Confronting the Past Part Eleven

Last time, we took a trip through my looking glass of politics; today, it’s through my looking of religion. Lewis Carroll would be proud of this trip, for, like Carrol, my trip was often enhanced by hallucinogenics of various kinds. It is not uncommon for fledgling mystics to us chemical enhancements to achieve trances. Who am I to argue with tradition? *Wink* I was born in Germany in 1948, my mother was Lutheran my father was Bulgarian Orthodox. I was baptized a Lutheran, originally. Because the Methodist Church sponsored my family to emigrate to the United States, we became Methodists, and I was raised a Methodist. I was such a good Methodist that, in either Second or Third Grade in Sunday School, I won a competition for memorizing and reciting Bible verses. I still have the prize I won: a leather-bound, gilt-edged, Revised Standard Version of the Bible from the Jenkintown Methodist Church. It’s falling apart a bit now, but I treasure it still. A few years later, my mother took me to Philadelphia to a Billy Graham Crusade. I signed up for and completed his Bible study course for kids my age. As I recall, I did pretty well. In case any of you are as big of an asshole as my son, who is typing this, a Billy Graham Crusade is basically a revival meeting, not a military campaign against the infidels. 😄 Michael is quite disappointed.

It was in my senior year of High School, that I became interested, at least on an intellectual level, in Eastern Religions. I started reading things like Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet, The Tibetan Book of the Dead, and The Bhagabad Ghita. In college, I really got into mysticism. especially meditation and the Kabbalah[for the unitiated, the Kabbalah is a form of Jewish mysticism.]. It was also at this time that I took up smoking marijuana, mainly for meditation purposes. My readings at this time expanded to include Aldous Huxley, Frank Herbert, J. R. R. Tolkien, Robert Heinlein, The Egyptian Book of the Dead, Jose Casteneda, and others. And I still only smoked dope! In 1968, I came to Chicago. It was here in August that I took my first LSD trip, something I did fairly regularly for the next 4-5 years. I know that many people will have a very negative reaction to that; however, in some ways, my religious development would have been seriously stunted without the use of LSD. The most memorable acid trips were…
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Confronting the Past Part Ten

I think it’s time I got into the juicy stuff; politics and religion. Before you all start running for the hills, no, I’m not going to deliver rants on either subject. Rather, I am going to talk a little about my own journeys through the looking glasses of politics and religion. Let’s do the politics today.

I grew up in a politically very conservative household. As I think I mentioned elsewhere, my mother, who was born in 1923, was a member of the Hitler Youth in the late 30s. My Grandfather, her dad, was NOT a supporter of Hitler. My mother really had no choice, though, about joining the H-J. Given all the propaganda and crap she was exposed to, it should come as no surprise that some of it did rub off on her.

My father grew up Tsarist Bulgaria. Monarchies tend to be very conservative, and the Bulgarian monarchy was no exception. Also, because of his very conservative upbringing, my father was sympathetic to some of the ideals of the Nazis, never realizing that he would ultimately have been sent to the Death Camps because Hitler had no use for Slavs.
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