Epistemology is the study of how we know what we know, of how we arrive at knowledge that is legitimate. Science, religion, instinct, and experience are our four main sources of knowledge. I believe that somewhere along the way, we started prizing religion and science over instinct and experience as valid ways of knowing the truth. So I began to keep a journal, a journal of the things I've learned from my own intuition and lived experiences, and I choose to hold these things as valid and as sacred as any Holy Scripture or scientific breakthrough.

By birth I'm Methodist, by conversion I'm Catholic, by God's grace I am comfortable leaving my religion unnamed and undefined. Below are a few sneak-peeks into my lightbulb moments, scattered poems and thoughts, and late night efforts to scribble down Divine inspiration:

1. When that building stopped being the only place I found Church:

"Sometimes I feel guilty because I know this is not what a priest would tell me to do."

But then I always think how weird is it that I don't feel guilty about God,

I feel guilty towards human instruction.

How is it that in my heart I'd be sinning against God and against you if I was a "good Christian" and followed these words of the Church?

I think the church is a tool from God, but I think it's made by humans and therefore cannot be perfect. no spiritual life should rest solely in a church's teachings. there's gotta be some God seeking, too, because in my heart I know God speaks to me just as much as he speaks to a Priest, a pastor, or to you. remember that Satan can use the Church, too.

I don't want my kids being taught the Catholic faith by the Catholic priest. I want them being taught the Truth by God.

2. When Mama Tierra became sacred:

"the grass loves me

the way I've always been taught that God loves me

and wants to be loved

and the flowers were sewn

in Jesus's blood

and they radiate the energy

of the entire universe

past, present

and future."

3. When I met God:

"She's black."

4. When God became bigger than religion:

"It's more important to know, understand, embody God's nature

than it is to know, understand, embody the scriptures.

Scriptures, stories, religions should serve to point us to God's nature.

How historically problematic it is... which stories got told,

And whose voices were erased, outlawed, and silenced over time. It was my ancestors whose stories were lost, overbuilt, underserved in acts that cannot be described in any other way than systematically violent.

And in my bones I know that a piece of God was lost to me then, in my people's forced conversion.

Religion is the product of different people, in different times and spaces, describing their truths in the ways they knew how to.

As far as I'm concerned, it's in my interest to learn about God's nature from everyone that's learned about God before me, Christian or not. It's in my interest to listen to more than just the dominant stories that lived on."

5. When I discovered my own power:

"You can try to ignore the existence of God,

but you are God. So that's kind of counterproductive.

Know God by knowing yourself. God is in you, in the thoughts of your heart and the fibers of your skin.

You are moon and you are sun, you are ocean, wind, and storm. You flow with God's being, you flow with the rhythm of Creation. God is creator, sustainer, and destroyer. you possess this nature, too.

Let faith make you bigger, not smaller. Remember the world will always try to make you black or white. But you are gloriously gray. A level above. Azure, amarillo, rosa. Vibrant, brilliant, worthy, empowered."

For the better part of my life, I have been intimately involved in defining the parameters of my own beliefs, and I have continuously evolved as a result. Where am I now? Somewhere that's not so easy to describe with words we have preconceived understandings of. But I am finally happy, satisfied, freed, saved, enlightened if you will. It all changed for me when I stopped trying to find that one person who was saying everything "right", and when I started listening to the things I knew were right in my own heart (hint: read Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse... it's all about learning from leaders and then finding your own path, eek).

My mentor in Nicaragua taught me to lean on my God-given intuition, my guru in India taught me to "take everyone [I] meet along the way as a teacher". These are the lessons that paint the pages of my Scriptures, and I will continue to let the things I learn shape me, grow me, and sustain me.