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Author Topic: Why should I have to study so hard?  (Read 2148 times)

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Eternal Seeker

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Why should I have to study so hard?
« on: August 29, 2009, 09:05:37 PM »


  Of course anyone of any faith should go through the same type of introspection, learning about their faith- but a Mainstream Religion member has at his fingertips tremendous assets that you do not. A religion is much more than a method of worship; it is an entire culture. It is a way of predicting and resolving ethical dilemmas; it is the counselor of first choice, helping you cope with the pains and absurdities of everyday life; it is a practical guide to life, with advice on marriage, childrearing, etc.. He has thousands of years of deep thought, by some of the finest minds humanity has ever produced laid before him; all he has to do is accept it. He doesn’t even have to accept it right away; he can afford to wait for a crisis before opening a Bible or calling a Rabbi or Imam because whatever his situation is, it has cropped up before and some theologian has written about it.

   You, however, do not have this luxury. There simply aren’t any famous Wiccan Theologians. How could there be? It is a brand new religion in any practical sense; although some books and oral traditions of varying reliability existed for some pagan paths, Wicca had to be created whole cloth. Wicca offers little or no help in those life issues that people commonly turn to religion for. Why? Simply a question of history- Islam is 1,400 years old; Christianity 2,000, Judaism 5,000; but Wicca in its most common modern incarnations is only about a half century old, most traditions less than that, and mainstream recognition less than 20 years old. Knowing this, the Neopagan community has put a tremendous amount of dedication and hard work into the effort and brought Wicca to the point where the craft is now taught to military chaplains.

   But despite all this effort, there still are not adequate resources to give you the kind of assistance an MSR member has in a crisis- before it occurs you must know what you believe and why you believe it. In the course of a long life there will be trials that will threaten your soul and your sanity, and a simple “Do as you will is the whole of the law” will not get you through them. If you don’t do the necessary soul-work now, when that moment comes you will have only three choices: revert to your MSR upbringing, making your whole life as a pagan a lie; hand a decision which is yours and yours alone to someone else; or avoid the cusp by having a breakdown. Don’t ask me how I know.

   Many of the theological questions you will have to sort out you will never have faced before if you were raised MSR; some because they are of the “a fish is not aware of water” variety, and some because they are things the flock is not encouraged to think about. But you must think them through or you won’t really have a new religion, you’ll merely have a new set of mannerisms. You must find your core beliefs. Sometimes when a person has a sudden, inexplicable breakdown- the kind that results in psychotherapy or religious conversion if they’re lucky, drugs and the gutter if they’re not- the reason was that they had unwittingly crossed a line that no one dares cross: the line drawn by their own soul. You must learn where these lines are.

   You must understand the rational arguments for your faith- they do exist, and they are compelling. One cannot follow a faith that offends the reason without compartmentalizing; saying (as some do) “The ritual is beginning, time to disconnect the brain and only feel”. This sort of dual life- modern scientific thinker by day, Neolithic primitive by night- is untenable in the long run. You need your faith in every aspect of your life; you cannot say “I am not a spiritual being between the hours of 9:00 to 5:00.” This, by the way, is a lesson those following mainstream religions need to learn, too- I know Christians who are afraid to think of their faith analytically. Is it hard to do? Damn straight it is- you didn’t think that having the freedom to choose meant that you get it for free, did you?

    But don’t despair- you don’t have to solve the mysteries of the universe before you can start. But you do have to be aware of the questions, and have a few provisional answers. A good place to start is awareness of the depths of your own ignorance. No, I’m not making fun of you; I don’t have the answers either- an honest pagan is an eternal seeker. My purpose in writing for this forum is not just to display those few revelations I’ve found, but to help you find your own and get you to talk about them. The only way Wicca can become the complete lifestyle the other mainstream religions are is the way they did it- by practitioners sharing their revelations and lessons, weaving a tapestry that can support the weight of modern life.

peace,
ES
« Last Edit: September 01, 2009, 05:48:23 AM by Eternal Seeker »
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Crystal Dragon

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Re: Why should I have to study so hard?
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2009, 09:16:39 PM »

This is just wonderful ES!  Thank you for sharing your wisdom. ()
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