Tonight I watched the documentary “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief”. And whoa. That is some heavy stuff, to put it lightly. (Ha!) My boyfriend Wil has a passion for researching the more fundamentalist religions. As an atheist, he is intrigued by the mechanics that cause people to abandon all individual thought and contribute instead to the greater group. He is the reason I watched P.T. Anderson’s “The Master”. It paints a vivid picture of how people are continually seeking redemption in some higher power, and the lengths to which they will go to achieve any sort of salvation. I am not an atheist like Wil. I was raised a Christian and still hold on to some of those core values. But through my travels and adventures, I have opened my eyes and heart to other religious concepts: Buddhism, for instance. Or even the Native American concept of spirituality. (“Pocahontas”, anyone?) It would seem that my buffet line of religious ideas could never co-habitate. But really, why does one concept have to be the end all, be all? This blog post is NOT meant to dissect any one’s ideas about religion and I hope that I will not be persecuted for freely discussing this train of thought. (Lay off me, Miscavige!)
The real point of this blog post is to release some anxiety surrounding my mom’s surgery this Monday. She has had a really rough year and the operation this Monday could put her back on track to being the cheerful and active person that she once was. Not to say that she hasn’t made leaps and bounds since her initial hospitalization in August 2014. I had just finished a summer skating contract and flew home immediately to see my mom in the ICU. She was the sickest I had ever seen her and the past 11 months have had their major ups and downs. She went through the ringer, but still got herself home, walking on her own, and eating like her old self. A part of her though had no interest in really getting back to her former self. (That was my interpretation of it.) In no particular order, I experienced anger with my mom at her seemingly slow rehabilitative progress, frustration with my dad and his caregiving techniques, and then heaps of self-loathing over not being able to help in the way that a “dutiful” daughter should. For obvious familial reasons, I moved back to North Carolina to offer what assistance I could. My sister, who has really been the shoulder for my family to lean on, has aided my mom and dad in ways I couldn’t or wouldn’t. And so, here I am again, being across the country, while my mom prepares for a surgery that will hopefully improve both her and my dad’s quality of life. I was told that I did not need to fly home and I pray that this is the case. I am reaching out to my various religious beliefs’ higher powers in seeing my mom through her surgery successfully.
And in this regard, I relate it back to watching the documentary tonight. It was an extremely interesting film. In general, I fault no one for their religious convictions. Everyone has a compass for what is right for them and what provides relief for their souls. It is when the religious text is taken out of context, impedes one from thinking on his or her own, that I have issue with its deeper purpose. Whether you believe in aliens or nothing at all, make sure it is what YOU believe and you alone.