I was recently asked on an email list that I subscribe to, “How did you get into Taoism?” I’ll answer this question here, since I don’t think I ever wrote an answer to this here..
I was raised a Catholic. But by the time I was in high school, I knew that there was something missing from Catholicism. I knew that there was something else, something I just couldn’t see. I didn’t know what that was, though.
When I was in college, I was persuaded to attend a service at the local United Pentecostal Church in Ft. Collins (heretofore known as the Psycho Church). For various reasons, I ended up going to the church for almost two years. Through that time, though, I knew that I didn’t believe in what the Psycho Church taught. I knew I wasn’t going to find whatever that something was that I was searching for at the Psycho Church.
So I spent a few years not thinking about my spirituality much at all. However, I did know a bit of what I believed in. I believed that there was something that was a part of all things. Something that guided us, something that gave meaning not just to life, but to nature and space and the flow of rivers and the movement of mountains. There was some… thing. Something big, something wonderful, something that I could sense, but couldn’t see. I could sometimes feel it working in my life. I could often look back on my life and see how it guided me. But I didn’t know what it was.
Then one day, just past my 28th birthday, I was sitting in class learning about Eastern Religions. The syllabus had told us we would be discussing Taoism that day; I hadn’t done any pre-reading, so I had no idea what Taoism was. Once I started reading, however, I remember feeling a feeling of joy. There, in the pages of the book I was reading, was everything I believed! In our discussion in class that day, everything the professor told us I already knew, in one way or another, because it was what I believed all of my life, what I believe now, three years later.