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Author Topic: Chaos Magic and Christianity  (Read 23551 times)
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« Topic Start: April 07, 2007, 04:16:08 pm »

Hello, I was wondering what people think about the possibility of going to and Christian church and taking communion as part of a paradigm shift well being a chaote.  Would it be totally unethical?
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« Reply #1: April 07, 2007, 04:30:33 pm »

Hello, I was wondering what people think about the possibility of going to and Christian church and taking communion as part of a paradigm shift well being a chaote.  Would it be totally unethical?

I am not Chaote. I have never studied Chaote ways or Chaote theories. However, I believe in this: When you walk into the place or home of a deity that is not yours, you must respect (not necessarily honor, but respect) her/him/them. This means being truthful with the deity in question (if not necessarily the followers). I doubt a god would be all that pleased if you underwent the sacred rituals (of becoming a servant/follower/one of that deity's people) without the intention of remaining in that religion.

I repeat - I am not a Chaote. Chaotes may have a different viewpoint. I am only stating my personal beliefs in that regard, in the hopes that it may help you decide what you believe.

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« Reply #2: April 07, 2007, 05:48:40 pm »

I don't know about ethics, but in order to partake in Catholic Communion, of course you'll have to talk to a priest about converting, and you may have to get baptized first - obviously you can't just walk into Mass one Sunday and eat the Host.

You'll have a special little "First Communion" ceremony with other converts. If I remember correctly, you'll also have to do your first confession beforehand (or a little afterward). The priest will allot you a number of prayers appropriate to whatever sins you confess. After that, you can always back out of Catholicism as long as you don't go through Confirmation (a ceremony not often talked about in popular culture, in which fourteen-year-olds line up to get slapped). It's just what it sounds like - it's your final decision whether or not to dedicate yourself to the Church and its faith.

It might be an interesting experience for you - Catholicism is definitely an interesting and complex paradigm. However, most priests wouldn't approve of most forms of sorcery, so you may want to be discreet about that. Though some are surprisingly cool about it; you'd get in a lot more trouble for it with an evangelist reverend than with a Catholic priest. Why that is, I honestly don't know - maybe there's just more of a "mystical" tradition within Catholicism than with most Protestant traditions. The Church has accepted Santeria as non-heretical, so it seems that petitionary magick within a Catholic context is generally cool with them.
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« Reply #3: April 07, 2007, 06:14:02 pm »

Hello, I was wondering what people think about the possibility of going to and Christian church and taking communion as part of a paradigm shift well being a chaote.  Would it be totally unethical?

It's an interesting idea, but I think it gets a bit sticky if you want to respect the more sincere believers.  It's been done by others in the past, I'm fairly sure, but then Chaos isn't always practiced by people whose first priority is ethics. Smiley

You could always try it in the spirit of 'considering becoming a Christian.'  If you'd actually consider converting, I'd find exploring the paradigm less unethical in that process.  On the other hand, if you have no intention of staying in the paradigm, and *do* want to be respectful, I'd consider trying something more low key.

For example: Read from the Bible - particularly the teachings of Jesus, and try to think about how that could colour your view of the world.  Try behaving as you'd expect a good Christian to.  Maybe pray to God?  I think there are things you can quite easily do without inserting yourself into an already existing community.

(You do raise an interesting point, but this is one of the stick areas of Chaos magic.  The system itself has no ethics, and encourages practitioners to have changeable ethics, so I can't tell you 'you must NOT do this', but I think there are rational reasons to try a different approach to the same purpose.  Smiley )
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« Reply #4: April 07, 2007, 07:00:59 pm »

Hello, I was wondering what people think about the possibility of going to and Christian church and taking communion as part of a paradigm shift well being a chaote.  Would it be totally unethical?

Short answer:
Yes, it would be unethical.

Long answer:
Taking communion isn't just gulping down grape juice and a cracker.  Transubstantiation and such aside, taking communion is the equivalent of saying "I am a Christian; I believe that Jesus is the son of God."  Communion comes from the same root word as community; it is a way of proclaiming membership in a Christian community.  If you aren't really a part of the community, then you are lying to the people in the church.  And, since I consider lying unethical, I think it would be unethical as well as disrespectful. 

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« Reply #5: April 08, 2007, 07:00:19 am »

I don't know about ethics, but in order to partake in Catholic Communion, of course you'll have to talk to a priest about converting, and you may have to get baptized first - obviously you can't just walk into Mass one Sunday and eat the Host.

You'll have a special little "First Communion" ceremony with other converts. If I remember correctly, you'll also have to do your first confession beforehand (or a little afterward). The priest will allot you a number of prayers appropriate to whatever sins you confess. After that, you can always back out of Catholicism as long as you don't go through Confirmation (a ceremony not often talked about in popular culture, in which fourteen-year-olds line up to get slapped).

I refer to myself as a fallen-away Catholic, and I was raised under the Roman Catholic rules ... Baptism, First Holy Communion, Confirmation.  Regarding your statement about 14 year olds getting slapped for Confirmation, this doesn't ring true with me, although I'm in my 50s now and memory isn't quite what it used to be.  As I recall, I was confirmed when I was around 8 or 9, no slapping involved, and the only thing I can remember coming away from the ceremony with was my Confirmation name (freedom to chose whatever middle name I wanted to officially carry around for the balance of my life as long as it was an approved name after one of the saints, etc.).
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« Reply #6: April 08, 2007, 08:26:31 am »

(a ceremony not often talked about in popular culture, in which fourteen-year-olds line up to get slapped).

I'm going to echo another poster here:  Slapped?  Huh?

Granted that my own Confirmation was Lutheran and not Catholic (though there are an awful lot of similarities between the two), but...  Physical violence seems awfully out of place.  Is there some bit of context we're missing here?

I was also under the impression that with an adult baptism, Confirmation would be unnecessary.  It was presented to us, at least, as confirmation/affirmation of our baptism, accepting as an adult what our parents had begun when we were infants.  (And clearly can still be backed out of; it's not a coercive spell to force you to stay in the church or anything.  I'd agree that undergoing it under false pretenses would be highly unethical, though.)  Again, granted that this was in a Lutheran church, and I'm not exactly an expert on these matters anyway, though.

Too bad Koi's still busy with offline life...  Her input would be really helpful here.
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« Reply #7: April 08, 2007, 10:03:55 am »

I'm going to echo another poster here:  Slapped?  Huh?

Poking around a bit, it looks like a slap was at one point part of the ceremony.  Finding the reasoning behind it is a bit dodgy, though.  One reference says it refers the the "turn the other cheek" verse; another says it was thought to be an exorcistic tool.  At any rate, it appears to have been phased out. 

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« Reply #8: April 08, 2007, 11:15:40 am »

Hello, I was wondering what people think about the possibility of going to and Christian church and taking communion as part of a paradigm shift well being a chaote.  Would it be totally unethical?

Another thought occurs, although it isn't related to the ethics question.  Do you have a plan in particular for what you plan to do with the paradigm shift to Christianity?  (for example, is there an operation you want to perform that is situated within a vaguely Christian worldview?)
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« Reply #9: April 09, 2007, 05:05:52 pm »

+++ I doubt a god would be all that pleased if you underwent the sacred rituals (of becoming a servant/follower/one of that deity's people) without the intention of remaining in that religion.  +++

Nah, Jesus welcomes everybody.  *People* get very funny about who should or shouldn't take communion, but He's a lot less fussy.   Smiley


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« Reply #10: April 09, 2007, 06:10:13 pm »

+++ Hello, I was wondering what people think about the possibility of going to and Christian church and taking communion as part of a paradigm shift well being a chaote.  Would it be totally unethical?  +++

Im kinda curious, but what makes you think that taking communion will offer you a paradigm shift?  Go ahead and feel free to take communion, but don't expect it to be meaningful to you.  Christian spirituality is about a lot more than taking communion and turning up to church on a Sunday morning; copying the external practises of this particular faith won't deliver the deep, internal insight that you seem to be seeking.  In order to do that you need to make a sincere and heartfelt commitment to it and be willing to let what happens happen.   Despite all the religious trappings and the institutionalization, Christianity (at its heart) is a mystery tradition and needs to be treated as such.  As with any spiritual tradition, an understanding and appreciation of its teachings only come with time, practise and study. 

I think the ethics issue is a bit of a moot point.  What is more important ( I feel ) is whether or not the Christian path will foster your foundational  spiritual goals.  If it can then "opportunities" will begin to open up for you and all that's left for you to do is chose whether or not to take them.  On the other hand - if it has nothing to offer you - then you can take communion as much as you like, go to church as much as you like, read The Bible as much as you like and nothing will happen.  No paradigm shift, nada.

If you *are* convinced that you wanna give Christianity a try, then my suggestion to you is to forget the church and communion for a bit and just pray to the Christian God.  Summink along the lines of "Dear Jesus, Im looking for a paradigm shift, can you please help me? Amen".  Then wait.  Interestingly enough, the very act of prayer will be a paradigm shift as Im assuming that you're not the type whose prays to anybody on a normal basis. Smiley   So yeah, you want a paradigm shift a la Xstianity, start with prayer.  You could go really wild and make it a priority to spend 5 mins each day for the next moon cycle praying to Jesus. 

Who knows what'll happen. lol.  Cheesy
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« Reply #11: April 09, 2007, 06:21:38 pm »


I think the ethics issue is a bit of a moot point.  What is more important ( I feel ) is whether or not the Christian path will foster your foundational  spiritual goals

I don't know what the OP's intentions were, as its not like Chaos magic comes with a firm rulebook, but generally practitioners of Chaos magic are not seeking 'spiritual goals', but generally practical aims (with the exception of experiments aimed at seeing where the boundaries are weak or strong, etc).  So the probability, or lack thereof, of a brief paradigm shift nurturing spirituality may be a moot point.
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« Reply #12: April 09, 2007, 06:42:15 pm »

   


I think you are confusing the idea of a 'paradigm shift' with a foundational spiritual change meant to alter a person's life.

As I understand it, Chaotes see the various forms of magic, and the structure that supports each separate form, as a paradigm.  If one wanted to perform a spell in another paradigm, say wiccan or ceremonial, they would set themselves, for the length of their working, to 'believe' in that paradigm.  Once the spell or experiment is finished, the paradigm is discarded and the chaote goes back to being whatever they normally are.

Chaotes try to train themselves to be able to believe, deeply and fervently, in 'anything' for five minutes, a week, however long it takes, and then step back out of that belief.  It is a magical technique, not a spiritual commitment.

At least, that's my understanding from reading and a tiny bit of experimentation.  It is usually very hard to know what a chaote 'truly' believes.

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« Reply #13: April 10, 2007, 12:08:49 am »

At least, that's my understanding from reading and a tiny bit of experimentation.  It is usually very hard to know what a chaote 'truly' believes.

As far as I can tell from what you just wrote, the key factor to chaote belief is that beliefs themselves are the key to changing the universe.
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« Reply #14: April 10, 2007, 04:15:01 am »

I think you are confusing the idea of a 'paradigm shift' with a foundational spiritual change meant to alter a person's life.

As I understand it, Chaotes see the various forms of magic, and the structure that supports each separate form, as a paradigm.  If one wanted to perform a spell in another paradigm, say wiccan or ceremonial, they would set themselves, for the length of their working, to 'believe' in that paradigm.  Once the spell or experiment is finished, the paradigm is discarded and the chaote goes back to being whatever they normally are.

Chaotes try to train themselves to be able to believe, deeply and fervently, in 'anything' for five minutes, a week, however long it takes, and then step back out of that belief.  It is a magical technique, not a spiritual commitment.

At least, that's my understanding from reading and a tiny bit of experimentation.  It is usually very hard to know what a chaote 'truly' believes.

Absent

You pretty much got it there. Smiley  There's some debate over specifics and so on, but in theory that's how its meant to be.
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