Welcome to Episode 206 of the dHarmic Evolution podcast! On this episode, James takes listeners through his background and history with organized religion and how his spiritual journey has brought him to be a follower of Jesus. James attended parochial school until about 6th grade, and while he didn’t have any experiences as traumatic as some in terms of abuse, he felt that the way religion was presented in the Catholic Church was not conducive to him wanting to remain faithful to the Catholic Church. Ultimately, he found the way that sin was viewed and handled through the act of confession, the overall demeanor of several of the Sisters at the school, and the oddity of some of the Catholic practices drove his way from the Catholic Church but laid the foundation for his future involvement in organized religion.
Particularly, James was enamored by the stories about Jesus that he heard in parochial school, and this led him to begin seriously reading the Bible when he was in his late 20s. A few years ago, James joined a Baptist Church – First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens, NJ – and he has been pleased with his experience there as well as the challenging teachings of the pastor there, which help James’ own faith and relationship with God develop. Whereas James found the Catholic Church to be liturgical and stodgy, his experience at the Baptist church has been characterized by celebration.
Along the way, James has also been impacted by the writings of Vernon Howard on spirituality and contentment. James was even inspired to write his song “Geography of the Soul” song by Howard’s ideas about preferring to explore the territory of life over studying the map. Towards the end of this episode, James reads a passage from Howard’s “Mystic Path to Cosmic Power” and connects this message about the true self with ideas from the New Testament and Walt Whitman. James has found his own spiritual awakening in being focused on the truth, open to learning, and quick to ask the Lord for help.