RELIGION: Authority Figure Shifts

David Musick (
Sat, 4 Jan 97 03:45:43 UT

Mark Crosby quoted something from the Wall Street Journal which talked about
how Christ introduced the idea that people should bow to God rather than to
other people. He then speculated that once this idea was established in the
minds of people, it was a short step from there to bowing only to the laws of
nature and one's own creativity.

I had a similar experience in my religion when I was younger. I was raised in
the Mormon Church (a branch of Christianity, although quite different in many
ways than typical Christianity). I developed an intense interest in the
Church when I was fourteen, and many of the doctrines appealed to me quite a
bit, such as the idea of receiving direct revelation from God and the idea
that we were supposed to learn to maintain a constant connection with God so
that God could help us with our lives and teach us many lessons throughout the
day. Also, the central doctrine of Mormonism is that our entire purpose is to
learn how to become Gods ourselves and that our lives on earth are for the
purpose of learning the lessons required for godhood and developing more of
the self-discipline required for godhood.

These doctrines were very attractive to me, and I began to open myself up to
receiving revelations from God and allowing myself to be directed in my daily
activities by God. For me, this marked a shift in Authority Figures, where
God became more of an Authority to me than any other person in my life. What
I felt God wanted me to do meant much more to me than what my parents or
anyone else wanted me to do. This transition was easy to make since all the
other Authority Figures in my life endorsed the religion, so I felt my
reliance on God was what I was supposed to do.

Then, when I was eighteen years old, I realized fully one evening that God was
a self-generated entity in my own mind, that I had no real evidence to support
my belief in that being. I had actually experienced many "revelations", where
I learned many important lessons and had many great insights, but I realized
that these were self-generated also. Since God had been my Major Authority
Figure, and since I realized that God was self-generated, I suddenly became my
own Authority Figure, relying only on my own understanding and desires to
guide my life.

So, for me, my religion (and my deep desire to understand the way things are)
was an excellent stepping stone for becoming my own Authority. From my
parents and teachers to God and from God to myself. I wonder how common this
transition is. Has anyone here experienced anything like this?

- David Musick

-- Open yourself to the way things are, and learn to see the "exactness" of
things. --