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Christianity and Neopaganism; Religion

To: alt.divination
From: tyagi nagasiva
Subj: Christianity and Neopaganism; Religion (
Date: 49940205

Quoting: |Constance (Connie-Lynne) writes:
         |>Laura Cullumbine  wrote:

First I want to say how much I enjoyed this post that I'm reviewing.
I think it has some very important analyses of magical processes.

|>Specifically, some of her concerns are:
|>1. To what do you pray?  
|Many Xtians have trouble with the "all gods are one" concept.

Many non-Christians do too.

|The point you might want to make is one I made with my little

[parable about blind men and elephant omitted]

|Anyway, the supreme force in the universe is like the elephant, 

So you claim.  It is as just likely that you are mistaken.

|all the different ways of worshiping it are like the blind men.  

What if someone were to discover a way to see this elephant in an
'improved fashion', some method of apprehending reality which
made possible a clearer detection of truth, of actuality, than
the rest.  Suddenly, in your parable, one would 'See' in ways that 
the others have not heretofore imagined.  

All this depends on whether the elephant is perceivable or not.
You claim it is not, yet there were those who claimed that the
Earth is structurally flat.  Experientially they were correct.
For all intents and purposes (until the theoretics of navigation

which made it possible to firmly support the spherical model)
we live in a flat 'place', yet when we begin to ask questions
like 'is subjectivity superior to objectivity or vice versa?',
I doubt that we shall arrive at any quick agreements.

|people think it's the christians' God, some think its the Jews God,
|some think it is Allah, some think there are more than one god.  

This certainly covers a lot of the traditional West, yes.
I have many names.  Why can't the divine?

|views are wrong, because we are human and cannot fully perceive a
|supreme being/s.  

Agreed.  Now where is your view wrong?  How shall you continue to
perfect your 'view'?  Is it a possession, an element of your character,
or a facet of your identity?

|All methods of worship are also equally valid, because
|until we know, one is just as good as the other.

Even if it involves what you will later call 'harm'?

|So, what do you worship?  

Let's do it this way:

[I'll answer the questions in your stead...]

I worship all that is and is not.
I worship them in form and in essence.
For me they have a face that contains many contradictory elements.
For me they even have a gender, a personality, perhaps a history.
For me they are individual, not some abstract Space Genius, though
 She is surely the Genius of Space.
I worship my Wife, Kali Ma.

|You worship the same thing she worships, only
|you perceive it a little differently, and your form of worship is 
|a little different.  

Until we see the spokes of the Wheel we shall not know there is only
one radial structure.  Perhaps you are mistaken.  Upon what do you
base these assertions?  What experience do you have with the religious
traditions of the world?

|There's nothing *wrong* with how she worships,
|but it isn't for you, because you do not see god/s the way she does.

Maybe there *is* something wrong with how she worships, even according
to your morality.  What if she HARMS in doing her 'worship'?  What if
she is interfering with the orbit of other stars, coerces others or
attempts to cow or enslave them?  Isn't that 'wrongful worship'?
What if her worship is pro-aggression in an attempt to wipe the life
from the planet?  I know I'm going to extremes, but I'm wondering
where you draw your lines.

|>2. Why are you rejecting Xianity?  Why are you trying to "make your peace"
|>[my words] with it?
|You have to make your peace with the human side of Christianity, because 
|(I'm guessing here) it has hurt you and disappointed you.  Emphasize that
|you are *not* rejecting her God, you are rejecting people's interpretations
|of what her God wants.

Perhaps, if you even know what or who 'her god' is.  Some gods are very
destructive and deadly.  Are they all worthy of our respect?  Upon what
basis?  Power?  Compassion?  Sexuality?  Financial Status?  Wisdom?

|>3. A slightly stickier wicket how do I approach the subject of magick? 
|Tell her its another word for prayer.  

Lie to her.

|...many religions anoint with oil for blessings, and use salt and 
|incense to purify.  

Proves nothing.  They also don't always call it 'purification'.

|Magical "spells" are just like rote prayers - the 
|Our Father, the Gloria, Hail Mary for Catholics.  

I have always said that Wicca reminds me very distinctly of Catholicism
set in a network rather than an hierarchy, yet always always I remember
the differences between the ROLES of the Wiccan gods and the ROLES given
to the Christian God.  

Usually there is not such a focus on 'Creation', though this is of course
given its due beside an equally-important 'Destruction'.  Polar models
are more favored among the neopagan community, if any this simple.

|>4. What is the governing principle?
|>I've told her the Wiccan Rede (Harm none and do as you will), but she feels
|>it's too easily twisted to condone sacrifice and the like.

She's completely correct.

|She's being obstinate here.  New net.acronym: AHNDAYM = An Harm none, do 
|as you may.

I've most often heard it: An' ye harm none, do as ye will. (AYHNDAYW?)
Her obstinance is well-placed.  This is the social maxim where 'Do what
thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law' is the personal Rule.  The 
fulcrum of ambiguity rides along the branch of the concept of 'harm'.

Always, always the notion of 'harm' may be defined in ways which will
compromise our will.  I take it upon myself to be diligent in watching
for those who would use this ambiguity to enslave me to their morals.

|AHNDAYM is much more easily over-interpreted to incorporate things liek
|vegetarianism, rather than to condone sacrifice.  I cannot see how
|AHN could possibly condone bloodletting.  

Condoning is against the very spirit of the Wiccan Rede.  It is a guide-
line that has proven to have value among the society in which it is
customary (Gardnerianism and beyond).  Redes to not condone things,
they provide targets, goals, ideals toward which to aim/aspire/orient.

|Get her to enumerate ways that she thinks it could be twisted.  I bet
|most of them can be easily explained away, even if she comes up with any

Everything can be 'explained away'.  The imperative value, however is
rather, on inquiry, at times, than on explanation.

|>5. Why is it so secretive?  Why isn't it something you can share with the
|Tell her it isn't secretive.  

Lie to her again.

|Does she go around telling everyone how
|Christian she is?  

If she did it would be easier to face the likelihood that they would
smile and establish some connection who identify as 'Christians', even
while being slightly annoyed.  This is the 'preaching Christian' which
very many workplaces and residences experience.

Taken in a different way, let us hope that she DOES go around 'telling'
everyone of her Christianity.  There are many more ways than through
verbal communication.  Demonstration is quite possibly more effective.
It may be associated with what is called 'witnessing'.

|Many people don't talk about it because they don't
|feel like taking an hour to explain that they aren't satanists every time 
|they mention their religion.  

They ARE satanists, they just don't have the courage or intelligence to
admit it.

|>She doesn't buy my explanations, and I'm trying my best to place that which
|>I understand into concrete terms.  

Explanations are expensive to purchase and difficult to free oneself from.

|Don't try to sell her.  Just explain things as patiently and clearly 
|as you can.  

Sage advice.

I'd add 'and listen as carefully as you are able.'

|Eventually, she will probably hit a point where all she
|is saying boils down to either "I don't believe you," or "I don't agree 
|with you."  

Let us hope not.  I note that I have had experiences with many Christians
who, given a chance to ask questions and compare notes, accepted me as a
person rather than condemning my supposed 'beliefs' or 'mindset' against their
own or that of the social authority.  Some of them I grew to like very much,
and eventually I found my christianity in my Heart, not in my head;
it is not a simple consolidation of available data, but a direct approach 
to Paradise as we regain our experience of Royalty and Immortality.

|...Hopefully, by watching me and *seeing* how I live my
|religion, you will understand me.  In the meantime, I want you to know
|that I am your daughter and I love you, and all I really ask of you is
|that you continue to love and trust me, even if you worry about me."

Well said!

|:) Connie-Lynne


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