Hi folks, how's everything? I'm doing fine, thanks for stopping by!
Before I begin this post, I want to mention that there are things I am going to discuss here that I have talked about in previous posts, but this time I want to show a different view of what I believe, let me assure you, should your eyes become glazed over with reading the same thing you read before, there IS in fact a method to my ramblings.
There's a topic of conversation that everyone at some point in their lives has had with family, or friends, and that's the concept of spirituality. Some may call it religion, but at its core the subject itself has everything to do with what we "believe", because no matter the culture or continent, it seems all humans universally believe that there is something that comes after this life, and in many cases, before it.
Whether you are a Christian or a Pagan, there is a common belief that there is some sort of a "God", or "god", and with many pagans, there is also a "goddess" that is at the very core of their beliefs. But who or what exactly IS this god or goddess? And why do we believe that they should be worshipped?
Most of us, well, at least from what I've seen, grew up learning about spiritual things in a Christian based environment, and therefore learned at a very early age that there was a "God", and that he created everything, including us, and that he loved us, but he could also punish us if we did wrong. There's a lot to be said for this "God" person, he must be quite a vaulted spirit, to be so powerful, and yet love us, we little humans. But one thing that's never taught to us, something that's never really explained, is WHAT exactly "God" is, because the Bible is the only book that the Christian religion refers to for information, and it is severely lacking in information of that regard. Take this with a grain of salt, my dear readers, these are only my opinions, but as a child I was taught nothing but the Bible, it was the ONLY way, everything else was WRONG, and I was more or less forced to memorize much of it, so I can tell you from experience that it doesn't say very much at all about the nature of what "God" is, much less explain what the heck "made in his image" was supposed to mean.
Since I became a pagan, I've done some research, and by that I mean I observed, I read, and I talked to other pagans. What I found is that even though most believe in a god and a goddess, the basic concept of spirituality is still the same. We, the human, are "lesser" beings, and while many pagans would tell you that they don't "worship" their god or goddess, I believe that there are quite a few that see them about the same way they saw the Christian God, at least those who were taught religious concepts in that system. They (the god and/or goddess) are spiritual beings, larger, more powerful, elevated, so much more than we lowly humans. Something akin to worship then really DOES occur. There is a line that is drawn, we are the peon, they are the lord and commander of the universe. Like I said folks, these are only my opinions on observations I've made, not actual facts, no offense or attack on anyone's personal beliefs is intended here. My point here is to try to convey a different approach, a different way of seeing the spiritual, to look at the entire concept from a different viewpoint.
There are literally thousands of books, articles, magazines, and blogs that talk about how to get in touch with your inner god and goddess, words of wisdom on how to commune with and treat them, but what I've noticed is that there is not very many mentions of what these spiritual beings really are, and what our relationship to them is in reality. In other words, there are no explanations of what type of existence these beings have, and what by proxy that makes us as humans. The reasons for this of course are obvious. None of us have been there, or rather, none of us has actually seen first hand where and how these beings live, I mean think about it, what do they do when they aren't here helping us with the troubles of our lives? And do we ever really think about that, or should we?
I think we should.
The first thing I think we should consider is WHAT exactly they are, because that would tell us a great many things about what WE are, when we are not inhabiting these physical flesh and bone bodies. It is a common belief among many pagans that this life we are living right now is not our first, and will not be our last, and it is one that I too subscribe to. The question is then, what are we when we are between lifetimes, and why can't we remember when we become human again? I believe that the answer lies in the accounts of many who HAVE in fact spoken directly with a spiritual entity. I myself have spoken to one such being, as I've chronicled in an earlier post, so I won't go into great detail here on that experience, but suffice it to say that I gained a different perspective on what our "connection" to them really is. I didn't take only MY experience and then form this opinion however, I've read about many similar incidents, and I've read about and talked to many people about their opinions on the matter, and collated the information into this:
They, like us, are made of the energy that is in this universe, they are just as much a part of it as everything you see, and everything you can't see. What is different is how they EXIST in the universe, and that, my friends, is where we lose our minds. You see, from what I understand, the human mind is literally incapable of comprehending their type of existence, which explains why we go through life struggling with the knowledge that there MUST be something more, but we can't explain it, or even find it. Now without going into excruciating detail, and writing what is becoming an increasingly long winded post, I'll just say this. Remember I said "They, like us.." at the beginning of this paragraph? I believe that we are in essence the same type of beings as they are, only, and here's the opinion part, we are their actual offspring, like children, the same, but not "grown up" yet. We are energy beings, but we use this physical existence to grow and mature into more than we could as energy alone. Having said that, the argument can be made then that if we were to know of the energy aspect of our existence in its true form, then we could not "be" human, we would feel as though we were wearing a costume only, and there would be little growth. So, by design, in a human body we cannot comprehend nor have intimate knowledge of our life in that state. Further, when we are between lifetimes, and again are energy beings, or spirits, we review the life we just lived alongside of our "parents", and determine what we learned and did not learn, and then plan the next life, and incorporate methods to learn new lessons, or devise new methods to learn what we did not learn in the previous one. But what does that mean for our relationship to our "gods" here and now? What does that mean for how we interact with them on a daily basis, here, in this life?
I'll tell you what it means to me. It means that the gods are not only my parents, or guardians, then they are also my friends, watching, observing, but not necessarily interfering. They are not "here" with me, because to them there is literally no "here", they live outside of the limits of our perceptions of location, and of linear time, they see everything before, during and after any and all things of a physical nature, and they can see it all at the same "time". (Just try wrapping your mind around THAT one, trust me, I've tried, and it makes no sense, but remember, we're designed that way for a reason.) They know me, in both aspects, human, and spirit, and they know what I am here to do. It's a little like working with a mentor, or a teacher, an expert in their field, they have been in my position before, so they know best how to facilitate the process of learning what I chose to learn in this life. So I see them as I've seen all the teachers I've had, I look up to them, I listen to what they have to say, but at the same time I see them not as someone to put on a pedestal, but rather as someone who has my best interests at heart, and who will always show me the right path to take. I don't ask them to do things FOR me, because they can't, it's not THEIR life to live. So many times I hear and read prayers people offer to the gods, asking them to do things, to take care of problems, when in fact the whole point of our lives here are to solve our own problems, to learn. If we use our gods as a crutch, and expect them to do it for us, then we defeat the purpose of living altogether.
I can't tell you everything about what I believe here in one post, but what I can say is that as I've traveled along this path, I've gained a new understanding of who I am, and what spirituality really is, and it's nothing like what I was taught as a child. No longer are my gods untouchable, way up above me, out in space, with a bolt of lighting ready to strike me down if I go astray, they are a lot like me, they've just been around the block a few more times.
Spirituality for me isn't about rituals, keeping up with the festivals or holidays, or having a daily devotional time to pray to the gods. It's about living, being the human I was meant to be, keeping in mind that everything I do and everything that happens has a purpose, there are lessons to be learned, there is growth to accomplish. The gods are with me all the time, they are my family, they offer advice, and nudge me in the right direction, but they don't expect me to bow down and grovel at their feet. I don't fear them, or feel that they will be angry if I don't give offerings at the proper intervals, no, I talk to them, just as I would a mentor or teacher, because I know they have a "big picture" perspective, and they know more than I where one path will lead as opposed to another. It's really amazing to think about, there are so many possibilities, and yet, before I was born, any and all possible outcomes were taken into account and concessions were made for each. We worked together at that time to lay out this life I am living, so why not continue with that same collaboration now?
To sum it all up, religion, spirituality, and being human are all one and the same, the way I see it. Live this life, be a spirit being human, learn, and grow. That's a 24 hour a day, 7 days a week, 365 day a year job. There aren't any policies to adhere to with this job, you make it what you want it to be. The gods will provide their help when you asked them to do so (before you got here), but they will not help you with something you have to do for yourself, which, for the most part, is everything you do.
I want to be clear in saying that I don't believe that they do not have "powers" or abilities that are not available to us in our human state; as energy beings they CAN affect things in the physical world, and often do so, but I believe they do so only with our best interests at heart and with the "big picture" in mind. So asking for their blessing for something or asking for their guidance is something that they not only welcome, but expect, some things require their direct intervention to see through to fruition. When I considered writing this post I consulted with them to guide the words I wrote, but not as a supplicant, rather as a student. I had to write this on my own. Each time I write I learn something new about myself, I see my thoughts in a permanent form, and in a lot of ways it helps me to process them much better than just having them rattle about in my head with no place to go.
This is the part where I usually finish with a big dramatic bang, or at least most of the time I try to. I think this time I will just say thank you, for reading these thoughts, and for keeping in mind that because they ARE just my thoughts and opinions, you can take them as such and dismiss them or think on them, but either way I appreciate you taking the time to listen.
Have a great night everyone, talk to you again soon!