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Emails to my Therapist

Who’m I Gonna Call? Jesus and Daddy, Though I’m a Pagan Christian

Dear Nicholas, Who of the dead and gone would I most like to talk with? That was the question asked of the three writers on a recent panel at a local library. I hesitated for a quarter-second, though, pagan Christian that I am, I’d known instantly my answer: “Jesus and Daddy.”

It wasn’t the expected answer. Novelist Mary Lambeth Moore on my right wanted to talk with Virginia Woolf. I guess I could have named my long-time favorite Henry James. But I don’t need to. I can read and reread his books. I wouldn’t have learned more about writing or psychology by talking with him. (I once introduced a couple of painters to each other. One immediately said to the other, “Well, shall we talk about red?”)

Don’t Want to Give the Wrong Idea

Another reason for my hesitation: I feared that naming Jesus would make me seem like the most politically extreme of ┬áChristian fundamentalists, which I’m not. Fundamentally I’m a pagan Christian.

pagan christian

Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado Mountain, Rio

I haven’t abandoned my Methodist upbringing; it’s deeply rooted, I don’t think I could. But I also feel the truth of a lot of other religions, reaching back to the Druids.

The Priesthood of All

One’s own religious experience seems to me most important of all, though I don’t think I’d have had any without the suggestions in the many dogmas I’ve encountered.

However, I would like to interview Jesus, find out what he meant, versus how he was interpreted. I think he could tell me more about the workings of the universe than anyone. Plus, who knows more about being an influencer? I want to meet the human who contained and wielded paradoxically such power.pagan christian I do believe we all have the same divine spark, often very hard to see or feel.

Most Important

I want to talk with my father. Daddy died forty-one years ago, the anniversary of his death last week. I was twenty-nine then and thought I knew him. There’s so much I’ve wanted to know since. He said so little about his own early years. Both his parents died the year he was twenty, leaving him with sisters three and five years old. How did he cope with such a shock? So many details of his life I now want to know. In the years we shared, I was overly engrossed in the details of my own life. Still am, but was even more so back then.

I Won’t Believe It’s Impossible

I know I could hold conversations with these two in my mind and I do in flickers at times. But I’d like a real sit-down. Maybe even a double session or a bunch of them. I’d like to learn how this can be arranged. I won’t believe it’s impossible.

Wistfully, curiously,


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  • October 4, 2019 at 4:14 pm Reply

    Since it’s unlikely you’ll get to sit down phtsically in the waking world with either Jesus or your Dad, I hope you’ll do the next best thing – schedule a chunk[s], of time to visit and talk back & forth with each of them. May as well do what you can in your internal dream universe –trance/meditation, of what you really want to do.
    I look forward to hearing about it all.

    • Peggy Payne
      October 4, 2019 at 4:25 pm Reply

      And I expect you’ll have some helpful thoughts about it along the way.

  • Kenju
    October 4, 2019 at 8:56 pm Reply

    Good suggestion, Bob!
    I will never lose my Methodist roots either. But a chance introduction to the writings of Edgar Cayce when I was 24 has led me to believe in reincarnation for many years.

    • Peggy Payne
      October 4, 2019 at 9:23 pm Reply

      That’s so interesting, Kenju. I’ve been to the Cayce Center a couple of times– cool place and they have a fantastic library and a great variety of programs. I also lean in the direction of re-incarnation, with the likelihood that coming back we each contain some of more than one person.

      • Peggy Payne
        October 4, 2019 at 9:25 pm Reply

        And the novel I keep thinking I’ve finished includes a couple of characters who lived more than one human life.

    • October 5, 2019 at 12:25 am Reply

      Seems to me, Kenju, we don’t relate to people directly, but rather to the images we make up inside of us. And naturally everybody makes up different images of the same particular person, depending on our asssortment of experiences & perspectives.

      So we can deal with the person’s image as we made them up. These images live on inside us after we are disconnected from the person by time, space or death, and these images are dynamically responsive to interactions with us in our internal imagery. The more deeply we’re absorbed in “daydream”/internal imagery, the more life-like the possibilities for having positive, supportive &/or previously unexplored conversation, opening up further therapeutic possibilities for processing and changing our relationships with those images of familiar people.

  • kenju
    October 5, 2019 at 2:07 pm Reply

    Very interesting, Bob!

    Peggy, Jim and I are life members of the A.R.E.; we have been there numerous times for conferences. Love their bookstore and library – and contributed many books to them before we moved. You’ll have to go and see the new” old building – it was completely remodeled – and now has a good cafe!

    • Peggy Payne
      October 5, 2019 at 3:45 pm Reply

      You’re right–I need to go again. I hope the old building still looks the same, like an old beach hotel. I may have picked up some of your books there in the library. Wishing y’all good health, kenju!

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