What Pagan Religion Means to Me

People often have difficulty putting into words what their religious beliefs mean to them.  Of course, this is doubly difficult for the Pagan/polytheist as contrasted with the monotheist because, for the Pagan, it is really not about belief.  Pagans don’t hold to beliefs or a book from which they can draw or anything like that.  They hold beliefs, but these are secondary to living and understanding.  Thus, for the Pagan, it is how one lives and how one worships, as in interaction with nature and the blessed deities.

Therefore, for me, to answer the question I have to state the following:  It is more than just religion to me.  If Paganism/polytheism were nothing more than beliefs or a belief system, perhaps derived from some holy book; or if it were nothing more than belief in and reverence for the ancient blessed deities, then it would seriously lack something for me and it would not fulfill what I need in a religious system.  It would instead literally be just another religion to have chosen from.  “Take your pick; they are all just as good”.  That is the way that many approach their religious choice – as if one should simply pick and choose whatever suits them personally.  That is not enough for me.

No, for me it begins with reverence for nature itself.  Reverence for nature, the world, and the whole universe, not exploitation of it.  It means the constant maintenance of this very universal life-cycle.  It is the Knowledge that my body is a living part of nature and that it must be returned to nature at my death, not locked away in some vault or sepulcher  to slowly decay, never being a part of nature anymore awaiting some resurrection that will never take place (for resurrection of the physical body is against nature).  It is the understanding that in life I possess a soul (I actually am the soul, not the physical body), as all living animate creatures also do, and at death my soul will continue to exist and live as an integral part of the natural and universal life-cycle (reincarnation) and that it will NOT be consigned to a stagnant perpetual state in some heaven or hell!  It is the truth that the troubles of life are shared among ALL of humanity and one’s religion does not shield one from them anymore than one’s religion necessarily gets one a better set of circumstances in life or the afterlife.  We all share both the good and the bad in life and our religious perspective or beliefs make little, if any, difference.  It is the fact that human beings possess intellect by which they can and should grasp and utilize Knowledge, logic, and reason to arrive at an understanding of things, without which we have little to separate us from the animals.  And, finally, it is the honesty and integrity to stand on principle based on these as well as evidence rather than belief and/or supposition.

I don’t believe it; I Know it!  I don’t doubt because my position is not based on faith or belief but is instead based on Knowledge and understanding.  I don’t shrink from my beliefs because of assaults from others and I don’t need to be saved.  I don’t need the monotheist’s prayers for my soul although I will accept them if offered honestly for something I really do need.  And I will NOT stand before the god of the monotheist at my death (which will only be a new beginning for my soul in any case)!  I Know this.  I have NO doubts.  Peace be with you.

The Reality of Sin

I was watching a program by and including Jimmy Swaggart (you know, the televangelist who tearfully admitted to patronizing a prostitute back in the 1980s, stating “I have sinned”) today in which he and his panel were continuing to go through the epistle of Paul to the Romans, and the conversation naturally went into the concept of original sin (something that Paul apparently created as a concept regardless of how one reads the book of Genesis).  His and the panel’s conversation devolved into the idea that the whole world, even the weather of the planet earth, has been affected by this one sin (we wouldn’t even have tornados if not for original sin, according to these imbeciles!).  Yes, in their minds the sin of Adam and Eve not only affected all of humanity forevermore (until Jesus returns, of course) but also affected all of creation in a negative way.

In fact, according to them, the Christian says that all of humanity (and presumably all of living creation along with us) has an appointment with death solely because of this sin because the creation of god was never supposed to be this way.  It logically follows, then, that since sin was never supposed to take place and, therefore, death was also never supposed to take place, all creatures, including humankind, were meant to live on forever.  Therefore, since the very first commandment of god to humanity was to procreate and populate the earth, the earth would certainly have become overpopulated with both humans and animals in short order long, long ago.  But, somehow, that must have been what god intended.  So,we humans, partly through the agency of fallen angels, including that villain, Satan, disrupted this plan and, therefore, the god of the universe had to institute the penalty of death onto the entire creation!  Well, such is Christian “logic”.

If one follows their logic further then one has to admit that god simply can’t fix his own creation that somehow went awry from his omnipotent plan.  Of course, how could he fix his own creation without a goddess along with him to fix it?

What do I mean by this?  I mean that the war on the feminine is not new.  It started way back with the writer (or at least one of them) of Genesis and continued full-force with the apostle Paul!  And Christians have continued it almost unabated ever since that time!  After all, one of the main Gnostic injunctions was the “destruction of the works of femaleness” found in some of the Gnostic writings unearthed at Nag Hammadi.

But what exactly does that injunction actually mean?  Well, if you were a Pagan living during that period in time you would rather automatically understand that the works of femaleness were those of a nurturing, caring, and creative nature.  In so many words, creation and, more specifically, procreation, could not take place at all without the feminine aspect.  So, if you were a Pagan confronted by a Christian who tried to insist that a lone god had created the universe without the assistance of some feminine aspect, you would have laughed them out of your sight!  For Pagans naturally understood that no part of creation happened without the involvement of a goddess.

But the Christian would (and sometimes still will) try to tell you that creation was never meant to be as it is today and its present state is the result of that original sin and the continued sin of humankind (which is naturally also the result of that original sin).  It even extends into the idea that carnivorous animals were not originally naturally so, but had actually been created to eat plants instead of flesh (no matter what their teeth are suited for).  It will often even extend so far as to state that when the carnivorous animals were placed on Noah’s Ark they reverted to their primordial aspect and went to consuming plants rather than other animals!  No accounting for why they reverted back to eating flesh after they were let loose upon the earth once again after the flood subsided, of course.  And I’m sure that Noah and his family had to watch out for a while after all those animals were let loose, lest they be eaten too!  Also, no accounting for the idea, expressed in ancient Rabbinical writings, that before the flood humans also did not consume meat, but only did so after the flood (why on earth, then, did god require animal sacrifice and reject plant sacrifice according to Genesis?).

Pagans, on the other hand, always understood that the feminine was important to all things and even worshipped this very earth as a feminine aspect.  After all, it was really she who had given birth to all.  They understood that the cycle of death, birth, and life had to be maintained or chaos might ensue.  Then the Christian religion came along, with its purpose of the destruction of this very aspect, and chaos did indeed ensue.  This religion disrupted the very foundational structure of all of society, the family and procreation itself (because it was believed that it was better to abstain from sexual relations with a woman so that one might enter heaven in a pure, virginal, state).  But, of course, Christians today ignore this aspect of their early history while still proposing ludicrous concepts such as the rapture, which is supposed to save them from their somehow sinful fleshly bodies in favor of some kind of pseudo-spiritualized perfect un-sinful body!

The real truth is that these people long for some kind of end of the world, some kind of apocalypse, that will free them from their fleshly bodies along with all of its supposed sinfulness so that they can claim ultimate victory over the works of femaleness.  The Pagan would never desire such a thing at all because the Pagan naturally understands that death is not a result of sin, even original sin (for they had no concept of sin, as such), but is instead a part of life and the life-cycle itself.  It is necessary to all of creation itself.  To eliminate death is to eliminate life.  And to eliminate procreation and the “works of femaleness” is to eliminate the very life-cycle itself.

They want the end of the world.  We Pagans don’t even believe in any end of the world.  Life, time, and the life-cycle continues.