Updated: Apr 23
From an early age I rejected, then struggled with finding "the truth" in religion. All of the spiritual seekers will be able to relate. Which one was right? Many seemed to contain truths, but then I would find something that didn't sit right with me. There were teachings and dogma which I wholeheartedly rejected. I was looking for a religion that would feel like the truth in every way, without exceptions. The search and my spiritual quest continued.
Like many I was raised in a Christian church. At age 14 I refused to keep going, then later in young adulthood found my way in and out of several Christian denominations, ever so briefly. Nothing would stick. In early adulthood, I joined the Catholic church because I loved the rituals and structure. I wondered if the oldest Christian church perhaps did have the truth. For a while I thought that Catholicism was going to be the path and maybe they had the answers. Alas, that did not last before I was arguing within myself again. I could not agree with the church on so many issues and I felt so conflicted.
Logically I studied everything I could find on religions and philosophy. The answers had to be out there, somewhere, right? But nothing ever felt quite right. There was so much confusing information, doubts, and much did not seem logical. No matter who explained it or how many books I read, there was always that little voice in my head like a raised eyebrow saying "I don't believe that, it is not logical". The "just have faith" and "because the Bible says so" approaches didn't work for me. It had to make sense or it wasn't going to work for me. I prayed to God asking for guidance.
Cover to cover I read the Bible twice and studied scripture. I could repeat all the arguments, but it just didn't ring true at face value when interpreted literally. I did not believe it was without error when interpreted literally. Men wrote it thousands of years ago in an age when women were considered property and slavery was common. That was a rub. The times and society have changed, Thank God, although we have more work to do. So many people and churches cherry pick scripture and the mental gymnastics required to swallow all of it just could not be accepted by my intelligent mind. I felt lost.
I wondered if another religion had the answers and I tried them on like hats in a boutique. I fell in love with Taoism, was fascinated by Hinduism and admired Buddhism. Eastern religions are beautiful. Although I studied many various religions, still none fit "me" just right. It was like opening boxes to find a similar experience in each one, just with different wrapping paper. Even though I had some issues with these other philosophies as well, I have a great love and appreciation for them. I found a lot of truth in them too, but I still had question marks. Why were there so many religions? God is good and omnipotent, so there is a reason all these exist. That much was clear to me.
For a short while I was even an atheist and knew all the rebuttals to the God argument. That didn't seem right for me either. This train of thought put me into a depression. After more analyzing I knew I believed in God because I don't think something can come from nothing. So I kept searching. I was a "Cafeteria Catholic", unsatisfied, misplaced, wandering in and out of mass for a very long time until I quit going entirely, not wanting to feel like a hypocrite.
Early in the quest a friend introduced me to Unity church when I was 19 years old. Over the years I kept coming back to the church on occasion, it was a swinging door, yet always welcoming. It was open-minded, not judgmental and I felt happy there. I didn't know just how different the church was yet because I didn't attend any of the classes or Sunday School, but really enjoyed the services and was drawn to the magnetic pyramid church building. Over the years I attended yoga classes there and even brought friends. I thought it was a novelty but wasn't sure what it was really all about. Little did I know that I would really fall in love with the church later down the road.
After watching "The Secret" I began to think maybe there is something to this New Thought, New Agey stuff after all. I had to get past a lot of the fundamentalist indoctrination to peel back more layers and open my mind, stretching myself further. I had to let go of the idea you need a set of rules to follow and that there is one "right way" to believe. I started studying New Thought and also exploring New Age philosophies more in depth, which lead me to eventually finding IMM & UOM. I had to unravel these alternative faiths and see if they could hold merit. It weaved Eastern and Western philosophy into a different approach. The door opened when I made meditation a regular practice and walked through my fears to the other side of freedom. That is when the magic happened!
I finally made the connection that Unity was a New Thought church, and started to see how very different it was from other churches. I started going more frequently and paying closer attention to the sermons. Eventually, I officially joined in 2022.
The problem before was that I was looking for someone to say "this is the answer", but wasn't really looking within, although I continued to pray. Finding out about mysticism, starting to meditate and learning how to interpret things on a deeper level opened my mind. Then it started to make sense. God started revealing the Truth to me. It was like waking up after being asleep for decades.
Finally I experienced revelations, realizations and a mystical experience with God! Yes, this is what I was looking for. It felt like the Truth was right there in front of me, it felt right, and felt so good! There were no conflicts. My soul felt a profound peace that passes understanding, deep love and an abundant happiness. God was not "out there", God is within! The Universal Mind, the Collective Unconscious, all of Creation, all of humanity... it is all One! All connected! All you have to do is meditate to tap in, live in awareness from a place of peace and love. I finally found my Truth!
"Metaphysics is religion without dogma. Metaphysics includes all religions but transcends them all. Belief that all religions have a purpose and were allowed to be created by God to bring some degree of spirituality or belief in God to peoples of all cultures, races, and origins. Belief that human beings can gain direct access to God’s Presence within themselves through Christ consciousness; access gained through Transcendent or Mystical Meditation. No one religion is right and all others wrong. Each exists to serve whatever level of spiritual evolution its leaders and followers have attained.The ultimate purpose of religion is to reunite a person with God’s Presence within, and in the process to improve one’s life. This is the current, present and daily purpose of Religious Metaphysics."
- International Metaphysical Ministry
"The finding of spiritual truth begins with intuitive recognition of the intellectual reality of spiritual truth. This is only an individualized reality when mystically accepted and experienced as the first priority of one’s life."
- Dr. Paul Leon Masters
My spiritual journey lead me to become an ordained New Thought Minister through IMM and UOM. When given the opportunity I want to help others who may be on their own quest to find their spiritual truth. Part of why I am sharing my story about how I found my Spiritual Truth is my desire to extend a helping hand. I have walked that path and now carry a lamp. My path is full of light! I pray for those seeking answers that they listen to the inner voice and let God guide them.
God bless you, have a great week and Namaste.
Rev. S. Castle