I sat in a beautiful church as a 13 year old "prepy" at St. Leo Abby one day, all alone, looking around at the statues of lesser deities and the huge marble sculpture of the Nazarene nailed to a couple of boards. I thought to myself I honestly don't know what the truth is, but I do know that this is too superficial and cannot be it.<quoted text>
Thank you for your very kind words.
Yes, I totally agree that you most likely had a more challenging indoctrination. In fact, joining the Army at 18 and moving away from home (NC) allowed me the opportunity to broaden my perspective on religion, culture, politics, education, etc. In other words, once my circumference of awareness began to expand, I became cognizant that beliefs are simply accepting someone elses unsubstantiated ideas as your reality.
Yes, I agree that Hinduism is the worlds oldest current religion, but not the worlds oldest form of worship (Shamanism).
Yes, I find it very telling that many Christians are not aware of the practice of religious syncretism.
While in the Coast Guard, I spent a year on Baffin Island in the arctic. I had access to a very good library and read a lot. I also witnessed raw nature first hand. One day while hiking with two other Floridians (we were armed with 45's). A mile of the froze coastline, near a beautiful iceberg, I suddenly realized what I really was, FOOD, nothing more. Polar bears know no enemies, so you have to be alert all the time. Ironically, my last duty station was NC. Elizabeth City.
The arctic was another defining moment in my life or "epiphany". I am 70 years old now, I have studied all major world religions and as much science as time will allow. I am a happy and content individual and want to live forever, because there is so much more for this species to discover. Next year I hope to visit the Galapagos Islands and follow in the footsteps of the true savior of humanity, Charles Darwin. He taught us that we are connected to this planet and are dependent on everything on it. I am also a die hard environmentalist and naturalist.
Incidentally, evidence shows that the Neanderthals buried their dead, suggesting some time of religious reverence. Or maybe they just didn't want them stinking up the cave.:-)