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Author Topic: Judgments and Fears  (Read 1428 times)

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Judgments and Fears
« on: March 08, 2010, 09:54:18 PM »

I read a blog post from someone describing a dream they'd had and how it impacted their life.  I won't go into specifics, but the writer was at the time of the dream a Pagan.  The gist of the dream was about being followed by Satan and ending up being protected by a group of Christians and feeling as though the only place to be safe was with them.  The writer then went on to say that they felt that this had been a message from God.

My first reaction to reading that was "Wow!  You weren't a very good Pagan if you felt that way about Satan and God!"  That was immediately followed by feeling as though I sounded very much like some of the people I dislike the most.  Who I am to judge who is a "good Pagan" and who is not?  It isn't my job or my place.

The more I thought about it, I realized that the writer wasn't so much a "bad Pagan" as they were someone who still carried the guilt and fears that tend to go hand in hand with Christianity (tend to, not always) and had more than likely not ever really been able to let go of the faith they were raised in.  I could see that it was likely that they either hadn't followed the Pagan path for very long or hadn't done much in the way of research.  It didn't make me feel any better about how quickly I went to the "bad Pagan", knee jerk reaction.

This has all gotten me thinking about how judgmental people can be and that it is just that, a knee jerk reaction that often comes when we don't have time to think or don't stop to think.  There are also a lot of times that it really comes from ignorance or a sense of self importance and needing to feel better than the next guy.

I think that is probably one of the reasons why I don't tend to make a lot of efforts to find any local Pagan groups.  Other than the fact that I really don't work well with others and really enjoy being solitary outside of my online Circle, I have a fear that I will be judged and found lacking.  Even worse is the fear that they will feel that I'm not Pagan enough for them.  I know it is something of a silly fear, but I think it would be crushing to hear something like that in regards to something that is so important to me.  It is for all of these very same reasons why I do try to stop myself before jumping on the judgmental bus.  Apparently, I still have a lot to learn.
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Re: Judgments and Fears
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2010, 10:20:17 PM »

But aren't you glad that happened? ;)  Messages like that are good for reminding us how far we've come, or how not-so-far-enough.

You didn't ask for an alternate interpretation, but I'm going to give one anyway 'cause I'm in that kind of mood right now. :whistle:  Perhaps this individual was being called back to the god they knew so well because they had some experiences outside Christianity.  That by having those experiences they have something unique to offer their fellow Christians.  Perhaps tolerance?  Or maybe they just "fit" better over there.
Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value. 
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Re: Judgments and Fears
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2010, 10:44:46 PM »

We all judge.  None of us want to be judged.  Part of the human condition, yes?  But I hear what you are saying, Foxy.  My personal fear in the Pagan community is to be "accused of" being too "new agey".  The ultimate pagan put down.  And I have things I easily judge others on, mostly around over-intellectualizing and under-practicing.  Hot buttons.  We have them in all areas we care about, certainly we have them when it comes to our spirituality.

The Christian/Pagan thing has always been more of a mystification to me than a hot button.  I just don't get it.  But I have my other sore spots.  I think we all do.  Shoot, if we never judged, if we never pigeon-holed, we'd have to figure everything out new every day.  I don't think that's realistic.  The difference is that we are able to catch ourselves and cut it out when we need to.
“Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.”
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Re: Judgments and Fears
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2010, 08:16:02 AM »

I find that anything a Christian says about their god makes me snort.  I rather feel it is a result of having to fight for so many long years to have my beliefs excepted and respected by my family.  I am secure in my beliefs, so why do I have a need to condemn?  Obviously there are still issues I need to work on.

Also, I don't feel that I am right and others are wrong.  I believe that we all walk our own path as is right for us.  I am, however, bothered by the judgments of others, especially Christians.  Why?  What do I care that they believe I am doomed to their hell?  Doesn't make it real. 

John Lamb Lash says...  Tolerance for beliefs is one thing, tolerance for the social enactment of beliefs is another.   I am always on guard and fight against what I see as wanting to legislate morality.  I keep an eye on the Moral Majority as I find them very dangerous to my way of life and thinking.
True happiness is fidelity to a working purpose. ~ Hellen Keller
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