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Part 2 - Finding the Temple - Darkness

I flunked out of the University of Vermont in my third semester. I felt terrible, having failed my parents and myself.

I was depressed and plagued by feelings of guilt. I believed I was defective and broken. I was desperate to find a sense of peace and self-worth.

My college roommate suggested I visit a local Bible-thumping conservative church. I found the structure and community of the Church helpful, but the focus was on bringing more people into the building on Sunday and convincing them to join the Church.

It felt coercive and manipulative. Our teachings were not about the deep inner development of the individual. We were trained to conform and build the population of the Church.

Despite the problems with the Church's interpretation of the Bible, for the first time, I did sometimes experience a connection with God. There were moments of blissful rapture and a feeling of being worthy of love.

This Church had something I wanted, but excluding other races and nationalities from Heaven is morally unacceptable.

At that point, I gave up on all religions and didn't know what spirituality was. I had no sense of other faith systems or philosophies. I tried to be a good person without fear of damnation or judgment. I devoted myself to partying and getting into the University of Florida.


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