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Author Topic: FlameKeeping - The Book!  (Read 16860 times)
HeartShadow - Cutethulhu
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« Reply #30: December 01, 2009, 03:32:32 pm »

Stuff that I would throw in might be holidays (which I don't recall any except minion day) and what the faith thinks of other faiths.

Sperran

Holidays really don't exist as yet.  There are days I think of getting a handful of darts and a yearlong calendar and just seeing where they end up ......  (of course, with my throwing skill, we'd all be celebrating the holiday of the cork-board ....)

Other faiths is a very good idea, and thank you. Smiley
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« Reply #31: April 24, 2010, 09:50:41 am »


Necromancy!

It's been a long time since I dealt with the book - sickness and all.  But I'm getting back to it, and I'm starting with a topic I've been avoiding - how gods relate to the Divine and us.  Too much Midwestern upbringing - talking about gods makes me nervous. Cheesy

Does this make sense?  Is there more you want?  What have I missed?  What should I just shut the hell up about?

Gods
Much of what I have spoken about here speaks directly to the relationship between the human and the Divine, the impersonal universe that is all things, ourselves included.  And that is important.  But that does not mean that other gods do not exist.

Belief in these gods is not essential for Flamekeeping.  You can believe in them or not, or believe in some but not others.  They are part of the Universe, and part of the Divine, but they are not visible to all people.  I do not know why.  To those that experience them, there is no question.  To those that do not, there are many.

However, direct experience of gods is not necessary to learn from them.  They are part of the Divine, spirit without body, more aware of the connections between us all than we are.  There are gods of every aspect of the Universe, a multitude of overlapping images all seeking to bring communication between us and the Divine.

That is not to say that our goal is to combine with the gods or otherwise forget our own individuality.  Who we are is important.  Our own experiences, our own lives are important.  Were it only the gods that mattered, I do not believe we would have the ability to live without them.  We are not servants, and we are not meaningless.  We are the eyes and hands of the Divine.  The gods have power and vision, but they do not have hands.  We are their hands as we are the hands of the Divine – but we are not powerless hands or unthinking ones.  We have to make our own decisions on how to act, on what to do.

So, what are the gods, and why should we care?  If they do not have the power to change things in our daily lives, why bother?  For some, the answer will be that they shouldn't.  And clearly that is not a wrong answer, because that has been the answer for many people over time, whether or not they went through the motions of faith.  Belief, in and of itself, strikes me as meaningless.  I can believe in something and have it not change my behavior at all.  I can believe in gods and assume that my behavior is therefore above reproach, and I can be an atheist that is highly moral.  Belief changes nothing.

What the gods do have, what they can offer to us as we offer them our services, is that of vision.  They can see things we cannot, around corners and through guesses  of the future that are stronger than ours due to scope.  We gift them our services not because we are lesser than them, but because they can see and try to change things in greater patterns than we can realize.  We offer sacrifices because when we make offerings, when we do ritual and otherwise open ourselves to them, we strengthen the connection and make it possible for them to communciate with us.  When we block the gods out, when we refuse to admit they exist or to talk with them, we make it impossible for them to work through us or to inspire us.  And while most people will never experience a god speaking to them directly, our attempts to reach to them are still offerings they can work through.  Just because we are not aware of what we do does not mean we do not do it.

How can we offer ourselves?  What do we have that gods want?  We have the skill of our hands and the thoughts of our minds.  We have the ability to change concrete things.  We can offer up our love, and we can experience their love.

For while I do not believe that gods are pure uncomplicated love, that does not mean they do not love us.  It just means that nothing is uncomplicated, and nothing is pure one thing.  Life itself is complicated.  Gods are no exception to that rule.

Why bother?  Because they exist.  If you do not believe, that does not change what is.  Worshipping gods directly is not a required part of Flamekeeping.  What is crucial is believe in the Divine Universe, not the gods between.  But belief is nothing compared to reality, and this reality is mine.
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« Reply #32: April 24, 2010, 10:30:11 am »



I wish we had an agnostic flamekeeper.

but we don't so i've taken my best attempt to read it from that view point as well as my own.

TO me as a believer it sounds perfect; to me as a flamekeeper it seems a bit like stating the obvious.

to me as an agnoistic attempt it sounds like a equally valid argument. theres nothing in it that introduces any problems and theres nothing in there that creates any undeniable proof.
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« Reply #33: April 24, 2010, 01:02:11 pm »

Belief in these gods is not essential for Flamekeeping.  You can believe in them or not, or believe in some but not others.

Quote
Why bother?  Because they exist.  If you do not believe, that does not change what is.

I read through this earlier and have been trying to think how to reply. Essentially, my thoughts come down to the two sections quoted above. I get what you're saying but it feels a little uncomfortable.

I guess what I'm asking is which you want to say:
   A) Flamekeeping takes no stance on the existence of gods and leaves this choice up to the practitioner. The Guru's own personal stance, happens to be that gods do exist.
   or B) The stance of Flamekeeping is that gods do exist but it's not a game deciding point. Flamekeepers are free to ignore this point rather like Christians (and some Jews) ignore the fact the Old Testament says not to eat shrimp, etc.

Currently it feels like A until you get to the end when it veers over to B (the middle part could be construed as saying "here's a structure in which any Flamekeepers who do believe in gods can understand their gods in the context of Flamekeeping" rather than "this is how it is").

Personally, I prefer A. Then again, I'm very agnostic. I'm also not a Flamekeeper (though I occasionally wonder why Wink) so my vote doesn't exactly count Smiley.
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« Reply #34: April 24, 2010, 01:05:27 pm »

I read through this earlier and have been trying to think how to reply. Essentially, my thoughts come down to the two sections quoted above. I get what you're saying but it feels a little uncomfortable.

I guess what I'm asking is which you want to say:
   A) Flamekeeping takes no stance on the existence of gods and leaves this choice up to the practitioner. The Guru's own personal stance, happens to be that gods do exist.
   or B) The stance of Flamekeeping is that gods do exist but it's not a game deciding point. Flamekeepers are free to ignore this point rather like Christians (and some Jews) ignore the fact the Old Testament says not to eat shrimp, etc.

Currently it feels like A until you get to the end when it veers over to B (the middle part could be construed as saying "here's a structure in which any Flamekeepers who do believe in gods can understand their gods in the context of Flamekeeping" rather than "this is how it is").

Personally, I prefer A. Then again, I'm very agnostic. I'm also not a Flamekeeper (though I occasionally wonder why Wink) so my vote doesn't exactly count Smiley.

*nods* it's supposed to be A with a hint of B - I do firmly believe they exist, but it's not a RELIGIOUS requirement.  OTOH, if you don't want to think the guru-chick is insane ..Cheesy

I think what I'm looking for is mildly theistic in belief, agnostic in practice.  Sorta.

... join us .. you know you want to ..... we have cookies! Cheesy
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« Reply #35: April 24, 2010, 01:06:12 pm »


I should add, with the small exception of the "is this Guru's viewpoint or Flamekeeping's viewpoint" question, I really liked it and thought it read great. As usual, this post made me have to justify to myself all over again why exactly I'm not a Flamekeeper Smiley.
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« Reply #36: April 24, 2010, 01:14:29 pm »

*nods* it's supposed to be A with a hint of B - I do firmly believe they exist, but it's not a RELIGIOUS requirement.  OTOH, if you don't want to think the guru-chick is insane ..Cheesy

I think what I'm looking for is mildly theistic in belief, agnostic in practice.  Sorta.

... join us .. you know you want to ..... we have cookies! Cheesy

Hmm, maybe for the cookies Wink. More seriously, there's just currently a bit of umm, *tries to think of fitting word*, tension between the A and B aspects of it. Perhaps a clearer distinction between Guru's POV and Flamekeeping canon? You don't want to leave room for misinterpretation. You know what religious wingnuts do with that... Just imagine the vast civilization of Flamekeepers who will occupy the earth in a thousand years Wink.
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« Reply #37: April 24, 2010, 01:41:32 pm »

Hmm, maybe for the cookies Wink. More seriously, there's just currently a bit of umm, *tries to think of fitting word*, tension between the A and B aspects of it. Perhaps a clearer distinction between Guru's POV and Flamekeeping canon? You don't want to leave room for misinterpretation. You know what religious wingnuts do with that... Just imagine the vast civilization of Flamekeepers who will occupy the earth in a thousand years Wink.

yeah, like THAT image isn't guaranteed to leave me hiding under the couch cuddling my teddy bear. Tongue  (not the semi-capitated one).

But I do see your point.  I've no idea how to RESOLVE it right now, because I'm really trying to figure out what's me-beliefs and what MUST be in Flamekeeping-beliefs.  It's very confusing!
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« Reply #38: April 24, 2010, 01:57:33 pm »

But belief is nothing compared to reality, and this reality is mine.

Hrm...but what about other's realities?

The message I'm getting is: belief in gods is not required or necessary for FlameKeeping, but you really should work with them, because otherwise you're missing out on a lot.

What I've taken from your essays so far is (and please correct me if I'm wrong, I haven't read all of them yet) that the main canon of FlameKeeping is that all is Divine, and individuals should work to recognize and nurture that Divinity in themselves and outside of themselves(feed the Flames).

If that interpretation is correct, then I see how work with Gods can be a way to nurture ones dark flame.  But not the only way.

Am I getting any of this right?  Huh
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« Reply #39: April 24, 2010, 02:07:33 pm »

Hrm...but what about other's realities?

The message I'm getting is: belief in gods is not required or necessary for FlameKeeping, but you really should work with them, because otherwise you're missing out on a lot.

What I've taken from your essays so far is (and please correct me if I'm wrong, I haven't read all of them yet) that the main canon of FlameKeeping is that all is Divine, and individuals should work to recognize and nurture that Divinity in themselves and outside of themselves(feed the Flames).

If that interpretation is correct, then I see how work with Gods can be a way to nurture ones dark flame.  But not the only way.

Am I getting any of this right?  Huh

I think you're on to something, yes.  You're certainly getting the interpretation right.  Now I just have to figure out how to reword it. Smiley
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« Reply #40: April 24, 2010, 04:45:16 pm »

You're certainly getting the interpretation right. 

Well that's good.  I don't want to start plugging in my own thoughts and then find out I have the framework wrong.  Cheesy

Is there another thread on FlameKeeping where questions can be asked?  I have some, but don't want to derail this thread.
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« Reply #41: April 24, 2010, 05:37:56 pm »

Well that's good.  I don't want to start plugging in my own thoughts and then find out I have the framework wrong.  Cheesy

Is there another thread on FlameKeeping where questions can be asked?  I have some, but don't want to derail this thread.

There's an old special topic discussion around here somewhere - but feel free to just start a thread of your own!
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« Reply #42: April 24, 2010, 11:05:19 pm »

yeah, like THAT image isn't guaranteed to leave me hiding under the couch cuddling my teddy bear. Tongue  (not the semi-capitated one).

But I do see your point.  I've no idea how to RESOLVE it right now, because I'm really trying to figure out what's me-beliefs and what MUST be in Flamekeeping-beliefs.  It's very confusing!

You could try not making the distinction until you have a decent list to work with and then ask of each point - are you still a FlameKeeper if you don't believe/do it.
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« Reply #43: April 24, 2010, 11:36:35 pm »

There's an old special topic discussion around here somewhere - but feel free to just start a thread of your own!

I was looking in the Pagan Religions folder, no wonder I couldn't find it!
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« Reply #44: April 25, 2010, 05:00:22 am »

Hrm...but what about other's realities?

The message I'm getting is: belief in gods is not required or necessary for FlameKeeping, but you really should work with them, because otherwise you're missing out on a lot.

What I've taken from your essays so far is (and please correct me if I'm wrong, I haven't read all of them yet) that the main canon of FlameKeeping is that all is Divine, and individuals should work to recognize and nurture that Divinity in themselves and outside of themselves(feed the Flames).

If that interpretation is correct, then I see how work with Gods can be a way to nurture ones dark flame.  But not the only way.

Am I getting any of this right?  Huh

That sounds pretty much accurate to me.
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