My name is Joshua Tilghman and I run the blog The Spirit of the Scripture, a site dedicated to uncovering the hidden meanings of the Bible. I am 34 years old, married to a wonderful wife, and have two great children. I live on beautiful Kerr Lake in North Carolina and teach 4th grade at a local elementary school.
My journey of awakening and personal expansion
I have never really fit in. I grew up in Virginia Beach on a small farm in Back Bay with my grandparents. I was a very shy kid. I spent my summer days exploring miles of corn fields to catch turtles in the irrigation ditches with my trusty Labrador Retriever while my friends played flag football and little league. Why? I guess I just enjoyed being alone so I could explore without any hindrances.
A major shift came in my life when my parents asked me to come and live with them. So for middle school, I left the quiet farm life and moved to a much busier place in a suburban neighborhood. The large school was a culture shock, but I survived. I got into skateboarding (since I never really dug organized sports) and skated with a few close friends all the way up until high school. That’s when I began to realize how badly I didn’t seem to fit in. Most of my friends started getting into partying. But all I wanted to do at night was get into a quiet place and read the Old Testament. I was mesmerized by it. Although my parents weren’t religious, my grandparents had raised me with a strong Christian background, and the Old Testament stories of floods, and parting seas, and giants, and miracles fascinated me. But something wasn’t quite right. Although I believed it all to be literal at the time, deep down something was telling me that there was more to the Bible than what most others knew and understood.
In high school I became a little more of a normal teenager. I chased waves in the summer along the East Coast with friends and worked as a bus boy at a restaurant. During the school year I surfed as much as I could and continued to read a little history, philosophy, and of course, the Bible. I hid my Bible interests from friends and just tried to fit in whenever I could, especially at the party scene. After high school I got accepted to Longwood University. Although I majored in English and enjoyed writing, ancient history became my passion, probably because I was trying to see how the Bible fit in.
To make a long story short, I graduated, eventually got married, and started teaching. My wife and I moved to North Carolina for our jobs. We joined a local church that taught that “God had a specific plan for everyone’s life”, and that “we were meant to be there”. We were faithful members of the church for about five years. We tried to do everything our pastor and “God” wanted us to do. And to be honest, I was miserable! I didn’t know why. I beat myself up over it and acted like everything was fine. I continued to do my Christian duty, devoting enormous amounts of time to the church so I could “please God”.
And then one day…something happened. I suddenly got the gumption to question everything the pastor was saying about the Bible. I was respectful, but I began sending him personal e-mails trying to reconcile some scriptures that didn’t make sense literally. My pastor tried his best to answer with the normal religious rhetoric, but I wasn’t buying it. My intuition was telling me something was wrong and I didn’t need to be there anymore.
My wife and I left, and then a truly awesome journey began. It was painful because I didn’t get much sleep. I devoured more ancient history, Biblical criticism, and other religions of the world at night, and worked a full-time teaching job and raised a family during the day. Slowly I began to realize that the Bible was one of greatest spiritual roadmaps ever written! However, it was also one of the greatest curses to have ever been written simply because people have been interpreting it literally for so many thousands of years. After learning some of the esoteric meanings of the Bible, a fire was ignited inside of me and I started the blog, The Spirit of the Scripture, to help people truly understand the great book we call the Bible and to use it as a personal spiritual development tool with which to develop our consciousness and awareness, instead of as a religious textbook.
My Positive Life Changes
I suddenly developed a new outlook on life. I still have ups and downs, but I don’t fear the things I used to. Life seems so much more vibrant now, and I have realized that opportunities to evolve in this world are abound. I have come to realize that God doesn’t happen to you. God is on the inside of us all, and we need to become conscious of this and step into God.
I have also learned to cherish this beautiful planet and all its diversity of life. I can’t even kill a spider anymore. Just the other day I found a black widow in my basement. I gently scooped her up (with a piece of paper) and gave her a new home underneath an old bush hog near the woods. My diet has been slowly evolving, too. I am eating mostly organic foods and hope to go vegetarian sometime in the future.
My next step as an Evolving Being
I want to step up meditating. I have a strong belief that meditation is one of the keys to a healthy spiritual life. I would like to get serious about starting some Tibetan meditating techniques that greatly enhance consciousness.
I also want to continue changing my diet, and learn how to balance time better. And finally, I want to keep growing The Spirit of the Scripture into a life transforming place where people can learn to appreciate the Bible as one of the great spiritual development tools on the planet!
My Advice to Others
Become the creator and the God that is “within” you. Christ said the kingdom of heaven resided there. “Within” you is all the potential and ability you will ever need to have a successful, conscious life.
Also realize that enlightenment doesn’t happen for everyone overnight. It’s a process for most that we step into as we go “within” and learn how to live all that we are “without,” on the outside.