I admit to being a “go along to get along” person for much of my young life on into early adulthood. I had questions back then but did not desire to stir the pot and put myself in the light of my family’s attention. Now that I have dumped much of my childhood trauma and baggage, I find my voice has taken wings thanks to my love of writing and the internet. I am now compelled to speak my questions in the public square, which at this time is social media and my personal blog.
Traveling on the Way-Back Machine, my questions were about the dichotomy of human nature. My inner world consisted of the stories I read beginning with fairy-tales. Why was Little Red Riding Hood allowed to travel alone through a deep black forest to visit her grandmother when I couldn’t leave our yard? Why didn’t the wolf of Three Little Pigs fame just go looking for easier prey? Was it his ego that wouldn’t accept defeat even in the face of hunger? My thirst for explanations encompassed young adult fiction when childish anthropomorphic literary devices became passé.
As I matured and took interest in current events, my queries did not cease. My knowledge of how history is presented caused my investigative nature to compare and contrast what I was hearing and reading in present-day news. It seemed that there were always those who examined data bestowed by the powers-that-be in any given century. Some of these inquiring minds brought about major shifts in cultural thinking. It was quite common for these intrepid souls to be vilified and even killed for their radical inspections of prevailing wisdom. Yet, many of these ideas have taken root as time and technology advanced.
Akhenaton, the heretic Pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty, lived during the height of Egypt’s imperial glory. He was believed to be the first person to promote a monotheistic religion called Atenism. Akhenaton’s Sun God, Aten, took precedent over the polytheistic worship that much of the world accepted as correct. This shift in culture also affected the economy. Many people at the time made their living using the multiple gods’ images and sacred properties in their goods and services. The Pharaoh preferred home life to foreign affairs, so as a consequence, the Egyptian Empire dwindled. When Akhenaton died, the priests and generals were determined to bring back normalcy to the kingdom. They re-instated the polytheistic worship the people preferred and acted as regent to the 8 yr old Tutankaumun, son of the heretic pharaoh. They then destroyed Akhenaton’s name and likeness in many of the public places it was found, breaking with tradition in revering some previous leaders. Whatever the personal reason Akhenaton changed Egyptian life, he was found guilty in the public square of questioning the ruling narrative. Many years later, monotheism returned to Egypt and much of the world.
The German theologian, Martin Luther was the catalyst for the Protestant reformation in the 16th century. The Catholic Church was the law of the land almost since its inception in 30 AD and certainly by 590 CE when lands were consolidated to become the Papal States assuring the church’s power. Luther questioned the doctrine of good works to obtain salvation. He believed that it was a gift from God and the only condition was to accept the gift. His other belief in an egalitarian body of believers was in contrast to the church hierarchical structure that kept the “laity” from accessing God on their own. Martin Luther translated the Bible into everyday language which further diminished the power long held by the priests. He basically upended the entire Christian spiritual structure. This, in turn, also re-ordered the governmental authority since local magistrates obtained their right to govern by church sanction. Luther was excommunicated, refused the order to retract his statements, and died an ill man. But his questioning began a disseminated structure of authority and governance that prevails to this day.
Michael Luther King, Jr., better known as Martin Luther King, Jr. was a highly educated Baptist preacher like his father and grandfather before him. King, much the same as the man he renamed himself after, had questions. While Martin Luther struggled with the hierarchical system in the catholic church, MLK, Jr., attacked the ranked order in the condition of men due to skin color. His activism caused people to examine their beliefs regarding race. His eloquent speaking style and compelling commentary gained notoriety for himself and the issues he passionately defended. As a member of the executive committee of the NAACP, he was placed in charge of the first great Negro nonviolent demonstration; the Alabama bus boycott. Taking operational techniques from Mahatma Gandhi, his inspirational leadership helped produce the 1964 Civil Rights Act that ended segregation, banned employment discrimination, and was passed by the 88th congress of the United States. After 11 years of being a Civil Rights leader, MLK, Jr. had many accolades presented to him, including the Nobel Peace Prize. King was assassinated in 1968 the day before he was to lead a protest march in Memphis, Tennessee. MLK, Jr. questioned the prevailing authority to gain respect and dignity for black people.
We are moving away from a centralized authority. By questioning the belief that one race of humans is better than another we boost individual empowerment. In allowing access to all persons the ability to commune with their personal spiritual guide and discern those instructions on an intimate level, we advance in our own sacred mission on this planet. Discovering unity of spirit while also bringing our individual gifts, we benefit as a whole and attain peace within.
Just like those before me who have challenged the ruling class, be they military leaders, medical doctors, scientists of all stripes, religious scholars, or state-sanctioned experts, I will not be universally admired. My opinions and insightful analysis have garnered me the distinction of being permanently suspended from Twitter. I have also noticed that some of my blog articles get suppressed more than other posts in the algorithms. Questions I ask are partially for my own understanding but also to elucidate the contradictory nature of events both in my personal past and the worldwide current situations.
Asking for episodes and items to be investigated is a way to gain clarity and trust when the questioner is taken seriously. If the betterment of mankind is the true goal in any undertaking, would it not be to the advantage of the collective to have as much data from as many sources as possible to alleviate the concern, apprehension, and skepticism of the masses? It seems to me that flexing our critical-thinking skills would give us practice for all those important decisions we make throughout our lives. The only genuine cost would be time. Is that not a small price to pay for improved confidence?
I read about these great heroes with enthusiasm but also with an equal amount of trepidation. My anxiety stems from an inner feeling of kinship with these and a great many other change-making, iconoclastic personages. I have no idea if my questioning and investigation will have the impact of a pharaoh, theologian, or civil rights activist. I only know that I must put forth my discoveries. If the information I bring to light helps one person lead a better life, what more can I ask?
~To read how I questioned mainstream psychiatry and healed from mental illness, check out Metaphysical Girl: How I Recovered my Mental Health. Available Now!
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