Sunday, November 13, 2011

How this phase of the journey began

My Rapture: Caught up in the Rain Clouds

Originally posted 10th June 2011 at 06:39 PM on Christian Forums
This entry doesn't do the experience it relates any justice, but I had to share. Hopefully it makes sense.

Okay, so one night a while back I was drifting in and out of sleep and pondering what name by which to refer to God in my post-Christian spiritual walk. I was at that point leaning heavily towards coming up with a unique, personally-relevant name for God, rather than borrowing a term from any already-established religion. Drifting into sleep a brief dream occurred, the sort that pops up in the shallower modes of sleep, in which I was looking at the word "Taren" on a computer screen, accompanied by a male voice saying, "My name is Taren."

Later that day I decided to look up the meaning of the name Taren. Evidently, it's a male name meaning "Thunder". One mythical god of thunder, Thor, came to mind, so I ended up dismissing that, because that doesn't speak to my understanding of the Divine at this point (though I am a fan of thunderstorms! ツ).

Anyway, days passed and I thought no more about it.

Then, a few days later, I was looking through a gallery of artistic paintings of Krishna. For whatever reason, I was mesmerized by the beauty of the imagery. If I were to define what God looked like, this would be it. My christian background overall seemed to discourage such things as pictures and statues of Deity because of the fear of idolatry. In my Catholic upbringing, there was more in the way of such visual aids, but they lacked a certain peace and joy, both of which are fully present in the paintings concerning Krishna. Especially those images depicting Krishna with Radhe... they speak to me of what our relationship with the Lord can be like, a picture of Christ and His church (both corporate and each individual), if you will.

What does this have to do with thunder? I didn't make the connection right away, but one of the distinguishing features of Krishna (whose name means "blue-black, dark-colored") is his bluish color, which is likened to the color of rain clouds ... or even thunder clouds. ;) So, in a way, my mini-dream from days before could have been something of a heads-up. Taren=thunder=thunder clouds = Krishna = W000T!!

And what does this have to do with a rapture? Well, while it turns out there wasn't an actual rapture on May 21st, maybe it could be said that there was, if private raptures-as-in-spiritual-ecstatic-experiences, count. The day before, I was totally absorbed in God as Krishna. I had even submitted a hold-request at my local library for a book dealing with Hinduism, intending to get the story behind all the Krishna artwork I had seen. I was feeling a connection with God that I had not felt before, and it was downright exhilarating. I was literally a bawling (though joyful) mess at 2AM! I guess you could say I was, in a sense, "caught up in the (rain) clouds".

Yes, the imagery was instrumental in re-establishing a connection with the Lord -- it conveys so much of He who is both Love and Lovely -- but it was a breath of fresh air, as my walk with Him had been stagnating from disillusionment with regards to Christianity and what I had thought was an inerrant bible at that point. I am ready to relate to the Divine in a context other than Christian, and it would seem that this ... epiphany? ... came in just the nick of time.

I don't know that I'll ever call myself "Hindu" (though, interestingly enough, I did rank as "95% Hindu" on a spirituality test I took over at Beliefnet), but from what I have seen and read thus far, Krishna more accurately represents what I have come to believe constitutes God, which is less like a stern-looking judge planning on sending most of mankind to hell, and more like a blissful, victorious, and yes... rapture-inducing Lord of All.