Evolution of Faith

By Jim Koury, Editor/Publisher, Diversity Rules Magazine
© 2013 Diversity Rules Magazine.  All Rights Reserved.
www.diversityrulesmagazine.com

jrk_Summer_13In prior essays I have done I have periodically touched on faith.  It is a recurring theme in my writings and I hold it close to me tightly each and every day.  My life runs on faith.  Without it I do not know where I would be in terms of my life and how it is progressing.  Because of faith I have been able to endure the most trying moments,  I have always had this internal mechanism that drove me to believe and have faith that all would work out despite how dire the situation. 

What is faith?”  There are many definitions, but for the purpose of this essay faith, as per Merriam Webster, is a “firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust.”  Because faith is such an elusive concept not grounded in fact and cannot be proven, it is hard for many to grasp and put into practice.  The daily grind of life, many times, can wear down any semblance of faith we may have to endure the most trying of times.

I would have to say that throughout my life, I have had a varying degree of faith; in myself, in religious entities, politicians and in other people generally.  While I have had many breaches of faith, and moments of self doubt and have been disappointed in the faith I had in people in whom I placed a certain degree of trust, I can say with a relative degree of confidence that I have always been a faithful person.  Even in my darkest moments, I clung to a belief in an unseen power within myself; one that could ultimately lift me out of whatever predicament I found myself in.  It is such leaps of faith that guided me through many difficult times and which will sustain me in any future moments in which a leap of faith will be necessary to  reach the next plateau.

As I look upon my life at this current moment in time I have to marvel at how far I have come.  The Jim Koury of my past in very little respect represents the Jim Koury of today.  Yes, I may have much of the same personality traits and other idiosyncrasies but there has been an astounding change in my philosophy of life and how I interact with it, along with personal growth both mentally and spiritually that has produced an individual far different than the one of yesteryear.  Just as my entire being has evolved into something unimaginable to me at an earlier point in my life, so has there been an evolution of my faith.

As a child I was born and raised as a Roman Catholic.  My faith was shaped by an institutional perspective governed by man-made rules and regulations influenced by the more conservative of tendencies.  I was a good little Catholic boy. I was baptized into Christ and was confirmed into adulthood as were my two brothers.  My mom and dad did their duty as parents in a time when religion dictated much more how we functioned and interacted in society.

During all this “indoctrination” I never actually felt comfortable with the institutional church.  While I outwardly expressed a dedication to my Catholic upbringing there was always a hesitancy to believe in everything I was being taught.  I questioned a lot of the church’s teachings internally but very rarely did I ever talk publicly to anyone about my angst and trepidation.  I sensed I was growing up in a religious environment that was not going to be truly suited to who I would become later in life.  Even as a child I knew things were “different” with me sexually and subconsciously I knew it was the driving force shaping me into the person I was supposed to be and not that philosophy I was externally expressing.

As I progressed in life I eventually began to shed myself of many of the teachings I did not agree with, which started to be many.  As a result, I began to really feel like an island alone and was beginning to realize what the church actually represented.  It no longer was the benevolent creature I thought it was growing up and into my college years.  It became so alien to me that I finally stopped going to church and essentially abandoned the thought paradigms instilled in me as a child.

In light of all this there was also another life changing moment in my life that was more intimately guiding my actions.  When I finally came out of the closet the energy that was released catapulted me into directions I never thought I would ever be able to experience.  It was scary,  yet exciting at the same time.  I was finally living the life I knew deep inside was the right one and not the façade that I created to hide the true me.  My faith in my religion all but disappeared at this time.  I got tired of hearing the church condemn gay people and how we were sinners and going to suffer eternal damnation.  I had enough and it jettisoned me into the no religion zone or the “I am an agnostic” period of my life.

I chose to be agnostic because I never abandoned my faith in a higher power.  I could never be an atheist because I did believe in some spiritual force that guided and protected us.  I just did not believe in the Jesus fable and all the trappings that went with the tale any longer.  Despite that, I always had hope that I would find something to guide me and assist me with making the right decisions.  I wandered aimlessly for many years in this frightful condition making decisions that probably were not the best ones to make.  I was making choices that were guided by fear rather than courage and level headedness.

There was a time about 7, almost 8 years ago, that I was in the depths of my lowest level of self-esteem.  I was having some financial difficulties that were placing intense strain on my mental condition and my physical stamina.  I did not know where to turn or how to get out of the mess I had gotten myself into.

Then one day in the gay chat rooms I started speaking with a guy, who shall not be named, that referred me to someone that was and still is a life saver for me.  He is a spiritualist type and he said while he was talking to me he was getting messages that I needed something.  Because of this he referred me to a remarkable woman who had spiritually based powers.  I was introduced to my first ever spiritualist.

I had always wanted to talk to one but was afraid to do so out of fear of what they might tell me.  However at that point in my life when I was first introduced to her I was ready to listen because I had sent messages to the universe that I needed help.  The universe always delivers what you ask for; both good and bad.

To make a long story short, I have had many readings since that very first one that changed my life and started me on a path forward to then an unknown destination.  I may not have known what the destination was going to be but I was reassured by what I was being told that I did not have to worry about much of what I was concerned with.  I was told to just keep doing what I was doing and all would be fine.  Although there have been moments where my faith was strained I never wavered in my decision to move forward because I knew something better was awaiting me.

During one session my spiritualist told me that I would begin to do an intense self-exploration like I had never done before.  At the time I had no idea what she meant but since then many spiritually based people have been introduced to me or that I have been led to who would assist me in my quest for information about myself.

I was introduced to three people that have been incredible guides and spiritual rocks for me.  The first is a person who practices Reconnective Healing.  My Reconnective Healing experience was remarkable. I took a journey within myself to discover a sense of peace, relaxation and a level of insight into my inner being like I have never felt before. I was awakened to feelings and sensations that have been dormant for many years. Reconnective Healing has provided the spark to ignite components of my personal greatness that had yet to be discovered and added yet another dimension of consciousness to my spiritual evolution.

A second person I met is a spiritualist as well, but I was seeking knowledge about guided meditation and that was my focus.  The meditation has helped me immensely in that I have been able to relax and go within myself periodically.  I have learned how to experience a self-induced peaceful time away from the worries of life and to seek answers.  Since my first session I have had the opportunity to experience this amazing woman’s psychic abilities as well.

The third person is one who does Akashic Readings.  I was at a point where I wanted to begin to find out about who my soul had been in prior manifestations.  I wanted to do this because I knew there were parts of my personality and things that I did that seem to be grounded in something much more than just the way I am wired. Not that we should focus on who we were, as that is done and over, but finding out helps us to understand the way we are now and to deal with “things” better.  The Akashic Reading has shed so much light on who I was that I now have a much better understanding of why I do certain things.  It has also led me to want to seek additional knowledge about these past manifestations.

That is where I am at the time I write this essay.  I have decided that the most logical extension of the influences of these three people is to take my self-exploration even further and do a past life regression.  There are parts of my personality and what I do that still perplex me greatly.  Not that I want to change anything but it is more grounded in wanting to know in order to better understand and accept the way I am.  The Akashic Reading has pinpointed some issues that I need to look at further.

From this point forward it is my intention to continue to document the spiritual journey I am on.  While what I have written is only a small portion of the experiences I have had, it provides a very good idea of what my evolution of faith has involved and how it has arrived at where it is now.

Today I no longer cling to or believe in the Christian precepts that I was raised with.  I just don’t buy into the fairy tales any longer.  Nor do I put much faith and confidence in the book that many carry and make citations from to condemn and influence others.  I am a spiritual person.  I believe we all have a soul, an energy inside us that departs from our physical manifestation upon our death and continues through time.  I fervently believe this to be true based on the guidance of my spiritual mentors and the experiences I have had.

I have “awakened” to the power of the universe and its influence upon us.   Once the fire of enlightenment has been sparked, there is no turning back.  It is like the blue pill in the Matrix… you cannot go back to the way things were after you partake of the pill which induces forward the powers within us to become the people we were meant to be.  Alas some people never awaken and live their lives in a state of perpetual confusion and meander through life with no real awareness of what their purpose is.

I hope this essay has shed some light on your own consciousness as well as gotten you to think about your place in the universe and to question why you are here.  I look forward to sharing more details of my journey forward and until the next installment…. listen to your gut, take charge of who you are and have the confidence in yourselves to move forward toward achieving what your soul intended for you to achieve in this current manifestation.

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