Monday, May 16, 2011
Why I am a Heretic
Everyone likes gold, but only those who REALLY like it dig deep for it. Reading all sorts of different books is one way to "dig for gold." Now someone like Hans Kung dug SO deep that he is banned from teaching theology in a Catholic university (which means that he moved his office from the theology department to the philosophy department.) Kung is like someone who has climbed Mt. Everest and is texting to us down at sea level to say what the view is like at sunrise. But only those who climb Mt. Everest themselves can actually know what its like. I was raised with absolutely no religion by Protestant parents (in name only) who never took me to church even once. It was in the St. John's Great Books program that I was first exposed to writings about religion. After I graduated, I began to teach myself modern Greek. Then I began regularly attending the only Greek Orthodox church in New Haven (St. Barbara's). Then I entered Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Monastery in Jordanville NY for 3 months, was unhappy there, and went to Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Brookline MA where I was a novice for 13 months and came to realize that I was not cut out for such a life. I remained Eastern Orthodox for 20 years but became disillusioned with myself feeling that I could not be what I was expected to be and in part I was disillusioned by the Old Calendarist Greek bishops who kept breaking away from each other and accusing each other of heresy. I divorced my first wife of 13 years (partly my fault and partly hers) and married a not-so-religious Filipina who gradually became extremely religion and took lifetime vows as a third order Sister of Charity. She developed several serious autoimmune diseases and had a kidney transplant. For years we have lived as brother and sister. I personally gradually experimented with many religions and then rolled my own (like rolling a cigarette) which has some elements of Hinduism and some Buddhist/Jain/Sikh/Sufi elements. I came to understand a lot about Roman Catholicism. I would possibly consider becoming Roman Catholic. I would never seriously consider joining some Protestant denomination for the simple reason that I have done very well making my own religion and feel in no need of help from Joel Osteen et al. I lean towards Pelagius and Steinbeck's understanding of Pelagius which he illustrates in his novel "East of Eden" by which I mean to say that each person possesses within themselves all that is necessary to avoid evil if they really desire to do so. If there is a Judgment and a Hell then I deserve condemnation in hell on the basis of my heretical beliefs. I prefer God's justice over mercy. As Krishnamurthi said "Truth is a pathless land."