiritual matters. They did not frown at us when we questioned religious teachings, and would try to give us logical explanations, or simply say I don't know.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 16 months ago Author

Christopher, how wonderful that your parents didn't dogmatize you and allowed you to think for yourself. There are so many wonderful new spiritual teachings out now since the "New Age Ascension" (yes, I believe it happened) that you can read and pick for yourself. I think your soul will tell you which is right for you to follow on your path. I think we have to reject our childhood church teachings before we can find our way. My spiritual mentor is a former Catholic, and although she rejects their core teachings, she still thinks the church rituals are beautiful. I send you love and light to help you find your way. I know you can. Please keep in touch.

Miz B


yecall profile image

yecall 9 months ago from California

I also had a close relationship with my father. Alas, he passed away some five years ago. Beautiful work.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 9 months ago Author

I'm sorry to hear about your father. We do miss them when they are gone. Thank you for reading and commenting.


Jay C OBrien profile image

Jay C OBrien 9 months ago from Houston, TX USA

USA TODAY January 18, 2016

Pope visits synagogue, rebukes violence

"Violence by man against man is in contradiction with any religion worthy of that name," Pope Francis at Rome's Great Synagogue.

It is my hope the Pope carries on with this message and institutionalizes it. It should be placed as a header on every page of the Bible.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 9 months ago Author

Jay, I agree with your message, but did you mean to post it on this hub? I was contrasting an atheist parent with a Christian parent, and quite frankly, found more similarities than differences between the two of them. As far as your comment, the Catholic religion has been our most violent Christian religion. It is past time for the Pope to espouse peace.


Jay C OBrien profile image

Jay C OBrien 9 months ago from Houston, TX USA

My mother was a spiritualist, my father was an atheist and my brother an agnostic. One thing I believe everyone can agree to is, "Violence by man against man is in contradiction with any religion worthy of that name." Finally, a religious leader who makes some sense! If the Pope institutionalizes this message I will become Catholic.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 9 months ago Author

OK, sounds like you had a similar upbringing to mine. Now I'm a spiritualist and I will never become Catholic.


Missy Smith profile image

Missy Smith 5 months ago from Florida

Hey MizBejabbers, I found your article link on the hub I just wrote of similar topic. I thought this was a very interesting read.

Religion is so hard to understand isn't it? And then you had the task to try to understand why your father didn't believe at all. Wow! My issue with religion seems a little simple when compared to what you had to sift through to guide your personal path. However, it seems you were eventually able to apply both ways and find your own spiritual beliefs. Is it about evolution, or an existing real God? This is an Interesting question to have to ask ones self.

I, myself, decided that religion of no type was right for me. I didn't fault the ones who go to church for their specific denomination, but that wasn't me. I still have to remind my religious parents who are of Christian faith, that they do not have to worry about me. I do, and have always believed in God. I would just rather worship him in my own way without picking sides of a certain faith.

Great article. ~Missy


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 5 months ago Author

Missy, I'm so glad you found this. I've just read your article and haven't commented yet because I wanted to see first if you had read mine. I'm not sure how much to say because I think I've had some comments deleted recently. Anyway, I think that you may be a starseed like I am. A starseed comes to the conclusion that religion is for humans to keep them in line or to give them comfort because they are not empathic. Look up starseed and study a little more about them. If that is not for you, then I understand because we are all on different paths that we chose before we were born into our human bodies.

You specifically asked if my belief was in evolution or in a real "God". That is a really difficult question to answer. I believe strongly in evolution both of the body and of the soul, and I believe that the evolution of the soul is the most important thing in our existence. I do not believe in an outside God like a "man" in heaven who rules over us. I believe that we are all part of the whole or the collective of souls. When all the souls are put together in the collective, that is "God". So when we worship "God" we are in essence worshiping ourselves, therefore, I do not worship God but I believe in the different levels of souls who make up the universe. OMG, 40 years of study can't be explained in one little reply. I've probably already said too much. If you want to email me privately, please feel welcome to do so. Thank you so much for reading and commenting, Missy.


Missy Smith profile image

Missy Smith 5 months ago from Florida

That is a very interesting way of thinking of God. I love hearing other views of how people think. I also, at this moment, realized you are much more in sync with yourself than I am with my own self. I may still be searching for just how I view God. The good news is, I will continue to search, and I do, at least, know what I don't like or believe in. A starseed! I love that!!


word55 profile image

word55 5 months ago from Chicago

Very interesting read. Perhaps, your dad enjoyed viewing life on the surface as opposed to drowning in the complicated life of religions and spirituality. He made it through the hard times on his own if he had any. He did good enough by you so, power to him and to your mother for making a happy family. Finally, it seems unconditional love was the key that was in place. Thank you for sharing MizBejabbers.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 5 months ago Author

Glad you like it, Missy. It came as a shock to me to learn that I was one and that there is something beyond man's religion. Keep in touch.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 5 months ago Author

Word55, I really like your comment. Perhaps it was true, but John Scopes provided food for thought for many a young person in his day. Thanks for reading and commenting.


jo miller profile image

jo miller 3 months ago from Tennessee

Well done. So much fun to find little gems like this on HubPages. I'll be back to read more.

,


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 3 months ago Author

Jo, thanks, Religious discussion can get pretty heated sometimes, so I thought I'd throw in a compromise.

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