(I actually started this section yesterday. I’m still writing a little everyday, but the chunk I had yesterday was such hash I decided I wouldn’t bother to post it here. This section is a bit more structured. I’m actually not looking forward to editing all of this later, it is much more scatter brained than my previous books. I blame the science stuff…)
My starting point.
I was not seeking any answers or truth about the universe. I was comfortable in my beliefs, comfortable in knowing that my life was temporary and I would eventually die. That the universe would eventually end taking with it humanity and all our advances and that nothing would ever stop that. I placed little to no value on my own life or on any one else’s beliefs because life had no meaning or purpose. And that is the mindset that I began my adult life with. You could probably call me a quasi-Taoist existentialist if you felt the need to categorize me.
Shortly before graduating from the public university, which soundly reinforced the opinions of my public high school teachers, I was introduced to some business entrepreneurs that were recruiting in Honolulu. Fortunately I was introduced to them by a friend that I trusted and he trusted me, because otherwise I never would have had the chance to work with them. Remember, I was a kid that thought life and the world is meaningless, I certainly didn’t want to waste time chasing after money or building wealth. But somehow, they saw potential in me that I didn’t.
So I learned some basics of entrepreneurship and decided that if life is temporary I would rather spend less of it working and more of it just enjoying myself. I was encouraged to attend seminars and educate myself on the power of positive thinking and personal growth. And a common thread that I would see in all of those seminars and books and audio cassette tapes (Millenials, look it up) was that all these successful leaders would thank God for pretty much everything.
I attended a few non-denominational Christian services that they held at auditoriums at some of these business seminars. The first one I attended, the speaker was not a priest or minister or pastor, he was just a businessman that loved the lord. And in one sermon, he touched on every single thing that I thought I knew about the universe and about belief in God. It’s probably easy to identify the position of the typical unbeliever, because all of them are pretty much identical when the government schools finish processing them.
I wasn’t convinced, because I literally had 20 years of government school conditioning in my system, but it planted a seed. I kept attending training seminars and learning my trade and kept hearing other businessmen and women talk about God. I read books on success principles and the authors kept talking about God. I went through a two hour session on identifying your primary purpose in life. I’ve been trying to recall the exact exercise, but it involved eight sheets of paper, a long session of brainstorming and a single elimination tournament of all of your dreams and life goals.
At the end of all that, when I had eliminated all the “that would be nice” and the “I would really likes” and was faced with determining what ONE single thing is the most important thing I needed to accomplish in my life, it wasn’t a wife and family, it wasn’t wealth, it wasn’t even writing a number one book. At the end of my exercise, all I had left was “the truth.” What that meant for me, was that I needed to find out once and for all what was the truth behind this whole God thing. If God’s not real, then that would be fine, I could just go back to living my life and never concern myself with it again, But if God was real, then nothing else on those eight sheets of paper mattered at all, it was completely meaningless.
My entire life I was raised by government bureaucrats with one point of view and taught that it was absolute. That any belief in God was frowned upon by civilized society, was unsophisticated, unscientific. So I decided to actually learn and try to understand the other sides point of view. I began with a scientist that Greg Duncan talked about in that first sermon I attended a few years previous. I learned about Reasons to Believe ministries and read some of Dr. Ross’s books. Moved from there on to C.S. Lewis, because like me, he started out as an atheist. Lewis read through the bible just to find logical loopholes and to arm himself with enough knowledge to embarrass and humiliate theologians in debate. C.S. Lewis became one of the greatest Christian philosophers of the century.