Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Angels and Demons and Nothing, Part 1

I have decided to write down an account of my various and sundry adventures in the religious/spiritual realm, in order to make my present opinions more clear to myself and others. 

This will be done in a series of posts, updated whenever.

Some readers may find some of my experiences surprising. Undoubtedly it will lead to questions on the part of anyone who is not me.  Feel free to ask questions.  I will do my best to answer them, either as a response, or in future chapters of the story.

I will write more-or-less in chronological order, mixed in with other topics as the need arises.  At this time I do not know how many installments there will be, nor how long it will take.


It was the summer of my 13th year when I began having religious visions.

I had always been a religious kid, growing up in a hyper-Catholic family, going to Catholic school.  But I also always have had a strong imagination, and when I was bored sitting in Church, I would imagine various monsters or demons destroying the church and killing people until I used my divine powers to save everyone.

There were times, receiving Communion in late grade school and into middle school, when I would experience a type of ecstasy.  I would reflect on the idea that I had literally brought Jesus into me, and I felt a type of Greater Bond, an excited, awe-inspiring happiness.  I told one of my nun teachers about it, and she considered that to be a very good thing.  The parish priest suggested I think about becoming a priest.  But the only reason I would have considered being a priest was if they let me perform exorcisms.

By 5th grade I had developed the habit of listening to music with my eyes closed, letting the sounds influence my daydreams.  It was one of my favorite things to do - constructing my own surreal musical worlds.

When I was 13 years old, I was, like many American boys, trying to earn money by mowing lawns.  One hot day I had just come back from mowing the lawn of my neighbors, two pretty college girls.  I collapsed on my bed in my basement, and put on my newly favorite record (yes, record) - the soundtrack to Close Encounters of the Third Kind.  Closing my eyes, I submitted myself to the flow of the music, constructing and conducting soundscapes.

Towards the end of the record, however, I lost control of my daydream.  It took over, and I was just along for the ride.  The music led me through fantastical visions, both terrifying and exciting.   The record ended and I was feeling very small and awestruck.  There was an image similar to the space baby at the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey. I opened my eyes and found myself curled up in the fetal position.

Once I pulled myself together, my fear at what happened was small compared to the fascination of it.  I did not feel threatened in the slightest - I felt fresh, reborn, different.  Though I can't remember for sure, I'm sure I took it as a sign from God.  Doors had been opened to me. 

I was going to start experiencing the world in a whole new way.

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