In another of our controversial episodes of the show, the question is "is there room for religion in spirituality?" A follow up question would be, "do religious doctrines oppress people's spiritual awakenings?" These are big questions and thankfully we have a big personality to come help us answer some of them. And yes we tap into some controversial topics, but it may not be the kind of controversy you expect!
ABOUT OUR GUEST:
Sunny grew up in a Christian home and attended church and Sunday school every week. But something seemed off to her. In her mid-twenties, she began really seeking God, but it wasn't until nearly two decades later that she finally had her big spiritual awakening. This changed everything. And now, Sunny is on a mission to share her personal story. To help others raised in religion to overcome oppression and explore what it means to embrace humanity and discover truth.
Professionally, Sunny is a podcast coach and mentor. She is the founder of Independent Podcast Network, where she helps podcasters grow and monetize their shows.
Prior to podcasting, she was an award-winning broadcast journalist.
Like the show? We'd love to hear your thoughts!
Please rate/review the show here:
Skeptic Metaphysician Info:
Tik Tok: https://www.tiktok.com/@skepticmetaphysicians
Will: [00:00:00] Karen. Yeah, the question for today is, is there room for religion in spirituality?
Karen: Wow, that is a great question. That's a big question. It is. Yeah. I guess it depends on how you define religion
Will: and spirituality.
Well, then I was a follow up question. Do religious doctrines oppress people's spiritual awakenings?
Karen: You know, you're asking the wrong person. . .
Will: am no expert. Well, like you said, it is a big question. Thankfully we have a big personality to come help us answer some of these questions. she was raised very religious and found that, it took a little bit of time for her to.
Discover her own spiritual awakening, and now she's helping others that are raised in religion To overcome oppression and to explore what it means to embrace humanity and discover truth,
everyone. Welcome back to another episode of this skeptic meta physician,
I could not be more thrilled to. Welcome to the show, Sonny Ga Sonny. Thanks for coming on and sharing your story with
[00:01:00] Of course. Thank you guys. It's nice to see you.
Will: embrace humanity and discover truth,
Karen, remember when we talked about our deepest spiritual experience? Mm-hmm. ? Well, I think that you've just had a brand new one. You know I have. You went. Soaring like a bird. Your soul was flying free in the wind. I
Karen: did. Quite literally. And it's not as projection . Nope. I need needed [00:02:00] some help for this.
Will: So what did you do? Tell us what you did. So
Karen: I went hang gliding and um, if you don't know, I did this for a travel show that I host and my co-host was two Chicken, so I had to do it . And I say had to, because at the time I really. N want to, I had someone as my backup in case I chickened out and, um, I got, you know, into the hang glider and they strapped us up to a plane because we had to get pulled up into the sky by a plane.
And right before they took off, they said, Okay, so we're gonna go up a mile . Which I was like, What? No .
Will: So you were a mile up in the air? We were
Karen: a mile up in the air.
Will: Wow. Well, two things first and for. since everyone knows me as your co-host on this show, it's important to note that I was not the co-host at chickened Out
Karen: true. There's a different cohos. So ,
Will: let's make sure that's clear. That's true because I actually went as well. You did, But ooh, mine was not as good [00:03:00] as yours. It was not. I, My day was ruined because I suffer from vertigo. Yes, you do. Pretty badly. But let's not make this about me. Let's make it about you.
So what made it so spiritual An experience.
Karen: Well, you know, it was, um, something I never thought I'd do, never wanted to do, and it was a little scary once we got started, but once we got really high up there and started going through the clouds, it was almost like a physical transformation. Ooh. Just feeling like every inch of my body was.
Cooled by the clouds and the wind going through it. I mean, that was the one time where I felt I was one with everything like, like my body wasn't there like I was the sky. Oh, that sounds amazing. It was incredible. And just looking at the scenery, you could see the ocean. You know, seeing the bottom or the tops of clouds for that perspective was just, Absolutely amazing.
I had no fear. So wait, you
Will: were flying above the clouds? Above the clouds. Oh, that is a little too high for me. .
Karen: Well then he started doing tricks and that was a little like cork screws. We went upside down. But you know, I [00:04:00] never felt fear, so I would definitely recommend it. And you know, especially for me, I was like, all right, you know, I'm not, As springy of a chicken as I like to be, but I still apparently got some sprung left in this hen.
So, uh, , I
Will: think you gonna mix a couple of different cliches in that one. Well, you know, it's what I do. You pulled a will . Not with a flying, but the, with the cliches. . Well that sounds really, really amazing, Karen. Yeah, it was really glad you got an opportunity to do that. you know what else we get the opportunity to
We get to speak to our next fantastic
Will: guest. We get to interview our next fantastic guest. Let's do that.
I could not be more thrilled to. Welcome to the show, Sonny Ga Sonny. Thanks for coming on and sharing your story with
Of course. Thank you guys. It's nice to see you.
Will: Likewise. We gotta ask the question. You are the expert. So the question is, it's on a table. Is there room for religion in spirituality?
Sunny: I think there are two totally different things. First of all, okay. I think a lot of the times [00:05:00] religion can suppress spirituality.
But sometimes you have to go through religion to get to spirituality, and hopefully I'll be able to explain that a little bit more today. So I don't know if it's, you know, everything, every experience that you have in life, it's part of you as you grow. So in that way it's part of it. But I personally have had to leave behind a lot of my religion to truly embrace spirituality.
Will: a great point. Everybody talks. Everything happens for a reason. You're honed by your experiences. So it would make sense that someone who was raising religion would need that jump off point sometimes to get to where they end up. Sometimes there's something that you've got to, work through in order to get to your spiritual awakening.
It sounds like that's kind of. You're coming from, but I know Karen has a question cause I've cut her off now three times. I'm gonna let her ask you ,
Sunny: it's too late. The moment's [00:06:00] passed. .
Karen: Well no I was, it wasn't really a question, just kind of a point. personally, I mean, I don't think they have to be necessarily mutually exclusive.
Um, so one of my degrees is an anthropology and part of that was to study world religions. And what I was able to do with those studies is to. Cherry pick certain things from different religions that, that touched me or meant a lot to me and kind of combined them into my own form of
Sunny: spirituality, if you wanna call
Will: it that.
Um, that's a great point. We should probably maybe specify or define what religion is. I, and correct me if I'm wrong, Sonny, but religion in this sense, in the sense of this conversation, we are talking about organized religion, right? Whether it's Catholic,
Sunny: that's how I define it. Yes.
Will: Okay, because I and I, I'm reminded of that same story that I tell all the time where God was watching over the world one day on his mountain of truth and he looks and he was really happy.
And as he looks down, he wants to take closer look and he leans down a little bit more as he does, He kind of loses his footing and, [00:07:00] uh, as he's catching his footing back a couple of. Pebbles from the mountain of truth fall down onto the world and he's looking down. Also sudden he sees everyone from around the world running to these pebbles, grabbing them, lifting them over their heads and going, I have the truth.
Yeah. And in essence, all they have is a little pebble. Oh the mountain of truth. Right. So, So I think we're gonna get into a lot of that, cuz to Karen's point, Probably some form of creating your own thought process is probably the best. And this is kind of what the show is all about, right? Finding what, what resonates with you.
So then the biggest question, Sunny, is what happened to you? Like, tell us about your upbringing so we can kind of set the table.
Sunny: Yeah, so I grew up in a Christian home and I went to a Christian school, . So I guess I started in kindergarten at my Christian school. Uh, went through fifth grade in the Christian school.
Then I went into public schools and we always went to church. So, uh, Protestant, raised Protestant and, uh, whole family went to church. [00:08:00] Distant cousins, we all went to the same church for a long period of time. And then my dad actually kind of started with my dad. He had a kind of falling away a little bit from the church, not in general like all churches, but from that specific.
Denomination. Um, and they were starting to do like really embrace certain social issues that were really popular at the time that he just didn't think were biblical. So I kind of come from this family that, you know, kind of stands up and says, Wait a second. I don't know if that's quite right. And then that's what he was doing.
So that started, uh, my family kind of breaking away from that denomination, going to a different one. But at the same time, I was getting older. I was in high school, probably now college at this point. You know, I had that religious upbringing, right? I consider myself a Christian. I was, you know, saved at, uh, in first grade.
My first grade teacher took me out into the hall and said, This sinner's prayer with me. Every, you know, uh, kind of [00:09:00] had a little party. And, um, and that was kind of that. And then again, you know, going to church every week. But then once I got to college, I, I. I was kind of sick of it. Like I felt like I was going to church to please my dad, um, if I could get away with sleeping in, you know, there were a lot of days on Sundays where he would be like, Aren't you awake?
Hurry up, we gotta go. We gotta go. And uh, sometimes I was able to sleep in and sometimes I wasn't. But there were times that we went to church and, you know, we would have bible school or Sunday school beforehand and I would never go, I would go hang out in the bathroom. I, I was not having any kind of connection I was doing.
For my parents, for my dad mainly. And then I went away to college and there's no one there to tell me I have to go to church . So I didn't. Right. Umprobably and, and like a lot of people in college, I did a lot of foolish things, you know, things that I'm not proud of, and then graduated from college. And now I'm supposed [00:10:00] to be an adult.
Right? And for my job I have a, a job. Um, I'm in media. Okay. And so at the time I had just graduated with a degree in broadcast journalism. And, um, I got a job at a TV station. So I'm this young adult and my parents are putting the pressure on me finding a church and whatever. And they're, so for a long time it was really just, Pressure.
Okay. I was not having a personal experience. It was just something I was supposed to do and I'm still in my early twenties and my parents, you know, said you need to go to church. So I would say it was, I was still in my early twenties where I finally got out of going to that. You know, there were multiple denominational type of churches we were going to, but still nothing really.
Clicked with me, but I'm a very creative person. Okay? And I went church shopping, for lack of a better term. I'm like, Well, this kind of church didn't work with me. Maybe I should try something else. And I don't know if you guys know what a Foursquare Church is, if you've heard of the Foursquare Church [00:11:00] is, But they are very much, they very much embrace the spirituality, if you will.
Christianity. All right? And so they're very much into the Holy Spirit. Um, and they embrace the creative art. So they had a drama team that would, you know, perform every week. They had dancers. They had, well, most churches have singers, but do you see what I'm saying? They had like artists go up and paint whatever the Holy Spirit was telling them to, to do, you know, while a sermon was going on.
And that resonated with me a lot more. And so that's when I really started to go wait a. Maybe it's not that I don't like church, maybe I just wasn't going to the right type of church, right? Because we're all different as individuals and some things are gonna click with some people and you know, other ways are gonna click with other people.
So I thought maybe that was it. And so there for a while, that's the kind of church I was going to. I was getting a lot more out of it. I felt like I was becoming a better person. Um, [00:12:00] But that only lasts for so long, right? And then you kind of start to get bored with it, and then you start to fade away. So I mean, I kind of did this whole song and dance until my spiritual awakening.
And so what happened with that, uh, was Covid . All right, So, we'll, we'll back this up a little bit. Um, so I think it was in 2020. It was in November of 2020. It was right around, uh, Thanksgiving. I was, my husband and I were in the car and we were driving past a new church that was opening, and I was kind of disenfranchised with the church we were going to.
I was very involved in the church. I was part of our prayer team and whatever, but I was kind of dismayed. I felt like they weren't really talking about things that were relevant. To things that were happening in the world today. So I had this disconnect. I'm like, Okay, you're gonna talk about, you know what Paul did, You know in the New Testament and [00:13:00] you're talking about the route that he traveled, but how do we apply this today?
So I, I was a little frustrated with the church we were going to anyways, my, my husband and I were driving on the road and we see this, uh, coming soon sign for this new a church, which by the way, I didn't even. Together until right now, it was called Awaken Church. Oh wow. And so I know it was crazy.
Will: That's no charge, Sonny.
There you go. .
Sunny: didn't even realize it. I'm like, Wait a sec, there's something to that. So anyways, we're going past this church and I hear the voice of God in my head. I hear the voice of God and he says, You need to go to that. And again, I was already dismayed with the church that we were going to, and I'm thinking, well, okay, they're having an opening soon.
Maybe there's something to that. Maybe this is the new church that we need to go to.
Will: Right. Whoa, I gotta stop you for a second. Okay. You heard Yes. The voice of God? Yeah. Like you heard like, this is God, or like, [00:14:00] Like what? What do you mean? Like is it, is it, was it, was it a. Like, did you hear a voice,
Sunny: I guess as what No.
When I say I hear the voice of God, it's like something, you know, like on a very deep level. Yeah. Okay. There, there's just like, you know, you've gotta do something. No one told you it and it's in an instant, you didn't have time to think of it yourself. It's almost part of you.
Will: Okay. Okay. I have to ask on this show.
Yeah. Because you know, people do hear things on this show and I just need to wanna make sure we we're clear and exactly what you talking about.
Sunny: So sorry to interrupt you. Go ahead. No, you're fine. So he says you have to go to that church and it. I knew my husband wasn't gonna be up for it because we're in Covid season.
Okay. I mean, Covid started that march. We're now in November. People are totally freaked out. Most churches are closed. And, and this church, um, had actually, they'd already kind of done like a semi-open, and I didn't, I didn't realize this, but it was getting a lot of press for being open. [00:15:00] because people didn't think they should be open, right?
Mm-hmm. I didn't even realize all that was going on, So, um, I basically, I told my husband, I said, We're supposed to go to that church. I, I need to go to that church. And he's like, I'm not going to any church who's kind of freaked out about the whole covid thing. And I was kind of antsy because our church had been, you know, we were doing like online church.
Our church closed everything down. And again, we're coming up on what. Seven or so months of not going to church when you used to going every week. And so I really, I just wanted to get out. I felt like, you know, I was trapped. I needed to go to, you know, get out worship with other people. I just kind of had that, um, just gut feeling.
I wanted to do something like that. So I told 'em, I said, Okay, you guys don't have to go. Cuz I have four kids too. I'm like, I'm not gonna bring the kids. You guys stay home. And he was a hundred percent against it. But I know, I heard God tell me to go to that church. So I said, Okay, I'm, I'm gonna go. He did not like it whatsoever.
I go to the church and I [00:16:00] had a good time, you know, met a bunch of people. Nobody's wearing masks, nobody. I mean, there might have been a handful of people, but um, there were a couple different services people. I mean, it was just so refreshing, you know, just. Seeing someone's face and stuff like that. I was like, oh my gosh, it's so nice to feel normal again.
So we're praising and worshiping do all this stuff. You know, it, it's more of a charismatic, spiritual kind of experience overall and people are shaking hands, whatever. So I have that experience. I get a bunch of brochures cause I'm thinking God is telling me we found a new church. This is the church I'm supposed to go to.
And so couple days later I'm not feeling so. And as it turns out, I got covid from going to that church . And at first I was, I was kind of ticked off at God cuz I thought, What in the world did you have me do? You told me to go to that church? And now my husband didn't even want me to go . Mm-hmm. , I go to church anyways.
I bring [00:17:00] Covid home to my family. What are you thinking? God? What is going on here? And so again, voice of God, just knowing, didn't hear it audibly. He says, You have everything you need to fight this. I've given you everything you need to fight this. So what are you gonna do when God tells you, you. He's given you what you need, you know?
So I'm like, Okay, we're go. We're gonna fight this. Well, turns out I was only sick for like a day. It was very mild. I just kind of felt like I had some flu symptoms for a day. But here's what happened. This was my wake up moment. They were telling everybody, this is the most contagious thing in the world.
You know, hide your kids, whatever. You know, at this point you had to quarantine for like at least two weeks. Mm-hmm. , if you got it. So I had to pull my kids outta school. We had to cor, my husband couldn't go to work. And during that whole time, cuz everyone got tested like a couple different times during that whole time, no one else got [00:18:00] covid.
But, Didn't pass it to anyone. Now I'm a very loving mother. I'm hugging on my kids. I love my kids. We cuddle constantly. Mm-hmm. . And the news is telling me that this is the most contagious thing, yet I can't spread it. Not that I was trying to, but I couldn't spread it to any of my immediate family members.
So light bulb went off and I went, They're lying. They're lying. Now this is interesting because I come from the news business. That is what I went to school for. , you know, and I worked at TV stations and radio stations, and so I, I kind of know a little bit of the behind the scenes and I went, Something's not right.
Something is not right here. And again, you have to understand this is before vaccines, you know, I mean, this was still very new in, in 2020 and I think things have complicated the whole, you know, getting sick and everything since then. But at that time it was, you know, we were just, you know, they were throwing, you know, death numbers up on the screen.
Like every five seconds, this many people are dying, this many people are dying. And that was [00:19:00] not my experience at. So that started, that started with me doing research really, because I was just taking everything at face value. And in my head I'm thinking, Well, you know, I'm not an expert in, you know, medicine.
I'm not a, an expert in virology or anything like that. So these people know what they're doing, and I started learning about other things that we've been lied to about in the past. This is not the first. and I went down rabbit hole after rabbit hole after rabbit hole and started getting really, Oh my gosh.
Every emotion was going through me . I felt betrayed by like everybody really, because I was learning that most things that I believed to be truth in my life were lies and. This had been going on for a really long [00:20:00] time and that most of us have been lied to on pretty much every single front. And for me, I had to somehow get grounded because I felt like Alice going down, you know, stumbling down that hole, right?
She's like falling and tumbling and I'm trying to grasp onto stuff. And what I knew to grasp onto was God, cuz I thought, what do I know for sure is real? Because I'm seeing a lot of fake stuff and a lot of lies. So it's like you, you have to come to a point where you say, I have to build myself back up, and what is it gonna be based upon?
What do I know without anyone having to tell me anything in this world? What do I know for sure? And I knew God. And so from there I had to start building. Building my foundation again. And [00:21:00] it's funny, earlier you said that I'm an expert. I certainly do not feel like I'm an expert in this. Okay. I'm just someone who is going through the process and I don't think I'm gonna know everything on this side of life.
I, I, I know I'm not going to, but because I had to go through and a, I'm going through this experience, there was gonna be a lot of people like. That find out that the world that we've been taught is not the real world and they're gonna have to go through the same process. They're gonna have to get their bearings somehow, and I'm hoping the foundation is God and they build from there.
Will: , I don't want to make this a conversation about what is true and what is not true in terms of covid or, or belief systems or anything like that. We are firmly 100% in the camp that whatever you believe is. Good for you.
Right? It. We're not here trying to change anyone's mind, so everyone, we're just presenting people's stories and you can make up your own mind as we go. But [00:22:00] as you're talking, you remind me an awful lot about someone else that we had on the show. Mm-hmm. , that you actually, we've talked about before we started.
Recording our previous guest who really, you listened to the show and you resonated with, said a lot of the same things about, especially if we're bringing this back to religion. Yeah. The fact that there is so many times, in so many ways that we've been lied to about religion because there's, there's things that they don't want us to know.
Mm-hmm. . Right. So how do you then, get straight in your mind, finding out all the rabbit holes that you went down and finding out that you perhaps had been misled on the religious side of things. How do you now justify that in your own mind with God and spirituality, and where do you go
Sunny: from? Yeah, I mean this is a daily, a daily [00:23:00] process, right?
Um, for me, every day I wake up and I say, God, what are we gonna do today? What are you gonna teach me today? And I think the key here is discernment, and that is that is such a critical skill. If it's a skill, I'm not even sure if it's a skill, but it is so important for us to have discernment and I try to not base my discernment on just my knowledge.
I try to take everything back to God and say, Does this make sense? You know, um, we're taught a lot, you know, growing up in the church, at least, I was taught a lot to have this kind of blind faith. Even when things didn't make sense and I didn't question it, I just thought, well, that's just the way God made it.
But what I'm finding out more and more is that there's a lot more common sense involved, right? And when things just don't make sense. Sometimes there's a reason for it. Sometimes there's a lie behind it. And [00:24:00] like I said, it is a daily process. I mean, it happens constantly where I'm like, God, this doesn't make sense.
And I, and I, I've actually even started like a little list of stuff that I'm like, this is what doesn't make sense in life, you know? And then I'll kind of go back to this list and it's through prayer and petition, which is scriptural, right? To go back and to be like, what is going on with this? Right? Um, scripture tells us, God is not the author of confusion, so why am I so confused?
To me, that's a red flag. If I'm really confused, there's something wrong in the process. I don't know what it is. But, and maybe I'll never know, but it's all these little red flags that come up. So that, that is kind of my, my daily process, if you will, is to notice these red flags instead of just saying, Eh, that's the way it is.
So why? Why is it that way? Maybe I need to write that down. Maybe that will make sense later when God reveals something else to me. But I think it is [00:25:00] constantly going back to him. Because we, we can't figure this out on our own. I personally believe we've been lied to about so much stuff. You can't go back into history books and try to figure stuff out.
It, it is going to take an act of God for us to figure this out, but I think it's, it's kind of, that's kind of how he wants it. He wants us to be dependent on him. Scripture also says we're not supposed to be, you know, just following what man says blindly, right? We're supposed to lean on God, not our own understanding.
I think all this makes sense. We've just been. We've just been following man, instead of coming back to God and and weighing everything and asking him for discernment on what is true.
Karen: So my question to you then is, you know, you talked about this awakening that you had, but then you're still talking about God and scriptures, how.
Different now is your vision or or sense of what God is compared to what it was
Will: before. Yeah. It's a spectacular contradiction it seems like. Right. I'm hearing, I'm hearing [00:26:00] you saying two things that usually don't kind of coincide together. Uh, is, is God a being supreme being
Sunny: to you? Oh, absolutely. Oh yeah.
I mean, he created everything. He is everything. God is everywhere. God is everything. He is intimately involved in everybody's life. So
Karen: then what? What is the difference of how you see God now compared to how you saw God before
Sunny: the awakening?
Sunny: to you? Oh, absolutely. Oh yeah.
I mean, he created everything. He is everything. God is everywhere. God is everything. He is So
Karen: then what? What is the difference of how you see God now compared to how you saw God before
Sunny: the awakening? Well, I'm much more, I'm much more open like when someone says they had a certain kind of experience.
I'm not comparing that to what the church says. Oh, that could never happen because the church says, , [00:27:00] I believe that we are all beautifully made, all creative people, right? And that God did that on purpose. And so we all learn and he's gonna speak to us in different ways. I mean, that's how you know, I was explaining how he speaks to me, but maybe he speaks through someone else in dreams.
Maybe he speaks to someone else through animals. Like, it would be very hard for me to walk into a church and for people to be like, Oh yeah, that's what God does. Yeah. You know? So I don't have those kinds of barriers anymore. Okay. I guess that's one way to describe it, and I'm, like I said, I'm still figuring stuff out.
One of the things that I keep going back to every day with God is the role of the Bible in all of this. There's some people I talk to because, You know, I'm, I feel like I'm just on this, uh, huge path of discovery, right? If this were a court case, you know, you'd be, you know, gathering information [00:28:00] from every, you know, part of the case and you'd be looking at it.
And I feel like that's where I am, you know, in this process. And the Bible is a big part of that because the church teaches you the Bible is the word of God. And if it's not in the Bible, forget it, and that's it. Um, and so that's, Yeah. Do you not believe that
Sunny: No, I don't. Okay. So it
Karen: sounds like you have a much bigger perspective of what God is than
Sunny: what you get from religion and how he communicates with people.
And I think the Bible has a role in all of this. I'm still trying to figure out exactly what it is, but I know for a fact that the Bible has been altered . Mm-hmm. , I mean, you even go back into the original Hebraic, uh, you. Transcripts or, you know, you know, writings, It has been changed dramatically, even from that to the King James version.
That's something that I've studied,
Will: no question about that. In fact, we, we've talked about the fact, as I was [00:29:00] going into the coven, we actually looked at all the differences between the Bible versions and, there's a, there's a very specific verse that says, never suffer a which to live, which was actually not in the original.
Things like that. So yeah, these are, I've heard a lot of this before and it's interesting because there was a, Where we were going to a church that was, sounds similar to Awakenings. And I assume you're still going to
Sunny: that same church now? Actually, no I'm not. Yeah, I only went that one time. Cause I think that's all I needed.
I, I think that God was like, this is part of your awakening journey and you need to wake up to what's going on here. So you go to
Will: any church now? No. So it's just your own, then you do it just on your own.
Sunny: But it is a, it's a daily personal relationship. Absolutely.
Will: Sure. No, I, I love that. It does remind me of this church that we were going to, and in this church was unlike anyone that we've ever been to.
Mm-hmm. . Yeah. Even when we moved and looked for [00:30:00] one similar to that, we could never find it, but they actually took the Bible and they. The messages that Jesus put out there, they really looked at it from a quantum physics. Kind of thought process where it's not a literal, this is what Jesus says, so this, this has to be exactly what he means.
But really this is, if you look at it from a holistic quantum perspective or spiritual perspective, without boundaries like you're talking about. Mm-hmm. , this is really what he was talking about, and. Made so much sense to us. Mm-hmm. and every time we went, we would leave feeling so energized and so full of life.
That was completely different than any of the other experiences we've had. We would go to church and go, So we gotta go. Yeah. You go to church on Sunday, you can't wait for this thing to be over. , you're making your grocery
Sunny: list in your head. I know. Absolutely. [00:31:00] Right.
Will: But when it comes to, when you talk about the Bible and how the Bible doesn't, you don't know how it fits in here, I would, I would welcome you to take a look at it from that perspective.
Like how could this have been meant by Jesus, right? And looked at from that perspective. I think it's gonna open up to you quite a bit. Now I will say, I'm. I've never been a religious guy. I've never, I've gone to church because I was forced to. Very similar. Your story sounds very similar to mine. Yeah.
And afterwards when I was in college you go through the discovery phase, you're looking at this religion and that religion difference, trying to see where you fit in and found that didn't fit in anywhere. Mm-hmm. . , which is where that mountain of truth story comes from. No, we do belong to a church right now, but for us, the sense of community was probably the most important thing for us. And the reason why we kept going back.
Sunny: Yeah. How, And that's what I. That's what I meant, and that's why I went to that Awaken church is I was like, Gosh, our church was closed down forever.
We're watching sermons online. I'm getting nothing out of it. Right? Mm-hmm. . [00:32:00] So I, I totally understand. And, and we, I mean, that's how we're designed as humans. So let's get, you know, back to how just God created us to be together. That's why things like solitary confinement and, you know, being isolated from everyone else in our own homes, that's why that's so detrimental to us, because we're not designed to be like that.
Will: To me, the experience of having to be forced to seclude. Has helped me to become a much, much better person because it forced me to look into myself. And if I hadn't had the, the burden of having to quarantine myself as long as we did, I probably wouldn't have gone through the experience that I did.
Yeah. So, C's a terrible thing, but at the same time, it's been a wonderful thing. Right? It's such this weird dichotomy.
Sunny: It is, and it's also scriptural that, you know, God will take what was created for evil and turn it to good. So that's one thing that you've experienced out of this, right? No question. And my spiritual awakening was one thing that came out of this.
I [00:33:00] am so glad. And you know that I, that I went through this, It was a very, and, and I'm still going through it, but the initial wake up phase was, was traumatic. And I did it on my own because I, I could not talk to my husband about this. Um, I tried to talk to my dad. Remember I was saying my, my dad was active in the church and, um, and he didn't see it.
Um, and so I, I really am, am still doing this on my own. Wow.
Will: So when you say spiritual awakening, two part question. One is what was the difficult part of it that, what was the, the traumatic part that you are referring to? And the second part is what do you consider a spiritual awakening or your spirituality now, what is that you believe and how do you, how do you move forward in.
Sunny: What was traumatic about it is that you go through life just thinking that you ha kind of have things figured out. , I mean, I'm, I'm 43. I'll be 44 in a couple days, but I'm, I'm going with the [00:34:00] 43 today. , happy birthday. Thank you. And so I like to think that I have figured some stuff out and I was very comfortable where I was in my religion.
Right. I mean, I felt like I was climbing the ranks. It's like if you had a job, you know, and you're working your way up the ranks and then all of a sudden the company closes and you're like, Ba. You know what, what just happened? The rug just got pulled out from underneath me. I mean, I, in, in my mind, I, I was as kind of as high as you could go.
I was speaking in tongues. I was doing everything. I was like really high up there in, in my, you know, religion or whatever. Um, and so I thought I had things figured out, and then it's gone, you know, in my mind. Um, I, and then, and then it's like, I, I gotta start over, you know? And like I said, I had to, what, what is my, what is my base?
Okay, my base is God. And then, and then I was like, Well, then it's the, then it's the Bible. And then I'm like, Oh, wait. Oh wait, Crap. been changed in the, [00:35:00] So
Will: it's the whole, rug being pulled out from under you type
Sunny: of experience. That, that's a scary thing. But like I said, that's when I believe we're supposed to lean on.
I, I think that's part of this whole process is just like, I don't know what else to do, right? So I, I have to trust, I have to trust that voice that I hear. Um, and, and I believe God is good and, and he's just gonna be my base moving forward and my point of discernment.
Will: So then what, what do you say to people that say that voice of God is really your own higher self or your own soul, kind of giving your intuition, guiding you?
Sunny: Well, I think that that's probably partly true, . Okay. Honestly, there is a piece of God in all. Right. So we're part of him and I think we are on some level. I used to laugh when people would say this because of my whole Christianity ideas and I thought a certain way. But we are all connected on some level.
We, we are truly all, If you wanna consider us brothers and sisters, fine. But there is a. Piece of all of us [00:36:00] that came from God. So we are all part of the same family. Um, another thing that opened up to me that I would've like shut it down and tried to like whatever cast demons out of you at one point, if, if you had said this to me, is that I believe there are different incarnations of ourselves.
I absolutely believe that. And the reason I believe that even though the church will say absolutely not, mm. One problem I always had. Remember I was talking about red flags earlier? Mm-hmm. . And as I was growing up in the church, these red flags would pop up, but then I, you know, you just push him aside and you're like, No, God has his reasons for doing this, and God knows what he's doing.
And so you just let it go. But one thing that kept popping up to me was, you mean to tell me if someone doesn't learn about Jesus is somewhere else in the world, you know, not their village, whatever, nobody knows about Jesus over. You mean to tell me they're gonna go to hell for eternity because they just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Yeah. I got a big problem with that .
Will: That's, Yep. That's always been one of the [00:37:00] biggest problems that I've had with absolutely organized religion A really good friend of mine when I was in high school, she was the most lovely human being I've ever met. We had great conversations, but she was unbelievably religious. I shouldn't say, but, and she was unbelievably religious to, to a fault. And in a conversation one day, I, I said to, D are you? Do you mean to tell me that? Just because I don't believe exactly what you believe.
I'm going to burn in hell . And she started crying and she says, Yeah, I do, but I love you and I'm scared for you, but you've gotta do what you've gotta do. So it kind of twisted me a little bit because this wonderful human being who. Just so incredibly fond of has this view that no matter what I do now, because I don't believe exactly what she believes, I'm going to hell.
Yeah. And I find that really hard to swallow. If what she says, God, a loving God would be the true, [00:38:00] Who's to say my, my daughter, or someone else's daughter who's born a Jew or a Hindu or a Muslim? How? How? Just because of where they were born and raised. To banish them to hell because of that, I think isn't a justice.
And to your point, the first red flag that comes up. Mm-hmm. . Oh gosh. So I mean, we can go into so many, I know
Sunny: so many places to go. ,
Karen: baptism thing, you know, everyone's born with sin. Why no ? I dunno. But that's another
Will: thing, right? So, You now are really working hard to help those who you say have been oppressed in religion.
What do you consider being oppressed and how can someone, A, recognize it and B, get out from under it?
Sunny: It's so hard because I know when people hear that, like, especially the word oppressed, it almost like it, it kind of invokes this someone, you know, no pun [00:39:00] intended, needs this savior to come save them.
You know, you're being oppressed by the church. And like I said earlier, like I'm really thankful that I had the experiences I had and I went through the whole church system. So I don't want anyone to listen to this and, and think, Oh, she's just knocking the church. The church can have a very important. Of bringing you to whatever God is trying to tell you.
That's how he reached me through the church. So I never look at people going to church and, and having the organized religion experience as being bad. That, that I, I, I don't, I don't think that because each person's gonna come to this at their own time and God knows the right time. I don't know the right time.
I don't know what people are doing in their own lives and stuff. And so, yeah, the, the word oppressed is kind of tough, but it's like, I mean, how do you come to this spiritual waking? I mean, it's gonna be different. It's gonna be different for everyone, and some people aren't just, they're just not ready to hear it.
Mm-hmm. , some people I think are gonna get shocked into it. [00:40:00] For me, for me, when I realized, um, that what the news was telling me was not what was happening in my home, so again, it was based on my own personal experience. Again, I went to God and I just prayed for discernment. That's specifically what I prayed.
I'm like, God, what is going on? Because the same thing they're telling me, they're telling everyone else in the world, how can this be happening all at the same time? Right? What is going on here? I need to know the truth. Please give me discernment. And I think it's going to take us reaching out to him. He, he gives us free.
If we don't wanna have anything to do with him, that's fine. Okay. He's not gonna force you to have that relationship. I think you're gonna, you know, You're gonna miss out on a lot if you don't reach out. But his, his hand's always there. You just have to grab it. So, I mean, God knows the best timing for this kind of stuff.
I don't, I don't know how you make that happen. I don't think you can [00:41:00] make it happen for someone else. Even my dad, who I thought, Oh, if I open, you know, if I give him some bits of information here and find out what I've discovered and stuff, then his mind is gonna open up too. I, I tried to do that because you want the people that you love to understand.
And discover what you've discovered, but I've learned you can't do that for other people. Mm-hmm. , you can't, um, they'll call you crazy , or the whole conspiracy theories or all these terms get thrown out at you when you try to say there's coverup, there's this, there's that. You get labeled right away and then they just tune you out and, and it's not their, You know, so I've learned, you know, again, you know, back to Bible verses I've learned that sometimes it's just about planting mustard seeds, right?
You just go around, you plant seeds, you share your heart. Um, you know, Jesus said, you know, what do you, what do you do to get into the kingdom of heaven? Jesus said, You love God and you love people. So what I've boiled everything down to is I'm gonna love God. I'm gonna wake up every day and go, God, what are [00:42:00] we doing today?
What do you want to teach? You know, how can you open my mind? How can I be closer to you? Because that's when I'm happiest. And what can I do to love people? I think that's why we're here. You wanna know the, the big answer. Why am I on this planet? I think that's, that's the answer. You're supposed to learn to love God and, and love people.
Will: And so, yeah. So then what happens after you die?
Sunny: I have never died. Well, actually, I, this incarnation of myself has never died. Um, that's, I don't. I really don't know. I, what, what my, what my heart tells me right now. And, and again, this could change well, you know, whatever. Mm-hmm. . The more information I find, the more I'm like, well maybe that's, maybe it's that, maybe it's that.
Um, my heart tells me that when we have fulfilled whatever our purpose is, we quit coming back. That God says, Okay, you, you've learned. And I think that's to learn to love God and learn to love people. You pass the. I think you go to heaven. What's in heaven? I don't know. [00:43:00] And I, and I'm one of those people, I actually get really freaked out about the concept of eternity.
Like I will, I will like have like little panic attacks when I start thinking about something never ending. So I've just this ising Yeah. With God I've just resolved. I'm like, okay, apparently I'm not supposed to be able to comprehend this cuz I seriously have a panic attack every time I think about it.
Um, but that's kind of thing, I think what happens is, you know, we're, we're on a, a journey here and we, we've gotta learn. And then once we learn, I, I think we get the reward, which is heaven.
Will: Wow. Because we actually had someone on the show who was very religiou. Very, very, very religious and died and came back.
Okay. And she mentioned that she actually went to hell. Mm-hmm. . But her message was completely different than the one that I thought her message was when she said, she started out talking about going to hell and what she experienced and everything she was talking about was very specific tenets in from the [00:44:00] Catholic religion.
Mm-hmm. . Right. There was a bunch of aborted babies that they were, that were being. Piled up piled. Yeah. There was, Women who were, being sexually cost. Right. but at the end of the day, she realized that because she started seeing a, a bible, a hymn that then opened up the heavens and took her up to heaven, where she then spent most of the rest of the time that, well, she was dead, and she came back with a message that you, she didn't need to have gone to.
The reason she went to hell is because she expected as a Catholic that when she died, she did something wrong that sent her to hell. So she was condemned to hell just because of her thoughts, the way she was thinking. And if you just think positive thoughts about when, what happens when you die, that you're just going to be in heaven for eter.
or for a couple of minutes until you reincarnate mm-hmm. , then that's what happens. So I'm ju I was just curious based on your experience, what your, your thoughts were on that.
Sunny: One thing that came to [00:45:00] mind when, when you were telling me about her story is I kept thinking God is giving her whatev, Did she actually go to hell? Whatever. It doesn't matter. God gave her exactly the information she needed. To move, move forward in whatever she's supposed to be doing in life.
I have no doubt that that was from God. And if she's Catholic and that is what was taught to her, God meets us where we're at. Okay. And if we're believing a certain thing, I think he can come right alongside that like we talked about earlier. He can use anything and create good from that. Right? So I think that's whatever she needed to know to get further.
And whatever her role is here, that's what God gave her.
Will: The most interesting thing that I'm finding about this conversation is that you are saying the exact same thing that so many other people that have come on the show are saying mm-hmm. , you just diff using different modalities terminology
Right? It's, yeah.
Will: Yeah. It's right. So at the end of the day, it is just a matter of finding the path that fits. [00:46:00] And being comfortable with the path that fits you, finding the modality that is yours, and move forward with that. As long as you believe something, as long as you believe something, doesn't matter what you believe, just grab onto it and propel yourself forward, because that's the only way forward.
We're all gonna get to the same place. Mm-hmm. , we're just gonna get there in the way that we feel the most comfortable going to. In your experience, the way that your parents were trying to force you down wasn't a right fit. Now it sounds like you're finding your way in that path and that works for you.
Whereas someone maybe doing or saying the same things that you're saying, but instead of God, they're saying the universe or, the source or any number of things. I mean, we've talked to people who. Who say that, you know, we were created by aliens, right? We, we have all these, all these different types of modalities and thought processes and at the end of the day, we all have one thing in common.
And that is [00:47:00] that we all are trying to figure it out in the best way we can. And yeah, people like you coming to sharing your story and helping us to understand what one possible path. Makes all the difference.
Sunny: So yeah, I, I think the common denominator for all this would be love. I really think that, I mean that, I don't know if that just kind of sounds silly, but I think that's what we're supposed to do.
We're supposed to be loving each other and as a result, You know, I think we're gonna love whoever created us, which I, I call God. Right? Um, and I think that that's a difficult journey because this world is tough, right? And a lot of times I don't wanna love people . And, and, and love doesn't necessarily mean you gotta be all cuddly with them too.
It's sacrifice. I mean, there's a lot of things that are involved , but. You know, it's funny sometimes when I say this stuff, I almost have this out of body experience cuz I'm like, oh my gosh, if my Sunday school teachers could hear me say this now, they'd be so disappointed in me. Um, because again, you know, the way I [00:48:00] grew up, I mean you were going to hell if you were talking about the stuff that we were talk, you know, that we're, that we're discussing now.
Um, but there's a lot of dogma around stuff and I think my personal take on that is a lot of this is set up to. But we are stronger together. And like I said, I really view everyone, you know, as my brother and sister, I really do. There's a piece of God in all of us and that connects us and love, you know, it's, it's everything.
And I think if we learn that on this journey that we're gonna be doing what we were sent here to. I 100% agree.
Will: Yeah. That is a great, great way to end this conversation. Sonny, I can't thank you enough for coming and telling us your story. I know it will resonate with a lot of people that are listening.
think a lot of people might have some challenges with some of the things that you were saying, but hey, that's what makes this type of conversation so exciting to me because. Whatever side of the fence you sit in. The fact that we're able to sit and have a [00:49:00] conversation and get these messages and these thoughts out there, that's the important thing.
Right? And the most important thing probably is to not just offhand say, Oh, that's bullshit. Yeah. Because that's, it's a disservice to yourself. It's a disservice to everybody around you. So. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. Um, thank you so much for coming on and talking to us about this.
Sunny: Thank you. I appreciate.
Will: And I wanted to take a second before we called it a day and celebrate the fact, Karen, that we got another.
Review. Woohoo. Yes. Wait, was it a good one? It it was a good one, yes. , That's a good one. And this one's from Canada. So we are now in, officially internationally reviewed a show. a Yes. A let's hear it. Yeah. And it's Daniela and I'm not gonna try to say their last name cuz it's stock flat. Me. And here I go.
Trying to say it, but it's, I, I'm sorry, Daniela for butchering your name, but, Daniela from Canada. Daniela from Canada gave us a five star. [00:50:00] Review, she says, Fascinating concept. I enjoyed so far the episodes I've listened to. I appreciate the concept of someone diving into an area that doesn't believe in but is open and respectful to listen to those who do believe, to have an open mind, just what the world needs.
I find their voice styles sharp and crisp. I'm having fun listening and I've learned. New points of view. Thank you, Will, and Karen, your podcast concept is fantastic. Daniela, thank you so much for taking the time to leave us a review. We really appreciate each and every single one of them, and we'd love to hear from you.
So visit firstname.lastname@example.org, where you can leave us a voicemail or an email directly. We're always looking for ways to improve the show, so if you have some feedback that you'd like to provide, good or nope, bad, Reviews and ratings are a great way to evolve and grow this show, so we'd love it if you take a minute and leave us one of those as well. thank you for coming along on this journey to discovery with us. Don't forget, you can find us on Facebook and Instagram under at skeptic meta physician.
As always, if [00:51:00] you know someone that would benefit from hearing the messages that we shared on this show or any of our others, I hope you'll consider sharing us with that person. It'll help grow the show and may just help someone else come to terms with the fact that we are so much more than just this three dimensional body that we in.
Well, I hope you enjoyed this episode as much as we have. That's all for now. We'll see you on the next episode of the Skeptic Meta Physician. Until then, take care.
Believer and Truth Seeker
Sunny grew up in a Christian home and attended church and Sunday school every week. But something seemed off to her. In her mid-twenties, she began really seeking God, but it wasn't until nearly two decades later that she finally had her big spiritual awakening. This changed everything. And now, Sunny is on a mission to share her personal story. To help others raised in religion to overcome oppression and explore what it means to embrace humanity and discover truth. Professionally, Sunny is a podcast coach and mentor. She is the founder of Independent Podcast Network, were she helps podcasters grow and monetize their shows. Prior to podcasting, she was an award-winning broadcast journalist. Sunny lives in San Diego, California with her husband and their four children.