“I don’t think anyone’s ever found Paradise. Because Paradise is based on lies.”
– The Stranglers, “Paradise”
I also came to believe that to be true of “God’s” Right Hand Bird, the Holy Spirit. As a youth chained to my Mother’s desire to “find the Lord” that led me and my sisters passing from church after church after church, like spirit-starved gypsies. Sermon after sermon, with an endless conga line of saints caught up in religious fervor, I wondered what I was missing out on. There were a few people,, usually women, who’s contorted faces broke out in the mysterious and sometimes frightfully spastic phenomenon of “speaking in tongues.” The language of the Angels.
This kind of possession was “Holy.” While I didn’t want to be possessed and flail around like a rag doll, I did want to have the “Holy Ghost.” I actually prayed to “God” to give me the “Holy Ghost.” I felt that if the Holy Ghost came down on me, I would live a sinless life. But the Ghost never came down to bless me. I never felt anything. After a while, I sort of said, “Screw this.” And church became a social thing. Singing in the choir, hanging out with my grandfather. Going to church on Sundays just observing everything. I became a bit estranged, looking back on it now.
I still wanted to maybe be a preacher like my grandfather. But there was one problem. I didn’t really believe it. What did these wretched, black folk have to do with some guy in Israel 2000 years ago? I didn’t see the connection. I thought, nobody really knew what happened. What if this Bible stuff was made up? Who would know? Not following in the family tradition of the Thomas Family Preachers of the Word became an easy decision to make. I would discover college and punk rock in a few short years to put that whole business to bed for good. I quit going to church. I only went in the first place because mother made me go.
Then, the White Light. Of course that left me with questions. Was that “God,” being the biggest one. I cheated. I convinced myself that this was so! That “God” was coursing thru me, generating from inside me as me and flooding the living with the brightest white light I ever saw. I wanted it to be “God.” But somehow, I knew it wasn’t. Maybe it was me.
But Veno said it was just some White Light trick.. So I would tell people about and gain followers for “God.” What a joke. I mean, I couldn’t even keep a band together, never mind a “following.”
I can’t imagine myself ever going down that other path. I just couldn’t go all the way and believe it was all true.