It's just been an amazing ride.
I feel like I've hit a huge learning curve. I'm not trying to say I know anything, or if anything that makes sense to me is ultimate reality or anything. I just look back, to where I was, 6 months ago, a year ago, two years ago, and I feel like I've learned so much. Meaning, I feel like I've learned that I don't know very much at all.
I've had this surge of desire to learn. To know. Who I am. What the universe is. What society is. What it is to be human. What it is to be a part of everything. And at the same time I realize that I am no different than an animal, a rock, a chair.
I've fallen back in love with Buddhist/Zen thought lately. In a way, my leanings towards pantheism are another way of expressing certain feelings I have that are also related to zen teachings. It doesn't matter what I call it really, but when I can sit, and remove my "self" from inhibiting my perceptions, and feel "connected." When I can sit and feel my breathing, and feel the air around my skin, I feel ... wow. I can't even begin to describe it. I feel REAL.
I will say however that although pantheism strikes a deep chord in me, I would like to say I am a non-dualist. Even in my early college days as I learned about the platonic world view versus the Aristotelian world view, I definitely sympathized with Aristotle's points about reality. Sorry Plato, you're a great guy, but you lost me at forms.
At the same time, things have been more difficult for me on a school front. Some of the classes I am taking are driving me insane. I am currently taking Library and Information Science courses. It really is a sort of fake masters degree. But this management class I am taking just feels like it's all "fake" knowledge. Charts about change cycles, reading about how library directors nowadays are no longer scholars but unappreciated corporate CEOs just makes me sad inside. I want to learn real things. I want to learn real science. Not pseudoscience. I want to read real literature. Not this trash that is called a textbook in my class.
Going through the readings and the assignments is almost physically painful for me. I feel like I have to numb myself to do it. It's hard to explain. I complete the homework. I make the A. But the whole time, I feel as though what I have "learned" is useless and not even real. To complete my assignments in a way that would be pleasing to my teachers, I just have to mindlessly spew bull shit.
I will say though, I've been introduced to a lot of different readings as of late. After reading much of Carl Sagan's the Varieties of Scientific Experience, I feel as though I had a lot of material to stew over. But now I've been introduced to Alan Watts. And my cousin gave me Being and Nothingness by Sartre, and my friend gave me the Blind Watchmaker by Dawkins for my birthday.
It's thrilling to have friends and even a cousin who know this side of me. Most of my extended family still doesn't have a clue about my departure with the mormon faith, so it's so refreshing to have honest conversations with friends. In some ways, I feel closer to some people than I've ever felt before. Being able to be honest and talk about REAL things is so thrilling.