The looming cloud

I'm going to give you two options. I went on a really personal rant about my life of self-discovery. I also made a video today in specialty class that teaches you how to tie a bow tie. I'm thinking of doing a series of these videos........maybe I'll make the time, so let me know what you think in the comments below. So you can either read the rant or watch the video. I recommend both.

I'm trying to understand more about energy. I truly believe that living in a 3-dimensional plane that there are 4th and 5th-dimensional behaviors and entities that cannot be described accurately within our current stage of human evolution. I think some people can be more connected with these energies, but it's been my experience that trying to define them as a tangible deity is futile. This is the story of how Chris stopped talking to God.

Growing up in Georgia, Sunday meant going to Long Branch Baptist Church. Fridays meant Synagogue, although that may have been Saturdays. At this point it's been more than two decades ago, so I'm mostly amazed I still remember the downstairs the other kids were in and wondering every time we came in the front entryway why I wasn't allowed to wear the weird hats that nobody explained to me. 

Moving to Alaska, I was one of the alter kids that lit the candles at the beginning of the service and walked off. I mostly did it because it got me out of listening to the sermon. When we changed to the Northern Lights church, I volunteered counting the tithes with the other guys in the church. Yes, the reasoning was the same, but here, I felt like they were trusting me with something important.

Back to Dahlonega. Back to Long Branch. Back to being involved.

Then the move to Hawaii. My family got really involved with New Hope. My brother and I were on the worship team in our high school ministry, I was on the youth group committee, and my parents volunteered and everyone knew them. Within two years, it grew to a point where my family all stood in front of the church getting blessed and commissioned to start the Idaho chapter as we moved to the Treasure Valley. Let me give you a little context here. This is a congregation with 2,500 present members and an additional 500 members in an offsite satellite feed because the church was so large. We did this for three of the five services that Sunday. I was going to be a pastor's kid.

Oh man, I completely forgot to mention. The homeschooled curriculum from 6th-12th grade was called ACE. I went from having a 5th-grade science teacher who taught me about the wonders of the universe, to a school system that believes that the earth is 6,500 years old, and the story of Adam & Eve is part of the history textbook. I wish I could make that up, but sticking through it, I was able to graduate with my diploma at 16.

Up to this point, it would seem like my life is grooming me for a specific path. Let me be the first to gladly inform you that I didn't go that route. First off, I met girls. But then there was the day that my brother got orders to go to Afghanistan. That day ruined me. My dad always watched the news religiously growing up, and I think that's one of the reasons I still pay attention to it, but even though I wasn't old enough to sign up for the military myself, I knew what that meant at the time. I might not get to see my brother as he was  again. It was a Sunday that I found out, I remember because I went to church that night. I was listening to the message outside with a friend and she was smoking, and the pastor's son came up to us.

"Why aren't you inside?"
"I'm having a really rough day, so I don't want to be around a lot of people."
"This isn't a place to hang out. If you want somewhere to hang out, there's a Starbucks across the street."

I was furious. I've never been quick to forgiveness, so it took me three months to confront him. I asked him if he remembered what he said.

"Yeah, I do and to be honest I would say it again. This isn't a place to just hang out. If you want to be here then it's because you want to be involved here."
"After all of this, you still haven't seen the perspective of the other. The bible talks about causing your brothers to fall and how you will be judged the greater. I hope you remember that." 

And then I walked out. If he was involved with this building, I wanted nothing to do with this building. Nothing to do with being a volunteer for the high school ministry, church bookstore, or any of the other weekly ministries we did downtown.

I had a girlfriend that wanted me to go back to church and give forgiveness a try. I was pretty cruel when I broke up with her a few minutes later.We later made amends. She's now married and one of the baristas at the Starbucks by the school.

I tried going back to church with my ex-wife, but it was at her request. I felt nothing at the songs, no tears when others were sobbing. I was thinking about everything else. It honestly was not something I wanted in my life, and when I had the conversation about leaving one of the things I mentioned was that we wanted two completely different things with religion.

And then came along Hailie. She had been raised LDS, was married in the Salt Lake temple, and was leaving her husband partly because of her view on the religion. Here we were, the two of us who had been raised neck deep in religion, and now we wanted to discover and learn what the universe had to teach. Hailie started reading books by Paul Selig and I started reading more about what NASA was doing. What really hit me was the new Cosmos series when it was released a little over a year ago. This was science the way I wish it would have been given to me when I was 13. String theory, black holes, and multiverse theory is what I started day dreaming of to break up the monotony of work.

Interstellar had a scene near the end of the movie that had a reference to the 4th-dimension's impact on a 3rd-dimensional existence. This was actually a great visual to the analogy I'm about to make.

What religious people consider to be a spiritual encounter could be explained if humans as a species had a first-hand account of additional levels of integrated dimension.

I've recently started to notice more of the clouds that surround people than I had before, and I want to open my mind to these additional energies. I've been trying to meditate and clear my mind at night, and I recently found the joy in zoning out with a purpose. Knowing that I am still surrounded with negativity means, I can  better prepare myself to overcome adversity as challenges arise.

I'm too focused on living for people who want me to succeed, not the theory of guy who never talked back after years of following. Agnosticism works for me because I'm okay with not knowing everything. I'm okay with not putting a name on something that cannot be explained. It means I'm open to people making the discovery that what once was theory might one day become truth. But I think we should all be allowed the skepticism that requires proof.

Thanks for spending your time with my rant. Now go tell your friends to check out the video and post your comments below if you have any requests on how to be a better gentleman. 

Chris BentleyComment