I was brought up a non-denominational Christian, which was a fine thing. Very beautiful. Then, from my World Cultures class in sixth grade, I was introduced to all different kinds of religions. I grew especially fond of Hinduism and Islam. I was enthusiastic! Fast forward a bit to early high school, I was New Age, and I did lean really heavily into it. I was into chakras, crystal healing, aliens, and East Asian cultures! Later in high school, I became a Unitarian Universalist while still being New Age. My school’s library had books on many different religions, so I read them all. Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Sikhism, African Religions, Native American Religions…all of it blew my mind! It was there that I read the Bhagavad Gita for the first three separate times. I was amazed! It was a discussion of God, individual duty and the struggles of fulfilling it, the nature of the soul, the four different paths to salvation, reincarnation, the ultimate experience of the Divine, all wrapped up in a war. It, even now, remains among the deepest religious text I’ve ever read. From there I explored Hinduism, but continued to explore other religions. There was another book I had read about something called ‘The Bahá’í Faith’, and it clicked. Everything about it spoke to me in a very real and powerful way.
Speed through my college days, turned off by its lack of theological substance and attempting to compensate for that through heavy politics, I’m no longer a Unitarian (and past my New Age days) but investigating The Bahá’í Faith. I decided to officially embrace it in February 2015, though because I hadn’t been deepening in it, I decided to leave and I moved on to exploring Hinduism, delving into my studies of Krishna Consciousness. I was all in metaphysically, but I hit a road block with the regulative principles (specifically the vegetarianism). I couldn’t do it, sadly. So, I explored other religious teachings– Meher Baba’s teachings, those of Hazrat Inayat Khan, Wicca, I later explored Pure Land Buddhism, nothing really stuck. They are all still beautiful to me, but nothing really stuck. 2018, I get introduced to Stoicism and studied it for a few years before briefly returning to the Christianity of my youth, then to Pure Land Buddhism, I investigated Islam, then I trekked back to Stoicism for a while, and recently, I’ve decided to return to The Bahá’í Faith (as that’s where my heart finds peace) while keeping an open mind to knowledge and insight from all religions and philosophies.