Monday, October 24, 2005

On Religion

Those of you who know me or have been reading in recent times know that I call myself religiously, what is known as Wicca. One of the things I appriciate about tis label is that it allows me to believe what makes sense to me, and I have to say that my faith runs deep. It is complicated to explain, and it is not really all that inportant to this post, but basically, although I am polytheistic, it is because I recognise that The energy we refer to as God appears to people in many different way so that we can better understand the multifacited thing that is the universal energy that drives life. If you look at all religions, there is a common thread. Although I imagine that I will have some argument as to my theories, I believe that a person's faith is so integral to who they are, and so private, that any discussion will likely diminish the true meaning of what they are feeling. Not to say that I will not discuss it, I enjoy and intelligent conversation, I just feel as though words cannot describe the personal connection I have with that universal energy.
I choose, for various reasons, now that I am older (I needed to tell everyone when I first discovered Wicca. It's been about 12 years since then. I've learned to keep quiet unless asked), not to dicuss my religion with most people, and although Wicca is a religious practice that has gatherings, I choose to remain solitary. One reason for this I have outlined above. My faith is deeply personal and cannot be explained without some frustration on my part, just as I cannot explain how it feels to love, or laugh. it just is.
The other reason is this; I think I am a snob. I think I am a snob because I don't tend to like most witchy folk I run into. Don't get me wrong, I don't feel this way about all, I am a regular reader at a couple of Wiccan sites and I feel connected to the community. I enjoy wiccan authors (usually). I am all for pagan rights. But I have no interest in joining up with a Coven. I don't generally reveal myself to others, and I get cranky when they start in with ritual talk.
Yesterday there were a couple of men discussing how many lives they had been here and how one of them didn't think he was coming back. And how many eons/lives they had alreday been here. Good for them. The need to discuss it tells me they need a few more to get humble. But, it is not my place to voice this. I merely pointed out that the length of a life is negotiable. I did not point out that some learn quicker than others.
One of them felt the need to "teach" me the uses of a broom. (I always set them on thier handle so the bristles don't get bent and he noticed this) Brooms are wonderful tools. And yes, they have their use in ritual, and no, I don't generally do the ritual thing, but I do respect my broom. and other people's brooms. a good broom is a wonderful thing to have. Bad brooms piss me off. I recognise their symbology. I am amused by and embrace the popular vision of a witch on her broom. I don't see the need to teach everyone what you know. There is a reason magical knowlage was once referred to as "mysteries".
I know it isn't the faith but the people I meet. And there was a time that I sought people of my faith. Perhaps that is my lesson. To be tolerant. I have already learned To be Silent.


jootastic said...

cool post. your thoughts about all religions having a similar thread reminds me of the book by joseph campbell called "the power of myth." if you haven't already and you get the chance, it might be a fun book for you to read.
i too don't like discussing a lot about my spirituality, i think that another reason some people discuss it is when they want their ideas and beliefs challenged. on a level, sometimes, it can reinforce what you already believe, or maybe give a person new ideas about how they want to embrace the divine. (and by divine i mean anything spiritual in nature) :)

Sensei Ern said...

Gina, I have enjoyed our discussions of religion. If ever in our discussions, you feel like I am being over bearing, please indicate it as I sometimes amd wont to go over board when I try to share some enlightenment in the hopes that it is decision time for the person with whom I am having the discussion.

However, on things political, I am very opinionated and I don't take prisoners in that discussion.

As far as religion, I discuss it simply because I believe I have had a portion of truth revealed to me and desire to share that with others...not for any benefit of my own, but to get others to identify that same truth.

I am confident, but I try not to be cocky. I am diligent and passionate about my beliefs, but this is because I know the mortality rate of the human race is near 100%. I believe that mortality is only the death of the body, but the soul is eternal.

I, unlike many who discuss here, believe we are given only one life on earth. If the individual does not make preparation for after this life, they are destined to a place of eternal suffering.

Other Christians are much more vehement in their pursuit of the individual because they know the seriousness of eternal suffering but in their zeal they turn away the very people they are dealing with.

Myself, I tell people of the consequences of ignoring salvation, but I also know not everyone will respond by accepting it. I have learned that my responsibility is to share the Gospel and it is the responsibility of the hearer to decide for themselves.

I have also learned that for most people, a fiery passionate arguement does nothing but turn the listener/reader away. Once a discussion becomes an arguement, knowledge is lost in retroric.

Now, talking politics is a different ball game. This is because the rules of politics are that you only need to convince one more than half. You normally have 33% on your side that won't change, and the opposing idea has the same.

The 34 in the middle are the ones you need to convince and then you only need 17% + 1. Lampooning and mudslinging are effective in gaining the support of the masses for the limited time needed to get a majority vote. That is why they are used in politics.

However, the effects of a majority vote can wear off once the decision is made. It is not the same in religion. Evangelists are passionate in their plea for the unbeliever to make a decision to accept Jesus Christ as Savior, but too often, the majority that respond are not truly saved(heart-believers), but instead only made a decision that was an emotional response(head-believers).

A majority of church goers are in the group of head-believers. They are ignorant of how great it is to live the renewed life of a true Christian. These head-beleivers will be the majority of those you deal with.

They cause witch trials. They cause in-fighting among believers. They are the ones who refuse to accept the fundamentals of true Christianity and instead allow tradition to usurp the authority of the Bible.

Ok, before I get any more redundant, I will stop.

fvklyhb: to have zeal without knowledge

Ginamonster said...

your discussions never bother me. I have enjoyed them too.

welcome back, by the way, and I will look into that book. I feel the same way. I think too, that some people ask about your religion for the opportunity to push theirs. I once spent an hour at Jack in the Box in El Centro listening to someone tell me I was wrong. He approached me. If I had seen hi drive up, I would have run away, his truck was painted all over with Bible Quotes. Nice guy, evangelical to the max.

czoxabd: the only thing anyone will be able to understand from your mouth if you give your fiancee a cubic zirconia instead of a diamond