It’s been a long road and I’ve only taken a few steps.
At some point, we all must come to the realisation that we have no idea who we are or where we are going in life. This happened to me. Then it happened again, and again. I’m a work in progress.
I was born a “Cradle Catholic,” in a country that more or less demanded that if you were Jewish by blood, you covered it up with a more ACCEPTABLE religion. I grew up in the faith and was perfectly clueless about anything else until I was 14 years old and had a terrifying experience with a well-respected member of the clergy. I won’t go into details. Needless to say, no one wanted to listen to my word against his.
After that incident, I began to question everything I ever thought I knew about religion, about people, about the society I lived in. I became an Agnostic, of a sort. I didn’t exactly stop believing in God, I just wasn’t sure he was the God depicted by the church.
Years later, after moving to England, (still not a practising Catholic,) I was introduced to a variety of different cultures. I lived in East London. I lived in Northern England. I attended an Anglican Church service or two, but found my stubborn refusal to believe had morphed into a sort of unrecognised atheism. I have always had an issue with the Problem of Evil, and I found more and more that I used that as my basis to reject the idea of a loving saviour. I won’t go into the typical questions this arises here, too many others have already done so.
I moved to the United States in my twenties. It was a time in my life where I felt like I had everything under control and didn’t really believe I needed anything else. I actually kind of enjoyed the freedom that Atheism offered me. I was responsible for myself with no big brother looking over my shoulder. It felt good to know I could make ethical choices on my own, without the fear of Hellfire and Brimstone being my silent motivator. But, then I met someone. Sophia. Wisdom. Philosophy, call her what you will, slowly she began to morph me into something else entirely. She’s a fickle Bitch. One day you think you know everything and she is introducing you to everyone in her circle, (most of them are old and have long beards,) the next day she has left you with nothing but unanswered questions and a hangover with a marching band in your head.
Being the kind of person I am, who has mental issues and isn’t afraid to say so, (I’ve had a lifelong issue with depression and severe anxiety,) I did what any not-so-normal person would do, and I began to study religion and different cultures. Now, I practise as a Jew with Buddhist leanings. Right? Make sense out of that.
I do not believe in Zionism or hereditary ownership of land based on ancient scriptures. I also disagree with supersessionism to the Nth degree. (There’s already a line forming to the left of people who disagree with me, so please feel free to sign in and wait your turn to punch me, peace-loving people.) I don’t think that being Jewish means you have an automatic right to punish other people for the sins of the past or treat them the same way your culture has been treated. Violence does not solve violence, and I love people. All people, including our Moslem brothers and sisters. I am not afraid to say a few words, or a lot of words about the mismanagement of the State of Israel and if that makes me Anti-Semitic in your eyes, then I find you rather sad and in need of a dose of reality, regardless of how you declare yourself.
Ultimately, philosophy has led me to a lot of truths that are also theological in nature. The most basic of these for me, is that there really is one God. We just call him by different names and have clothed him in our human opinions and desires. This might sound odd, because some of the ideas I have collected over the years that support this, (at least in my mind,) are not really based on the idea of a “God” at all, but rather a way of living. Anyway, in my infinitely limited wisdom, I believe that there is a God for everyone, even the ones who do not know it. This God goes by many names and shows him or herself in many different incarnations, depending on who you are and where you are located, but ultimately, is the same being, the same energy, the same one answering the prayers and performing the most miraculous of modern miracles…surviving in an age dedicated to secularism.
I may have what most people would consider a confused view of things, but I have come to see that what I am, and what I was, and who I will be, are really irrelevant. I am human. I invite Jehovah’s Witness people into my home to discuss their religion. I am an independent minister, it’s my job to be objective, but also my pleasure. I do the same with Mormons. I respect the opinions and religions of other people, unless we get into using religion as a political ploy, and then I tend to be more sober about things.
What I am, What I was and what I will forever be is someone who is constantly changing, evolving–thanks Darwin–and as a human, I am fallible, I am wrong more than I am right, I am confused more often than I have any true clarity, but I am also dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge, so the one thing I will always be able to say, is that I am better informed than I could be if I chose to simply follow along.
I am Ionia Froment. That’s good enough. This is my blog, where you don’t have to agree with me. Because that’s where good dialogue begins. Welcome one and all.
And all other greetings.