Monday, May 29, 2006

Words are great except when you have multiple answers to tell. People depending on which idea comes first, react. Anyway here's the story about how last weekend I got to a Charismatic Meeting. So how to start??

I'm Bright. (Warning from here on no filter to protect those who believe in G-d.)

For a start, I got lost in the way to the meeting. However I was determined to go, so I eventually arrived. I have to make some comparisons. These guys are good intended but have a lot to learn about organization. It isn't that I'm so good, but I have the experience to realize how badly they need someone in logistics. There are so many things they can improve... I should share my ideas with these guys. BTW, I believe that if Julio committed himself to that event, he could make a real difference.
Anyway, what I found there was good heart people with an awful need of love. No wonder they accept, are in need, for someone who says "I love you". About 80% of the guys who participated (ie not staff) had troubled lives. There were about 6 atheist at most. Didn't have the time to really talk to them. So I can't say if they were Bright. I doubt it. Mexico doesn't have many of us... On the other side, I didn't have time to talk much with anyone. For one, not many breaks, two, they clearly spoke against causing controversies and three I wasn't prepared to be seen as the antagonist in that place. However from the start I introduced myself as an Atheist.
The weekend was one simple routine, hear someone talk about God-related thing, sing, prey, rinse and repeat. One level of abstraction above one could follow the standard Fundamentalist talk. If you don't remember it, it is the 5 step program: show love, world is evil, us against them, be an active member, beware/fear. At some point in the meeting I could have passed for Magician as I could easily predict which topic was about to be spoken. Except by 2 talks, I didn't expected. One about the history of the Charismatic Movement and another about Virgin Mary. I think those two talks are pawns in the great chess of keeping that movement a Catholic one, even though they aren't. Once again, I believe they aren't, though most truly believe they are.... Ignorance not malice.
I had the opportunity to meet several great guys. I must repeat, they are fine people, though I just can't figure how can they keep themselves numbed. Most topics on the other hand I abhorred. I had to will power myself to stay on that place. For G-d's sake, they had curiosity in the same level as vengeance! And there was a part where they listed all we-don't-like: quija, fengshui, and yoga?? And meditation?? I got it. You have problems with witchcraft and even tarot, but had you to repeat it so many times! And how many times can a man hear that they should suppress themselves to be a good Christian; to understand how that idea is just comical, dumb and pointless? Of course, I wasn't there for the talks.I was there for a single reason, meet that guy/gal they call God. My friends have told me how great and awesome it is to be with him/her...
However there's a small difference between the others and me. I didn't went there to be saved, neither to fill an imaginary vacuum all the supranaturist believe they have... No. I went with a simple easy to do test that could prove me if God exists and is willing to talk with me. I can't share it with you, 'cause maybe someday I will try to reuse it.
So, did you felt or saw any Divine intervention? The answer is no. I can explain all that I saw as Collective Hysteria. Did I saw anything that could convince others? Certainly. I heard Tongue gift, Spirit's rest, and so on. Did I felt anything at all? Ok julio and anyone, please don't create a parallel world where I am full Christian. Just read this knowing that it takes much more to crack my common sense. Yes, I smelled roses. And felt a power. Just like I felt it with the kundalini 1 initiation (a reiki thing). Not stronger, not better, not anything. Because this blog has some sense of importance in my heart I will tell you even more. Once while I prayed, a woman arrived. Don't know whom as I had my eyes closed. She told me several things, first in tongues then in Spanish (I hope ;). There I received the great news, I had a Gift. Prophecy.
I could tell you how this would be in perfect sense with my life, always having the hard way and all. Yet I won't. I will tell you the truth. For a time I doubted my own atheism. Why? Because just before the lady arrived I asked G-d for a bone. I didn't told you I wasn't part of the collective hysteria... In fact I tried as hard to participate as I could, while never crossing the line of deceiving myself or others. Anyway, once I got to my bed I had time to digest certain things and I was once again reasonable. I have no intellectual remorse about the event, though I told myself "you can't exit that easy, if in fact G-d gave you a bone, work with him in some way..." That's when an idea crossed my mind. Bible says that one can identify the good from the bad by its fruits. That's what I'm gonna do. I will test for one month how things turn up. My part of the deal is hard: act as a good Catholic, follow their activities. Maybe I can go from actions to beliefs...
Just one more thing to tell you about that meeting. One of the last exercise was about "Who wants to be a follower of Jesus?" As you can expect the idea is to get critical mass in the auditorium, so once there are some up and hugging, peer pressure enough can make all the others stand and try to follow. So it came to happen that less and less kept sitting. From the beginning I could spot the atheist, and here I proved myself right, they were almost the last ones. Until I was alone. Imagine an auditorium with a huge group hug and only me inside the circle. Good thing I'm not that shy. Yet I knew how the hard part was for both parties. The staff saw me as a failure?? Didn't the old ladies almost started crying because they knew my soul would go to hell? I could see how my new "friends" had some pain viewing me outside of that show. At one point it was obvious that, that group had a real hard time having me an insignificant pebble in the shoe. It isn't easy to anyone follow the peer pressure and then see someone who isn't willing to bend because of fear. At that point I completely stopped having any possible shame. At that point I even thought I was doing the best thing I could do for them. Show them that there are options! Then a staff girl came and politely invited me to participate. "Thanks no. I'm fine." Then some started to call me. An old lady shouted, "come boy, here's a fine spot. Come." I saw pain in her eyes. And then another girl not from the staff came. I knew she had will. There I realized I had no choice but to follow her, 'cause there I won't be "right" just stubborn on the eyes of all of them. Then I would be the infidel or worse the antagonist. When I stood up. All the group started to clap. As if they have finally achieved peace. And yet, they knew I wasn't a believer, I think. After that a Mass happened and someone asked G-d to help those good guys who don't believe in him... I guess I could tell more, but those are stories best left for other day.
ps. You won't believe how hard it is to restart the habit of praying. I'm just not used to talk to an authoritative perspective. Neither to ask for magical answers or the like. After that, the second hardest is to don't mess with G-d name... Then all is almost smooth.


Blogger Darth Julius said...

And after reading your story, I just can tell, Memo you're like a rock, like Peter. But even Carbon can turn into diamond. There were things you couldn't explain, but if you talk to God, you pray, you praise, you'll be responded.

Yes many talks were kinda Fundamentalist, I use to meditate with God, close your eyes, think about Him, praise him in silence, read the Word, focus on Him, on that feeling...ask for Holy Spirit to come, it works. You can do it by nights, before sleeping also you can pray for your personal needs, He hears you and if He wants He'll respond.

I'm Glad that you went and that you were simply YOU. :). It was really tough, I know...

11:08 AM  
Blogger Darth Julius said...

FYI, I smelled Insence, but the person next to me smelled roses, I never smelled roses just insence, and I've smelled it many times in places where there's no insence. How could you explain that?.. a recall from my memory trying to smell insence?.

11:12 AM  
Blogger Guillermo said...

Yes, a memory triggered responde. I would feel it is truer if I hadn't been warned "you could possibly smell incense or flowers, maybe roses". It's just like alien abductions, by "warning" you are telling the people who they can express their unknownness. (Meaning their reaction to the unknown.)

Don't you wonder why people reduce their perceptions? As if there was, in fact, a morphological space...

11:27 AM  
Blogger Alarum Raia said...

Once I was at this church, La Merced, at downtown, looking at the paintings on the wall and making notes about them. Then, this girl came, walking on her knees all the way to the altar. She was crying, praying loudly and shouting. I could tell she was really suffering.

She kneeled before the altar and started shouting: "please God, forgive me, I know I've been too bad, I know I'm a sinner!". There were other women at the church, so they approached the girl and started praying and singing with her.

Then, the girl just fell down and started choking and coughing, screaming: "get out of me, I want to see God, I want to feel God, get out, get out!". I was petrified.

Someone, then, knocked on the sacristy's door and some nuns came out. Meanwhile, three women tried to help the girl, putting medals and cucifixes on her chest and praying. She was still screaming, crying, twisting and talking nonsense.

One of the nuns had holy water and started spraying it on the girl, then she went with each one of us who were watching and asked me: "do you want holy water?" and I said "no, thanks" (I'm an atheist, of course). She gave me that look of disapproval, but I didn't really care.

Then, the girl just stopped and a man helped her to kneel again. She was more calm but still crying, and she continued praying in silence. A nun came over to me and told me: "that's what happens to sinners, you should be praying and repenting".

I was scared because since I was the only one not praying or kneeling or asking for holy water, I felt that one moment or another someone would start pointing at me, screaming: "she's got the devil inside! she's the devil! she's a sinner!".

So, I got out of the church and left all those people praying and crying. It's still one of the most weird experiencies I've had. And I'm still not a believer.

Your story made me remember that. Especially that feeling of not belonging. he.

BTW, I don't mean to offend any believer, but I was really angry at those people who, instead of looking for medical attention (the girl clearly needed it, she was in a terrible nervous crisis) got into the drama. But, that's faith... so they say...

saludos :)

1:05 PM  
Blogger David said...

I liked how you wrote this post. You are giving a better explication about what happened in this Charismatic Meeting than when we talked about it by phone.


2:45 PM  

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