Hello from a seeker who questions many things

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Hello all,


I've very recently stumbled on your forum. Now I suppose I should backtrack and kind of explain the how and why.


I was raised as a Seventh-day Adventist in the Mid West. As I was coming of age in my teens, encountering very new experiences and feelings, I began to question virtually everything I had previously took for granted as already established fact in my life. First and foremost among the questioning was the belief system I was raised in.


Long story short on that one is I did a LOT of reading, starting with some well-respected writers within the religion I had been brought up with. Some powerful words that can create powerful feelings inside one's self for certain. But then it happened. The crack. The particular book I was reading decided to contradict itself about this all-accepting love and proceed to berate a specific other religious group. After some time of pondering this, despite initially leaning towards staying within my faith, I began to look at it this way: of the 27-some odd thousand different variations of Christianity, how is one supposed to determine which is correct? Eventually that evolved into they're probably all wrong on some level.


That isn't to say there isn't merit in the writings or beliefs, but blindly believing in something just isn't for me. There's an inner level of integrity I was after, and believing in Christianity as I knew it didn't look like it was going to fit that.


So, for years, I wandered with virtually no beliefs. Just a rather bleak outlook that the phyiscal, what can be perceived with our natural, established senses is all that can be proved. Until I had strong evidence otherwise, that's where I would stand. Trying to keep open, but also a bit too busy trying to make a living and figure out what it is I'm doing with life to really explore such subjects further. Being that I worked as an automotive technician on commission pay, my outlook began to skew towards less compassion, every-man-for-himself worldview, and to be fair, my personal experience had shown this to be true. That is the economic system in which we exist.


The economy crashes in 08 and I spend the next almost two years barely scraping by paying my bills. I moved in with two other friends to split rent costs and other bills to help try and get ahead, and for awhile I did. But eventually the income level (again, commission pay. I can be at work for 10 hours and if I don't work on a car that pays, I literally come up with $0--no hourly base pay) dropped further to unsustainable levels.


Broke, disenfranchised and pondering if there's something else I should be doing with my life, I took an offer from family that had moved to California a few years prior to help pay for me to move out there and figure out a new path in life. I took it.


I did some free-lance car repair, as prior to the move I had taken on side work on a very specific, quirky kind of vehicle: diesel Volkswagens. My dad had owned two, one of which I would buy off of him and start me down that path. I had apparently established enough of a name for myself that work began to find me. But when first starting, I had a LOT of time to myself in a strange new area with no friends.


Eventually I turned back to doing some reading. I can't recall exactly how I landed on it, but I found JJ Semple's "Deciphering the Golden Flower One Secret at a Time". That was a pretty interesting first hand account of something I had never heard of before; Kundalini. Being that my recent, previous disposition would have normally brushed such stories away as wishful thinking at best, for some reason this story seemed very blunt and honest. Maybe I just myself hadn't found a way to tap into such things and never was aware of the more subtle inner workings of energy inside one's own body.


So, I start grabbing more books. Few were written in such a way as JJ's that made me believe in such things, but it's always interesting to find parallels in experiences. It's these parallels in experiences from different paths that always get my attention. After further reading, it seems there certainly are experiences that could be potentially universal across different belief systems and practices, sometimes just called different names.


I tried a couple of guided meditations, which probably wasn't the best idea considering my relative lack of experience in such things. But what ended up happening to me at the very least confirmed that there is absolutely a whole other world here to be explored. There was a definite surge of what felt like electricity through me, but it didn't complete its journey/job. Something was blocked. But again, my sometimes overly literal and skeptical brain at least had solid empirical evidence that there is indeed something here.


Along the path I became good friends with someone who identifies as a witch, but also made many mentions of Tao. It was definitely good to at least have someone to talk to about a subject that would have any normal, "sane" human looking at me as if I were crazy. She did always strongly encourage that I have to find my own path, though. She can be there to help/guide and talk to, but ultimately only I can figure out what path is best for me. Wasn't the biggest fan of hearing that when I was hoping for some better direction, but she also wasn't looking at achieving the same things I was necessarily. She also did a little demonstration which also further cemented that yes, there is indeed more than the physical that our normal senses perceive. Mind blown again.


Life got a little busy again, I did some travelling, got a girlfriend, was encouraged to take a job at a dealership in San Francisco. I didn't have much time for my recently opened mind to explore things further and find/choose a path. Long story short, I ended up leaving the job after a little over a year, as per usual it wasn't what I was lead to believe and I wasn't being compensated correctly/fairly. Started back on my freelance working gig, moved and began working on renting my own shop space and jumping through all the legal hoops to make it a reality in California. That's where I am today. I have some freetime while I wait for permits and such to clear, so I started back in on some reading.


Stumbled on Glenn J. Morris' "Pathnotes of an American Ninja Master". Surprising parallels between what he experienced and JJ Semple. Except Glenn seemed far more in tune with what was going on and how he could go about ensuring it was accomplished safely. Prior to purchasing the book, I did some searching on his name that landed me here. Seems there's a couple who've heard of the guy and had nothing but high regard for him. Glenn also gives a recommended reading list at the back of his book, including some early Mantak Chia.


Either way, I'm here and still in the absorbing knowledge stage, but definitely would like to get started with some practices at some point and find my own path. At the same time, I'm not going to try and place super high expectations or goals on myself. One must also practice being thankful for what you already have and enjoy simply being.


This is the most interesting way to view Taoism: it requires no beliefs, only that you experience. And there are apparently some powerful experiences that can be had. This sits well with me, as most major religions require belief in some invisible man in the sky, and very rarely does it seem such people are ever at peace with themselves or others around them. Blind beliefs are not for me.

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Hello dirtydiesel, and welcome to the forums!


Happy to have you here, and thanks for the very thorough introduction :-)


Please take the time to read the two posts pinned at the top of this Welcome page and take a look at the forum terms and rules. This covers all you need to know when getting started.


For the first week you will be restricted to ten posts per day but after that you can post as much as you like. Also, until you’ve posted fifteen times in the forums, you’ll be a “Junior Bum” with somewhat restricted access and will be allowed only two private messages per day.


Good luck in your pursuits and best wishes to you,


SC and the TDB team

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Hi dirtydiesel.


I went the same route of studying myself into an inability to believe what I had been taught. I tripped over some strange occurances, but I've settled into thinking 'that was interesting' and shrugging.


There is great diversity here, a wealth of information, and some great people. They will not define your path for you (your friend had it right - only you can do that), but they will say 'look at this' and 'that brings this to mind'. They will help you find the words to explain your experience, and some times they will help you better understand a specific experience.

Oh, and we can talk about tv shows and birds too.


All in all, it's a nice place to visit. Welcome (from a fellow newbie here).

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