Sunday, June 3, 2007

Answering your question from the post on May 25.

OP: The New Mary Magdalen -- I'm writing this as a post rather than a comment because I want to use the auto-save feature while I'm drinking my coffee this morning.

I would never send Belle to VBA and one of the main reasons is -- I wouldn't want to hear the CRAP that she would come home singing. And I would have to tell her, just like I always do, that's what SOME people believe. I tell her that she's perfectly free to believe it also, but she needs to know the basis for it first. It's all history. Some of the kindest, gentlest books to get started with are books on Buddhism for children. We especially like I Once Was a Monkey: Stories Buddha Told. Another one that relates back to the story of creation is Big Mama Makes the World. I wish I could remember the first book we read about Buddhism ... it was actually about Prince Siddhartha and we got it from the library. Anabelle LOVED it. One of my own personal favorites is Circle Round: Raising Children in Goddess Traditions. As an aside, another one we really like is All I See is Part of Me. And you already HAVE Goddesses: a World of Myth and Magic. As far as I'm concerned, it's ALL myth and magic. But there are elements of each that begin to form words to live by.

It was Voltaire who said "If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him." Humans need something larger to believe in. Before Christianity came along, people looked at what they could see -- the cycle of seasons, childbirth, the moon, ocean tides, etc. And as with every religion, it's important to look at the historical context. During the dawn of Christianity, civilization was literally crumbling. It was the end of the world as they knew it. People needed a reason to live, to stay hopeful, to do their duties. So they came up with the idea that if you work hard and struggle through this life, you will be rewarded in death. Bless their souls, they needed that. But then they thought EVERYONE needed that. And they decided to KILL the people who didn't believe as they did. Some of the most interesting (and heartbreaking) tales are that of the Inquisition. Here's something that's interesting to me -- almost every single aspect of Christianity can find its beginnings in paganism. The Trinity - Father, Son, Holy Ghost - Maiden, Goddess, Crone. Christmas actually comes from the Winter Solstice. Easter from Ostara. The Christians knew that they couldn't convince the people over to their way of life if there weren't some fabulous parties to go along with it (the people were already celebrating their pagan customs), so they took the holidays that were already in place and gave them a new meaning. History. I could go on and on, but there are books about it that present it well.

Here's where I draw the line around here -- no dogma. Histories, philosophies, theories -- but there is no One Answer. Our spiritual nature is what it is. It's the same for every living thing and it's not something we are meant to know in a lifetime on earth. People can believe what they want to believe, but that doesn't make it so. I used to envy people the comfort that they seemed to draw from their religion, but then I realized what they were clinging to -- RULES. If it's actually a RELIGION, then that's what it is -- a set of RULES. It would be nice to know that if I'm good (by following 10 simple commandments and "accepting Jesus as my lord and saviour") I will go to Heaven to be reunited with my loved ones and finally with You-Know-Who. But that's just a myth in only ONE of the holy books.

By the way, the pagans call the afterlife, or the place we go after we cross the river of death, Summerland. I like that. Summerland. Sometimes we need to use certain words to explain our experiences, our beliefs, but they are only words. I wish I could remember the exact quote ... I used to have a little quote that I had cut out of something and put in my scrapbook when I was a teenager. It was some abbey, monk or holy person that said it and it went something LIKE this, "If God is truly all powerful and forgiving, then his subjects need not fear that freedom of thought will prove disastrous." I wish I could find that exact quote again.

1 comment:

Heather said...

Jesus, you're deep. Too deep for my feebal mind. Fuck. I didn't even spell that right and I'm too feeeeeebal to give a shit. Just sound it out.