Reader asks, ‘What are you searching for?’By Jaime Licauco |Philippine Daily Inquirer
Emman Sta. Maria (not his real name), an occupational therapist with a graduate degree in Special Education, asked a number of questions about my religious beliefs and other personal things which have also been asked of me in the past.
According to Sta. Maria, he has been following my works, and the topics I discuss in this column greatly interest him. His search for God, according to him, has led him to various workshops and groups, such as Cho Kok Sui’s Pranic Healing, books of Louise Hay, and other self-help and New Age books.
He went through “crazy years” where he indulged in “booze, nights out, sex and rock and roll.” Eventually, he found “a Marian group in the heart of Manila,” and returned back to Catholicism and love for the rosary. Because of this, he said he was given many spiritual gifts, such as being able to talk to saints and angels.
The following are his questions and my comments:
1. “I think you are not a Catholic, am I right?”
I do not know what you mean by being a Catholic. If by Catholic you mean somebody who was baptized in the Catholic religion and studied in a Catholic school, then the answer is yes.
But if by Catholic you mean “one who believes in the teachings of the Catholic Church and practices the rituals of the Church, such as going to Mass, going to confession and taking Holy Communion,” then I am not sure because, although I don’t disagree completely with Church teachings, there are important things that I don’t agree with.
I also no longer practice the rituals expected of Catholics. But I have not renounced Catholicism or Christianity. And since I have not been excommunicated, I guess, I am still technically a Catholic.
There is no historical eyewitness account of Jesus Christ. This does not mean I don’t believe in Him; I do, but perhaps not in the same way that you and the rest of Christianity do.
However, ultimately, my religious beliefs are not important, because I am not interested in converting people to my beliefs. I don’t even talk about them, unless asked.
2. “What is your belief then?”
I believe in a Supreme Creator, although I don’t know how or why he created the world, corrupt politicians and cockroaches.
I also believe in the teachings of all major religions, whether Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Shintoism, Shamanism. However, I believe that religion puts the minds of its followers in a box. So, changing religion means merely jumping from one box to another. You are still in a box. I think this is what has happened to you.
This is what I call the “Supermarket” or “Smorgasbord” approach to religion. “Try everything until you find something that you like.” I don’t agree with this. If you are a Catholic, be a good Catholic; if you are a Buddhist, be a good Buddhist; or if you are a Muslim, be a good Muslim. There is no point in converting from one religion to another. They all teach you the same thing: “Do good and avoid evil.”
3. “Are you a Mason?”
No, but I have great respect and admiration for Masons. One of my brothers is a Mason, my half brother in the US is a Mason. I have friends who are Masons. I don’t normally discuss two topics, religion and politics, because there is no end to the discussion once you begin. But then, you asked me about these things.
4. “What have you been searching for, sir?”
Good question. I don’t know. Maybe I am searching for the truth. But then, who knows what truth is? Pontius Pilate asked that same question, and before somebody could answer it, he washed his hands.
But as somebody wisely put it, “Finding truth is not so hard; what is hard is not to run away from truth once you have found it.”
5. “Do you believe that certain people are given the spiritual gifts of talking to angels and saints?”
Yes, in fact, I have been studying and discussing such things for many years now. There is nothing strange or odd about these abilities. They are part of our inner faculties. The Christian Bible is full of stories about this. Some have a more developed psychic ability than others. Communicating with spirits is part of the training in spiritist circles all over the world. Such people who have this ability or gift are called “Spirit Mediums.” I have met many mediums here and in foreign countries, especially in Latin America, who can talk to spirits.
To give you a better idea of my work, read any of the 17 books I have written, many of which are still available in National Book Store and Powerbooks.
Attend the seminar on “How to Heal Yourself through Visualization” on April 6, 9 a.m. to 12 nn; fee is only P700. And the next “Soulmates, Karma and Reincarnation” seminar on April 20, from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., at Rm. 308 Prince Plaza I, Legazpi St., Greenbelt, Makati City. For more details and information on other seminars, books, past life regression, paranormal services and consultancy, call 8107245/ 8159890/ 0908-3537885/ 0929-4187011; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit our website: www.jimmylicauco.com.