collapse

Important Announcement

Changing the Guard at The Cauldron

Sunflower is the new Host of The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum
Please read this thread for more information.

* "Unable to verify referring url. Please go back and try again" Problem Logging In?

If you get an "Unable to verify referring url. Please go back and try again" error when you try to log in, you need to be sure you are accessing the board with a url that starts with "https://ecauldron.com".  If it starts with https://www.ecauldron.com" (or "http://www.ecauldron.com") you will get this error because "www.ecauldron.com" is not technically the same website as "ecauldron.com". Moving to the more secure "https" means it is more picky about such things.

Author Topic: Reincarnation and Heathenry  (Read 2252 times)

Ghost235

  • Sr. Apprentice
  • ****
  • Join Date: Oct 2014
  • Posts: 98
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Reincarnation and Heathenry
« on: October 28, 2015, 10:52:22 am »
Hey everyone,

I was cruising the internet and came across a class of Heathenry that I hadn't seen before.  Long story short, instead of being deity-centric, they were very much ancestor-centric.

This somewhat put me off from the very first time I heard about it and I couldn't figure out why.  At first I thought it was because I have some pretty crappy ancestors but after some thought I realized that wasn't it.

It is because, as a Buddhist, I get the concept of rebirth drilled into me to the point where it is almost a default assumption and, on the surface, reincarnation doesn't really square well with ancestor worship.

This brings me to my question.

Do ancestor-centric Heathens believe in reincarnation?  If so, how do they square reincarnation with the idea that they expect their ancestors to pick up the metaphorical phone when they call?

Jainarayan

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Oct 2014
  • Location: New Jersey
  • Posts: 589
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 157
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Hinduism
  • Preferred Pronouns: he/him/his
Re: Reincarnation and Heathenry
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2015, 11:29:54 am »
Quote from: Ghost235;181608
Hey everyone,

I was cruising the internet and came across a class of Heathenry that I hadn't seen before.  Long story short, instead of being deity-centric, they were very much ancestor-centric.


That is a very common bone of contention among Heathens on the interwebz. Having been Hindu, with the idea of ishta-devata, personal deity, and reincarnation (how do you worship an ancestor who may be reincarnated as your granddaughter?) it took me aback too when I first encountered it.

Quote
Do ancestor-centric Heathens believe in reincarnation?  If so, how do they square reincarnation with the idea that they expect their ancestors to pick up the metaphorical phone when they call?

 
I haven't yet seen the two beliefs clearly linked, but there are many things still being fleshed out in reconstructing and reviving Heathenry, anything is possible.

I don't think that reincarnation is a firm belief, I think it's accepted as being possible. I can sort of square it by saying that there may be people who are no one's ancestor, and choose to reincarnate. For example, I have no children. I am an ancestor to no one, if ancestor is defined as direct blood line: great-grandparents, grandparents, parents. I might reincarnate and in my next life become a father, being born somewhere down my family line, e.g. as my sister's great-grandson. Trippy, huh? :p
śivāya vishnu rūpaya śivaḥ rūpaya vishnave
śivasya hridayam viṣṇur viṣṇoscha hridayam śivaḥ
Vishnu's appearance is Shiva; Shiva's appearance is Vishnu
Vishnu is the heart of Shiva; Shiva is the heart of Vishnu - Skandopanishad
 

Juniperberry

  • Grand Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Banned!
  • Posts: 1891
  • Total likes: 3
    • View Profile
Re: Reincarnation and Heathenry
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2015, 11:59:47 am »
Quote from: Ghost235;181608
Hey everyone,

I was cruising the internet and came across a class of Heathenry that I hadn't seen before.  Long story short, instead of being deity-centric, they were very much ancestor-centric.

This somewhat put me off from the very first time I heard about it and I couldn't figure out why.  At first I thought it was because I have some pretty crappy ancestors but after some thought I realized that wasn't it.

It is because, as a Buddhist, I get the concept of rebirth drilled into me to the point where it is almost a default assumption and, on the surface, reincarnation doesn't really square well with ancestor worship.

This brings me to my question.

Do ancestor-centric Heathens believe in reincarnation?  If so, how do they square reincarnation with the idea that they expect their ancestors to pick up the metaphorical phone when they call?

 
There are only a few instances of reincarnation in heathen literature, and it's not really a concept that works well within the belief system.

I've been exploring Buddhism lately and comparing the two paths. Buddhist rebirth is informed by Karma rather than the idea of a permanent soul. Karma and wyrd are pretty similar (action and reaction).  In Heathenry, like Buddhism, also doesn't have a belief in a cosmic permanent soul. A heathen isn't born with  wyrd (karma) or soul. It's at the naming ceremony that the infant becomes a person and inherits the wyrd of his family.

Despite Buddhism claiming that there is no self and no real individuality, the philosophy is very individualistic when compared to heathenry. Karma and rebirth is a purely individual experience. The Buddhist "person" exists in infinite Karmic lifetimes working towards enlightenment that only they can provide "self". In heathenry,  the dead  essentially become One with wyrd. There's no point to reincarnation in heathenry.  This is why ancestor veneration is a large part of the belief system, and why the gods often appeal to the omniscient dead.
The pace of progress in artificial intelligence (I’m not referring to narrow AI) is incredibly fast. [...] The risk of something seriously dangerous happening is in the five year timeframe. 10 years at most.--Elon Musk

I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence," [Bill] Gates wrote. "First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don\'t understand why some people are not concerned."

Ghost235

  • Sr. Apprentice
  • ****
  • Join Date: Oct 2014
  • Posts: 98
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Reincarnation and Heathenry
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2015, 02:28:23 pm »
Quote from: Juniperberry;181616
There are only a few instances of reincarnation in heathen literature, and it's not really a concept that works well within the belief system.

I've been exploring Buddhism lately and comparing the two paths. Buddhist rebirth is informed by Karma rather than the idea of a permanent soul. Karma and wyrd are pretty similar (action and reaction).  In Heathenry, like Buddhism, also doesn't have a belief in a cosmic permanent soul. A heathen isn't born with  wyrd (karma) or soul. It's at the naming ceremony that the infant becomes a person and inherits the wyrd of his family.

Despite Buddhism claiming that there is no self and no real individuality, the philosophy is very individualistic when compared to heathenry. Karma and rebirth is a purely individual experience. The Buddhist "person" exists in infinite Karmic lifetimes working towards enlightenment that only they can provide "self". In heathenry,  the dead  essentially become One with wyrd. There's no point to reincarnation in heathenry.  This is why ancestor veneration is a large part of the belief system, and why the gods often appeal to the omniscient dead.


Hmm.

The representation of Buddhism here is almost right but not quite.  If it was a dartboard, you hit around two rings from bullseye. Not bad at all, actually.

The thing to remember with Buddhism is that what it is positing in regards to the self and the soul is actually very specific.  

The self lacks inherent existence.  

What this means is not that there is no self at all, but that the self we perceive is actually a conceptual misunderstanding.  

We look at our minds and see a singular thing, a "mind" or "self" when really when you look at it you see thoughts, emotions, memories, and so forth which come and go over time that look like a single solid object, like film or animation.  Less like a solid marble that rests inside a person and after they die that just pops out and has something happen to it as much as a thread that began somewhere in primordial time and goes from entity to entity until one gains complete Enlightenment*.  Karma is what keeps this mindstream** going.

Now, from what I've seen thus far in regards to Heathenry I would agree that it is vastly more communal than Buddhism as we understand it in the west.

* I would advise against looking too closely at what happens after complete Enlightenment.  That is some varsity level stuff right there.

**Mindstream is a much more accurate term than "self" or "soul" and has a pretty good pedigree in Buddhist dialog.

Juniperberry

  • Grand Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Banned!
  • Posts: 1891
  • Total likes: 3
    • View Profile
Re: Reincarnation and Heathenry
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2015, 03:16:13 pm »
Quote from: Ghost235;181620
Hmm.

The representation of Buddhism here is almost right but not quite.  If it was a dartboard, you hit around two rings from bullseye. Not bad at all, actually.

Yeah, I've only been reading about it the last five days or so. Observed Uposatha yesterday, and practiced mediation once. Which, was actually surprisingly insightful. I'm trying to keep an open mind but the Four Noble Truths, and the philosophy constructed around that, really put *me* off. I guess we're sort of two sides to one coin right now. :)

 

Quote
Now, from what I've seen thus far in regards to Heathenry I would agree that it is vastly more communal than Buddhism as we understand it in the west.

That was a really helpful and concise explanation of mindstream. Thank you.

I'm having very little difficulty with Karma because of wyrd. What I am having difficulty with is detachment, because it goes against the tribal nature of heathenry so much.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2015, 03:17:02 pm by Juniperberry »
The pace of progress in artificial intelligence (I’m not referring to narrow AI) is incredibly fast. [...] The risk of something seriously dangerous happening is in the five year timeframe. 10 years at most.--Elon Musk

I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence," [Bill] Gates wrote. "First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don\'t understand why some people are not concerned."

bobthesane

  • Senior Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 341
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
    • http://www.ravenradio.info/
Re: Reincarnation and Heathenry
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2015, 06:45:31 pm »
Quote from: Ghost235;181608
Hey everyone,

I was cruising the internet and came across a class of Heathenry that I hadn't seen before.  Long story short, instead of being deity-centric, they were very much ancestor-centric.

This somewhat put me off from the very first time I heard about it and I couldn't figure out why.  At first I thought it was because I have some pretty crappy ancestors but after some thought I realized that wasn't it.

It is because, as a Buddhist, I get the concept of rebirth drilled into me to the point where it is almost a default assumption and, on the surface, reincarnation doesn't really square well with ancestor worship.

This brings me to my question.

Do ancestor-centric Heathens believe in reincarnation?  If so, how do they square reincarnation with the idea that they expect their ancestors to pick up the metaphorical phone when they call?

Seriously you've never run across the ancestor-centralism? Most of the hard-core reconstructionists are very, very much in this category (myself included), because it is how our ancestors viewed things. Gods were to be approached on high holy-days, to maintain the gift cycle with the divine. Every day offerings and prayers were for ancestors and local wights, the entities with whom you interact on daily basis.

Basically, the divine powers = Way way up above us, so far up that they tend not to even notice us as individuals. Belief in 'buddy gods' is a very Christian thing to do, and is very much a holdover from that faith.

On to your actual question: as was stated in another reply, this is a somewhat contentious topic. Most heathens will scoff at the notion, and as was said what we conceive of as 'reincarnation' does not really fit into the framework of the religion and worldview. That being said, my personal opinion is that at least part of a person *may* be reborn into the family line. But that is very much my own UPG, and I couldn't back it up, not really.

All I can say is, the concept of rebirth was familiar enough to our ancestors that mention of it makes it into a couple of sagas. That to me means that they must have had SOME notion that it was possible.

Juniperberry

  • Grand Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Banned!
  • Posts: 1891
  • Total likes: 3
    • View Profile
Re: Reincarnation and Heathenry
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2015, 07:24:49 pm »
Quote from: bobthesane;181626
Seriously you've never run across the ancestor-centralism? Most of the hard-core reconstructionists are very, very much in this category (myself included), because it is how our ancestors viewed things. Gods were to be approached on high holy-days, to maintain the gift cycle with the divine. Every day offerings and prayers were for ancestors and local wights, the entities with whom you interact on daily basis.

Basically, the divine powers = Way way up above us, so far up that they tend not to even notice us as individuals. Belief in 'buddy gods' is a very Christian thing to do, and is very much a holdover from that faith.

On to your actual question: as was stated in another reply, this is a somewhat contentious topic. Most heathens will scoff at the notion, and as was said what we conceive of as 'reincarnation' does not really fit into the framework of the religion and worldview. That being said, my personal opinion is that at least part of a person *may* be reborn into the family line. But that is very much my own UPG, and I couldn't back it up, not really.

All I can say is, the concept of rebirth was familiar enough to our ancestors that mention of it makes it into a couple of sagas. That to me means that they must have had SOME notion that it was possible.


I think there's some instances where a child is born with the markings or personality of a deceased relative? I'm not sure if it was strictly a reincarnation view, or a passing of luck?

I also feel like reincarnation is a possibility, like Bob it would be within my family. I also feel like it would still be me of this life and every other prior life, unlike Buddhism.
The pace of progress in artificial intelligence (I’m not referring to narrow AI) is incredibly fast. [...] The risk of something seriously dangerous happening is in the five year timeframe. 10 years at most.--Elon Musk

I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence," [Bill] Gates wrote. "First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don\'t understand why some people are not concerned."

Megatherium

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Join Date: Aug 2012
  • *
  • Posts: 303
  • Country: ca
  • Total likes: 67
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Heathen(ish)
  • Preferred Pronouns: he/him/his
Re: Reincarnation and Heathenry
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2015, 10:24:53 pm »
Quote from: Ghost235;181608
Hey everyone,

I was cruising the internet and came across a class of Heathenry that I hadn't seen before.  Long story short, instead of being deity-centric, they were very much ancestor-centric.

This somewhat put me off from the very first time I heard about it and I couldn't figure out why.  At first I thought it was because I have some pretty crappy ancestors but after some thought I realized that wasn't it.

It is because, as a Buddhist, I get the concept of rebirth drilled into me to the point where it is almost a default assumption and, on the surface, reincarnation doesn't really square well with ancestor worship.

This brings me to my question.

Do ancestor-centric Heathens believe in reincarnation?  If so, how do they square reincarnation with the idea that they expect their ancestors to pick up the metaphorical phone when they call?

 
Most Heathens I am aware of reject the concept of reincarnation because it appears that ancestors continue to play a part in the life of the community after death.

That being said, I've just finished reading "Culture of the Teutons", which is considered by many Heathens to be a useful, if imperfect, introduction to the underlying worldview of historical Heathen cultures. I found the book makes an interesting argument regarding Heathen views of the afterlife which may be related to, but not exactly the same as, views of reincarnation as they occur in Hinduism and Buddhism.

At this point I want to stress that everything that follows is subject to the problems of a) my own flawed understanding of the author's arguments, and b) the flaws within the book itself. So take a massive heaping pile of salt with everything I am about to say.

To me, it appears that the author argues that there is something like reincarnation, but it is not the individual that is reincarnated. Rather the luck/soul/spirit (all very flawed attempts to translate the concept of "hamingja" into english) of the clan/tribe/family is continually expressed when new members are accepted into the group. (I say "accepted" rather than "born" because it appears there were some steps after birth that were necessary for an individual to be fully accepted as a member of the group).

As an example, a leader of a clan/family/tribe is not so much a reincarnation of past leaders as they are the current expression of the underlying capacity of the clan/family/tribe's hamingja to fulfill that role.

Or to put it another way, when a person dies, it is not that their individual soul returns in a new body. Instead, the animating force/soul/spirit/luck/hamingja which was expressed in them will now be expressed in new individuals.

In a worldview in which the group was more important then the individual, I believe that this does, in a sense, represent some form of continuation or immortality.
My views are one that speaks to freedom.
-George W. Bush

Ghost235

  • Sr. Apprentice
  • ****
  • Join Date: Oct 2014
  • Posts: 98
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Reincarnation and Heathenry
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2015, 08:13:22 am »
To everyone else,

Interesting stuff, I'll try to respond to all of you later.  

Quote from: Juniperberry;181621
Yeah, I've only been reading about it the last five days or so. Observed Uposatha yesterday, and practiced mediation once. Which, was actually surprisingly insightful. I'm trying to keep an open mind but the Four Noble Truths, and the philosophy constructed around that, really put *me* off. I guess we're sort of two sides to one coin right now. :)  


Ok, a few things.

In regards to meditation.  Quick tip.  If you haven't been told already, the purpose of meditation is NOT to stop thinking right off of the bat.  Thoughts will fade away naturally over time but only if you don't force it.  As a beginning meditator you want to just simply observe your thoughts without attachment or aversion. Also, short sessions more frequently.  Think 5 minutes 6 times a day as opposed to one half hour session.

In regards to the Four Noble Truths, they can be pretty tough, especially if you aren't on board for rebirth.  Remember that Buddhism was designed to solve a very specific problem that is a negative side effect of early Hinduism.  In the Buddha's day the main(but by no means universal) belief was that when you were born you were born in a hierarchy.  If you conduced yourself appropriately for where you were in the hierarchy when you died you would take rebirth in the next step up in the hierarchy.  After you climbed enough you would make it to the top of the ladder where you would get Enlightened.  This, of course, was awesome for the ruling class but awful for everyone else.

The Buddha's innovation, as expressed in the Four Noble Truths, is that through getting your life right and meditating correctly you could skip all of the other rebirths and just get Enlightenment in this life(oddly enough, this idea was revived by the Tibetans many years later in their own adaptation of Buddhism).

Now, with that said, what is the challenge you have, exactly?


 

Quote from: Juniperberry;181621


That was a really helpful and concise explanation of mindstream. Thank you.

I'm having very little difficulty with Karma because of wyrd. What I am having difficulty with is detachment, because it goes against the tribal nature of heathenry so much.


No problem.

That makes sense.  Going back to earlier in this post, Buddhism(as I understand it) was designed to solve a very particular problem(the problem of ending suffering in one lifetime)while Heathenry(as I understand it) wasn't designed as much as evolved over time.  I do think that Buddhism and Heathenry can work together but only if you approach it from the Buddhist side, which means looking at the Gods and the Ancestors very, VERY differently than most Heathens would.

Ghost235

  • Sr. Apprentice
  • ****
  • Join Date: Oct 2014
  • Posts: 98
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Reincarnation and Heathenry
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2015, 08:29:42 am »
Quote from: bobthesane;181626
Seriously you've never run across the ancestor-centralism? Most of the hard-core reconstructionists are very, very much in this category (myself included), because it is how our ancestors viewed things. Gods were to be approached on high holy-days, to maintain the gift cycle with the divine. Every day offerings and prayers were for ancestors and local wights, the entities with whom you interact on daily basis.



Not until about a month or three ago, no(this account is just over a year old and I was very slow to get anywhere near Asatru).  However, one thing that I should point out as far as background.  I was Asatru for about a year or two back in the late 90's-early 2000s in the deep South.  At that time ancestor-centric Asatru wasn't really a thing(or if it was a thing, I was never told about it).  After some things went down I moved on and in the early 2000s became 100% Buddhist(the closest I came to eclectic was two different schools of Buddhism)until really quite recently.

Quote from: bobthesane;181626


All I can say is, the concept of rebirth was familiar enough to our ancestors that mention of it makes it into a couple of sagas. That to me means that they must have had SOME notion that it was possible.  


Oh, most definitely.  I would even go so far as to say that at least some of the ancestors knew about Buddhism considering how much trade they were involved in, ,that we actually have Buddhist grave goods in Helgo, Sweden, and that Buddhists have a very long tradition of spreading Buddhist practice.

Darkhawk

  • Senior Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 4832
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 721
    • View Profile
    • Suns in her Branches
  • Religion: An American Werewolf in the Akhet; Kemetic; Feri; Imaginary Baltic Heathen; Discordian; CoX; Etc.
  • Preferred Pronouns: any of he, she, they
Re: Reincarnation and Heathenry
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2015, 10:40:41 am »
Quote from: Ghost235;181643
Remember that Buddhism was designed to solve a very specific problem that is a negative side effect of early Hinduism.

 
This is the sort of thing that I wish more people would think about, so I'm really glad to see you mentioning it, Ghost - one of the things about religions emerging from cultures is that they are responsive to and part of those cultures.  Which means that they will be reacting to the perceived flaws and negative side effects of their place-of-origin.

Some of those solutions, when applied to people with cultures with different flaws and negative side effects, get very, very messy.  All of them need to be thought about.
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

Juniperberry

  • Grand Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Banned!
  • Posts: 1891
  • Total likes: 3
    • View Profile
Re: Reincarnation and Heathenry
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2015, 02:03:22 pm »
Quote from: Ghost235;181643
To everyone else,

In regards to meditation.  Quick tip.  If you haven't been told already, the purpose of meditation is NOT to stop thinking right off of the bat.  Thoughts will fade away naturally over time but only if you don't force it.  As a beginning meditator you want to just simply observe your thoughts without attachment or aversion. Also, short sessions more frequently.  Think 5 minutes 6 times a day as opposed to one half hour session.

Yeah, that's how I apporached it. During the meditation I let my thoughts rise and fall, observed them, and realized that every thought was rooted in anxiety. Identifying the fear, but not identifying with the fear, was a huge insight. I recognized that in almost every situation my first reaction was from that place of anxiety, and I've since been incredibly mindful of that. The turnaround in my peace of mind and my interactions with others is pretty amazing, even just in a few short days.

It's for that reason that I'm still exploring Buddhism, even though I'm not entirely comfortable with all of the ideas. According to the Buddhists I've been talking to, my worldview is more compatible with the Mahayana Buddhism, and I'm leaning towards Zen Buddhism particularly.  And I definitely think mindful meditation would be a powerful tool in heathen worship and ritual.


Quote
In regards to the Four Noble Truths, they can be pretty tough, especially if you aren't on board for rebirth.

It's not really the concept of rebirth that I have a problem with, Buddhist or otherwise. My first impression of Buddhism was that it was extremely world-rejecting and had a cynical and defeated worldview:

The first Noble Truth, "Life is suffering", as well as this...

"Where birth takes place, quite naturally are fear,
 old age and misery, disease, desire and death,
 As well a mass of other ills. When birth’s no longer brought about.
 All the links are ever stopped."


...Just went against my personal experience of being most at peace, most content, and most connected to the Universe when I experience gratitude for life.

But while I still find Buddhism too world-rejecting for my taste, I do see how "Life is suffering" makes sense in the context of the emptiness (Sunyata). Unawakened, we experience the duality of happiness and suffering, of life and death. Life is not all suffering, but life is suffering because of that current reality. In Sunyata,  
there is the enlightened state of being at once dead and alive, suffering and happy. This isn't "One with Everything", but it is transcendence.

However, while I can accept this, I still feel that in Buddhism (the people, perhaps, and not the concept), there is a lack of joy and appreciation for the journey of man, even if it is a journey through suffering. I find the human experience to be beautifully poignant and noble in and of itself, while many renounce it and strive to escape it.

Quote
The Buddha's innovation, as expressed in the Four Noble Truths, is that through getting your life right and meditating correctly you could skip all of the other rebirths and just get Enlightenment in this life(oddly enough, this idea was revived by the Tibetans many years later in their own adaptation of Buddhism).

Now, with that said, what is the challenge you have, exactly?

My second issue is detachment, like I mentioned in an earlier post, and this also covers my issue with Buddhist rebirth.

As I also mentioned earlier, I observed Uposatha on Tuesday, and in that time of contemplation I tried to embrace detachment.  I "accepted" that this life, and all it's failures and accomplishments, was simply a moment in time, one in a million of other moments. The stress of getting everything right, of having limited time, of feeling the weight of my problems, was somewhat relieved. There was the peace of being the stream, rather than the stone.

And I "embraced" detachment from my loved ones. I accepted my children as reborn in this moment with me, but not as "mine", and not as "forever", but just here in the now.  I experienced my family as impermanent, as all things are. I understood what Buddhists meant when they say that this mindfulness creates more love and compassion, because by letting them go I loved them even more. I appreciated the moment with them even more.

I recognized that when Enlightenment is reached, then after infinite lifetimes they will both be there and not be there, and as this is the only permanent thing, this ultimate reality, we hope to Awaken.

BUT

That detachment and the idea of non-familial rebirth absolutely goes against my lived experience, and it goes against my sense of "soul" or "spirit" or "me-ness". Whatever it is that you want to call it.

In heathenry, the Jotuns are sometimes called the demon death eaters. They are the Nothingness without self, wyrd, ancestors and gods. In the same sense, I almost view Buddhism as the demon death eater; an insidious, whispered nihilism that tells you to not hold anything too close, seducing you with non-life and the embrace of the void. I don't claim that as an accurate view of Buddhism, but that's just how much the core of it goes against my sense of whats right and true.

I haven't had enough time to reflect on the impact that exploring Buddhism (in the incredibly short time it's been, anyway) has had on my heathenry. And I'm not done exploring Buddhism, either. I think the two worldviews are so different, but yet so strikingly similar, that a really beautiful, balanced blending of the two could be achieved.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2015, 02:05:54 pm by Juniperberry »
The pace of progress in artificial intelligence (I’m not referring to narrow AI) is incredibly fast. [...] The risk of something seriously dangerous happening is in the five year timeframe. 10 years at most.--Elon Musk

I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence," [Bill] Gates wrote. "First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don\'t understand why some people are not concerned."

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
20 Replies
2414 Views
Last post August 20, 2012, 02:09:40 pm
by NibbleKat
7 Replies
2876 Views
Last post October 15, 2012, 08:22:51 am
by Lykaios
9 Replies
2966 Views
Last post July 17, 2015, 07:06:03 pm
by RecycledBenedict
59 Replies
4195 Views
Last post May 23, 2018, 01:27:41 pm
by Riothamus12
16 Replies
1131 Views
Last post November 01, 2018, 12:21:16 pm
by Zlote Jablko

Special Interest Group

Warning: You are currently in a Special Interest Group on the message board with special rules and focused discussions.

* Who's Online

  • Dot Guests: 27
  • Dot Hidden: 0
  • Dot Users: 1
  • Dot Users Online:

* Please Donate!

The Cauldron's server is expensive and requires monthly payments. Please become a Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor if you can. Donations are needed every month. Without member support, we can't afford the server.

* In Memoriam

Chavi (2006)
Elspeth (2010)
Marilyn (2013)

* Cauldron Staff

Host:
Sunflower

Message Board Staff
Board Coordinator:
Darkhawk

Assistant Board Coordinator:
Aster Breo

Senior Staff:
Aisling, Jenett, Sefiru

Staff:
Allaya, Chatelaine, EclecticWheel, HarpingHawke, Kylara, PerditaPickle, rocquelaire

Discord Chat Staff
Chat Coordinator:
Morag

Cauldron Council:
Bob, Catja, Emma-Eldritch, Fausta, Jubes, Kelly, LyricFox, Phouka, Sperran, Star, Steve, Tana

Site Administrator:
Randall