Why I don’t need church

This writer’s spiritual philosophy offers a glimpse of infinity

Burt Wilson hosts Ancient Wisdom for the 21st Century on Thursday nights at 9 p.m. on Access Sacramento’s Channel 17, with a Web simulcast at <a href=www.accesssacramento.org.">

Burt Wilson hosts Ancient Wisdom for the 21st Century on Thursday nights at 9 p.m. on Access Sacramento’s Channel 17, with a Web simulcast at www.accesssacramento.org.

Photo By steven ashley wilson

I had an epiphany when I was 10 years old. It was a steaming hot summer night in Sacramento and, after a strenuous game of hide-and-seek with the neighborhood kids, I stretched out on my back on the cool ground to rest a bit. I looked up into the sky and, for some reason, I was attracted to a certain star.

I had looked at the stars before, but this time it was different. I couldn’t avert my eyes. I became totally fixated on it. And then—holy cow!—it spoke to me. No, there were no words. No big banner in the sky, no sound at all. Looking back, I can best describe it as a “thought form” which suddenly entered my consciousness.

It said, “All is knowable.”

I didn’t understand it immediately. Hell, I was only 10 years old. But the idea wouldn’t go away. It was like God stuck a big Post-it note inside my brain. So the idea that “all is knowable” would periodically haunt me, especially when I turned to traditional religion.

I tried Protestant churches (I avoided Catholicism because all of the Catholic girls at school complained about going to confession). As I listened to the sermons on Sundays, the minister spoke of God as a person, and the youth ministers kept asking me if I had a “personal relationship with God.”

“You mean God’s a person?” I asked.

“Well,” they said, “he exists and he loves you, and he sent his son Jesus to die for your sins.”

There was always something unconvincing about their arguments. Why would God send his only son to die a horrible death to benefit the people he himself created? And how can God be a person if the Bible says “God is a Spirit”? And why was the Christians’ God different from the God of the Jews? When I asked my Catholic friends what it all meant, they told me the priests said, “It’s a mystery.”

I began reading books about other belief systems. I had a sense that there must be something out there that is larger than ourselves that makes sense. My studies led me to the concepts of reincarnation and karma: the idea that we are responsible for what we do and—good or bad—it comes back to us in the next life.

This made sense! If we made the mess, we should clean it up. No mystery to that!

My metaphysical studies led me to new friends, and one took me to meet his guru, Ralph Houston. In a few months, he was my guru, too. What followed was 10 years of magic. The whole earthly world and the invisible worlds—all the way to infinity—opened up for me. My best lesson was that “spirit” and “matter,” the invisible and the visible, are one element. They are always conditions of each other; that “matter” is dense “spirit,” and “spirit” is refined “matter.”

When this single bit of knowledge entered my heart as truth, it opened up the entire universe for me. I realized that there was infinite knowledge to be gained “out there” and infinite opportunities for spiritual growth. The “mystery” was solved.

My life changed dramatically then. I began to think differently, to see differently and to live differently. This led me to the Philosophical Research Society in Los Angeles, founded by Manly Palmer Hall, where I lectured on the teachings of the ancient wisdom for two years.

Now I’m back in my hometown of Sacramento and still teaching and lecturing. Do I know it all? Thank goodness, no. But more then ever, I’m convinced that all really is knowable.