I have to say, I love being counter cultural. I’ve always had a knack for getting up peoples noses growing up because I always did the opposite to what everyone did. I wouldn’t label myself a hipster because that’s a mental illness where you can’t wear the same clothes for more than a day (quite literally) but by Ireland’s definition I probably am.
Here in Ireland by definition a hipster is just considered someone who likes to dress trendy and is artistic. Therefore a lot of people would label me as such and so what? It’s important to look good. It’s important to go out and get clothes that are the latest trend, stand out and be different. As long as they don’t compromise the faith and you’re not walking around like a hooker go right ahead.
In my youth we grow up doing what’s cool and rebellious because our peers, Movies, TV, Music preached to us what was deemed underground, cool and counter cultural. These people were our teachers not our parents because our parents fell asleep at the wheel. As a result we were raised by the philosophy of the secular world and the street.
To give you a little taste of just how my youth was is in the following paragraphs and I’ve kept it extremely short so as to move on. I think it’s important my readers learn a little more about me that they may understand where I used to be to where I am now.
My first ever time watching a graphic porn movie was when I was 10. I broke and egged peoples windows. We threw big rocks at lorries passing on the motorway. I had oral sex when I was twelve. I was 15 when I first had penetrative sex. My mates would bring their dads porn mags to school and we’d all sit in the shed and watch the most graphic and violent porn known to anyone.
I smoked cigarettes at the age of 12. I drank bottles of cider, smoked weed at the age of 13 and later ended up in hospital fighting for my life from the amount of drugs I swallowed. I got involved in the music industry. I ended up on social welfare at the age of 18 and thought I was gonna be a rock star. I’d left school in my teens so any prospect of an education or interest was lacking.
I moved to Scotland and fathered a child out of wedlock, came back home and that girl had left me and told me not to come back. I made plans to return because my loyalty is very strong and was lining up a job only that God stepped in at this point.
So if there’s anyone who was a cool kid and self styled philosopher it was certainly me.
It’s such a 360 degree turn of personality and the life I once led that it surprised absolutely everyone. My brother was the most affected by it and he even called the police on me claiming I’d gone mad and so four police men came to arrest me and take me back to the station. My doctor who also has a degree in Psychology was called late that night and he came down in an awful mood.
He said to me ”Stephen…what the FUCK is going on?”. I told him everything the complete truth as I’d seen, heard and felt it, and then at the end of it he got up and went out and said there’s nothing wrong with Stephen, he’s coherent and very much normal he just seems to have got himself involved in some cult. I was like no for the 100th time I’m Catholic.
Anyway the police then asked me what happened. You see my brother was dying for an excuse to put me away and so he used my grabbing of him in his photography studio as an excuse. Basically how events unfolded, I was in his shop and he began to taunt me with religious jokes and how the Catholic church is a dump. I just cracked and so I grabbed him by the scruff of the neck and I got into his face and screamed ”This is real you. This is really really real. ….its real. ” I turned around before I left and fired a bottle of coke through him, how was I supposed to know it would go through the wall behind him?
In fact those whole couple of weeks that things took place, that was my mantra only not to everyone around me but mostly to myself. ”This is real it’s not fictional, its real. The entire Adam and Eve all the way to the Resurrection and today its all real and really happened.”
It was so easy for me to believe it because I was there. It was so hard for my brother and family to believe it because they weren’t there. Neither was doubting St.Thomas there which is why he couldn’t accept the testimony of the others ”But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.”
In the process of my conversion, I understood what it meant to be counter cultural. To be counter cultural meant to be like Jesus. In fact when one looks at the modern music and film industry as well as the modern philosophy preached to us from TV/Film, none of it is counter cultural. It’s very much reflects the philosophy society already consents to.
When you look at the Cross there you see what it means to be counter cultural and your proof that it is counter cultural is the negative reaction and hatred you receive from your peers, family, friends and society around you.
If you want to be cool you got to be Christian but you know…. its tough. To really grasp the teachings of the church and properly implement them in ones life is not readily easy.
Coming out as Christian in a family is a bit like coming out as gay. Depending upon what family you come from reactions can vary. Coming out as Christian is much tougher than coming out as gay because quite literally everyone abandons you. You can no longer really engage with them the way you used to so you kind of even just remove yourself from their presence.
Sometimes it can feel like God has punished you, bestowed upon you a great burden and you’ve become an estranged leper no longer able to engage with the world simply because of the change that has taken deep inside you.
In fact the change can be so dramatic that not even the priests and religious clergy can handle it. Not even Christians living a normal kind of life going to Church every Sunday can handle it.
Christianity in its purest counter cultural form is not an easy pill to swallow for many simply because they’re spiritually deafened and they’re purposefully (even priests and religious) not allowed to see the real thing.
People think that Christianity is peaceful and it is as Jesus talks plenty about peace, but there are only moments of peace. For the most part its very much a spiritual and mental war, not only with the spiritual but even having to go to war with family and friends around you because of you’re desire not to lose the treasure you’ve been given.
As you can see I jumped from one counter cultural ideology to another. Remember if you really want to be a rebellious kid and go against the norm of society you must become Christian. If you’ve too many friends and people still love you for ”who you are” you’re definitely not doing it right.
That said I’ll talk about having to live in the world. Children of light (pure Orthodox Christians) cannot do this because they’re too obvious to the devil and so they can’t fight him in that pure state so its probably better people like that retreat into a monastery and battle it out for our benefit and their own there.
I’ll talk about hiding oneself. You’re not going to like it, but neither do I and sadly have accumulated worldly habits, however it has to be done in certain situations as once the devil gets a sniff of you he’ll bark and let everyone know you’re there.
I’m not just talking about the worldly heathens. I’m also referring to the Clergy and theologians in the church too which I’ve recently given up on and handed over to the Lord. If they get even a whiff it can cause trouble and tension and ruin your plans.
It’s an entirely different post and I’m not sure I want to make any promises I will follow it up as I’m aware that there are people reading my blog who have an invested dislike in me and I wouldn’t want to cast my pearls before the swine.
All we need to know is that True Rebellion is Orthodox Christianity and it can only be found under the wing of Peter. The other wing is the people of the church like me and you and the Church can’t fly without us so it’s important we drop our intellectual study of theology and learn the true theology and study ourselves.
This is for you reading this: Discern who you are. Learn how to pray and praying does not envisage a few hail marys and prostrating before an icon numerous times.
Pray with your body and your soul by asking Jesus to help you discover who you are that you may know him. Your prayer will be your way of life. This is what it means to be a theologian to pray from the heart not from your own spirit but from a heart transformed.
Stop going around following visionaries and seers and prophets and having a taste for the beautiful whilst deep inside you’re spiritually dead. Become beautiful by seeking to awaken from your dream into the reality of the Divine. It is in that reality you will learn what really pleases God. If all these prophets and mystics you follow are leading you back to God, challenging you to live better and helping you then by all means indulge it, but if not then it’s time you reconsidered who it is you’re following.
Stop lining the pockets of these Catholic theologians with your money. Leave all that learning to the priests. Look for proper spiritual books that challenge you to awaken from the deep sleep you’re currently in. Follow the real theologians like St.Faustina, Garabandal, Medjugorje, Lourdes, Vassula Ryden (True Life In God). Follow the early fathers of the church, listen to the mystics of old.
Anyway you’re probably wondering, who are you to be giving advice? Are you claiming to be awake? The only answer I have to that is . . . how would I know? You tell me….. *snorreeeeeee*