Ever since I can remember I have always been a spiritually conscious person. I’ve lived my fifty-plus years trying to find out what’s the meaning of my life. My very first recollection was when I was about four or five years old in a boat full of passengers. One Friday morning my mother, and younger brother, and I had to go to Trujillo; a larger town about 10 kilometers from Santa Fe where we lived. The sky was overcast and the waves of the ocean were very choppy. Everyone wanted to board the boat as quickly as possible to get to Trujillo before the storm. While in the boat the waves became more and more violent and some people started to get nervous about continuing the trip. The boat captain reassured everyone that nothing would happen. Once we were half way to Trujillo, the boat started to rock violently, and some of the passengers started to voice their concern that the boat would capsize. This is my first recollection of praying to God. I remember how the adults commented about me praying and saying that God was definitely hear my prayers. Everyone was relived when we safely arrived to Trujillo.
Several years later my mother emigrated to the United States and I stayed back with my aunt and grandmother in Trujillo. While I was still living with my grandmother and my aunt, I often explored their garden. One time I notice a strange plant that caught my eye, when I pulled the leaves apart a slimy substance was inside of it. My curiosity of my surroundings also included a fascinated with birds. My friends and I would grab our sling-shots and go bird hunting. During one of our hunting expedition I shot a bird I saw the body fall from the tree to the ground. I felt a overwhelming guilt about what I have done. Since that day I pledged never to hunt another animal ever again.
Threes years later my mom sent for me and my sister to reunite with the family in New York City. It would be several decades until I saw my hometown again.
While growing up in the Bronx, I developed an interest in astrology. At seventeen I purchased my first pack of Tarot cards. Because of the superstitious people around me I kept it a secret. I was now living in New Orleans, a place where the supernatural was part of the culture. At the same time, I was conflicted because I was a Christian. According to scripture, Christians should not dabble in witchcraft. So at times when my christian believes would over take me I would get rid of my Tarot card or anything relating to divination. But I always ended up purchasing another pack of Tarot cards.
Few years ago I got interested in the study of Yoruba, a African religion that comprises the traditional spiritual concepts and practices of the Yoruba people. In my study of Yoruba I’ve became particularly drawn the deity, Chango. In continuing my study of the African diaspora I became interested in the study of Santeria and Voudo.
However, recently, I’ve gotten rid of my Tarot cards and some of my metaphysical books.I also stopped going to church. My decision to stop attending church was a little difficult because I got confirmed into the Roman Catholic church. At the time I was excited about it, I really wanted to be part of that religious culture. But I realize I did it because of sentimental reasons, because my mother who passed three years ago was a devote catholic. My older sister and a niece was really into it and I felt I also I should find my spirituality by becoming a devote catholic. As I went to church and really tried to get into it, I mostly found it disappointing. The church environment I experienced was mostly negative. Though some of the parishioners were nice people, too many of them seem frustrated and just mean. I just felt more and more disillusioned of the whole experience. I prayed about it and I went back to my Bible for answers. My favorite quote is found in Hebrews chapter 8 verses 10-13:
“This is the covenant I will make with the house of Isreal
after that time, declares the Lord.
I will put my laws in their minds
and write them on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
No longer will a man teach his neighbor,
or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’
Because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest.
For I will forgive their wickedness and
will remember their sins no more”
By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.
Jesus came 2000 years ago to usher in the new spiritual age and gave his life for it. I believe that all the scandal the Roman Catholic church is going through is to wake people to the truth. God is in us, as Jesus teach in the Gospels. We will never find God in any church. Jesus is quoted in the Bible saying that our bodies are the Temple of the Holy Spirit. I’ve stopped believing in rituals and doctrines of the Roman Catholic church. I have discovered a wholeness and a renewing of my spirit and I have put away fear and doubt out of my life. I feel emotionally and spiritually liberated, and this is the way I want to feel for the rest of my life. I believe this is what Jesus came to teach, this freedom and truth is what life is about. Jesus said that by knowing the truth we would be set free.
Now that I no longer feel spiritually confused, I am pursuing my art and writing wholeheartedly. I no longer feel conflicted spiritually. I only expect to continue to grow and discover my many spiritual gifts. I will just allow what ever God wants me to be.
I believe God is a energy, a force that permeate everything that exists. Negative energy and positive energy is what make up our world. What we label as evil is part of our existence and our source of learning. Religion is a way of life, a philosophy that we adopt to live by. It shouldn’t be something that is dictated to us. A conscious person is a godly person and is living by the law of God.
All we need to do is learn to go within, by living a meditative life. God is in us not outside of us, we find it in peace and love for one another. If we continue to look for God outside of us we will continue to be confused, and vulnerable. In our human existence it will be up to us if we choose to evolve spiritually or continue to destroy ourselves and our environment.