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Author Topic: My Brand of Paganism  (Read 1340 times)

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PaganOne

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My Brand of Paganism
« on: January 18, 2010, 09:22:59 AM »

This is a piece I wrote several years ago.  It is my brand of Paganism based on the lifestyles of people like the ancient Celts, Danes, Gauls...

Paganism is learning from and living in harmony with nature, all the bloodshed and violence included with all the love.  Paganism is an inner consciousness that sees the real world/nature in all its glory.

As much as I want to stay away from comparing other religions to Paganism, it is virtually impossible as there is a need to show what Paganism is NOT in order to show was Paganism IS.  In that light, it is impossible for me to believe that any persons were chosen to bring God’s message to man in the words of man as the universe made by "God" is itself God’s language and much more precise and eloquent than man could ever be.

Paganism is about man’s relationship to god, with “god” and “nature” as having the same connotation.  Nature is god in action.   Man learns from nature what works and what doesn’t work by trial and error.  He learns a sense of good and evil from the repercussions of his actions.  Every man is an individual” and must prove his own honor.  In as such he holds honor sacred and not life.  Not weeding out the unhonorable and/or weaklings is against nature’s purpose and became the downfall of the Pagan way of life due to the influence of Christianity.

Religions such as Judaism and Christianity are about a man/man relationship in which nature and the very essence of god are rendered meaningless.  God is a figurehead used to exercise and force morals and values on the community.  These religions destroy the individual for the sake of the family and community by requiring servitude and self-sacrifice.  This is a metropolitan view and not a natural nature-based view.

The original Pagan was a man of freedom from inhibition.  He had a robust love of life expressed in his everyday life, eating, drinking, fighting, loving, singing, dancing, and perceiving his god.  This spirit is born of his interaction with nature.  During the mostly forced influx of religion, A dark shadow was cast by a belief that men are born heirs to the sin of Adam and has done much to destroy man’s love of life. 

The original and true Pagans were whole beings of individual perception and volition.  They were men and woman in true sense of the word.  They knew themselves and perceived each other as god-entities.  The whole of the world was good to them and that good filled their very souls to overflowing.  Their joy leaped and sang in every aspect of their lives.  It was a song of harmony and love in a world they knew to be imperfect.  The objective of a self-destructing religion was unacceptable to those who postulated the joy of living as good.

Religion is a man culture and breeds its own kind.  We have co-existence of the strong and the weak, adult criminals and juvenile delinquents, welfare for those who cannot feed themselves, and medical aid keeping those alive that nature would have discreetly weeded out.  We have statesso large and powerful that they lay claim to all the world’s land making it impossible for a man to detach from said state and be free rendering him a slave and keeping him within boundaries both physical and mental by teaching the good of community and the evil of selfishness/individualism.  Spirit was bred out of man in favor of the letter of the law, and honesty was replaced by legality.   

When the Ten Commandments where imposed on Pagans, the first three dealt with the concept of God as supreme and replaced all other gods, hence a decision needed to be made as to for or against and the deciding factor was sometimes life or death at the end of a sword.  The fourth commandment of resting on the Sabbath gave a welcomed holiday of celebration.  Honoring the father and mother (whether they were worthy of honor or not) instead of finding honor within oneself was designed to preserve the family unit.  Not stealing and not coveting were meaningless as Pagans measured a man by heroism and not by possessions.  But not killing was foreign to the Pagan way of life and was seen as utterly ridiculous.  Not to kill would upset the weeding out of undesirable and unworthy and unhonorable men.  Not killing meant the world be populated with the undesirable and the weak, defeating nature’s law.  But as the Christian’s of the time were involved in killing for the glory of God, killing was still possible. 

The whole of the world, the whole of the creation that we perceive objectively, is good; and the good that is within ourselves fills our beings to overflowing.  Our joy leaps and sings.  This good is presently existing, not something to be achieved.  It is a song perceived during the singing by the being that knows harmony with it.  It not good conceived as fitness, a concept that can undermine joy, but of being by the claim that both we and the world are imperfect. ~ The Pagan Bible, Melvin Gorham
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earthmuffin

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Re: My Brand of Paganism
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2010, 10:10:48 AM »

Nicely written essay. Thanks for posting. We have many of the same views.
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Re: My Brand of Paganism
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2010, 10:20:30 AM »


I scarecely know where to begin, except to note that one is entitled to one's own beliefs and philosophy, but not to one's own facts- and your version of history does not conform to the real world.

People were no more robust and loving of life in the past than they are now; people are people. In fact, people are demonstrably more robust now than in the past. Given that zest for life is often a reflection of general health, it is reasonable to assume that such zest has actually increased with the increase in public health over the centuries!

The original Pagan Man was *NOT* free from inhibition! There has never been a culture free from inhibition, including obscure taboos that were cultural and not survival related. Nor has there ever been a culture - save for 20th century eugenicists- that attempted to weed out the weak or lame; compassion is a human trait, and some of the oldest artifacts known are prosthetic devices- crutches, "peglegs", false teeth, hooks, etc. . Some of these actually predate modern man, being Cromagnon and Neanterthal, indicating that the desire to help the weak and lame is older than man itself!

Nor was any religion "imposed" on free, God-like men- if you are going to make that claim, the obvious question is "Imposed by whom?" The Ten Commandements were adopted by Pagan Jews because they resulted in a generally healthy lifestyle. There has never been in human history an entire culture so obsessed with honor that laws against theft were meaningless or unnecessary, or uncerned with possessions- one cannot eat honor.   

If you would like to learn something of true Anthropology and genuine Theology, I can reccomend some good books.

peace,
ES

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PaganOne

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Re: My Brand of Paganism
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2010, 10:40:39 AM »

Been down the road before with your type of rebuttle, ES. 

Yes, I would most certainly appreciate your book list.  Always looking for an opportunity to learn and grown.  Thank you.

Peace to you also.

Edited to add:  My opinions on the subject come from authors such as Melvin Gorham, Lyall Watson, and Daniel Quinn.  Just in case anyone's interested.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2010, 11:33:36 AM by PaganOne »
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PaganOne

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Re: My Brand of Paganism
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2010, 02:51:48 PM »

I did want to touch on a point of two that you brought up, ES.  This may be a bit jumbled, but bear with me.

First of all, I did not suggest that the early Pagans were not compassionate.  I’m sure many Pagans did take care of their own.  I am talking about the mindset of honor in which the unhonorable and criminals were put to death, whereas now we are “moral” and put criminals in jail and spend tax payers money supporting them.  I am not saying every little infraction should result in death, and I am sure Pagans did not think so either.  Being men and women like us, I am sure they let common sense rule. 

This may not be a very popular view, but keeping people alive when they are brain dead or spending tax payers money on housing the severely retarded is detrimental to society in some ways.  I am not saying it is the wrong thing to do.  And of course there are those like Christian Scientists who believe life-saving medicines are against God’s will.  The point here is that if a man couldn’t feed his family or he died, for the most part the family died.  That is nature’s way.  Not saying people turned their backs on one another.  They simply understood that sometimes nature is cruel.  They accepted nature’s cruelty the same way as when natured blessed them with abundance.   

As to the Ten Commandants... I was refering to the forced influx of Christianity, often at the end of sword.   And as to the Jews... Let us remember that Jesus found the Jews to be living the letter of the law and not the spirit.  And also how many people are "honest" only because they fear retribution and public humiliation?   How many cheat and lie when they think they can get away with it?  These people are not honorable but only following "the law."  And yes I am guilty at times.  That is not the point here.  Dogma IMO often replaces personal integrity. 

The Pagan of long ago finds no where to exist in a world where there are no new lands to conquer and no where to go to explore his own volition and experience his interpretation of the laws nature has taught him.  One must follow the rules of society and is not truly free as his mind and his actions are of most often two different thoughts.

I spend most of my time reading the histories of western Europe.  I find the Danes, incorrectly called Vikings which is a way of life and not the name of a people, to be very interesting people as well as the early Welsh and Britons.  This is where I form most of my mindset about Paganism along with my favorite companion, The Pagan Bible by Melvin Gorham.  I read everything I can get my hands on, fact and fiction, about these peoples and especially first man, who we know so little about and can only surmise their thoughts from what their artifacts tell us.  This type of reading appeals to my mind and makes a world of sense to me.

A true Pagan, in my opinion, is a being of sovereign individualism.  With sovereign being the recognition of one’s own authority and power and individualism as a belief in the importance of one’s own self-reliance and personal integrity or quality.  This fits into the god-entity idea.  This is a man guided by no formal rules or dogma as law, but by his own conscious volition defined as the capability of conscious choice and decision and intention.  When two or more people try to enforce their will upon another it results in a declaration of war against individualism.

While there are many benefits and advantages to groups and Pagans certainly did live in groups, there can be no nourishment of the individual is one subscribes to the dominance of said group in that one acts from the group dogma and does not act from one’s own individual heart and mind or conscious or integrity.  Man is an entity and must think and act as an entity to be a true man and Pagan.

Children need to hear the “words” of dogma, but without the coloring we see so much of as in our own families who teach us what they think is best for us and pound into us the dogma of their beliefs.  I have tried my hardest not to do this with my children, but sadly I have failed as I was living a very dogmatic life myself at the time of their major upbringing.  One cannot spend their life researching the beliefs of others in order to find that right and perfect way or religion as life and duty calls, but one can learn to think as a true individual and to trust his own instincts and volition.  IMO the so-called back-to-nature religions should spend their time finding out exactly what nature is teaching/demonstrating right before our very eyes if they profess to believe god is within nature and within man.  The Pagan idea is to free man from acquired knowledge and through ”waking consciousness” discover within him his innate, or inborn and natural knowledge. 

I do not subscribe to God/Gaia/Goddess as deity, but see it rather as the animating life force behind all that exists.  I can only speak for myself through what Paganism means to me.  I believe everything is a product of and contains God.  I and everything is God manifest in the flesh.  Therefore it makes no sense to pray to or worship something outside of myself.  I am empowered by the God-entity that I am and can draw on the God-entity in others and all around me in the world also empowered by God.  God in this case is a consciousness and unconscious force of will or life.

I apologize for going off target here.  I have so much to say on this subject, and have cut this as short as I possibly could.  :D
« Last Edit: January 19, 2010, 08:38:06 PM by PaganOne »
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Re: My Brand of Paganism
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2010, 03:41:41 PM »


Ah- this reads differently; thank you for expanding on your thoughts! We have a lot in common; I am an animist and a panentheist (a slight twist on pantheist).

I agree that individuals are sovereign, and have ultimate responsibility for their actions, but disagree about the Pagan having no new lands to conquer... the ultimate challenge always was and remains mastering one's self, not conquering the outside world. One of the Christian saints said, "Man commands others and is obeyed; he commands himself and meets resistence." This is the resistence to be overcome.

As to the Danes, the Welsh, and the Britons (or Brigante), they did not live as loose collections of individualists, as you imply- they had hierarchies, rules, and dogmas just like everyone else. If you read the original eddas, and the various myths and folk stories, you'll find hierarchies between the lines, in the basic assumptions and understandings in the background. Even the heroes- for what makes a hero? Individual skill and courage, yes, but used in the service of their community. The badasses who fought for their own benefit were the villains, the monsters. Humankind are individuals, yes, but so are herd animals. A dog or a cow can operate freely as an individual, but only come into their own as a member of the greater group. "No man is an island, complete unto himself... ask not for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."

peace,
ES
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