My grandmother believed in ancient aliens a little, loved Edgar Cayce (American Prophet of early 20th century), got me into Doctor Who and Star Trek. I was born in 1972, so which would be starting 1980 or so (when I was 8).
My mother fed us yogurt throughout our childhood. We had our own garden. She was a devout reader of Mother Earth News before it was a glossy thing with ads.
Yet, I also was sent to Sunday School at the most non-commital Christian thing around (Methodist) which I happened to enjoy.
She married a Muslim man she fell in love with when I was 12 and was married to him for a few years. I learned a little Arabic for fun.
My sister became Wiccan – which she is to this day. And this is all back in the early/mid 1980s.
I explored New Age stuff between 12-14 yrs old (ancient aliens stuff, purple plates, candles, crystals and stuff)… then put it aside after that and looked at the bigger ones.
Teacher started getting me into Bahai a little.
Then I discovered Unitarian Universalism.
Then Vipissana Meditation.
Fell in love with Episcopal stuff somewhere in there, and got a job at a Roman Catholic University doing data entry when I was 24. (Seton Hall University in New jersey, USA).
I used to hang around the priests and chat with them. I’d see them sitting there in all black and I thought, “I could do that”.
Learned a little Theraputic Touch through some eclectic Catholic workshops for nurses I snuck in to, and learned about Cell churches and alt.church organization methodologies.
Even drew up my first religion (among many I have notes on).
Then, one day at lunch at work (at the catholic university), I asked myself, “Ok. I might as well convert to Roman Catholic. Seems authentic enough. But let’s see if I’m missing anybody”.
So, I flipped through the yellow pages when nobody was looking. I found this thing called “Eastern Orthodox Christian”.
I called. They hit all the right notes at the time.
Priest’s wife answered. [priests get married? cool]
“Oh Father is out blessing houses right now”.
[BLESSING HOUSES!? Somebody still does that!? Wow!]
and after a few more questions, I scheduled an appt at the church, an ethnic one – “Carpatho-Rusyn” . They weren’t used to converts… like.. not at all.
Added to authenticity for me.
Ended up getting hooked. Made a lot of Orthodox friends irl and online. (this was 1994/1995 by now)
I ended up spending about 5-6 yrs into it, learning about Greek and Russian history, teaching myself Russian, staying a little at a monastery and getting prepared to go to a seminary in New York State that required me to know how to speak at least a LITTLE Russian.
I loved the challenge, and I got to feed my linguistics interest at the time.
Anyway, by the time I was 30, suddenly found myself in Florida, less interested in it by then (but no hard feelings) and it was around the year 2000.
I read through Osho – ate up ALL the books of his I could find that I could get from Amazon.
After that, got super into Science stuff.
Hit 40ish, decided I’d had enough quantum stuff ’cause the people on the Science channel started spouting New Atheist rhetoric as if it was factual… REALLY screwing up history .. and it bothered me because these guys were becoming my heros.
So, I finally had to declare it:
I simply don’t know.
But I love and embrace all the mystical traditions that are available within just about EVERY religion in the world, if you just look for it.