I Was Searching for Meaning

Submitted by Thea Hardy

My earliest memories are of lights moving across the ceiling of my room at night as I lay in my crib under the window. They were only passing cars, but they were magical to me. When I found out about stars, I knew I wanted to be an astronomer. I didn’t realize I was looking for God. I grew up mainstream Methodist, but the ideas of God and Jesus promoted by my family and church, while warm and fuzzy, didn’t make a huge impression. To me, the feeling of God was mostly found singing Bach in the church choir, with the huge pipe organ thundering joy, and light streaming through the tall stained-glass windows. I ran for sheer joy on the hillsides above Boise, drinking in the sun and sky, but I didn’t know that I knew God.

By high school, disgusted with the hypocrisy I saw around me, I was a defiant atheist. I enjoyed tearing down religion. But after a few years in college, I began studying philosophy and even tried inventing a world religion as a class project. I became aware that I was searching for meaning.

In the late ’60s I moved to Berkeley and continued my pursuit of enhanced consciousness in the manner of the times. Initially, I was overjoyed by the celebration of diversity that I had never seen before. I felt that I had found my place at last. But over time, as happens in movements, codification and polarization changed things. Diversity shrank until there was a semi- uniform code even amongst the supposedly free. Peace and love were preached, but up close they were still not practiced. Disillusionment only spurred my pursuit. I moved out of the city and into the country.

In 1970, near where I lived in Sonoma, California, I encountered an unusual group of people who invited me to a study group where they read a big blue book. I went because I was attracted to the young man who asked me. At first, I was outraged. These people were obviously intelligent, but they believed such crazy stuff. The young man suggested I treat the book as science fiction. This let me suspend my disbelief enough to start reading. Within a few months, we studied Paper 100. The story of enlarging the picture on the snarling filthy hulk facing the saber-toothed tiger made a tremendous impression on me. The entire paper opened up my heart. Suddenly I knew something very important had happened to me and I had to have my own copy of this book.

I got my first (and still most beloved) copy that summer in Sausalito, and began to devour the incredible quantity of truth, beauty and goodness it contained. In short order, I attempted communication with my Adjuster, something I have continued to seek all these years. My search was being rewarded, and the real adventure began. Learning to understand more about God, the universe, people and myself started to satisfy the hunger for meaning that had been growing in me throughout my life. And yet it left me with a yearning for more. At last I had found the light my child-mind had been drawn to all those years ago.

My personal culture has undergone many changes over the years, but the basic values of the UB have only grown more deeply rooted, deeply felt, and more fully understood as time has passed and I have continued my study. The more I read the book, the more truth it seems to contain, and the more fascinating it becomes. Things I could not begin to understand in the beginning have become clearer and clearer, but more wonderful mysteries to solve always present themselves. In recent years, I have had the opportunity to begin more fully to live what the book has taught me, and that experience of attempting to live the truth is the supreme thrill of all. The book has been friend, companion, and counselor in both good and terrible times. It remains my touchstone for truth and reality. The adventure continues.

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