Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
 
No. of Recommendations: 0
Not pagan, but some of you may find this interesting...

http://www.jancox.com/Daily_Fresh_Archive/07_10_01_Daily_Fresh_News.html
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
I had a little trouble getting past the line, "Pagans can turn religious." Um, I'm a religious Pagan! *grin*

Other than that, the concept of "waking up" is interesting. I'll look at it again later and see if I can grok it.

Ishtar
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Pagans can turn religious? Yeah that is kinda stupid, it's like implying pagans are all atheist or vice versa. But I guess it is no dumber than grouping communists and nazis together. It makes it easier for people who know nothing about something to judge it.

I wonder if the writer say the vast meaning in those few words they used to make a different point.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
say should be saw, too bad I can't go back and correct my posts :(
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
I wonder if the writer say the vast meaning in those few words they used to make a different point.

*grin* probably not; was concentrating too much on the point he was trying to make!

Ishtar
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
Pagans can turn religious?

I tend to use "religious" to mean following a formal religion and "spiritual" to describe someone who is following their own path to find what they consider sacred. Does anyone have a better way of expressing this?

Amphian

Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
I had a little trouble getting past the line, "Pagans can turn religious." Um, I'm a religious Pagan! *grin*

don't get too hung up on labels. They are limiting.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
don't get too hung up on labels. They are limiting.

This is a label I have chosen and proudly wear.

Ishtar
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 3
I tend to use "religious" to mean following a formal religion and "spiritual" to describe someone who is following their own path to find what they consider sacred. Does anyone have a better way of expressing this?

My definitions are close to yours, but with a little difference. To me, "religious" is following the forms of a religion, where the rituals of the religion are just as important as the feelings. "Spiritual" is someone who has a good relationship with themselves, what ever they see as Diety, but where the forms of religions aren't important.

I've always thought that religion tries to DEFINE (and thereby LIMIT) spirituality.

Ishtar
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
I tend to use "religious" to mean following a formal religion and "spiritual" to describe someone who is following their own path to find what they consider sacred. Does anyone have a better way of expressing this?

Amphian


I don't know if this is "better", but the website I posted about earlier (post 3) makes a good point about religion and spirituality. In essence, people often mistake a symbol with its referent - the thing the symbol stands for. Spirituality is a "thing", intangible as it may be; it's the ostensible goal of religion. But religion -- any religion -- is only a symbol for spirituality, a picture of a tree rather than the tree itself; a map rather than the landscape.

This does not mean it's bad or wrong. When I see a picture of a giant redwood, I want to go to CA to see one; and when I am lost in the landscape a map is a big help (so is a compass, but let's not overstretch the analogy <g>).

El
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 3
In essence, people often mistake a symbol with its referent - the thing the symbol stands for. Spirituality is a "thing", intangible as it may be; it's the ostensible goal of religion. But religion -- any religion -- is only a symbol for spirituality, a picture of a tree rather than the tree itself; a map rather than the landscape.

I think this is where lots of people get lost. They get raised in a religion and learn enough of the accepted doctrine to pass whatever tests are required. They never question their beliefs and never search for anything beneath the formalities. The religious part of their lives becomes a check list. Went to church (temple, shrine, etc.) on holy day. Check. Performed appropriate religious rite for special occasion (marriage, new baby, etc.). Check. Gave appropriate amount of financial (or other) support. Check.

This isn't to say that someone can't truly believe in an organized religion, but, in order to embrace a religion, you have to live with a little turmoil. You have to really examine the beliefs and try living them. You have to be willing to be wrong. You have to be open to new ideas and the reality that, by stepping into a new place to examine things, you will never return to the same place again. You may go on to a place where you have stronger beliefs and a better understanding of the religion, or you may lose your beliefs entirely.

I don't think that most people ever reach that questioning stage. The price for daring to be different from their communities is too high for them to contemplate the alternatives. The ones that do find out that it's scary, and a lot of them turn back and just pretend to go along with the religion of their family and friends. It's the safest and easiest answer.

Amphian
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
I don't think that most people ever reach that questioning stage. The price for daring to be different from their communities is too high for them to contemplate the alternatives. The ones that do find out that it's scary, and a lot of them turn back and just pretend to go along with the religion of their family and friends. It's the safest and easiest answer.

I totally agree with you! You ask most people why they are Christian, etc, and the answer is usually something like, "it's the (only) way." Really? I thought Tao was The Way? *grin* And you're right, they can't see the goal for the rules.

ung! I have lots of thoughts on this, but it's too early to be coherent. Maybe I'll write more later.

Ishtar
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 4
I've always thought that religion tries to DEFINE (and thereby LIMIT) spirituality.
*****
I agree, but I'm willing to bet that it wasn't originally that way.

Bear in mind, the following is sheerly conjecture on my part. It does, however, make sense to me, which is why I think it. =)

I think organized religion (Christianity in particular; I'm not versed enough in the other religions to speak about them) got started because a bunch of people got together and started sharing and celebrating their ideas together. That, in and of itself, is a great thing! Opposition is good for helping you re-shape your paradigm and maybe get a little closer to The Actual Truth(tm), but fellowship is good for keeping you encouraged to continue seeking out that Truth. So my theory is that the organized religions used to actually serve the valuable purpose of being the *facilitator* for increasing people's (particularly the learned peoples') spirituality, and really were a good thing because you had your friends keeping you going on your journey.

But over time, this role of facilitator degenerated to where the journey *was* the destination. I think Christianity hit this snag hardest of all, particularly because of their efforts to spread Gospel among the illiterate lower class. (This alone helps explain why there was such a tremendous amount of religious-themed art created during the Middle Ages - the congregation couldn't read, so the Church told the story in pictures. And the Church had the money to hire the starving artists to do it for them.) In order to discuss the stories making up their mythos, they had to teach them to the populace. Which meant they needed to appoint a scholar to sit there and tell the stories. And then they realized that

1) People who've never done anything but raise crops and herd pigs don't have a whole lot to say about philosophy and religion, and

2) These lower-class serfs aren't used to thinking for themselves, having spent most or all of their lives being told what to do.

But the Church also decided that spreading the Gospel and getting people to believe it was more important than having more points of view to discuss details with. And of course, isn't faith an important part of Christianity, and who would have more faith than someone who believes simply because s/he's been told to? So now this prescriptive role of teacher became a permanent fixture in the Church, and thousands of people lived their lives never thinking that religion was anything more than going to Church and listening to some guy for a few hours. People got caught up in the trappings and details of ecclesiastical life, and what started out as a way to help people find their own way to Deity became a prescripted path to help people find someone else's way to Deity. And now, centuries later, and even with a literacy and education rate that is thousands of times better than it was in those days, Christianity is still a prescriptive religion rather than a facilitative path.

Like I said, this is all conjecture on my part. I will admit that I am occasionally too quick to bash Christianity in general, but I have nothing but respect for Christians who can walk their talk.

Anyway. Enough rambling for this post. =)

- Kilbia
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
So my theory is that the organized religions used to actually serve the valuable purpose of being the *facilitator* for increasing people's (particularly the learned peoples') spirituality, and really were a good thing because you had your friends keeping you going on your journey.

Over all, I think your conjecture is very right on. The one nitpicking I would say is that when christianity (or any other philosophy / religion) really was beneficial in helping people find their 'path' is before it became ORGANIZED. As soon as you introduce formal organization you begin to lose your way. I think this is true of all religions, including the pagan religions. I think it is less so for most pagan religions, but as soon as you start 'organizing' your spirituality you start losing your spirituality.

JMHO, worth what you paid for it.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
I don't think that most people ever reach that questioning stage. The price for daring to be different from their communities is too high for them to contemplate the alternatives.
*****
And in the case of Christians, don't forget that their chief authority figure was someone who did just that. And look what happened to him! =P

As I mention in my profile, my relationship with Jesus is pretty unconventional, to the point where I'm not even sure I can explain it to anyone else[1], but I have a heck of a lot of respect for the dude, because he dared to stand up in the face of tradition and say "Hey, this way is not necessary. You can go this other way and get the exact same results." And he *kept* saying it even when he realized he was not going to be a very popular man for it. And he *kept* saying that even when he knew he was going to die for it. And he *kept* saying it even though he was afraid of death for that little bit of time. That takes guts. That takes guts I don't have. I'm satisfied and sustained by my beliefs, but I would jump back in the broom closet in a heartbeat if I thought I was going to be physically endangered for having them.

- Kilbia

[1]Actually, several of my beliefs are of the kind that I can't explain well to anyone else. They make sense to me, and that is really the prime criteria, but I do attempt to share on occasion because if I'm the *only* one they make sense to, they might be good candidates for revision.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
[1]Actually, several of my beliefs are of the kind that I can't explain well to anyone else. They make sense to me, and that is really the prime criteria, but I do attempt to share on occasion because if I'm the *only* one they make sense to, they might be good candidates for revision.

Or they might just be candidates for enjoying.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 3
Christianity is still a prescriptive religion rather than a facilitative path.

Absolutely. I think you can use Christianity to find you own way, but it's heavily discouraged by the churches.

Over all, I think your conjecture is very right on. The one nitpicking I would say is that when christianity (or any other philosophy / religion) really was beneficial in helping people find their 'path' is before it became ORGANIZED. As soon as you introduce formal organization you begin to lose your way. I think this is true of all religions, including the pagan religions. I think it is less so for most pagan religions, but as soon as you start 'organizing' your spirituality you start losing your spirituality.

I think the problem is less the organization than the assignment of someone else to make your spiritual decisions for you. Can you imagine everyone on one of the investment philosophy boards choosing a leader to make all of the investment decisions for everyone on the board? You might be able to debate and explore options, but once the official leader decides about a particular stock, everyone on the board obeys. No one would be willing to let all their financial decisions be dictated by another person. Why are they willing to let someone else tell them how to live their spiritual lives?

Amphian
Print the post Back To Top
Advertisement