Part three: Not that god
My doubts surfaced as I began to experience disdain for parts of my recreated personality. Not all, or even most, aspects… but some very major ones. I had transformed, in less than a year, into a compliance oriented rule-follower.
As an adolescent, the church I attended had a significant population of teens. Several of us took to commandeering the balcony for the Sunday morning services. We occupied our colonized space for the purpose of fucking around. Wet willies (licking your finger and unexpectedly sticking it in someone’s ear — not sure if there is ever an expected slobbery ear poke, but unexpected is great, and I would assume much more, fun — were the norm, and our zeal for Tom fuckery was unmatched. We were the bad boys of church.
We began to refer to ourselves sarcastically as ‘The Rebels’, denigrating those in the pews below ‘The Citizens’.
Well I had become a ‘Citizen’, and I was somewhat disgusted with myself.
I had become the very thing I had held to be contemptuous since childhood. I had become that which I had hated… I had become the antithesis of myself!
This brought into question the belief that a person’s identity, their personality, was inherent and stable; an essential quality, an outward expression of an inner identity determined by the Universe, perhaps according to astronomical positioning at the time of birth. Just as it has never occurred to me that I could control, alter, or dismiss the thoughts and desires in my head… it never occurred to me that I could change who I was!
Or at least who I thought I was?
It was not until I had waded into a decade of incessant researching topics in psychology, meditation, and Eastern spiritual thought… while simultaneously practicing meditation daily, with accompanying self-exploration and introspection… that I discovered who I was, was in reality, mostly a collection of habits, assumptions, and perceptions based on conditioned beliefs, temperament, engrained strategies to satisfy my wants and needs, conditioned responses, and expressions of instinct. I determined that my early life experiences, rearing, educational and religious indoctrination, and life experiences formed into a reactionary form of expression — believed to be unique to ‘myself’. Who I thought I was, in actuality, was merely how I was… a habitual way of being.