What with all this uproar around our previous local Monsignor being implicated in a pedophelia/immoral conduct scandal, I went and spoke yesterday to our local Bishop. I had to leave after only a few minutes, though, because he was an obvious fraud himself--he never once moved diagonally.
I've finally returned to my roots, so to speak. I left the Christian church behind me when I reached 18, or The Age Of Reason, as I like to call it.
You see, in all the time I was raised to be a good little guilty Catholic boy the only two saints who really appealed to me (and that's out of a LOT of saints) were Saint Francis, the woodland guy who preferred the company of animals to that of people, and St. Thomas, whom everyone refers to as "Thomas The Doubter."
See, Thomas must have been a Virgo, because he questioned everything. He looked under every stone for a motive, and was probably the original skeptic. I'm pretty certain he was also the first movie critic, but I could be wrong on that count. Thomas is the one who, when presented with the newly resurrected Jesus had to stick his fingers in all the gooshy spots just to be sure.
I like that. If I were Hebrew and lived 2K years ago, give or take, I'd be standing right behind Thomas saying "Okay that's enough son, it's my turn. You know it's all a trick, don't you? I saw Abdul Hallazari The Magician do the same thing last week at the Brown Derby. It's all done with stewmeat and mirrors."
So at the tender age of 18, I decided to shop around and see what I liked in the way of moral codes and ethical behaviour guides, to supplement the groundwork that my father had laid for me the previous 18 years. And like many, I found the Eastern mythologies. And the key that turned the lock for me? The majority of them did not promise salvation or sugar-cane heavens. Instead, most of them centered on people bringing themselves to the goal, and in some cases even dismissing the idea of a goal at all, and instead offering an ongoing path of growth, developemnt, and inner contentment. Me? I was all about inner contentment, having never found any sort of contentment at all prior to this eye-opening revelation.
And so I meditated, I learned Tai Chi, I contemplated Yoga and my bad back and knees, and I began studying Zazen and Enlightenment, as well as Buddhism. And I found the beginning of the path that I think might lead me to contentment. And I even found something like inner peace. And then for some reason, I stopped. I don't know if I thought I was healed for good, or if I got married or if I otherwise lost my mind, but I stopped.
And went downhill from there.
For about a decade.
So join me in witnessing the birth of a New, Improved Irrelephant. Hopefully one more compassionate, more mindful, more stress-free and centered, and now with 20% less calories than similar irrelephants.