Seriously, pagans in this country need to stop taking Christians as their model for spirituality and how to be religious. It's stupid. There are so many other ways of doing it, so many genuinely pagan ways of doing it. (Some of which are just as annoying, I'm afraid.)
I say this as a pagan: Grr. Stupid pagans.
This. I can't tell you how often I've been angered because some pagan was talking about a casual chat they had with thor in the shitter. Sorry, you were not. You were most likely talking to yourself. If Thor talked to dudes in the shitter, the rest of us wouldn't be bothering with all this "ritual" and "meditation" and all this other stuff that is the hard work part of the faith. We'd just go take a crap and see what the god of thunder thought.
It's certainly their right, but I wonder if they see how insulting it is to people who have actually done work and studied and trained to be prepared to communicate with divine powers for them to be so stupid? it's just arrogance and laziness dressed up as paganism. Very common.
When my kids used to say they were praying for a good grade, I'd say "God helps those who help themselves! Ask for the ability to understand and retain what you've studied, ask that the teacher chooses questions you can answer, or even that she's an easy scorer and gives you the benefit of the doubt, but don't ask God to give you a grade you didn't earn!!"
If you'll excuse the term, "Amen!"
I'm reminded of two guys I went to college with - our school was known for its journalism program but also had a way better than average engineering program. I lived down the hall from two engineering students in their senior year. They were supposed to take all year on their final project. They were roommates and I never saw the one because he was always studying or working on one project or another.
The other waited until the end of the year to even start his project and said, "God will work it out."
When I left Christianity, one of the main reasons I did't jump into paganism was that it still felt like organized religion (however disorganized most pagan gatherings actually are). Replace Jesus with the god or goddess of your choice and bam!
I didn't want to go back to that - it was exactly what I was trying to avoid.
But yeah, I believe in some serious woo-woo type stuff. I've felt and experienced things that have no explanation other than woo-woo. I believe in energy. I believe there is something out there bigger than us that guides us in the right direction and makes sure we come across the people and places we are meant to come across. I call it the Universe because I see it as not so much having a shape as being a collection of energies.
The short version of this comment is that I could have written this post. And I think I have similar ones in my blog - but they too are a hell of a lot longer :)
Glad to know I'm not alone!
I want to believe. And I had this strange dichotomy of still believing in the "woo woo" things that I have witnessed and been a part of in my life while not believing. I was my own paradox.
This is where I am now. I won't go on and on because this is YOUR lj, but it makes me feel a little better to know that you were lost and are now found.
I have no problem with you discussing your journey here. It's still evolving for me, too.
As far as I can tell, nobody plans my day, much less a deity. If someone (other than me) did plan my day, it would be less hectic and I'd get everything done!
That's the stuff that drives me crazy.
Aw, it's not sad being an atheist! I find it very comforting to think that life continues without someone pushing it along, and that serendipity can result in so much beauty.
But to each their own. I like being an atheist for the simplicity of it - it's what makes sense to me.
Agreed! There's certainly been some progress over my lifetime, but I'd still like to see atheism lose more of its negative stigma.
The physical universe is amazing and mysterious enough
as it is without adding a bunch of tall tales.
the only goddess that plans my day is the one with the belly, the saggy ta-ta's, and no butt.
in other words, ME. my philosophy on religion is that we all have that space in our heart/soul/psyche that wants filled with the woo-woo. and how each of us fills it is FINE until it starts running over into how we interact with others. if you feel your deity blessed you today, and you say that once and let the rest slide? i'm honestly happy for you. i'll even be pleased to bless you when you sneese!
but if you're acting like annelle in steel magnolias and praying at the drop of a bobby pin? honey. get a hobby. god doesnt have so much time on his hands that he's needing to hold YOURS to get you through the day. gah!
the woo-woo happens. whether we want it to or not. whether we want to listen to it or not, it whispers to us. and it doesnt make difference to anyone but you what woo-woo makes your heart filled.
This is great. You made me giggle.
God willing, I hope you encounter less of this nonsense in the future. *runs away*
It would be interesting to talk to theologians of various Christian denominations concerning what their branch of Christianity see what they think of this sort of phenomenon. I remember hearing one Christian (whose denomination I don't remember) express distaste that some people use God as sort a vending machine that you can get goodies from by inserting prayers.
Yeah, that is kind of the problem.
It is one thing to pray to 'x' diety for guidance, or the wisdom to make the right choice.
It is a whole other level to say that they decided this fate or that thing, or something.
I do not think they are vending machines (to quote jeffpalmatier
) where you ask for this, that, whatever, and almost like a personal piggy bank.
Sure, there are days where I look up and go, "Care to help me out here?" out of exasperation, but, 90% of what happens, ultimately is up to how I interpret what is put in front of me.
I guess that made sense.
2012-05-09 08:37 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it made sense.
For some time I referred to myself as a non-theist - by which I mostly meant that I wasn't buying into the whole tribal gods who helped me out and helped me rub my enemies noses in the mud. Well, okay, not just that, but OMG, the things people attribute to deity. I mean, if you attribute the good things, aren't you kind of logically obliged to attribute the bad things as well? And then you have a deity who is a sick fuck. (Oh, you can go all "the lord works in mysterious ways" but seriously...!)
It amused me later to find that Bishop Spong apparent uses non-theist in pretty much exactly the same way.
I've since decided that my own statement of belief really comes down to not wanting to invest a lot of energy pretending that I know things that I don't know, and can't know. I mean, really, what does that buy me? I felt like that was pretty compatible with being pagan, though over the years people have seemed to get more annoyingly theistic. (Yesterday I saw a picture captioned something along the lines of "I worship nature - hey, at least I can prove it exists.")
These days, having now been a member of a Chan Buddhist order, I mostly identify myself as such, but I think I've changed that much. So much of my life in the pagan community was spent either trying to get the people I was working with to spend more time outside in the woods, or in meditation. (And much of the rest was spent as an event administrator.) I feel like I get a bit more support for my predilections in my current environment.)
The increasing theism is really driving a lot of my feelings. It doesn't appeal to me at all.
I'm very happy to hear that you've gotten out of a clearly annoying place and reached a comfortable one.
This is pretty much the place I've come to. I just haven't been able to express it quite like this, so thank you.
I'm glad it spoke to you.
This post is the reason that I like you.I have always thought that most Pagans were sort of like Christians in drag. Why the need to believe something that is just as hard or even harder to believe than Christianity? I guess most people have a need to believe that a higher power is looking out for them.
I myself am agnostic. I feel like its the only way to go for me. But if I were forced to chose a religion I think I'd go for Buddhism...its already different than Christianity and I don't have to borrow stuff from the religion that I fled....
I like "Christians in drag." And, agreed.