LIVING IN THE LIGHT

A introduction of living in the light :

I have always had a burning desire to understand how the universe works, what life is all about, and the meaning and purpose for which I am here. In retrospect, I can see that my entire life has been devoted to my search for truth and understanding.

I was brought up in a very intellectual, well-educated, non- religious family. My parents were essentially atheists, and very early on, I remember having the attitude that a belief in God was a human fabrication, a fantasy, a superstition created to help people feel better about the totally unexplained, and unexplainable, predicament we seem to find ourselves in. Human existence, or any other kind of existence, was simply an accident of nature and had no particularly fathomable meaning. living in the light

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I preferred to admit that I didn’t know how we got here or why, rather than to adopt a sim- plistic explanation merely to gain a sense of security. I believed that truth was rational and anything that couldn’t be proved scientifi- cally didn’t exist. I also felt somewhat condescending toward peo- ple who were weak enough to have to make up a god to believe in.

The positive side of this upbringing was that I didn’t get a lot of the rigid dogma and deeply negative messages about right and wrong, heaven and hell, and sin that so many people receive in their early religious training. On the other hand, I had no conscious con- cept or experience of the spiritual dimension of life, and no answers for the questions I had about the meaning and purpose of my life. My parents really wanted a child, and were very loving to me.living in the light

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Unfortunately they were unable to work out their own relationship and were divorced when I was two years old. Although I don’t remember it clearly, I know this event had a major impact on my life and affected my later patterns in relationship. After the divorce, I lived with my mother who never remarried or had any other chil- dren. My father did remarry, and I often visited my father and his other family.living in the light

My mother developed a successful career as a city planner in the days when there were few women in that field. She dealt with the usual challenges of single parenting — trying to balance the needs of her child with the demands of her work. Being the only child of a working mother, I developed a strong sense of responsibility and self-sufficiency quite early.

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My mother is a very adventurous person. She loves to try new things, and for me, she was a great role model of fearlessness and pioneer spirit. She had been one of the first educated American women in her generation to have natural childbirth. I was the first baby her doctor had ever delivered without an anesthetic. I was blessed with a very fortunate birth. (On September 30, 1948, at 9:10 p.m. in Trenton, New Jersey, for all you astrologers!)living in the light

My mother loves to explore new places and we traveled a lot when I was a child — all over the United States, to the West Indies, Mexico, Hawaii, Europe. We also moved frequently when- ever my mother changed jobs. Until I was about fifteen, I had never lived in one place longer than two or three years.living in the light

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My mother’s family had been Quakers and we still used the “plain language” when speaking to my grandmother (saying “thee” rather than “you” for the Quakers is an acknowledgement of the god within each person). So, on a deep level, I absorbed the pro- found respect for spirit and concern for humanity that is woven into the fabric of the Quaker religion, which I feel had a strong influence on me later in my life.living in the light

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