My life there and afterwards

The Community of Jesus started a Marching Band in 1977, and I joined it in 1978. It grew into a Field Band, doing shows like you would see at a football game half-time. We would go on tour every summer to different venues, either doing workshops and shows at schools, or entering competitions. The Band went on tour in August of 2005, and I made a couple of journal entries. Following is the entry from June, while we were practicing and preparing for the tour, and one short one from the tour itself, and my current thoughts about what I wrote then.
Journal Entry 6/05: The theme for the Band tour is as follows; Book 1: Love opens, and then Honor. Book 2: Truth. Book 3: Love. Book 4: Sacrifice. Book 5: Loyalty & Honor.
TRUTH: Depth – looking inward to discover what I really feel & believe. Hanging onto the truth in the midst of various temptations – tired, bored, distracted, peer pressure, rebellion. Being fully aware in the moment, to search out the truth of the moment. To be open to realizing the truth of the moment. Listening to God and people.
(It is such a contradiction that these things are verbally taught but not lived. What I experienced happening under the label of honesty were angry accusations & humiliations. Those with social power bashed those without. Social power was gained by whether you were in good graces with the leader or not.)
SACRIFICE: giving, a small death. Having a vision of a goal larger than me and being willing to give myself, spend myself, for that vision. Wanting to give towards a goal out of Love for the Truth of that goal.
(These thoughts of mine make me so sad. This is completely how I thought, and a large part of what made me persevere at CJ. I kept trying to make it work. I was convinced that if I sacrificed enough, I could help to make the vision come true. After all, Jesus sacrificed His life in order to show us how to live a loving life, wasn’t I called to do the same? The catch here is that He actually lived his life as an example for us to follow. At CJ, the leaders lived a life of luxury and indulgence, while teaching us to live a life of service and sacrifice. And the sacrifices Jesus made were for the sake of showing us how to love one another. Love and Sacrifice at CJ were counterproductive, because the sacrifice part was made into the sole goal, and love was not practiced.)
LOYALTY: sticking to it. Perseverance, out of love. Identifying with a group. You can’t be loyal if you refuse to be part of a group. Rebellious individuality is opposed to loyalty. It embodies security, and identity. By seeking identity alone, we lose that part of our identity that is connected to the group. We are afraid of losing our identity in the group if we have been used by someone – if we have experienced the loss of identity by someone’s control. We need a group, family, to experience loyalty. It gives a sense of belonging, identity, security. Sacrifice, out of the Love of Truth, produces Loyalty, and reaps great benefits.
( Notice that I say I am afraid of losing my identity – I did feel that way all the time. I did my best to convince myself otherwise, and to convince myself it was my own fault. I thought that it was my own thinking that was keeping me from feeling a part of the group, so I kept suppressing these kinds of thoughts and feelings. This is warped thinking, a circle, and a trap. This is the kind of thinking that was taught to me in order to keep me bound to CJ by feeling I needed them in order to exist. Seeking an individual identity will not cause me to lose my identity to a group. On the contrary, I cannot function well with a group if I have totally given up my identity of “self” as an individual. CJ had it backward in order to control me, and I had it backward in order to feel like I belonged to the group, and I lost my sense of self as a consequence. Once I left, and could look back on my life at CJ, I began to see this clearly, and I am angry at the leaders for how controlling and manipulative they are. They kept us suppressed and believing that submission and obedience was the only way to salvation and a higher calling.)
HONOR: a vague concept that expresses very specific attitudes. Pride of accomplishment in the realm of character. Knowing the Truth and obeying it brings honor. It is the end result of the foregoing work. It is agreement in truth with others. Being able to stand firm in Christ, always seeking the truth of the moment. Being able to face another human person without guilt or shame, because I have done the work to bring my personal darkness into the light.
(I actually like what I have written here. I can remember clearly thinking deep and long about these concepts, and trying to discover for myself what these terms meant to me. I knew this journal was just for my eyes only, and I could express myself here. It was times like this, where I could think for myself, and search for my own heart’s and mind’s beliefs, which threw how we lived into such stark contrast to the ideals I was reaching for. I never experienced pride of accomplishment because my accomplishments were always denigrated. If I did express pride, I was told pride was a sin. I could take no satisfaction in a job well done, because that would be “puffing myself up”. My weaving was good, but I had to remain anonymous so I would not be prideful. All the sisters art work, cooking, craft work was presented to the public anonymously for this reason. I played my instruments well in Band – I was good at it. But never did I receive any acknowledgement of this. Even when we won the World Championship in Korea at the Exhibition Band Competition did we get praise for a job well done. It was expected of us that we would win, and proved the righteousness of the Band leader’s vision. We were just tools to be used to accomplish “God’s Will”.
Journal Entry: Day 2 of the tour: 8/05. Learn to despise external things – pain, heat, thirst. Slow feeling, like I can’t do anything quickly, tired. Give thyself to the interior – open attitude, keep the vision, help others, and be encouraging as well as corrective.
(We were worked very hard in preparation for the tours. We all had day jobs, and the Band practiced in the evenings and all day Sat., and sometimes on Sunday as well. We were exhausted, and the whole experience was geared towards the younger members who had strength and stamina. When I would say that I was having a hard time keeping up, I was told to give up my resistance and push myself to keep up anyway. The only way I could cope was to do my best to ignore my own aches and pains, and focus on caring for others. Because of this I eventually injured myself in Band, foot, knee and hip problems. It did teach me perseverance and endurance, and I now am very well taught in how mind control works.)


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