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Author Topic: How important is reconstruction?  (Read 41819 times)
Juniperberry
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« Reply #75: May 30, 2011, 05:48:26 pm »

 

But the Reconstructionist Belief Community is one of the most profoundly unpleasant Pagan spaces I have ever been in. 


One more question, could you please tell me which RBC community were such negative pagan spaces so that I could avoid them in the future?
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Mark C.
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« Reply #76: May 31, 2011, 04:33:13 am »

Thank you Bob and NorthernSpirit. I have my moments  Grin

I'm still not fully convinced of the need for extremists on either side of the equation (neither the hardcore recons or the hardcore eclectics). I agree that a good balance between the two is essential - a healthy respect for academia on one side, and a healthy respect for the living faith on the other.

I wonder if the word “extremist” is the right one? The term is almost always used pejoratively and I don’t see anything inherently wrong or dangerous in adopting with a “hardcore recon” stance or a “hardcore eclectic” one. I don’t think either choice leads to living heathery, but if it works for them then good luck to them.

I also think that those of us who feel the centre ground is the place to be do need people on either side of us in order to contribute to the exchange of ideas. It we all were to contract to the centre ground there would a great drop in the vibrancy of discussion and that would limit progress and growth. Imagine how dull this forum would be if we all agreed on everything. Nothing wrong with views towards the far ends of the spectrum, even if all if generates are discussions on why that view is not valid.

What I would suggest as being most beneficial would be a bell curve with the majority to the middle, and the dogmatic “non-spiritual” recons and the “personal thoughts and experiences are all” heathens to either side. So I would say we defiantly need them for the overall health of heathenry, but maybe not in quite the same distribution we have at the moment?

Mark.
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« Reply #77: May 31, 2011, 06:28:09 am »

What I would suggest as being most beneficial would be a bell curve with the majority to the middle, and the dogmatic “non-spiritual” recons and the “personal thoughts and experiences are all” heathens to either side. So I would say we defiantly need them for the overall health of heathenry, but maybe not in quite the same distribution we have at the moment?

Mark.

Well, I wonder truly what the actual distribution is. I've been looking around the last couple of days, since this has become a bit of a hot topic for us (and not just here, actually), and I am finding that the most VOCAL are those with 'extremist' views to one side or the other. But the majority of people do appear to be more moderate, recognizing the need for both viewpoints but trying to find a synergy of the two. I feel I definitely fall into that category, at least. Sometimes I have my moments where I want to bury my head in a musty tome, and others I almost hear the gods talking to me. And in neither case do I feel like I am wasting my time, or being extreme, but rather bolstering the overall power of my faith and renewing my oaths to the gods of my ancestors.
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« Reply #78: May 31, 2011, 05:42:57 pm »

Well, I wonder truly what the actual distribution is. I've been looking around the last couple of days, since this has become a bit of a hot topic for us (and not just here, actually), and I am finding that the most VOCAL are those with 'extremist' views to one side or the other. But the majority of people do appear to be more moderate, recognizing the need for both viewpoints but trying to find a synergy of the two.
The squeaky wheel gets oiled, right? Or... is it that the nail that stands up gets hammered down? Wink
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"She who stands on tiptoe / doesn't stand firm. / She who rushes ahead / doesn't go far. / She who tries to shine / dims her own light. / She who defines herself / can't know who she really is. / She who has power over others / can't empower herself. / She who clings to her work / will create nothing that endures. / If you want to accord with the Tao, / just do your job, then let go." ~ Tao Te Ching, chp. 24

"Silent and thoughtful a prince's son should be / and bold in fighting; / cheerful and merry every man should be / until he waits for death." ~ Havamal, stanza 15
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« Reply #79: June 01, 2011, 04:11:51 am »

Sometimes I have my moments where I want to bury my head in a musty tome, and others I almost hear the gods talking to me. And in neither case do I feel like I am wasting my time, or being extreme, but rather bolstering the overall power of my faith and renewing my oaths to the gods of my ancestors.

I like it! I’d also like to feel that our “scholarly pursuits” are essentially “spiritual” in nature. Whether making an offering or making our way through a book what we are doing is trying to better understand the gods, our ancestors and the land-wights so we may better connect with them.

The squeaky wheel gets oiled, right? Or... is it that the nail that stands up gets hammered down? Wink

I think that depends on if I’ve had my morning coffee or not  Wink

Mark.
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« Reply #80: June 01, 2011, 07:06:06 am »

How do you view the role of reconstruction in your religion (and I suppose non-Asatru people should feel free to answer too!)? Do you think it's important? What do you do in your own practice as reconstruction?

I tend toward the recon side of things.    It doesn't make sense to me to practice an ancestral religion without studying what your ancestors were actually doing.   

What bugs me though is that in every recon faith I have ever seen, there is always a clique of ultra academic people.  They seem to feel that anyone who doesn't have a Ph.D or equivalent in the religion isn't a real member.   They try to make everything as ultra academic as possible, and they try to belittle people who don't.   

If you try to make a religion as academic as possible, it will never spread beyond a small elite.  Although I sometimes suspect some people sincerely don't want to see it spread beyond a relatively small elite.   I have to part ways with them.   

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Juniperberry
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« Reply #81: June 01, 2011, 03:13:22 pm »


What bugs me though is that in every recon faith I have ever seen, there is always a clique of ultra academic people.  They seem to feel that anyone who doesn't have a Ph.D or equivalent in the religion isn't a real member.   


I guess I tend to view the recon crowd as a great resource rather than as a community. There is plenty of information available and they seem more than willing to answer legitimate questions. If a person is looking for their personal path to be validated or accepted by that community it isn't going to fly but that's because its not the nature of the group. I don't think its a matter of recon being better or more elite, I think they have a specific goal and that their community maintains a strict focus on that.
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« Reply #82: June 01, 2011, 07:04:11 pm »

I guess I tend to view the recon crowd as a great resource rather than as a community.

There is a difference between being a practical resource and an overly anal Ivory Tower intellectual.  I'm not saying all or even a majority of recons are the latter, but every recon faith I have seen has at least a small (but vocal) clique of them.  You know, these are the people that spend their lives on internet discussion forums splitting hairs.   It is those people I have no use for. 

But as I said, I am otherwise on the "do one's homework" side of things.   

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« Reply #83: June 01, 2011, 07:14:43 pm »

The only comment I really have on the recon folks is that for some reason, most of the ones I have met (not all) have been very dismissive of or even overtly hostile toward my faith. I do realize that it may be hard to take seriously a religion that is, in its current incarnation, only 52 or so years old, but Discordianism is an extremely cohesive and complete religious philosophy that has such strong roots in a religion that has well-documented roots going back to 300 BCE, that I am always, inevitably, surprised when Reconstructionists reject or disrespect it.
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bobthesane
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« Reply #84: June 01, 2011, 08:37:40 pm »

The only comment I really have on the recon folks is that for some reason, most of the ones I have met (not all) have been very dismissive of or even overtly hostile toward my faith. I do realize that it may be hard to take seriously a religion that is, in its current incarnation, only 52 or so years old, but Discordianism is an extremely cohesive and complete religious philosophy that has such strong roots in a religion that has well-documented roots going back to 300 BCE, that I am always, inevitably, surprised when Reconstructionists reject or disrespect it.

I think it really depends on the reconstructionists you are referring to as well. Most of the ones from our side of the Alps would probably look upon Discordianism as one of those unfamiliar customs of those folk from the warm lands to the south Smiley
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« Reply #85: June 02, 2011, 05:11:46 pm »

I do realize that it may be hard to take seriously a religion that is, in its current incarnation, only 52 or so years old,
Tiki, please remember to quote when replying to any posts. And welcome to TC!

Anyway, I was going to say Bah! to this comment... reconstructionists shouldn't be dismissive over a religion's age. We are trying to recreate an older religion, but the religion itself as practiced today (Asatru, for instance) is just about as young!
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"Silent and thoughtful a prince's son should be / and bold in fighting; / cheerful and merry every man should be / until he waits for death." ~ Havamal, stanza 15
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« Reply #86: June 02, 2011, 05:20:02 pm »

We are trying to recreate an older religion, but the religion itself as practiced today (Asatru, for instance) is just about as young!

And the fastest way to get jumped on on many lists is to refer to a reconstructionist as a neopagan. Cheesy

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« Reply #87: June 03, 2011, 12:23:21 pm »

Well, I wonder truly what the actual distribution is. I've been looking around the last couple of days, since this has become a bit of a hot topic for us (and not just here, actually), and I am finding that the most VOCAL are those with 'extremist' views to one side or the other. But the majority of people do appear to be more moderate, recognizing the need for both viewpoints but trying to find a synergy of the two. I feel I definitely fall into that category, at least. Sometimes I have my moments where I want to bury my head in a musty tome, and others I almost hear the gods talking to me. And in neither case do I feel like I am wasting my time, or being extreme, but rather bolstering the overall power of my faith and renewing my oaths to the gods of my ancestors.

Yah, perhaps "extremist" was a poor word choice. I didn't mean it in a negative sense necessarily, just speaking in terms of folks on either "extreme" or end of a spectrum.  Smiley I do certainly understand your point, Mark, and I do agree, maybe they are necessary to the health of heathenry because they spark passionate discussion. I agree they certainly do seem to be the most vocal. Of course, I think even those of us who advocate for balance and occupy the middle ground, we still vacillate between the two (as Bob said).

I still feel though there is this pressure to "choose sides", despite the fact most heathens probably are middle of the road, and this is what I feel is unhealthy. Reconstructionist or eclectic, folkish or universalist, etc. Although most of us are in the grey area, things are still presented as being very black and white. The vocal ones on either side say if you're not a hardcore Recon you are a fluff, and if you're not eclectic and open to everything, you're a narrow-minded elitist. I know that locally that's what I'm dealing with, and it hasn't done the local community any good. Those of us who are moderate feel as though we don't fit in, and how silly is that if we actually make up the greater number of the heathen population?
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Mark C.
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« Reply #88: June 03, 2011, 01:25:10 pm »

I still feel though there is this pressure to "choose sides", despite the fact most heathens probably are middle of the road, and this is what I feel is unhealthy. Reconstructionist or eclectic, folkish or universalist, etc. Although most of us are in the grey area, things are still presented as being very black and white. The vocal ones on either side say if you're not a hardcore Recon you are a fluff, and if you're not eclectic and open to everything, you're a narrow-minded elitist. I know that locally that's what I'm dealing with, and it hasn't done the local community any good. Those of us who are moderate feel as though we don't fit in, and how silly is that if we actually make up the greater number of the heathen population?

Very true. Is there even a name for the middle of the road heathen? We seem to have lables for the "outer edges" but what about the middle ground? Perhaps that is part of the problem?

Mark.
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« Reply #89: June 03, 2011, 06:25:31 pm »

Very true. Is there even a name for the middle of the road heathen?

Sure is. The term you are looking for is 'heathen' Smiley
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