I remember meeting Andre and Mary-Anne for the first time in 2010. They were part of a conference in Budapest, and I can’t really remember a word of what Andre said there. BUT it made me totally excited; the truth that was shared about God and us was stirring in my stomach. I felt I am not alone in my „progressive and rebellious faith” and I read Andre’s Adventures in Christ on that night from cover to cover. I remember the anxiety when I was hesitating, shall I contact them and tell them that I would like to make their materials available in Hungarian? I somehow felt this will be a „point of no return,” and this foresight proved right. I embarked on a journey paved with a lot of “disapproval” and being cast out, but also an expedition towards honesty and joy (others may call it love and freedom).
Deciding to be committed to Mimesis Academy was a similar “point of no return” for me. I say commitment because the weekly list of reading the short essays, watching the video of the topic of the week, writing my assignment, reading others assignments and writing my reactions to others’ thoughts is no small undertaking for me. It demanded a minimum of 4 hours a week on my behalf (and it always felt not enough). The academy became my all-pervasive hobby besides my regular job plus the work I do with Andre’s materials (and my family and children, of course). To be honest with you, because of the time-restraints, I did not even consider reading any of the additional books of each course. I did a similar undertaking with the “Word Made Flesh” course two or three years ago, and I totally failed there; from week one I felt I cannot keep up with the home work. This time, with Mimesis Academy I am so glad I made this extra effort (that included my time, intellectual challenge and the inevitable emotional and spiritual voyages each week). The reward was a creative energy that has been released week by week.
In fact the layout of the course proved one of the most important and fertile take-aways for me. It may be just my own learning style, but I became convinced that the forum approach to digest the materials together in a conversational format is one of the most effective ways to really internalize complex concepts (to understand really, deeply, and personally and even be able to question it); to change one’s thinking; and to be able to remember long term. I spent 21 years with my own education and have been working as a teacher for over a decade; I am shocked why this method is not used wide-scale? I am planning to introduce it in my kids’ school. Our conversations during this course, how prolifically discussions unfolded are a formulating experience for me. Evidently, good questions from others and ourselves, led to further explorations, and “not knowing” or “being wrong” were no longer hindrances to play and seek. I am almost at the points that “if I think now I fully know and understand, than I must be wrong.” I also discovered the value of each and every individual perspective and at the same time, how infinitely connected we humanity are to each other and something that we call God, for lack of a better word.
Writing these weekly assignments enforced a habit in me, to be brutally honest to myself. The courses made me realize how we develop our own personal stories (that may be hindrances to experience and meet our real, fuller self and enjoy God), and similarly, how humankind was so resourceful in developing all sorts of stories, including religious stories (that become hindrances to experience God and ourselves). I also discovered how intense our projections and externalizing evil are; and how these contributed to “the powers of this world,” all sorts of perversions in human relationships, institutions, religion, etc.. Seeing these processes more clearly evokes the desire in me to question everything: do I really believe it? Or was I just told and accepted it just because? For example, I realized that I do not believe in a personalized Satan and supernatural evil forces; these are just man-made myths. I can’t express the freedom and energy gained as that kind of fear is just gone.