Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Reflections : The Almighty & Me....

I was born in a Taoist family in Taiping, Malaysia. Through the mistake of the nurse at the government hospital, I was registered as a Buddhist in my birth certificate. My parents, being less educated, was not aware of the administrative mistake. So, here you go, I became a Buddhist Taoist.

During my early childhood, it doesn't really bother me what religion I belonged to. Because I never learn how to pray and bother about the ritualistic procedure of offering prayers to the various deities and ancestor worshiping. All I ever remember is, during the first day of Chinese New Year, I followed my late mother to all the Taoist temple in town. My mother, being a very religious person, pray to whatever “God” she came into contact with. There are occasions, she pray to Mother Mary, the deities at the Hindu temples, etc. So, from very young age, I am exposed to various religions.

Due to the fact that, both my parents are not educated, I never came across any Buddhism or Taoism text in my house them. So, the practice of religion is basically via oral history and by observing the rituals performed by my late mother during certain Taoist ceremonies. The only religious chant I ever learned is “Namo Amithaba”. Along the way, I also learned to remember the birthrate of the deities, anniversary date for offering prayer to ancestors, all souls day, and the passing over of winter.

As a Taoist, I learned to use the correct number of joss sticks when offering prayer to the deities and ancestors. I carry on with my parents' “religious traditions” right to the present day where I set up special altars in my home to pay respect to Tor Pek Kong ( Hokkien God of Prosperity), Kuan Yim ( Godess of Mercy), Chai Kong ( the Beggar monk), Teh Chu Kong ( The landlord deity), and the ancestor altar for my late parents.

The reality of my spirituality at this stage is basically quite simple. I believe in the existence of various sages and deities. For example, the Jade Emperor is the supreme deity that control the Heaven, the Nine Emperors God is the deity that control the sea, etc.

In terms of Buddhism, Buddha never claimed to be a God or prophet. He is basically a great teacher of human philosophy specializing in the truth of life. Taoism, on the other hand, according to my understanding, is basically teaching the moral values of family and society. So these two religions formed my fundamental understanding of spirituality and religions.

At a very young age, I ventured into Canada to receive my so called modern western education. So, I do believed, my informal religious familiarization during my early childhood and tertiary education shaped me to be a religiously open minded and rational person rather than a spiritual man.

As I grow older, there is also a deep sense of urge within me to the realization that my rational ( physical ) well being is actually depended on my spiritual well being. The 2 contrasts of faith and reason at times, does spiraled me into unexplained hallucinations. There are times, in my dreams, I had conversations with ganapathy, chaikong, torpekkong, etc. I even saw the manifestation of Kuan Yim in the form of Clouds formation. Perhaps, this is a form of escapism from my mind to temporary shut out the conflicting values to eliminate unnecessary mental stress.


I had never take spirituality as a critical factor in life. I perceived spirituality as an irrational science. Frankly, I find it difficult to reconcile spirituality with logical deduction. For me to live meaningfully and productively in this life, it is better for me to adapt to the physical habitat, with both feet on the ground, and adopt a practical lifestyle to survive. I can never find justification to have blind faith in something that I can not physically and logically justify. Does that made me anti-God or an unbeliever ? On the contrary, my secular outlook can be at times oxymoronic. The bottom line is, as much as I am logically rational about my approach in life, I also happen to believe in the existence of the Almighty, and the need for a more holistic life by embracing spirituality. My personal feeling is, between faith and reason, I had yet to be enlightened to have the elusive knowledge to understand spirituality using my limited knowledge of physical science. Eventually, all roads lead to Rome. I do believe, as I age, there shall be a sentimental path laid out for me by the Almighty to seek my salvation in spirituality.

"Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." John 20:29

I do personally believe in miracle, but for miracle to materialize, I need to have strong faith in spirituality. But I will not indulged in blind faith in seeking miracles. For example, if I am sick, I would consult a medical doctor and take the prescribed medications, at the same time, complement modern medicine with prayer to God for speedy recovery. It would be illogical for me to refuse medical treatment by depending solely on prayers alone to seek restoration of health.

I am, after all, a logical man seeking enlightenment to be accepted in an increasingly illogical world. I had accepted Lord Jesus Christ as my savior, and also converted to Christianity. I sincerely pray to the almighty to grant me the grace and wisdom to understand spirituality and the truth of life.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bro

As a chrisitan now, you need to stay away from all the "deities" and other "gods" you used to pray to. It will be proper to rid all these that you used to workship.

As christians, we should only pray and workship our Lord Jesus Christ, The Father and the Holy Spirit.

Bro you are on the journey of recovery and soon your mission will be revealed to you by the Lord.

Praise The Lord.

God Bless.

Kit Ying said...

I spoke about your conversion in my sermon last Sunday and the brothers and sisters rejoiced with the angels in heaven that you have opened the door to Christ in your life. Jesus says, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me." At the end of the day the truth will prevail and Jesus is the truth. He has taken you out of the darkness into His light. I am so happy for you and the family. Things will never be the same again for you and the family. You will have greater joy despite your physical discomfort because you know you will never be alone in your suffering. Jesus will see you through and will be walking with you.
Kit Ying

yenshan said...

Uncle! This is really amazing! God is really good. I read your testimonials & it really lifted my spirit up. Thank you for sharing in your blog..I will pray that God will use you mightily for His Kingdom so that you can be a LIVING TESTIMONY to as many people as possible on earth.

Keep up the Faith =)

Regards,

Shan