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Author Topic: Finding Religion?  (Read 3727 times)

Rhaethe

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Finding Religion?
« on: May 30, 2014, 12:13:43 pm »
I will apologize in advance if any of what follows is terribly disjointed.  I have been trying to place words on thoughts and feelings for some time now, and I keep failing to do so to my satisfaction.  However, I find I am wanting some conversation on some points to help me work some things through, so I'll dive right in.

Throughout my life, I have participated in more than one religion, and many variations of the ones I have tried.  I see this as a natural part of attempting to find my own truth and way.  

I know there are folks that say "There is only one right way" as pertaining to various things, and others that say that whatever works for the individual is fine ... and then there are all the degrees in between.  I have been, throughout my life, one of the "just winging it" sorts, who was very solitary and very internal.  I find I am at a spot in my life where I want to change that, at least a bit.  Perhaps a bit more community, and a bit more regimen and ritual in my life.  It feels right when I think about it.

As I start exploring my own thoughts and feelings as I read and talk to people, I find that I am unable (thus far) to find an exact match of my own belief-set or preferences.  So I start something, and then I pull back, going "Noooo, this doesn't feel right."    

Does it ever "feel right" in entirety?

Materialist

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Re: Finding Religion?
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2014, 07:25:18 pm »
Quote from: Rhaethe;148901

As I start exploring my own thoughts and feelings as I read and talk to people, I find that I am unable (thus far) to find an exact match of my own belief-set or preferences.  So I start something, and then I pull back, going "Noooo, this doesn't feel right."    

Does it ever "feel right" in entirety?


Someone else's religion? It can happen, but I think it's very rare. Didn't happen for me. World Pantheist Movement was yes belief-wise, but nonexistent in ritual, which was provided by Senubitis (a religion I'm reconstructing) and Grhya, a branch of Hinduism.

mlr52

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Re: Finding Religion?
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2014, 07:40:54 pm »
Quote from: Rhaethe;148901
I will apologize in advance if any of what follows is terribly disjointed.  I have been trying to place words on thoughts and feelings for some time now, and I keep failing to do so to my satisfaction.  However, I find I am wanting some conversation on some points to help me work some things through, so I'll dive right in.

Throughout my life, I have participated in more than one religion, and many variations of the ones I have tried.  I see this as a natural part of attempting to find my own truth and way.  

I know there are folks that say "There is only one right way" as pertaining to various things, and others that say that whatever works for the individual is fine ... and then there are all the degrees in between.  I have been, throughout my life, one of the "just winging it" sorts, who was very solitary and very internal.  I find I am at a spot in my life where I want to change that, at least a bit.  Perhaps a bit more community, and a bit more regimen and ritual in my life.  It feels right when I think about it.

As I start exploring my own thoughts and feelings as I read and talk to people, I find that I am unable (thus far) to find an exact match of my own belief-set or preferences.  So I start something, and then I pull back, going "Noooo, this doesn't feel right."    

Does it ever "feel right" in entirety?

 
I seriously doubt that everything about anyone's else practice will feel right to another person  (if they are honest with themselves).  But this is about what is right for you.  

Start with a list of the things or parts of them that did feel right to you.  Explore if there is something that covers some of them.  

As a collective the posting and lurkers on TC are very wide ranging in practices,  readings and knowledge (including obscure and little known things).  Putting such a list on TC might bring a response.
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Jenett

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Re: Finding Religion?
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2014, 09:13:54 pm »
Quote from: Rhaethe;148901

As I start exploring my own thoughts and feelings as I read and talk to people, I find that I am unable (thus far) to find an exact match of my own belief-set or preferences.  So I start something, and then I pull back, going "Noooo, this doesn't feel right."    

Does it ever "feel right" in entirety?

 
I think it's generally impossible to find it all in a single place - and especially so if you want to bring other humans into the equation (community, group work, a shared path, practices, or beliefs with other people.)

The thing is, though, you don't *need* to find it all in a single place.

Plenty of people make the choice to go to a given place for religious or spiritual community (whether that's a church, a synagogue, a mosque, a coven, a grove, or whatever else), and then to do other things (either on their own or with a much smaller number of people where there's a high degree of similar desire/focus/whatever) to fill in whatever gaps that larger community doesn't fill.

Obviously, one needs to pick one's larger community sensibly: many private practices don't fit with particular religions or groups. But there's often - even in highly structured religions - a fair bit of range.

(My mother, who is an active and devout Catholic and a lay sister in a religious order these days, has very little patience for the "We will say the rosary together lots of times and/or do novenas to random saints" kinds of things: she still is very happy in a large parish that includes space for people who *do* want that kind of thing, as well as people like her, who would rather have a good more academic wrangle over a particular book or bit of historical perspective.)

And likewise, if one wants in-person physical community, one is limited to places you can get to regularly enough to make that happen (so if you live in a densely populated area, you may have a bunch of options, but if you live somewhere more rural or you have transportation or mobility limitations, you may have to make a lot more compromises about how closely a group fits your precise preferences if in-person community is important to you.)

But it's also about building one's own personal practice to include the things you particularly want or value, but that aren't easy to find compatible people for in larger practice. (The way I use music in my personal practice is - well, complicated, and there are a lot of people I know who have one piece or another, but no one who does it quite like I do. But that's okay, that's what a personal practice is for.)
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Rhaethe

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Re: Finding Religion?
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2014, 11:58:33 pm »
Quote from: mlr52;149020

As a collective the posting and lurkers on TC are very wide ranging in practices,  readings and knowledge (including obscure and little known things).  Putting such a list on TC might bring a response.


I believe that there are many gods.  And that each are individual, though there are overlapping aspects.  And even if I tend to honor one more than any other, all the gods and goddesses should be acknowledged and respected.

 
Quote from: Jenett;149026

The thing is, though, you don't *need* to find it all in a single place.

Plenty of people make the choice to go to a given place for religious or spiritual community (whether that's a church, a synagogue, a mosque, a coven, a grove, or whatever else), and then to do other things (either on their own or with a much smaller number of people where there's a high degree of similar desire/focus/whatever) to fill in whatever gaps that larger community doesn't fill.

 
This makes sense to me.  And a part of me has always thought this way ... but another part of my brain doubts and second guesses.  But I am starting to believe that is a normal thing.

Materialist

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Re: Finding Religion?
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2014, 12:07:24 pm »
Quote from: Rhaethe;149048
I believe that there are many gods.  And that each are individual, though there are overlapping aspects.


Neo-pagan religions, in general, are not orthodox, so any theology can be plugged into their ritual structure.

HeartShadow

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Re: Finding Religion?
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2014, 12:39:29 pm »
Quote from: Materialist;149088
Neo-pagan religions, in general, are not orthodox, so any theology can be plugged into their ritual structure.

 
that's .. about totally wrong?

There's a wide RANGE of things that can fit with a particular ritual structure, but .... it ain't plug-and-play theology.

Sage

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Re: Finding Religion?
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2014, 12:41:26 pm »
Quote from: HeartShadow;149090
that's .. about totally wrong?

There's a wide RANGE of things that can fit with a particular ritual structure, but .... it ain't plug-and-play theology.

 
An example of how wrong that is: ADF (a neopagan religion) specifically states that a ritual invoking non-Indo European deities does not count as an ADF ritual and is against its explicit theology.
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mlr52

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Re: Finding Religion?
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2014, 06:23:39 pm »
Quote from: Rhaethe;149048
I believe that there are many gods.  And that each are individual, though there are overlapping aspects.  And even if I tend to honor one more than any other, all the gods and goddesses should be acknowledged and respected.


Do you mean one person honoring all the Gods?  If so:
When will they sleep?
How will they have time acquire what is needed, by them and the Gods?
What about the Gods that want them to just honor them and no other Gods?
Or those Gods that do not get along?
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Sage

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Re: Finding Religion?
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2014, 06:33:11 pm »
Quote from: mlr52;149135
Do you mean one person honoring all the Gods?  If so:
When will they sleep?
How will they have time acquire what is needed, by them and the Gods?
What about the Gods that want them to just honor them and no other Gods?
Or those Gods that do not get along?

 
One person "acknowledging and respecting" all the gods could be as simple as believing in a polytheistic universe and not actively being rude to the deities one does interact with.
Maker, though the darkness comes upon me,
I shall embrace the light. I shall weather the storm.
I shall endure.
What you have created, no one can tear asunder.

-Canticle of Trials 1:10

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Friday Otherfaith Blogging: last updated 2/27
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Rhaethe

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Re: Finding Religion?
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2014, 06:36:53 pm »
Quote from: mlr52;149135
Do you mean one person honoring all the Gods?  If so:
When will they sleep?
How will they have time acquire what is needed, by them and the Gods?
What about the Gods that want them to just honor them and no other Gods?
Or those Gods that do not get along?



Oh my.  No.  I do not express myself well, I think.    

I believe that there are many gods and goddesses.
I believe that each deity is individual, though at the same time there are overlapping aspects.
I believe that while I tend to honor one or several more than others during periods of my life, I believe that I should at least acknowledge and respect the rest.  

And by acknowledge and respect I do not mean "must take the time to do rituals for".  I mean an internal acknowledgement of existence and respect for the power they have.  And this does not mean I believe I should *like* all of them, either, necessarily.


Quote from: Sage;149138
One person "acknowledging and respecting" all the gods could be as simple as believing in a polytheistic universe and not actively being rude to the deities one does interact with.


Yes, this, exactly :)


I am not sure what I fit into with the above, but there you go.

Materialist

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Re: Finding Religion?
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2014, 11:25:48 am »
Quote from: HeartShadow;149090

There's a wide RANGE of things that can fit with a particular ritual structure, but .... it ain't plug-and-play theology.

 
You, and Sage, have confused orthopraxy with orthodoxy, and misunderstood the term "theology." Neo-pagan religions, in general, do not require converts to believe in a particular theology, hence Rhaethe's polytheistic theology will most likely not lead to a specific religion because several allow  such a belief.

HeartShadow

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Re: Finding Religion?
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2014, 11:41:52 am »
Quote from: Materialist;149282
You, and Sage, have confused orthopraxy with orthodoxy, and misunderstood the term "theology." Neo-pagan religions, in general, do not require converts to believe in a particular theology, hence Rhaethe's polytheistic theology will most likely not lead to a specific religion because several allow  such a belief.

 
Well, gosh, good to know my discussions with people who actually do this stuff for a living, not to mention all my own work, is all WRONG.

Sorry, doesn't work that way just because you say it does.  The rituals have meanings, those meanings have reasons, you have theology.  But thanks for playing!

stephyjh

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Re: Finding Religion?
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2014, 11:45:07 am »
Quote from: Materialist;149282
You, and Sage, have confused orthopraxy with orthodoxy, and misunderstood the term "theology." Neo-pagan religions, in general, do not require converts to believe in a particular theology, hence Rhaethe's polytheistic theology will most likely not lead to a specific religion because several allow  such a belief.

 
You do know that there's no such thing as what "neo-pagan religions, in general," do, yes? And also that there's a such thing as narrowing down one's choices gradually? Perhaps even that hard vs soft polytheism does, in fact, make a difference in choosing a religious path? Geez, if you're going to be condescending, you could at least make sense.
A heretic blast has been blown in the west,
That what is no sense must be nonsense.

-Robert Burns

Sage

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Re: Finding Religion?
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2014, 11:46:06 am »
Quote from: Materialist;149282
You, and Sage, have confused orthopraxy with orthodoxy, and misunderstood the term "theology." Neo-pagan religions, in general, do not require converts to believe in a particular theology, hence Rhaethe's polytheistic theology will most likely not lead to a specific religion because several allow  such a belief.

 
Buddy, I am pretty sure I know the difference between orthopraxy and orthodoxy. I also majored in religious studies as an undergrad so I'm pretty sure I know what the term "theology" means as well. Just because you disagree with what I'm saying doesn't mean it's because we (Shad and I) don't know what we're talking about.
Maker, though the darkness comes upon me,
I shall embrace the light. I shall weather the storm.
I shall endure.
What you have created, no one can tear asunder.

-Canticle of Trials 1:10

Sage and Starshine (my spiritual blog): last updated 2/25.
Friday Otherfaith Blogging: last updated 2/27
Join the Emboatening Crew over on Kiva! Emboatening the boatless since Opet 2013.

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