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Author Topic: Being different from other religions  (Read 8663 times)
treekisser
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« Topic Start: December 17, 2009, 08:24:46 pm »

I find that in building my own path, there're some things I consciously avoid. Not because I think they're bad as such, but because they remind me too much of other paths. So, for example, I try to avoid saying 'So mote it be.' I'm especially cautious about using terms from my birth religion, eg the epithets 'Merciful' and 'Compassionate' together.

So, are there any practices or paths in general that you consciously try to avoid? Do you ever have to specifically steer yourself away from bits of your birth religion (if it's not your current religion)?

How does this affect your path? And especially for eclectics, do you think deliberately trying to go a different way from another path somehow compromises your own?
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« Reply #1: December 17, 2009, 08:44:54 pm »

I find that in building my own path, there're some things I consciously avoid. Not because I think they're bad as such, but because they remind me too much of other paths. So, for example, I try to avoid saying 'So mote it be.' I'm especially cautious about using terms from my birth religion, eg the epithets 'Merciful' and 'Compassionate' together.

So, are there any practices or paths in general that you consciously try to avoid? Do you ever have to specifically steer yourself away from bits of your birth religion (if it's not your current religion)?

How does this affect your path? And especially for eclectics, do you think deliberately trying to go a different way from another path somehow compromises your own?

I try to avoid the word God when speaking of the Divine/that which Is/whatever you wanna call it.

I was working on the book, and started using the word God, and it gave me the heebie jeebies to the point that I had to edit it out RIGHT THEN.  I went STRAIGHT to the old man with the beard and the robe image.

I can refer to gods - but That Which Is cannot be referred to as God without me starting to twitch - because I get the totally wrong image.  And I can't help but assume other people will too - but even if they don't, I do!

(not that there's anything wrong with that image, it just doesn't fit the FlameKeeping conception - of the Divine)
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« Reply #2: December 17, 2009, 10:14:40 pm »


I was working on the book, and started using the word God, and it gave me the heebie jeebies to the point

Ooh I get this! Though probably less than you, since my cultural background never had a bearded-old-man-up-there image. But even though I still use 'God' to describe the Divine I have trouble with the natural, very gendered way of referring to Him in English.  Undecided
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« Reply #3: December 17, 2009, 10:47:40 pm »

I try to avoid the word God when speaking of the Divine/that which Is/whatever you wanna call it.

I was working on the book, and started using the word God, and it gave me the heebie jeebies to the point that I had to edit it out RIGHT THEN.  I went STRAIGHT to the old man with the beard and the robe image.


I call my god God all the time. However, I am very aware that others may think I am refering to someone other than the god of the witches. It's sort of funny that no one has ever figured out that the god I am talking about is anyone other than the god they believe in......this was even true in India, where we had many discussions about god and there never seemed to be conflict in our understanding.
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« Reply #4: December 18, 2009, 03:41:27 am »

And especially for eclectics, do you think deliberately trying to go a different way from another path somehow compromises your own?

I guess I'm a true eclectic - I'll steal anything that works, and wandering down other Paths only brings me more goodies.

Maybe because I wasn't raised in a Christian home, especially not in any particularly strict varieties of Christianity, I bear Christians and Christianity no ill will. It just doesn't concern me. Yeah, they made life miserable, and continue to make life miserable, for millions of people worldwide (as well as make millions of people worldwide due to the spread of their views on birth control as well as the rest of the religion), but there are aspects of Christianity, Catholicism, Judaism & Islam that work for me, and I don't shy away from using them - things like mercy, charity, doing unto others. I tend to look for, and find, more universalism in religion than I do divisiveness.

About the only thing I try to alter is my profanity. My parents, probably because they were former Christians from extremely strict Christian upbringings, seemed to take great delight in 'taking the Lord's name in vain'. They did it often, they did it creatively and they did it for any imaginable scenario, from spilling coffee on the rug to smashing a knee with a hammer. In my household growing up, I heard a lot of 'Jesus Christ's, occasionally 'Jesus H. Christ on a hopped-up supercharged pogo-stick's and general 'Goddammit!'s. Every time I hear Bill Cosby's skit on 'Goddammit, don't you know better than to come in out of the rain?' 'But dad, I'm Jesus Christ!', it reminds me of being a kid. My name was usually yelled starting with either 'Goddammit' or 'Jesus Christ'.

In deference to the fact that I may be in the presence of one or more serious, dedicated Christians at any given time, I try to noticeably add an 's' to the end of 'God'. 'Godsdammit!', 'Gods be damned', 'Ye Gods!', 'Oh my freaking Gods!'. I missed the elevator one morning & proclaimed, "God dammit!" without the 's' on accident, & had an elderly gentleman try to chide me for it, and I snapped at him, "I wasn't talking to your God, so just stay out of it!"
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« Reply #5: December 18, 2009, 12:23:22 pm »

"I wasn't talking to your God, so just stay out of it!"

ROTFL!!!

When my brother was dying of Leukemia I had someone tall me "it's in god's hands now".  Bad timing on her part - my response was "it's a good thing I don't follow your god or I would be going after him for this shit". 

I have finally got to where I don't say god with dammit, or Jesus Christ (with or without the pogo stick).  I'm more of a 'son of a f**king bitch' person now.

But what I have found I avoid the most from my old religion (raised Catholic) is rituals.  i tend to keep things very informal and I think my childhood is why.
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« Reply #6: December 18, 2009, 09:45:38 pm »

It's sort of funny that no one has ever figured out that the god I am talking about is anyone other than the god they believe in

Good point. Using it does keep you undercover...
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« Reply #7: December 18, 2009, 09:47:11 pm »


But what I have found I avoid the most from my old religion (raised Catholic) is rituals.  i tend to keep things very informal and I think my childhood is why.

Do you mean you stay away from stuff which reminds you of Catholic rituals, or from rituals entirely? Because if the latter, I imagine it must be difficult to have an organized religious practice?
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« Reply #8: December 18, 2009, 09:53:24 pm »


I guess I'm a true eclectic - I'll steal anything that works, and wandering down other Paths only brings me more goodies.


This is partly why I wonder if deliberately differentiating myself from other paths is necessarily a good thing. I mean, if I naturally fall back on some things from them, then presumably some part of me finds them useful. On the other hand, I have the vague worry that since my own path is still quite undeveloped, using too much from others would sort of suck me in.

Do you ever feel that by picking from other paths, it actually hinders you from finding your own?

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"I wasn't talking to your God, so just stay out of it!"

Heh, have to remember that!
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« Reply #9: December 18, 2009, 10:01:55 pm »

Do you ever feel that by picking from other paths, it actually hinders you from finding your own?

Just wondering: why can't picking from other paths be her own?
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« Reply #10: December 18, 2009, 10:03:01 pm »

This is partly why I wonder if deliberately differentiating myself from other paths is necessarily a good thing.

I think that depends on why you are falling back on them. If they serve some need that you can't otherwise fulfill in a reasonable manner, I don't see much of a problem. If you are just falling back on them because it is easy to do so rather than find/create something more suitable to your current beliefs, then there might be a problem.
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« Reply #11: December 19, 2009, 01:34:39 am »

Do you ever feel that by picking from other paths, it actually hinders you from finding your own?

I've tried stricter systems, like ceremonialism and Wicca, and I've tried being single-pantheon (Norse), but other Gods are always calling. I don't pick things willy-nilly, usually I discover that things I've been doing naturally and unconsciously are common practices to this or that tradition, and most of my patron deities have picked on me, not the other way around (the only exception to that being Luna/Selene, but even with Her it's more of a feeling of coming home than consciously deciding to become a lunatic). Over the years I've discovered that I'm definitely not a heathen/Norse, I'm not Wiccan, I'm not drawn to anything Celtic/British (except Herne... ah, Herne) or Egyptian, I'm definitely not Christian/Catholic/Jewish or Muslim... those things have never called to me or caught my fancy, but there are some concepts within those paths that are compatible with my world view.

I do still incorporate some ceremonial magic(k) into my world, I'm drawn most strongly to the Greek pantheon, Gods of the Underworld and death from various cultures, Vodou, Santeria, and shamanistic technologies. So that is my true Path - it just isn't a very straight or narrow one Smiley
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« Reply #12: December 19, 2009, 03:04:45 am »

Do you ever have to specifically steer yourself away from bits of your birth religion (if it's not your current religion)?
Not necessarily. I use to early on, probably since I was breaking from my birth religion, I thought it necessary to disassociate with anything Christian, but later on realised that to understand Pagan Gaelic Traditionalism, you have to understand Christian Gaelic Traditionalism.
This is something I've noticed in other paths however, especially ones relating to Celtic spirituality. I've noticed many followers of reconstructionist paths, that were formally neo-pagans, do many things in order to disassociate with practices in neo-paganism, especially "magick circle bashing," or casting a desoil circle. Even though there are too many stone circles here in Ireland to count, and it's an ancient spiritual tradition to walk desoil around them.   
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« Reply #13: December 19, 2009, 05:15:23 am »

and it's an ancient spiritual tradition to walk desoil around them.   
Gabh mo leithscéal, *deosil*, was up a bit early this morning  Grin
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« Reply #14: December 19, 2009, 06:00:19 am »

Gabh mo leithscéal, *deosil*, was up a bit early this morning  Grin

I think it makes sense... walking de' soil 'roun the stones Smiley
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