By Justin Gates
An exchange between two members recently have reminded me of the work we do and why it is important to not be caught up in some of the scemantics of Religions vs Spirituality vs Philosophy and why focusing on their differences rather than their simularities are detrimental to everyone in the long run.
Someone asked; “Please tell me this isn’t a christian group?”
I will paraphrase the response
No. This group is one of the few truly open belief groups. I’ve never seen anyone here get grief from making a statement about their religious beliefs or lack thereof. And there has been more than a few different religious views and life philosophies floating around on here…The nice thing about this group is that we can see how many of our beliefs overlap. There are a good deal of groups out there that say they are are for anyone. But this group actually is.
My first memories of Church come when I am around seven years old. My Mother was raised Catholic (she was non-practicing). My Dad was Agnostic; the Church and the practice of Christianity were not something that happened in my house beyond the brief mention of Jesus or God.
I remember the neighbors as regular churchgoers, and I remember it as something I wanted to do. I asked my friend if I could go with them to Church, and of course, they agreed. My parents let me tag along with them!
Church seemed like a whole different world to me back then; people were happy to be in each other’s company. They seemed delighted to be at the Church; this made the experience comfortable and something that I enjoyed sharing in. I learned all kinds of songs about unity and love, peace and happiness (everyone sang so beautifully). I learned about a brave and charismatic man, his name was Jesus Christ, how much he loved me, and how much he sacrificed for me and the entire world. I learned about how his father, our heavenly father God, sent Jesus here to offer his life for us to have everlasting life (I had no idea what that meant at the time). We learned all of the important stories that people know when they are young and in bible school. Stories like Noah’s Ark, Moses and their adventures in the desert, the miracles of Jesus, and the apostles. We learned about Christmas and Easter (there was no Santa, and there was no Easter Bunny, which I thought was a rip-off).
I was happy for the most part; there is a sense of community and belonging when you are at a church, and they do take care of each person there. They would occasionally ask me where my mom and dad were and if they would come to Church. I would always tell them “maybe” and would go about the rest of my day happy-go-lucky.
I don’t recall how long I had been there before I remember hearing about the end of the world. It was a day when I was late. Instead of going with the other kids to bible study, I sat and listened to the primary service that day with the grownups. No one seemed bothered by my attendance. The Book of Revelations was hands down, the most fascinating thing I had ever heard. I was hooked!
This enthusiasm was the beginning of the end for me at this Church. It was all I could think about; it was all I was interested in. I couldn’t get enough and would always ask about it to the elders, Pastor, youth leaders, Bible school teachers, etc. They grew tired of it and scolded me for asking so much about this particular book of the bible. It was something that I wasn’t supposed to be asking about. Eventually, the neighbors stopped taking me, and the one time I showed up on my own, I was asked not to come back. That ended my relationship with the Church, any church ever, even to this day. I hold no ill will and love my church-going friends!
Mystics and Metaphysics
Around the age of 12 or 13, I found a few basic techniques in some books that my grandmother had lying around. One of these books I consult to this very day is called “David St. Clair’s Lessons in Instant ESP.”
So many new doors and avenues opened up to me in my spiritual and metaphysical understandings. Using simple breathing and focusing techniques, I learned how to induce Astral Projections, sense, and manifest energy, read people’s emotions and energy, and so much more. My eyes were opened more extensively than I ever imagined; the universe was more vast and became limitless, and it introduced me to a side of the human experience that I could never imagine.
I hadn’t abandoned God; I just assumed that God had created a way for us to communicate and that it was an energy that I merely had to tap into. As the years went on, I studied many different religions, philosophies, systems, and practices that vary vastly from one to the other. By the time I was about 21 years old, I had learned from so many different teachers that you could say I was something of a spiritual mutt.
No matter where the road has taken me, I still find myself practicing a more mystical path, one that centers on the belief, sensing, manifesting, and partnership with energy that binds and permeates the known universe, both within and outside of us. Does it come from God? I don’t know. I would be fine if God had something to do with it.
As I have said, with this body of work, I am attempting to promote the Knight as a vehicle to achieve wholeness and completeness within, to empower lives, and to help you achieve the fullest possible version of yourself, Mind/Body/Soul (Spirit). This can (and does for many) include a partnership with a higher power, a Creator, or a Source that permeates and animates the entire known and unknown universe, both within us and outside of us too. It can also be achieved without these powers if you don’t relate to them. This part of the equation will vary from person to person and is not a right or wrong question. There are seemingly infinite amounts of religions and/or life paths you can choose to follow.
It is no secret that many (if not most) Orders of Knights or Organizations that represent Knighthood and their members belong to mainstream and other religious practices and beliefs. It is where Knighthood started, and it is deeply rooted there. I do not want to give credence or special treatment to one over the other. I understand that many paths and roads lead to the same destination through similar and familiar practices, values, virtues, and principles. Many of the world’s spiritual teachings are Light oriented and are welcomed here at the Knights of Awakening. This understanding also allows us to reach as many people as possible.
Relationships with our Creator(s)/Deity(ies)/Other should be intimate and personal; mine is just like it is for many others. There are many roads that a person can take when walking the Path of the Knight. I encourage you to bring along your chosen patrons, Creator(s), God/ess, Deity(ies) if they help empower your quest and journey to betterment, to your higher self.
I cannot possibly do all of them justice and cannot show them all the respect they deserve, so I leave that part up to you.
Until next time,
Awaken the Knight Within!