Meet Thomas F. O'Neill
Mary E. Adair
This November we welcome Thomas F. O'Neill as a new columnist for Pencil Stubs Online. You may have read his article in the October issue,
Let Us Remember Our Heritage. Impressed with his writing style, we invited him to join our staff as soon as possible. We also requested a biography and picture, appearing first here in this article, that will be accessible by clicking his byline with subsequent columns and articles. The following is how he explains his background and interest in writing.
Let me introduce myself, my name is Thomas F. O'Neill, and I am currently living in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania where I was born and raised. I am 42 years old and single and I have lived in various places throughout the United States. I also spent time overseas in such places as India, Malaysia, Ecuador, Italy, Ireland, and Australia. It was after visiting some of the most impoverished places in the world that I grew to appreciate growing up in America.
I have a degree in Philosophy but I also studied in a Roman Catholic Seminary for five and a half years before being asked to leave for turning papers in that contradicted the Roman Catholic beliefs. I was also declared a heretic by several Catholic Bishops which I can look back on with humor.
I had several jobs over the years: I was a Life Guard in the Pocono’s in Pennsylvania in the 1980s. I worked as a volunteer with the Missionaries of Charity in Washington D.C. and at various centers in India with Mother Theresa in the early 1990s. I was also a Correctional Officer, and a Parole & Probation Agent in Maryland. I had an opportunity to work as an Intensive Case Manager for Mental Health in Pennsylvania and I am now employed as an Insurance Broker.
On reflecting back on my youth and my spiritual development I have come to realize that I have never really accepted the Judeo-Christian view of reality. It is mostly due to their dogmatic beliefs on creation, original sin, and the Good vs. Evil duality. I have also come to realize the power and influence of the world's mythologies on the Judeo-Christian beliefs and the polarizing concepts of Heaven vs. Hell, God vs. Satan, and Devils vs. Angels. These religious beliefs are a reflection of mans search for meaning through the power of myth.
That is what led to my interest in eastern mysticism because of its personalized and individualized approach to spirituality. I never accepted one religion as being the sole approach to spiritual enlightenment because I believe every person must find their own personal path in life. When I reflect back on my life to look at the things I have done over the years or wish I have done I recognize patterns of behavior that either led to accomplishments or failures both occupationally and with interpersonal relationships in my life. I realize however reflecting on ones past cannot change the past but it can help us gain a better understanding of our patterns of behavior which lead to either negative or positive outcomes. My reflections have also given me a greater understanding of my deep interest in Psychology, Spirituality, and the non-traditional methods to gaining a clearer understanding of myself and others.
My curiosity in the various scientific approaches to understanding human behavior led me to take introductory courses in Psychology, Philosophy, and Theology in college but I was never really satisfied with the traditional methods and I did what needed to be done to pass the courses.
My interests have continued over the years and I have come to recognize a certain maturity due to my life experiences in understanding the various Psychological methods. I also have an eclectic understanding of the behavioral sciences because I realize there is no one true method that will give us all the answers to the mysteries of human behavior. This is what led me to write about my beliefs and about my spiritual Journey.
It has been through my writing that I have found a whole array of like minded people on the super information highway called the Internet. My writing has been posted on various web sites throughout the world due to my bimonthly column in the "New Age Journal." I write mostly on the topic of Spirituality and Metaphysics and you can read some of my writings on my personal Blog at ( http://thomasfoneill.blogspot.com/ ) also on my live journal at ( http://www.livejournal.com/users/thomas_f_oneill/ ) and at "Insight" ( http://www.websitetoolbox.com/tool/mb/schuylkill?forum=7 ) where I post under the screen name "Introspective." I am more than glad to share my thoughts and insights on this web site as well and I hope you enjoy reading my various writings.
Life for me is an ongoing quest with greater self awareness as the means to greater spiritual growth within me and in all that I touch. This interrelationship will ultimately lead towards a greater comprehension of our universe and humanities role as intricate living beings within an evolving and consciously growing universe.
It is when we discover and in recognizing our spiritual interconnectedness that is the sustaining essence of all things that we become a living, breathing, and ever so subtle revelation of the altruistic outreach of god’s love.
As you can see I am very Pantheistic in my thinking and one of my desires is to master the principles of “The Altruistic Life.” I have found however that I have a long way to go in my quest to become a completely altruistic person.
I wrote “The Altruistic Life” in April of 2004 and it is pretty much a brief overview of my beliefs.
If we could only master these principles our lives and the lives of those around us would be enriched.
The Altruistic Life
When you Love you are loved.
When you care for others you are cared for.
When you give of yourself abundantly you gain an abundance in life.
When you are respectful towards others you gain others respect.
When you are joyful you find joy in life and you bring joy to others.
When you enjoy the company of others, others will enjoy your company.
When you are forgiving, others will forgive your faults.
When you are nonjudgmental others do not cast judgment upon you.
When you accept others into your life, others will accept you into their lives and you will never find yourself alone in the world.
Do not impose your will or beliefs upon others simply live your life as you would want others to live their life in doing so others will emulate your way of life.
Teach others not only with words but by revealing the essence of love that is within you in doing so others will reveal themselves to you.
Do not approach others in need with religious platitudes but rather be the presence of God to others.
Recognize the spirit of life that is within you and around you as being the spirit of love and your existence and the existence of all things as the subtle altruistic outreach of gods loving presence.
Keep in mind that the love that is within you cannot be contained in a church, creeds, or dogmas because that Love sustains you and all things it is the Love of God.
God and life are synonymous we cannot separate the life of god from the life that is within us they are one and the same. This is not a religion or religious beliefs but simply a spiritual way of living and experiencing my life with others.
--by Thomas F. O’Neill
Other articles and commentary by O'Neil can be found at
Mr. O'Neill and friend