Well it seems that the bird story/dilemma has caused a great stir with many of the people that are following my journey. Even some of my best friends think I’ve gone crazy, eating some magic mushrooms, or am delirious from lack of food. But, if you are one of the people still reading and haven’t written me off as insane, please consider my logic.

The premise behind this entire endeavor has had at its nucleus the scientific method. And, how one can test precepts of faith and one’s conduct toward others and one’s self. My primary goal was first to test, as a scientist, the assertions made by the avatars of old; namely the Buddha and Jesus. But, I would also put the statements, conjectures, proclamations, and pronouncements of Confucius, Mohammed, Moses, and several religious and moral teachers and texts to the test.

The compulsion to try this came after I had hit, for lack of a better word, bottom. I found myself faced with a profound choice. Forgive or not to forgive, like Hamlet, this question became the quintessential question of my life. Having seen the devastating effects that hate and anger have had on so many people’s lives, I chose forgiveness when for me it was the most difficult choice. The simple act of forgiving, when it was hardest to do so, was to have a profound effect upon me and upon the course of my life. Jesus said forgive 7 x 70, Buddha said forgive, Mohammed says forgive, as does every other religion. But, it was once I forgave…that true peace settled.

Inspired by that peace, greater than any other that I’ve ever known, I began to ask myself. What other teachings of world religions might be true. If I follow what is said about forgiveness by all these religious and moral leaders, and having done so discover that that simple act works, what else might work. So, I began to try experiments to see if other assertions and precepts were as they were purported to be. Using my life and myself as a guinea pig for the experiment, I began to systematically investigate through trial, observation, and analysis the very nature of what it was to be human.

This took the form of small yet radical choices to show love, kindness, forgiveness, compassion, and generosity. Subsequently, I found that when I choose to extend these virtues when I least felt like doing it, no matter the consequences, the recipient and I received the greatest benefit.

As this experiment and experience began to grow, it morphed into the ultimate evaluation. An experiment to see if there was a God/Higher Being/Unity/One, and an investigation if one could be a better human being, or at least better than all I had been up to this point.

So, I tried giving to the poor. I tried loving my enemies. I experimented with the concepts of prayer and meditation, not coveting, lusting, or being greedy. Humility, meekness, gentleness, courteousness, and kindness became my goals. I even gave away nearly all I owned (except what is being used on this trip, and even that I am willing to part with) to find if any of what is written in these religious texts is REAL.

So far, everything has been…more than I could have ever bargained for. Everything has worked. Everything is as the Buddha or Jesus said it was.

So you tell me, when did my craziness start? Was it the moment I first forgave? The moment I gave a homeless woman a mad stash of money? The moment I gave away everything I owned? The moment I set out to run around America taking no money or food? Or the moment I tried to raise a bird from the dead?

Having proved to my own levels and standards that these statements were true, it seemed only logical to also try those centered on faith and works or deeds. I am not so impressed that Jesus walked on water, but rather that Peter did. I am not as impressed that Jesus raised people from the dead, but more so that Peter did. I am not astonished that Jesus healed, but rather that many of the disciples did, as did Paul.

Jesus even said, “He who believes in me, as the scripture said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” Perhaps, that living water is enough to bring a bird to life. And elsewhere, “anyone who believes in me, the works that I do-he will do also; and greater works than these he will do.”

Of course this all starts to sound like a Sunday school class. I am not a Christian, nor do I profess to be. But, I am quickly becoming a follower of the WAY of Jesus and that of Buddha.

I am somewhat reluctant to even write this post because of the connotations that the bible has in our common era. I am also hesitant because a great many people for whom I care quite deeply have gone out on a limb as it were to represent and publicize this blog for me. I do not mean to disrespect any one, but especially the Varty girls, Thomas K., Teresa B., Joe D., and the many many others who have suggested to others that this endeavor was worth reading. If I offend, please forgive me for this would be exactly opposite of my aim.

But I ask you, how crazy was it to think that after all that, and after being on the road, and having my needs met miraculously, how crazy was it to think that with faith I could bring a bird back to life? To me that was just the next logical step. The next obvious experiment.

Point to ponder—Is it more crazy to try to do something compassionate and fail, or to never have tried? How many of people have ever tried to bring something dead back to life? If they have never tried, how do they know that it cannot be done?

So, finally that brings us to the question of what exactly is faith. I do not profess to know. But, this is what I am beginning to believe. Faith is acting in a fashion that you believe to be right despite the outward appearance of its implausibility, and despite the consequences that may come from following it.

If a flabby armed old grandma picked up a car to save a child that wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibilities in most peoples minds. The question however is, was that that faith or science? What caused her to be able to do it? We can say that she had an adrenalin rush, and scientifically that is true. But, it was her belief; her faith that what must be done could be done if one just applied themselves. With faith you can move cars and mountains.