Wednesday, January 1, 2014

" I wish that I was born a thousand years ago,"

The Rollin' Stone

      People ask me, "Where are you going?" and I respond, "I don't know". The one thing I do know is that I am seeking, just like everyone else, for some truth; something beyond the mundane, mindless, 'going-through-the-motions' kind of life. I have learned to detach myself from the expectation that I will reach this goal of knowing, because to reach it is to stop growing. Just by seeking I am already there, and by being there I am absolutely here!...Okay...allow me to back up a bit.

      After spending time with my mother and sister I set off to Maharashtra as I have a friend (a carnatic flute player) who was willing to let me stay the night in his home. From there I set off to find an ashram in hopes of spending new years eve in meditation. The Rama-Krishna mission in Mumbai turned me away because apparently foreigners must have references? And the Gagangiri ashram in Khopoli seemed suspicious of my appearance and told me this place was reserved for devotees.

     Ironically, I ended up spending new years eve in a church! A very nice young man saw me wandering the streets of Khopoli and invited to a midnight worship service where members of the village shared testimonies and sang family songs that have been passed down through generations ( I ended up playing some guitar).
It was here that I realize I have come full circle; back to Christianity. After experimenting with Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and other practices, my interest is returning to the religion that was thrust upon me as a child.

     Who is this Jesus fellow everybody's so wild about? What is all of this "died for our sins business"? Is this somehow related to the idea that we are all "born with a black heart of sin"? I am extremely skeptical of the Catholic church, and the obvious corruption therein. Would Jesus have really been interested in building a golden city with palaces for the religious leaders? At what point did his message get skewed and turned into some mutilated form of sheep herding. Was there really even one man named Jesus, or is this actually a compilation of several different influential figures.

      I do not claim to know the answers to these questions, but I certainly enjoy asking them. In the bible, Jesus is born...there's a little note about his childhood...and then suddenly he's in his early thirties performing miracles and such. What happened during those missing years? There is a theory that he lived in India;
 practiced spiritually with monks and learned ancient methods of soul realization and enlightenment. Of course, this is controversial, because it takes away from the Euro-centric view of Christianity.

    I am interested in Jesus the teacher, not the martyr. Jesus the man, not the god. His words, not the words of the church and religious leaders. People often talk of the second coming of Christ, and this is commonly
 thought to mean a literal return of Jesus in the flesh. There is, however, another way to interpret this idea of second coming. Imagine instead Christ Consciousness: The state of being that he achieved. Imagine further that this consciousness could be realized within yourself and those around you. Imagine that we could each become our own Shepard, instead of another roaming sheep.

    As of now, I'll keep roaming. There are some ancient Buddhist caves nearby that I hope to visit. After that I'll see which way the earth's magnetism is pulling me and set off to find a place to rest for the night. I wish not to offend anyone, only to stir up interesting conversation and deep contemplation. Please feel free to comment here, on facebook, or in a personal message to me. I love feedback, almost as much as I love my readers.  Let's keep livin' the dream.

Don't stop believin',
Granola Baba


  1. "...the religion that was thrust upon me as a child." Well said grasshopper. It always amazes me how religious people can be so convinced that theirs is the one true religion and they never consider that this religion was chosen for them by their parents. Not chosen at all really. It's geographical and if one was born in Saudi Arabia instead of Alabama one would be convinced that Islam is the one true religion.

    Now consider that there are an estimated 41,000 different versions of Christianity in the world and each one is utterly convinced that they are the only ones who are going to heaven…and they are all reading the same book!

    There are lots of things about religion that I find odd. Consider that most popular religions believe that this life is nothing but a lead-in to an afterlife of eternal happiness. Paradise. Yet these folks still wear their seat belts...perhaps they are not as convinced as they wish to appear?

    I could go on....

    ...I think I will...Christianity has people telling their children that they are born evil (black heart of sin). "Born sick and commanded to be well." as Christopher Hitchens puts it. Now, you have the choice to not be well and all that will happen is that you will burn for all eternity in a lake of fire...but he loves you. A particularly vile proposal in my opinion.

    Jesus may have existed. There is no real evidence of this- just stories written decades to centuries after he supposedly lived, but it's possible. It is interesting though that you use the word “Euro-centric” to describe a religion born in the Middle East. Obviously this is because Christianity wouldn’t have had any “legs” if not for the emperor Constantine and the formation of the church that became the Roman Catholic Church. I also think people get confused by the lovely depictions of fair skinned hippie Jesus. If he existed he would certainly have been brown skinned and black haired. It must have been very important for the savior to be white for him to be accepted. By the way, most Christians do not consider him a martyr. His death was a sacrifice.

    Many years ago I traveled a similar road as the one you are on. I investigated many religions looking for truth. It is sad that so many of out brothers and sisters accept what they are told and don’t bother to take this wondrous journey. As a result I have come to my own conclusions but any real evidence that might come to light could sway me. Currently I believe religion; specifically organized religion is the biggest danger civilization and the survival/advancement of our species that we face in these modern times.

    I’ll hop off my soap box for now. Thank you for sharing your adventures with us. I look forward to seeing you soon.

    Unka’ Dave

  2. Good to have your two cents once again deposited into the conceptual piggy bank of this Jam blog. Well said (on many fronts)

    You mentioned the 41,000 or so different views of Christianity. From what I have been researching this is exactly what prompted the mutilation and systematization of the word of Jesus (a.k.a Issa, Jashua Ben Hur, and other names).

    It seems that the original message was one of self discover, seeking within to find the truth, much like what good ol' Buddha talks about (though he was also made into a figure which poorly represents his teachings). This kind of philosophy threatens the "powers at be" by introducing these ideas of self sufficiency; you don't need the church, the priest or any particular ritual to achieve salvation, its absolutely a subjective personal experience that cannot be duplicated or replicated.

    I would agree with you with one exception. Although religion may have it's faults as an institution, I feel that if one finds their peace with such a practice it is not dangerous and may actually be beneficial to their well being; because spirituality is a personal experience. So it is the institution of religion which stands as the biggest danger to human kind....that and the military industrial complex...but that'll be a different post.

    I look forward to gettin back with the fam soon as well! Much love, give my little cousins a kiss and a squeeze from me.