Hello, I am Capt. J. H. (Cass) Forrington and I designed the "Symbol of Unity". This site is intended to explain why and how.|
My religious education was very diverse from the very beginning. I was an adopted child and had been adopted by a Catholic/Lutheran couple after having been baptised Episcopalean by my birth parents.
Consequently I attended Catholic school from grades Kindergarten through 5th, during which time I attended a Lutheran Sunday school. When I was moved to a public school in 6th grade, I began attending Episcopal Sunday school, and was finally confirmed in the Episcopalean Church.
In my High School and College years, I dated a Jewish girl and gained some exposure to Judaism there.
I liked the spiritual feeling I got when sitting in any church, Catholic, Lutheran or Episcopalean and, at that age, didn't understand the differences between them.
My father passed away when I was 16 years-old and I gradually turned agnostic, and then bitterly atheistic, like so many today. But my curiosity was still alive and well and I began investigating witchcraft and the occult when I was 19. Shortly afterwards I began investigating psychic phenomena, like telepathy. I was working horoscopes by the time I was 21. I no longer do that.
When I was 22, I had my first real lesson in the power of faith when I learned to wash my hands in acid, chew glass and drive needles through my flesh without pain. I learned this from a Muslim Haj in Djakarta, Indonesia, while I was running a crew boat to the offshore oil fields there. You can read the full story about this at my "Symbol of Unity" site.
Remarkably, I still did not believe in a Creator back then, but I began looking for ways to increase my power of faith because I had learned that faith itself can work miracles. It doesn't matter what the faith is placed in, as long as it is present, it works.
Doctors are taught, for instance, that if their patients believe they are going to get well, no matter what the doctor does, the patients will get well. If the patients believe they will not get well, no matter what the doctor does, they will not get well. Because of this, many medical schools strongly recommend their students take a course in hypnosis, because the power of suggestion is a very powerful tool in instilling faith.
When I was 24, I had an epiphany, a moment of clarity, when I realized the presence of the Creator. For the first time, as well, I "saw" the world materializing around us as we lived in it, rather than being the solid, physical world I had previously perceived: a world of light instead of a world of rock, with life shaping the light.
I talk about the origins of the Universe on my Symbol Of Unity site. Both the major faiths and our most modern science tells us the world is made of light. What comes before the light is the question.
This is when my real religious education began. I realized then that if the Creator was everywhere, manifesting the world as we live in it, then literally anything became possible.
I learned very little spirituality in my Catholic/Lutheran/Episcopalean education. Mostly it was just ritual and unlikely tales, with the only true spritual feelings coming when people were actually praying. None of the people I dealt with seemed to know how to explain anything except by saying they were "mysteries". They didn't know. Like most people I've met of any professed faith, they were "religious" in that they followed certain laws and rituals, but they weren't "spiritual" people. They didn't know the Creator or what the Creator was.
In retrospect, only one religious person told me anything of real value back then. I was about 6 or 7 years-old and my class was walking to the church from the school and I asked my teacher, a nun, where God was. She replied, "God is everywhere". She was right, but most people don't pay attention to that fact most of the time, even her. I think she was giving me the "learned-by-rote" answer that she had been taught, but never really comprehended. When I heard her say that, I had a glimpse of what I now see, but of course it didn't stick with me, either, back then.
I knew from my childhood exposure to religion, that I would not be happy in any of the churches or faiths I had been exposed to: just too much accumulated rubbish and too few spiritual people. What I wanted to know was what the founders of the great faiths knew, not what their followers said they said, they said, etc.
For instance, Jesus had great faith and there were many healings and miracles. How many of his present followers do that, or possess that faith?
I wanted to know what Jesus knew; that gave him his faith; not what someone without that faith knew. What would be the point in that? I wanted to know what Buddha knew, and Mohammed and Moses knew, and I was pretty sure it was going out to turn out to be the same thing.
I assumed, rightly it turned out, that whatever they knew was very simple. I assumed this because what they taught spread very quickly, and even the young, ignorant and unintelligent had to be able to understand. There is also not a great volume of original teachings from them, so there could not have been too much to begin with. Like our modern politicians, they tended to repeat the same things to different audiences or gatherings.
The only course to that simple truth, however, was through the fogs of the great faiths, so I began studying all I could, reading their books and contemplating what was said, looking for clues and understanding.
I was looking for both spiritual understanding in the sense that I wanted to learn how to build my faith, and I was looking for practical understanding in that I wanted to know the reasons behind the laws, like Moses' ban on pork and related beasts. I wanted to know this about not just the Western faiths, but the Eastern, too. So I studied them all.
I had learned to meditate during my psychic investigations but hadn't been comfortable with praying since I was a young teenager. Meditation and prayer differ, and contemplation is different from each of them, though they are similar in where the "attention" is placed.
In meditation, the eyes roll up and the attention is put on the "third eye" spot, or the mind. We go inside ourselves with our attention, but try to do so without words, which tend to keep us from going as deep as without them. We are touching the Life within, but silently. This is a state of self-hypnosis and is very relaxing.
The Taoists don't believe the Life within us is a personality, but more like a force, so it cannot be petitioned with prayers. The prayer state is the meditation state with words. Those words can be words of petition, or adoration, or simple conversation.
I use prayer all the time because I know that if I believe the Creator is a personality, though certainly not a human one, and that It is a loving one that wants to please me, then all I need to do is ask and my faith in the power of the Creator will manifest what I asked for. It doesn't matter whether the Creator actually has a personality or not, what matters is that I believe it is so.
So I began trying to remember to pray. I tried to be thankful and when I wanted something, I actually rolled my eyes up inside my head and prayerfully asked for it. Then I tried to remember to say "Thank You", when I got what I wanted. Through the years this process has allowed me to build my faith greatly and I often just roll my eyes up in simple conversation with my "Greater Self" these days. I'm convinced the Creator is a personality because my prayers are answered. I live in a world of miracles. Some would consider me "crazy", I suppose, but if so, my happy madness is far preferable to their unhappy sanity.
You can read more about all this on my "Symbol of Unity" site and I should plug my "Symbol of Unity" line of medallions, bumper stickers, and greeting cards here. So consider yourself "plugged".
I get into all of this on my Symbol of Unity site, so I will move on here.
When studying the great Faiths, I was not participating in cermonies and the like. I was reading their major books. The rituals are nice, but the knowledge is in the books, so that is where I went. I was also fortunate in that I had chosen a life at sea, before VCR's, and I had a lot of time to read over the years, and to contemplate what I'd read. In many respects, I've led a monk's life.
Contemplation is different than meditation and prayer in that the mind wanders over words that express possibilities, after a question is asked within. I have contemplated some things for decades before the answer came to me, but usually the process is much quicker.
After I had been exposed to several faiths, I came to realize they were very similar. Things were expressed differently, and in terms of different people, but the information being passed generation to generation was basically the same. I found people shared the same core values everywhere, regardless of faith. Usually, if they professed a faith, I was comfortable with them.
They all also had the same simple truth at the core. The path to spirituality is built within us, literally. The prayer and meditation states involve automatic responses in our brain chemistry affecting our ability to discern ourselves from others. The deeper we go within, the more we come to realize our oneness. It doesn't take prayers to holy dead people, it doesn't take ritual. Religious laws keep us healthy, but only prayer, meditation and contemplation give us spirituality and an understanding of the Creation at a deeper level than rock.
One of the things that bothered me about the different faiths was the "us and them" mentality in each that fosters so much hardship in the world. I believe this is just an ignorant mentality that will change as the world continues to shrink, but it is a major reason why we are having so much war.
My desire to do something about the current crisis led me to try to come up with a symbol to simply express my thoughts. This was well before the attacks in the United States on 9/11, which I saw coming as soon as the earlier attack had occurred.
I began by trying to balance the Christian Cross, Jewish Star of David, and Muslim Crescent Moon and Star. Believe it or not, I fiddled with those three for about 2 years with no success. I tried adding the Hindu Om into the equation and, whereas things seemed to balance better in general when juggled around, there was still no eye-pleasing pattern. I also wanted to add the Buddhist symbol, but kept thinking of the Ying and Yang and wanted a symbol that represented oneness, not twoness.
The answer finally came to me on the Saturday of Easter weekend, 2001. My daughter and I were in San Francisco so she could do a school project involving visiting several museums.
She took ill Saturday, and I went out for a while Saturday night so I wouldn't be in the small hotel room with her germs as long, especially as I had run out of my Immune System Supplement and I was more at risk for initial infection. I had more coming to my home, but I didn't want a cold to start coming on when I had no Immune System Support.
Anyway, we were in a hotel in the Tenderloin district and one of the bars I popped into had "B" girls who might have been prostitutes, as well. A "B" girl is a woman who will sit with you if you buy her a drink, which she earns a commission on.
I was fiddling with the 4 symbols and one of the girls noticed and asked me what I was doing. I explained it to her and asked her if she was Buddhist, as she was Asian.
She was and so we talked about the Buddhist symbol. She immediately also thought of the Ying Yang and could only shrug when I told her what was wrong with that. She understood what I wanted, but couldn't think of a symbol.
Then she called the circle with the Ying Yang in it a "wheel" and the light went on in my head! It wasn't the Ying Yang that was the symbol, it was the wheel. I now had my symbol representing oneness for Buddhism.
The next day was Easter, and all the museums were closed, so my daughter and I went to a concert in a park near North Beach. The park was across the street from a church and as I gazed up at the steeple, I had the urge to draw. So I took out my pen and, using a napkin I got with our lunch in the park, drew a circle. I put in the Star of David and then thickened the Cross. The Crescent Moon was now obvious, but I originally put the Star for it directly opposite, rather than where it is now. The Om now fit neatly in the cup of the inside edge of the Moon, and I had the "Symbol of Unity" - five faiths in one symbol, and it looked harmonized.
I had no real time to do anything with it at the time, but I sent in a copyright application on it and kept playing with it. I finally moved the Muslim Star to where it is now and painted it the first time in the winter of 2003. At the same time, I was making molds out of clay and putty and making prototype medallions out of casting resin.
I should tell you that I was homeless since 2/1/03, living in my car and sleeping in the deep rain forest in a cold camp in a tent with my dog and cat. I finally got an old, small RV around the first of August and moved into it. A month later I severely injured my right shoulder; dislocating it, breaking the head of the bone, and tearing the rotator cup; when a ladder folded up under me.
I later, in January of 2004, had a miraculous recovery that saved me from having to have surgery, but that, too, is another story I will have to tell later.
Two days later my beloved dog keeled over and I had to put him to sleep a month later.
The Symbol of Unity work was put on hold....
My cat and I spent last April and May ('04) alone in the high Nevada desert. I wanted to do some prospecting, but my arm wasn't any good for pick or shovel work. I also looked for meteorites with a metal detector, but found that incredibly boring. When the rattlers came out in late May, it seemed not too bright either.
The weather kept me indoors most of each day. Very windy and cold. I had hail and full blown sandstorms that shut down all the highways around me.
My cat loved it because the wind died at night, when he wanted to go out and hunt. Cats originally came from the Sahara desert. The first night he caught 3 mice of a variety new to him, and he managed to snag 2 birds on different occasions when I inadvertently left the screen door open and they flew in looking for a place to nest. Poor birds. Happy cat.
I had no TV and only radio that faded at night, so I read a lot and took naps every afternoon. I had range cattle for a while, the longhorn variety, and the 2 bulls would bellow at my RV and shake their heads. One came up behind me in a ravine one day, and that provided some adrenelin for about an hour. And then a mother came afer me from behind as I was walking back to my RV one day, because 2 calfs were hidden behind it, on the other side from me, where I couldn't see. That involved some bellowing and fist waving on my part, too, but I got back without injury to see the calfs running to the cow out my back window.
When the cowboys finally came to round up all the range cattle, they came right by me. Of course I'd spoken to the cows a number of times, soothing them, and as I was talking to one of the men while they were waiting for another group, I noticed the mother who had chased me giving me a long, steady, consideration: like she wanted to remember me or something. It was only she watching me, of all the cows, and it made me want to walk over and pet her. I'll never forget that look.
Well, I have a million stories to tell after 27 years at sea and four years in a Federal Academy. But I will start telling them soon somewhere else. I only include these here because they were while I was working on the Symbol of Unity, and that story is nearly done.
When I returned to the coast of California in June, I finally got my computer back from my youngest daughter, who had used it in college for a year. then I got Internet access in August. By then I had artwork prepared and some money saved from my disability insurance, so I finally got some products produced with the Symbol on them.
And that, my friends, is the story behind the Symbol of Unity. For the philosophy and theology behind the thinking that created it, please visit my "Symbol of Unity" site.
Thank You for visiting.
An Officer and A Gentleman,
Capt. J. H. (Cass) Forrington
P. O. Box 56
Fort Bragg, Ca 95437
United States of America
Lat 39-26.5N Long 123-48.5W
TIRED OF FEELING ILL?|
Trust the Captain
YOU CAN PUT YOUR FAITH IN THESE
Reliable, Highly Scientific, SAFE,
Immune Support Health Care and Health Maintenance Products.
They are even great for your PETS' HEALTH ! Give them a long life, too!
I use them and my children ASK for them when they feel "something coming on"!
*** DON'T GROW OLD GRACEFULLY OR SUFFER NEEDLESSLY ***
SEA AND BEACH GLASS JEWELRY
Just click on this Beach Glass Jewelry link for the finest, least expensive Sea Glass Jewelry available, hand made by the Captain, himself!
Web Author: Capt. J. H. (Cass) Forrington
Copyright ©2002 This Site and Contents are Copyright Protected
- ALL RIGHTS RESERVED