I began my spiritual/philosophical quest as a very conservative Christian in the late 1970’s. This was, of course, after the typical teenage tomfoolery of the early to mid-70’s. I suppose I was always a Truth seeker; I simply didn’t know where to begin. I had been fascinated with esoteric matters from the age of about 12, however. Around age 18, I began attending a very conservative Christian church, met my wife, and married at age 20. Coming from a working-class background, I slaved in factories to make ends meet. This was a difficult life. Being always, a voracious reader, I began reading philosophy, first a Christian thinker named Francis Schaeffer. He made a lot of statements against thinkers like Heidegger and the Existentialist movement, which was pretty much over by that time. This led me to investigate Existentialism. I began with Kierkegaard, which was no day in the park. From SK, I ended up reading most Existentialist thinkers from the past, including people like Augustine, Pascal, Nietzsche, Dostoevsky, Heidegger, Sartre, Camus, et al. The list is long. I read this kind of thing for years. In the process, I earned my B.A. degree in Philosophy.
The sad part of this story is that I injured my back on the job around 1982 and suffered with pain for a long, long time. In 1987, I experienced a ruptured disk, the first of 3. To make a long story short, I underwent 4 back surgeries and was put on Social Security disability in 1992. Losing my job brought about a Dark Night of the Soul. But, I suppose, in retrospect, it was a great blessing.
During this time, I was reading everything I could get my hands on about philosophy and spirituality. Then, I met Carl Jung. His books changed my life and challenged my worldview. I began to see through what I had been experiencing. Later, about 1995, I started reading James Hillman and Joseph Campbell. These were very big influences on me.
I was on disability until I graduated college in 1998. Since I had been a computer hobbyist from the early-80’s on, I got a job doing computer support. Over the years, I have gained enough experience to get me where I am now. Today, I am a systems administrator in a high-performance computing data center. It’s a good job and I’m thankful, but it is not what I wanted to do with my life.
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