religion #0: How I was raised to believe

Maybe a good way to start a spiritual autobiography is with god.

The experience:

Like most people I grew up being taught by my parents in what to believe, so I took on their faith which in my case was their catholic Christian god.

Because my grandmother told us that children’s prayer would reach the clouds, I did my best to pray.

My parents made me an altar-boy (who always forgot to ring the bells in time, who unknowingly did light his own hair with the own confirmation candle, who missed to visit his own house when walking through the celebration of the “three wise Kings” and who made kids involuntary cry when having to play Santa Claus’ helper “Knecht Ruprecht” – because the costume I got was too small for me; so in order to be able to wear the cap sawn on it, I had to walk like a hunchbag all the time.

In church, I usually could relate best to the sentence at the end of each mess: “thanks to our lord god” ,
and I also thanked him that this boring event was over.

It also got on my nerves that the conservative priest did twist our ears when we hadn’t attended Sunday mess (not knowing that we were there on Saturdays), and I disliked that there always were people taller than me blocking my view, so I visualised god mowing them all down to my size.
Decades later a tiny woman told me that she and her small family was actually always standing behind me and she had cursed me out multiple times for exact the same reason.

But then again, there was nothing to see anyway, except for an authoritarian god-father figure painted on the wall which for decades did “put the fear of god into me” – a phrase I could not really relate to.

Such is the fear of god, that one subconsciously feels afraid when not believing in “him”.

I wondered anyway why god should be male. I think god should be called “it”, because if it is everything why the heck should it be limited to a gender role?
Yay, hardcore-feminists out there, here is something for you to fight against: go after the Abrahamic version of a macho-god, instead of attacking me for having balls !

To strengthen my fate, as a gift for my completed A-levels, my parents generously payed for a trip to see the biblical places of Israel, so I went with a religious group for an exchange with Arab Chrisians who lived near a Kibbuz, but that dudb’t go as my parents hoped for, because
* at the original stations of the cross they sold crowns of thorns for tourists;
* in Betlehem they told every visitor to crawl into some tiny space where Jesus was supposed to be born, to “kiss it, touch it, make a photo!“,
* and in the midst of summer they sang “silent night, holy night” whilst the priest entered the church, holding up a plastic Jesus.
So I pretty much was done with the church, but also
* the Islamic golden temple was not better, when feeling a vertical hole in a rock in which Mohamed supposedly did put his foot in: I wondered: how could anyone put his foot in there sideways, and why did the imprint remind me more of that of a goat’s foot than a human one? #allFake&greed

And seeing members of all 3 Abrahamic religions fight amongst each other made me loose faith in all of them alltogether.
For me the terminology “anti-semitism” for example is already a distorted victim-consciousness, because not only Israelis are semites, but the entire part of north Africa -including exactly those who sarcastically are called “antisemitic“.

So whenever I had teenager crises I did regret not having anyone to pray to, but at least I was authentic for not using god in an opportunistic way.

I also found out that Jesus’ birth definitely was not around the year zero, because passages about Herod the (not so) great who supposedly was killing tons of kids in order to also kill Jesus, died 4 years BC (meaning before Christ was even born!).
The only way you can explain Herod’s “premature killjoy-ejaculation” is by claiming that our calender was arbitrary constructed afterwards.
But then again – so is the entire bible itself.

Later I discovered that Christmas was put onto December to override the Germanic winter-solstice Yule-fest, for me this seemed less as a “merry Christmas” than a “maryChristAndMess”.

Also eastern obviously used to be a spring-pagan festival – with symbols of fertility such as eggs and the rabbit (which – to make matters worse – the bible falsely declares to be a ruminant ^^).

Ok, I thought, the reason Christians cling onto their Bible,
is because in the new testament it is stated that no word should be added, nor taken away.
All good …
… except for the fact that in the old testament any alteration or addition to the book already was forbidden.
So logic dictates that the entire new testament is a sin, because it is added when long time ago the Biblepart corresponding to the. Jewish Torah requested nothing to be changed.

Overall it seemed to me that faith is like the conditioning of small elephant-babies, which are tied to a rope on a peg.

When they later are grown to be huge they still don’t try to break free from their tiny rope, because they are conditioned that the rope would be unescapable.

Adyashanti once said that orthodox religions were meant to serve as “welcome mats” to guide us into our own house of self-realisations, but unfortunately most people are stuck worshipping the welcome mat itself, instead of entering the house of their self.

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