July 20th, 1969.
I was five days from my sixth birthday. I can remember every detail of that day. You wouldn’t think a five-year-old would have memory retention that good, would you?
The Apollo 11 moon landing is my first clear memory. I have others, snippets of scenes involving my sister and parents. None of them are very clear. This memory burned in deep.
That year, we lived in a rented farm house at the end of a long driveway. Across the road, at the end of another long driveway were our neighbors. My best friend live there.
That day, I spent in front of the television at my friend’s house. I don’t think I ate anything after breakfast. It was all over before sunset.
That night, I snuck out of the house to look at the fat crescent of the moon high in the sky. I thought, ‘There are people up there!’
I didn’t know it at the time, but that was the moment I lost my religion.
That night was the beginning of the hopeless quest to fit the world as it was to the world as it was supposed to be according to the Book and to the clerics who told me what it meant. That process, started in the summer of 1969, ended in the spring of 1984, when I finally gave up.
To have remained religious beyond that later date would have required that I believe there was no truth contrary to the ‘revealed truth’, explicated by the clerics. It wouldn’t matter what ‘evidence’ the profane supplied; all of that would merely have been a test of my faith.
I couldn’t do it anymore.
I stopped believing in the ‘truth’ of the God of Abraham and, soon thereafter, all delusions. Without evidence, truth remains ephemeral.
That cool early evening, standing barefoot in my PJs at the near end of our long driveway, stones digging into my bare soles, wind chilling me and tousling my hair, was a moment of illumination for me. I have had many in the years since. They have come from science or from great works of imagination (generally leaning toward the revelatory in regards to the Multiverse).
My epiphany in early 1984 had been the realization no illumination had ever come to me from the Book. In that moment, I finally admitted to myself that I had always found the stories in it either boring or depressing.
I mentioned in another post my contempt for the newer ‘religions’ (Conspiracy Theories) particularly those involving the alleged faking of the Apollo Moon landings.
In that context, a simple experiment involving shining a laser at one of the reflectors left on the Moon by Apollo astronauts, constitutes definitive proof that those missions did happen—we did send men to the moon and brought them back.
This experiment can be performed by anyone who can get their hands on the right kind of laser and a large dish photo-multiplier.
It’s telling that none of the True Believers have ever done that.
A pulse of laser light confirming a moment of illumination; that is what real revelation looks like.