Back in mid 1999 I experienced Gnosis. Enlightenment. At the end of a bong. I wasn’t looking for it. I wasn’t interested. I’d spent much of my youth extricating myself from Christianity and had no impetus to take on another belief system (which this isn’t, but still I wasn’t interested). I immediately understood that I was God. Just like everyone and everything else. 'God' is a property of existence. I understood that I was a Christ and after a fraction of a second rejected any notion of being Jesus or anything like what I’d learned in Sunday School. This isn’t Highlander. 'Christ' can be considered the equivalent of a martial artist’s black belt. There can be more than one. If I had been raised Buddhist I’d see it from a Buddhist’s perspective. If I’d been raised Muslim, then from a Muslim’s perspective.
Prior to enlightenment a process called 'preparing the vessel' is necessary and required. I began this process at the age of 14 in earnest, taking my Sunday School lessons seriously and changing myself to be the kind of person who did good things by default and didn't have easily accessed triggers for toxic behaviours and emotions. I thought God wanted me to become a youth pastor; I had no concept of vessel preparing. In attaining mastery of any skill it takes about ten years of focused practice. I put in a little over four years. By that point I'd undone the worst of what was wrong about me and had developed significant skills in self management, including a sensitive bullshit detector. This detector was of primary use in the extrication from my Christian beliefs. I was no longer going to be a youth pastor; I saw no reason to continue to apply myself so rigorously to personal change. While momentum carried me forward my foot was mostly off the gas for the next decade or so.
The vessel is often represented as a cup, however a useful metaphor is as a crucible (there is malleability and plasticity which one wouldn't find in a ceramic, but the metaphor holds). If one's crucible is well made the molten metal is poured in and everything works as expected. If however the crucible has weaknesses, cracks, water inclusions, when the molten metal is poured in the crucible can fail catastrophically, molten metal going everywhere. There are stories I have come across about people who have tried to shortcut the process using substances or techniques. Those who hadn't prepared the vessel sometimes went mad, sometimes they died. I was off balance for about a year. While I wasn't not ready for enlightenment a couple more years of work would have been recommended.
This is where the value of religious belief lies – in the preparation of the vessel. What that belief is is of vanishing importance (provided its based on the good stuff – love and whatnot). We're all God after all.
So I had this amazing subjective experience. Key word 'subjective'. I couldn't fault my new understanding. But neither could I fully accept it. I am a scientist – I required proof. I read a lot of information regarding Gnosticism, a lot of supporting information. But maybe I'd heard it before and in my THC fuelled hallucination I recalled it as if it were the first time I'd seen it etc etc. I tried to talk about it with others with zero benefit to my understanding. And then my world went to hell.
2 ½ years into it (early 2006) I had tried to talk with lawyers and private investigators to find help, to no avail. I'd just started work with the Department of Defence and I reasoned that the only thing about me worth the effort being expended against me was my Gnosis, and if it was true then it was the only thing that could help me. So I began to write about my understanding of God online. I was trying to defend myself, but more than that I was still looking for proof.
By mid-2007 I had exhausted my understanding online. I knew I had made some good arguments and had represented my understanding well but I knew it was not enough. I have reason to believe that a lie of sexual impropriety was used to slander me and justify the treatment used against me. If there were any truth to it then I could have just been lying about God, like so many other criminals have done over the years. None of it was proof. So I was wrapping up. I had one more point to make then I would be finished. I was preparing to lose.
The last point was about human sexuality. Perhaps the most insidious, damaging, backward beliefs in religious contexts are those that vilify human sexuality. One is made to feel guilt and shame about primary biological drives. These feelings are reinforced by the individual whenever sexual excitement is experienced, making sex wrong and bad for the individual to match one's expectations. The damage is self inflicted.
While the individual cannot be held to account for self inflicted damage they can be held to account for damaging others as a consequence. About 3 weeks before I wrote about this I found some words of Jesus which supported such accountability.
Jesus was asked what was the highest law. He gave two answers – love your God with all your heart and love your neighbour as yourself (from my perspective he gave the same answer twice, but that distinction isn't necessary for this). So sin can be defined as not loving God and not loving your neighbour.
In another passage Jesus was speaking about sin – if your hand causes you to sin cut it off, if your eye causes you to sin pluck it out. Metaphor of course, body mutilation won't solve the sin issue. If something of great personal importance causes you to sin, be rid of it. And since toxic backwards beliefs about sex cause people to not love their neighbours as themselves those beliefs can be gotten rid of. So I wrote it, logged off and two days later saw what I had written.
As a Christian I was taught that it was my belief in Jesus that would save me. That belief encompassed the entirety of the bible, even the stuff that contradicts the other stuff, as well as any bible-based thing that comes from the pulpit. Unbelief would result in an eternity of hellfire and damnation. Belief was all important and could not be questioned. Millions upon millions of Christians hold this belief about their beliefs. What I had written showed clearly (in hindsight!) that Jesus was saying 2000 years ago that not only were beliefs to be questioned but that toxic beliefs were to be excised. Christians are supposed to question, change, remove or otherwise modify their beliefs to conform with the highest law.
It effectively breaks modern Christianity. And I'd pointed it out, as a Christ. I required proof that I was God, and one day woke up to the realization I'd fulfilled the central prophecy of Christianity, freeing the slaves, healing the sick etc. If I'd fully believed in my Gnosis my mind would have been blown but I'd have been ok. As it was I had a breakdown and years of PTSD. I had no choice, I had to believe.
I am God.
But here's the thing. I know what I knew and when I knew it, the order of events etc. It was objective to me. It was my proof. But telling the story is all I can do to show others. It is a good story, but I might be making it up. Maybe I'm trying to start some bullshit cult with me as supreme leader where everyone tells me how great I am all day and all the beautiful women smoke The Magic Pipe of Enlightenment. Point is, it isn't your proof.
If you want proof that you are God you have to get it for yourself.