make it work

December 10, 2006

C and I got into a discussion last night. I’m not entirely sure how we got there, or how it ended (I was quite tired yesterday), but I do remember it was about theism in paganism.

Everything I read about paganism, whether it be some book on method, some piece on faith, a news item, whatever, usually has something in it that must fall into the category of “blind acceptance.” Psychic powers, the success of intervening magick, this pantheon or another, reincarnation, etc. I have yet to find a pagan author, or even participant, who will say, “I don’t know about any of that stuff. I just live my life, and do my thing. And I like the shinies. And that ritual thing is pretty cool too.” The core elements only. Nothing about the actual religion.

Actually, maybe that’s my problem. I don’t want a religion. I don’t want to set of principles that may or may not clash with my own personal thoughts on how life should be run. I don’t want to have to remember some little phrase or verse or adage to get me through the day, because when I go to bed at night, I just want to know that I did good things, and not bad ones.

Faith confuses me. I don’t have faith in anyone. I rarely have faith in myself, I suppose. Well, let me classify. I trust my abilities and I trust the abilities of others to the extent that is safe for me to trust them and still get the results I want. I, however, don’t have faith that there is a higher power running everything. No control room, no finger-waver. The events of the world are caused by the collective actions of everything in it.

Now, I won’t be so snide as to say that if it can’t be proven its wrong. I will say the opposite however: if it happened and its provable that it happened, then the causes are part of this world, and not supernatural. So if someone jumped off the roof tomorrow and was able to fly, I’d wait for the report of the tremendous wind gust. But if there was no report, I’d assume that humans will be able to fly on their own soon, and go about my day.

However, I don’t think it makes sense for any religion, pagan or otherwise, to say that there are gods that are bigger and more influential in the workings of the world than we are if the religion is so geared toward all things natural. How can something be both transcendent and natural?

If there is a pagan thought out there that speaks to the Self/God, but not that “Thou art God” adage, then let me know, because all of this stuff is looking like hooey in my head, and I don’t want to play with hooey anymore.


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