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Author Topic: All paths lead to the same meadow  (Read 14186 times)
Lintu
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« Topic Start: March 06, 2010, 05:26:01 am »

Greetings to all!

What do you think of the saying all paths lead to the same meadow? Do you agree to it? Why or why not?

How do you interpret the saying? Does it mean that there is one truth or one God/dess? Or does it mean that all paths have ultimately the same destination (which could be Summerland, a return to the Divine Source or something else)?

Do you think it's a valid saying or do you think it's fluffy? (Is fluffy valid, LOL?)

I've also heard that all paths lead to the same meadow, if you harm none. This sounds very Wiccan, so non-Wiccans probably wouldn't agree?

What about the saying all clockwise paths lead to the same meadow? Clockwise as in either the right-hand path or a positive, non-harm morality?

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I've always liked the basic saying because it implies that all religions are valid. However it could also imply that there is one ultimate truth and all religions are only different interpretations of it. This easily leads to the assumption that there is only one God/dess and all different gods/goddesses are only faces or personifications of the One. As a hard polytheist I don't buy that. In my duotheistic phase I used to think that all Goddesses are one and all Gods are one, but now I see it as a Christian hangover which is IMHO unnecessary to paganism. (Thought it's not wrong to believe so, only unnecessary.) I also don't believe in just one truth.

I think that the saying could simply mean finding any god/dess, or many. But the problem with that is that not all religions embrace a Supreme Being, for example Buddhism. Also, not all pagans believe in deities. And what about atheists? Their paths are just as valid, but they don't seem to have the same purpose or destination, so how could they lead to the same meadow? On the other hand, we can't really be sure of our final destination. It might be the same regardless of our different faiths, or it might not.

If you add the term clockwise or right-hand path to the saying, that makes a distinction between right-hand and left-hand paths. A person following the left-hand path explained to me the basic distinction between LHP and RHP. According to her, the idea of LHP is to develop one's individuality, whereas the idea of RHP is to merge with divinity. Also morality stems from different principles, as in LHP it's more focused on the individual and in RHP more on the community. This is probably oversimplified, so I apologize. Anyway, LHP and RHP could be seen as leading to different meadows. But I'm not sure if all paths can be fitted into these two categories? Do you think it would be fluffy to do so? (I'm clearly concerned about falling into fluffy, LOL.)

So perhaps I could just think that all moral and beneficial paths lead to the same meadow. Just about all paths seem to value some kind morality. I haven't yet heard of a path where the main objective is to cause harm to others, although some paths are more individualistic.

But what about the immoral ways of some individuals? Would they lead to hell or eternal reincarnation? Or would they, too, eventually to the same meadow, whatever that means, when the immorality is cured?

I seem to be going through a phase of rethinking lots of things, so I'm very eager to hear all your thoughts on this!
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« Reply #1: March 06, 2010, 07:39:45 am »


I seem to be going through a phase of rethinking lots of things, so I'm very eager to hear all your thoughts on this!

I sure hope all paths don't lead to the same place! That means the people I try to avoid now will be there, in addition to all past lives that may or may not have been reincarnated there, but I still would have liked to avoid! It would be a place of beautiful scenery, but intense bickering, confusion, and disappointment (ex: "Oh, so and so is here, why did I try so hard to be good while alive?")

On a more serious and less misanthropic note, I respect and understand the desire to reevaluate ideas and beliefs that once made sense. It's all the more harder now, when dealing with this polytheistic mindset! We shouldn't let ourselves get too carried away though, because the most important time is now!  Cheesy

With that said, if all paths do lead to the same meadow in the end... Look for the shabby looking hut with the giant spike-fence around it. That's my place! 
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« Reply #2: March 06, 2010, 08:19:37 am »

What do you think of the saying all paths lead to the same meadow? Do you agree to it? Why or why not?

How do you interpret the saying? Does it mean that there is one truth or one God/dess? Or does it mean that all paths have ultimately the same destination (which could be Summerland, a return to the Divine Source or something else)?

When I see it (or similar sayings) used, the people have generally meant that they believe the Godhead -- whatever/whoever it is -- is intrinsically beyond human understanding. Therefore different people and different groups see/understand different parts of that godhead. Religions look very different and believe very different things not because they are following different deities or because one is correct and all others wrong but because each religion is set up based only on those parts of the incomprehensible Godhead that they see and understand. All paths lead to the same Godhead in the end. And that if we could comprehend the Godhead, we would see how all the various religions would all fit together.
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« Reply #3: March 06, 2010, 11:37:34 am »

Greetings to all!

What do you think of the saying all paths lead to the same meadow? Do you agree to it? Why or why not?

How do you interpret the saying? Does it mean that there is one truth or one God/dess? Or does it mean that all paths have ultimately the same destination (which could be Summerland, a return to the Divine Source or something else)?

Do you think it's a valid saying or do you think it's fluffy? (Is fluffy valid, LOL?)



I do believe that all paths lead to the same place. This saying fits for me because I do not believe in a set heaven or hell. The same thing happens to each soul when it passes over, there's no judgment, there's no separate place based on religion. This also goes back to my belief that all deities are archetypes of one deity, and that the Divine is everything. It doesn't make sense to me that there would be several different places for each soul based on what he did down here, his religion, his patrons.....etc. I highly doubt it's that complicated. Obviously, beliefs are going to vary.

My mother told me several months ago that she hoped there was places for each religion, because she would never want to spend her eternity with Pagans, Witches and murderers.

I don't think the term "fluffy" applies here at all, I think it's a down to Earth belief. I'm not really sure that any few of the afterlife would be or could be "fluffy". I think that only applies to people who refuse to see the darkness in the mundane world, or don't want to face it. The people who believe that light could exist without dark, so to speak.

It's very difficult for us as humans to understand the complexity behind everything that is. Again, this is just my belief and opinion.
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« Reply #4: March 06, 2010, 11:46:01 am »

What do you think of the saying all paths lead to the same meadow? Do you agree to it? Why or why not?

I definitely agree with this sentiment. I believe there is only one Truth, but that we are incapable of knowing it. In rebuttal to this I've heard that there can't be one Truth because what's true for me isn't true for you or them. But that's exactly my point: what's true to me isn't true for you or them because we all perceive the world and life differently. That's why we can never know this one Truth. I also believe that every religion contains kernels of this Truth, but that none is perfect and knows the whole.

In line with this, I believe that no matter what path we walk, we do all end up in the same place, and again this is something we are incapable of knowing. I make no predictions about an afterlife. I live my life not based on what's going to happen upon my death but based on the fact that I am, indeed, going to die. This is the only thing I know, that I am mortal, and whatever happens to me after that is just gravy. I do adhere to life as a cycle, that death feeds new life, and in that sense I don't need an afterlife, especially the traditional heaven/hell because eternal consciousness would just get old, seriously.
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« Reply #5: March 06, 2010, 01:23:09 pm »

What do you think of the saying all paths lead to the same meadow? Do you agree to it? Why or why not?

My main problem with it is that it seems to assume that we're all trying to get to the same place, which I don't think we are.  Then again, I'm never quite exactly certain what the meadow's supposed to signify, so that may be part of my problem...
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« Reply #6: March 06, 2010, 02:11:05 pm »

Greetings to all!

What do you think of the saying all paths lead to the same meadow? Do you agree to it? Why or why not?

How do you interpret the saying? Does it mean that there is one truth or one God/dess? Or does it mean that all paths have ultimately the same destination (which could be Summerland, a return to the Divine Source or something else)?

I believe that all paths do lead to the same meadow... with pit stops along the way. Although the meadow is the same for everyone, I don't believe that we all will end up there. We are all so very different and on very different paths that the pit stops on our path just may very well be our "meadow". So yes, I do believe that all paths lead to the same meadow, but not everyone makes it to the exact same place in the meadow.

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« Reply #7: March 06, 2010, 05:29:31 pm »

When I see it (or similar sayings) used, the people have generally meant that they believe the Godhead -- whatever/whoever it is -- is intrinsically beyond human understanding. Therefore different people and different groups see/understand different parts of that godhead. Religions look very different and believe very different things not because they are following different deities or because one is correct and all others wrong but because each religion is set up based only on those parts of the incomprehensible Godhead that they see and understand. All paths lead to the same Godhead in the end. And that if we could comprehend the Godhead, we would see how all the various religions would all fit together.

Ditto.
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« Reply #8: March 08, 2010, 05:59:12 am »

Thank you all for your thoughts! It's very interesting and helpful to read what you think.

With that said, if all paths do lead to the same meadow in the end... Look for the shabby looking hut with the giant spike-fence around it. That's my place! 

I'll look for your place and come say hi, so watch out for me. Wink
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« Reply #9: March 08, 2010, 06:00:28 am »

When I see it (or similar sayings) used, the people have generally meant that they believe the Godhead -- whatever/whoever it is -- is intrinsically beyond human understanding. Therefore different people and different groups see/understand different parts of that godhead. Religions look very different and believe very different things not because they are following different deities or because one is correct and all others wrong but because each religion is set up based only on those parts of the incomprehensible Godhead that they see and understand. All paths lead to the same Godhead in the end. And that if we could comprehend the Godhead, we would see how all the various religions would all fit together.

Thank you Randall! Would the belief in a Godhead that all paths lead to not invalidate atheism? It doesn't seem that atheism would lead to Godhead. At least atheists wouldn't probably think so, and I'd respect it because it's their truth.
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« Reply #10: March 08, 2010, 06:10:54 am »

I definitely agree with this sentiment. I believe there is only one Truth, but that we are incapable of knowing it. In rebuttal to this I've heard that there can't be one Truth because what's true for me isn't true for you or them. But that's exactly my point: what's true to me isn't true for you or them because we all perceive the world and life differently. That's why we can never know this one Truth. I also believe that every religion contains kernels of this Truth, but that none is perfect and knows the whole.

In line with this, I believe that no matter what path we walk, we do all end up in the same place, and again this is something we are incapable of knowing. I make no predictions about an afterlife. I live my life not based on what's going to happen upon my death but based on the fact that I am, indeed, going to die. This is the only thing I know, that I am mortal, and whatever happens to me after that is just gravy. I do adhere to life as a cycle, that death feeds new life, and in that sense I don't need an afterlife, especially the traditional heaven/hell because eternal consciousness would just get old, seriously.

Well put, seroci. It seems clear that we're not all trying to get to the same place, unless it's to find the Truth. It's interesting that the truth is different for each of us. But even if we're not trying to get to the same place, perhaps we'll end up there eventually, if there's some common ground that underlies our different truths. I think there has to be something common in our truths, something that makes them all fit together. Otherwise having many truths wouldn't make sense.

To me the point of the saying is not so much to predict afterlife, but to validate all paths. I agree that life here and now is valuable. My truths are based on my experiences and what feels natural. I can't predict where we'll ultimately find ourselves. However, I do like to think that after reincarnation (which is my truth) everybody will return to the Divine Source from which our souls were moulded. It feels natural to me because our bodies also are born from the earth and return to it after death. Everything in nature seems to occur in cycles. Perhaps we will merge with the Divine Source, or perhaps we will become Goddesses and Gods whom the Divine Source feeds with its energy.

I believe in a collective Divine Force that is to the individual Gods as the collective unconsciousness is to living things. But I'd like to see another meaning to the meadow than Godhead because not all of us seek it.
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« Reply #11: March 08, 2010, 08:26:48 am »

Thank you Randall! Would the belief in a Godhead that all paths lead to not invalidate atheism? It doesn't seem that atheism would lead to Godhead.

Here are two possibilities: One, the atheists may be right, the actual godhead might not be a entity or entities as those who believe in deities think. Two, atheists are just seeing a part of the godhead that is nothingness which leads them to believe it the whole is also nothingness.
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« Reply #12: March 08, 2010, 04:37:56 pm »

Thank you Randall! Would the belief in a Godhead that all paths lead to not invalidate atheism? It doesn't seem that atheism would lead to Godhead. At least atheists wouldn't probably think so, and I'd respect it because it's their truth.

Belief in a Godhead is no different to any other theistic belief.  That is, it doesn't invalidate atheism any more than Christianity does.
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« Reply #13: March 08, 2010, 05:48:38 pm »

My main problem with it is that it seems to assume that we're all trying to get to the same place, which I don't think we are.  Then again, I'm never quite exactly certain what the meadow's supposed to signify, so that may be part of my problem...

....and also assuming that we have any control at all over any of it.

I am more inclined to believe the journey is more important than the destination, and I am not very confident that we have any control over wher we end up after than we did before the journey began.

Imagine we are all on the other side (whaere ever that is or whatever) and trying to describe what life will be after we are born. Even though in truth we are all doing the exact same thing, we are born, grow up, grow old and die; I imagine each instance looks very different depending on the point of view of the one reporting on the life.

Perhaps the afterlife is the same....where intrinsically it is all the same, but for the individual......there is an appearance if differentness ....

Ooooh.... more caffeine is needed.....
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« Reply #14: March 08, 2010, 06:57:02 pm »

Greetings to all!

What do you think of the saying all paths lead to the same meadow? Do you agree to it? Why or why not?

How do you interpret the saying? Does it mean that there is one truth or one God/dess? Or does it mean that all paths have ultimately the same destination (which could be Summerland, a return to the Divine Source or something else)?

Well, my initial feeling is tentative agreement, so I'll focus on that.

I don't know if I like the use of the word meadow, though "fields," as in "fields of asphodel," could easily be substituted for "meadow" and vice versa. I believe that we all end up the same way eventually, not neccesarily the same place. IMO, there is one "ultimate truth," but NOT one "God/dess." We all, after various incarnations, as a fully integrated part of the Source. As I have mentioned before, the source is not a deity and my belief in it is therefore not an expression of pantheism per se. I believe that everything comes from the source, that the Source IS everything, and that individual objects can have their own defined shape/form within the source. Long story short, we all, at some point, rejoin the cosmic source as energy-matter with no identity and no conscience.

In between each incarnation, however, is where my cosmology gets fuzzy. I like to stick to the Hellenistic view of the Underworld. I figure that we all end up in Hades (the place) but don't see it the same way because it is one of those "places" we, as mortals, cannot fully see or comprehend. Poe's poem "Dreamland" has a few good lines that mirror this belief fairly well:

"But the traveller, travelling through it,
May not- dare not openly view it!
Never its mysteries are exposed
To the weak human eye unclosed;
So wills its King, who hath forbid
The uplifting of the fringed lid;
And thus the sad Soul that here passes
Beholds it but through darkened glasses."



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