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Author Topic: General/Non-Specific: I can't make up my mind! Please help me!  (Read 2786 times)

Kaio

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I can't make up my mind! Please help me!
« on: October 29, 2018, 11:33:13 pm »
 I didn't know where to post this thread, so I posted it here.

I like reading scholarly papers and studying languages by myself. I really do. That’s why I’ve been downloading – and reading – texts regarding religion and languages for several years now. And I have hundreds of files on these subjects.

It, however, isn’t religion. It certainly is not enough. And after years it can be exhausting and frustrating not coming to any conclusion. It’s somewhat like working hard and not getting paid.

 It's been years, more than ten, since I viewed myself as a member of a definite religion.

 There are people who are OK with their having more than one religion, but I think I could't do it. (I think worshiping Deities associated with more than one religion is different from having more than one religion.)

 I've been considering a wide range of religions, mostly recon, and even though I still didn't make up my mind about it (and that's the reason why I started this thread), I found out it seems that there are some requirements I would like to find in a religion. I don't know if I can remember and/or phrase all of them now, but some of them are:

1. Worship of more than one Deity first and foremost associated with non-Christian, non-Islamic and non-Deuteronomistic Jewish religious practices. I mean, I think my place religion-wise lies near or, maybe most possibly, within the limits of Paganism, although I’ve considered Theistic Satanism;

2. worship of more than one Deity associated with different religions. This possibly rules out some forms of Theistic Satanism and Heathenry; it’s not clear whether heathen North Germanic people ever worshiped any Deity, for example, seen as foreign. Phoenician, Greek, Roman and Gaulish religions, for instance, meet this requirement, as do some forms of Wicca;

3. extant historical description(s) of practice(s), prayer(s) and/or ritual(s). I think this is not so common regarding religions primarily practiced far from the Mediterranean; I’m not sure, but maybe it also rules out Theistic Satanism;

4. extant historical accounts of or evidence for practice at home. Perhaps it rules out all African-Brazilian religions; people can practice alone sometimes but it’s seen as possible usually just once one is initiated and relatively experienced in group practice. Within Paganism, to my knowledge, this rules out Wathanism and the worship of Deities associated primarily to Mesopotamia (by Mesopotamian people, at least);

5. possibility of practice entirely in the context of a bedroom. Within Paganism I think it’s possibly – to a certain degree, at least – in the context of Roman sacra privata and Wicca;

6. from very "elastic" to no purity rules regarding body fluids, male chastity, homosexual intercourse and presence of people found guilty of crime(s) near and/or the room where rituals occur. It’s extremely uncommon. I think this requirement is met at least partially by Heanthenry and maybe fully by Wicca and Theistic Satanism;

7. not just acceptance of sex, but full recognition of genitals and/or sex – including non-reproductive, obviously – as sacred and possible inclusion of genitals and/or sex in liturgical context. I think just Heathenry (partially), Wicca and Theistic Satanism meet this requirement.

8. identity. This rules out “composing” my own religion, even if it’s sharable with other people;

9. not having to meet moral standards that seem too difficult to me, that don’t make sense to me or that I find self-damaging. This is one of the several reasons why I left Christianity and have no interest in mainstream Dharmic religions; I don’t see any intrinsic value in asceticism and related practices. I also don’t see why I shouldn’t try to harm a human being that harmed me and/or my family first. That’s one of the reasons why I don’t know if Wicca is the right religion for me;

10. being universal enough – or close enough to my ancestors, maybe specially to my Subsaharan African ancestry – for me not to feel an outsider within the community associated with it. Obviously this rules out almost all religions named upthread; there are people that say that Wicca also is primarily a religion related to Britain. Some Brazilian religions meet this requirement, but don’t meet most of the others. There’s no evidence that South Arabic religion ever went beyond the Horn of Africa; Nubian religion seems not to be deeply known and there’s no evidence of domestic practice in its context. Theistic Satanism may meet this requirement, for example, through syncretism of the Devil with Exu (Whose name may be spelled Eshu in English; I don’t know);

11. a certain amount of “adversariality”. This includes – but isn’t limited to – space, for instance, for worship of trickster Deities. This is much more uncommon than one can suppose; many religions have upholding everything – humankind, society, the world – exactly as it is as one of their structural concerns. Hellenism is an exception as for it; and last, but certainly not least

12. amulets, cult statues, portable statues of Deities and religious jewelry, for example.

At some moment I realized that no religion primarily associated with pre-Christian and pre-Islamic Eurasia can be satisfyingly adapted, even after reading many scholarly texts, and that a contemporary religion is way better than reconstructing one; it saves much work and, after all, the reconstruction commonly involves so many decisions and gaps to fill that it can end up looking very alike a contemporary non-reconstructionist religion, and the difference between a recon and a non-recon religion can be just one of degree, not quality.

For these reasons I’ve been considering Wicca and a form of Theistic Satanism more than the practice of other religions through reconstructionism. I have many personal issues than make difficult or that even may prevent me to practice Wicca or Theistic Satanism, though, and I can give more context regarding these issues if needed.

I have read and thought way too much. For years. I’m fed up with it.
It’s said that two – and maybe more? – heads think better than one, heh? Can you help me?

(I wrote half or more of this post late at night and English isn’t my first language; that means this text may contain several mistakes.)
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Re: I can't make up my mind! Please help me!
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2018, 01:26:55 am »
1. Worship of more than one Deity first and foremost associated with non-Christian, non-Islamic and non-Deuteronomistic Jewish religious practices. I mean, I think my place religion-wise lies near or, maybe most possibly, within the limits of Paganism, although I’ve considered Theistic Satanism;

2. worship of more than one Deity associated with different religions. This possibly rules out some forms of Theistic Satanism and Heathenry; it’s not clear whether heathen North Germanic people ever worshiped any Deity, for example, seen as foreign. Phoenician, Greek, Roman and Gaulish religions, for instance, meet this requirement, as do some forms of Wicca;

3. extant historical description(s) of practice(s), prayer(s) and/or ritual(s). I think this is not so common regarding religions primarily practiced far from the Mediterranean; I’m not sure, but maybe it also rules out Theistic Satanism;

4. extant historical accounts of or evidence for practice at home. Perhaps it rules out all African-Brazilian religions; people can practice alone sometimes but it’s seen as possible usually just once one is initiated and relatively experienced in group practice. Within Paganism, to my knowledge, this rules out Wathanism and the worship of Deities associated primarily to Mesopotamia (by Mesopotamian people, at least);

5. possibility of practice entirely in the context of a bedroom. Within Paganism I think it’s possibly – to a certain degree, at least – in the context of Roman sacra privata and Wicca;

6. from very "elastic" to no purity rules regarding body fluids, male chastity, homosexual intercourse and presence of people found guilty of crime(s) near and/or the room where rituals occur. It’s extremely uncommon. I think this requirement is met at least partially by Heanthenry and maybe fully by Wicca and Theistic Satanism;

7. not just acceptance of sex, but full recognition of genitals and/or sex – including non-reproductive, obviously – as sacred and possible inclusion of genitals and/or sex in liturgical context. I think just Heathenry (partially), Wicca and Theistic Satanism meet this requirement.

8. identity. This rules out “composing” my own religion, even if it’s sharable with other people;

9. not having to meet moral standards that seem too difficult to me, that don’t make sense to me or that I find self-damaging. This is one of the several reasons why I left Christianity and have no interest in mainstream Dharmic religions; I don’t see any intrinsic value in asceticism and related practices. I also don’t see why I shouldn’t try to harm a human being that harmed me and/or my family first. That’s one of the reasons why I don’t know if Wicca is the right religion for me;

10. being universal enough – or close enough to my ancestors, maybe specially to my Subsaharan African ancestry – for me not to feel an outsider within the community associated with it. Obviously this rules out almost all religions named upthread; there are people that say that Wicca also is primarily a religion related to Britain. Some Brazilian religions meet this requirement, but don’t meet most of the others. There’s no evidence that South Arabic religion ever went beyond the Horn of Africa; Nubian religion seems not to be deeply known and there’s no evidence of domestic practice in its context. Theistic Satanism may meet this requirement, for example, through syncretism of the Devil with Exu (Whose name may be spelled Eshu in English; I don’t know);

11. a certain amount of “adversariality”. This includes – but isn’t limited to – space, for instance, for worship of trickster Deities. This is much more uncommon than one can suppose; many religions have upholding everything – humankind, society, the world – exactly as it is as one of their structural concerns. Hellenism is an exception as for it; and last, but certainly not least

12. amulets, cult statues, portable statues of Deities and religious jewelry, for example.

Honestly, everything here could be applied to Hinduism. I know you ruled out "mainstream Dharmic religions" with #9, but I feel like you are being influenced by false, steriotypical western perceptions of Hinduism and not by it's actually theology.

Hinduism doesn't demand or expect asceticism, except for members of the clergy and various mysticals sects. Most Hindus aren't aescetic; only about half of us are even vegeterians.



Hinduism can be a very non-demanding religion, especially Tantric Hinduism. Your statements about foreign Gods, homosexuality and genitalia, and lack of strict moral guidlines, all sound very much like things that can be found in Tantric Hinduism.

As for the statements about history, information about practice, and the ability to practice at home, since Hinduism is a living tradition, those are readily available. There are enough Hindu holy texts, let alone books about Hindu holy texts, to fill an entire library.


I suggest looking into Tantra. There are some pretty good websites on the internet, and you can always reach out to Tantric organizations for more information. Tantra doesn't demand chastity, marital fidelity, heterosexuality, vegetarianism, asceticism, or any of the other things associated with "mainstream" Hinduism.
"The worshippers of the gods go to them; to the manes go the ancestor-worshippers; to the Deities who preside over the elements go their worshippers; My devotees come to Me." ... "Whichever devotee desires to adore whatever such Deity with faith, in all such votaries I make that particular faith unshakable. Endowed with that faith, a votary performs the worship of that particular deity and obtains the fruits thereof, these being granted by Me alone." - Sri Krishna

Kaio

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Re: I can't make up my mind! Please help me!
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2018, 08:06:24 pm »
I didn't know where to post this thread, so I posted it here.

I like reading scholarly papers and studying languages by myself. I really do. That’s why I’ve been downloading – and reading – texts regarding religion and languages for several years now. And I have hundreds of files on these subjects.

It, however, isn’t religion. It certainly is not enough. And after years it can be exhausting and frustrating not coming to any conclusion. It’s somewhat like working hard and not getting paid.

 It's been years, more than ten, since I viewed myself as a member of a definite religion.

 There are people who are OK with their having more than one religion, but I think I could't do it. (I think worshiping Deities associated with more than one religion is different from having more than one religion.)

 I've been considering a wide range of religions, mostly recon, and even though I still didn't make up my mind about it (and that's the reason why I started this thread), I found out it seems that there are some requirements I would like to find in a religion. I don't know if I can remember and/or phrase all of them now, but some of them are:

1. Worship of more than one Deity first and foremost associated with non-Christian, non-Islamic and non-Deuteronomistic Jewish religious practices. I mean, I think my place religion-wise lies near or, maybe most possibly, within the limits of Paganism, although I’ve considered Theistic Satanism;

2. worship of more than one Deity associated with different religions. This possibly rules out some forms of Theistic Satanism and Heathenry; it’s not clear whether heathen North Germanic people ever worshiped any Deity, for example, seen as foreign. Phoenician, Greek, Roman and Gaulish religions, for instance, meet this requirement, as do some forms of Wicca;

3. extant historical description(s) of practice(s), prayer(s) and/or ritual(s). I think this is not so common regarding religions primarily practiced far from the Mediterranean; I’m not sure, but maybe it also rules out Theistic Satanism;

4. extant historical accounts of or evidence for practice at home. Perhaps it rules out all African-Brazilian religions; people can practice alone sometimes but it’s seen as possible usually just once one is initiated and relatively experienced in group practice. Within Paganism, to my knowledge, this rules out Wathanism and the worship of Deities associated primarily to Mesopotamia (by Mesopotamian people, at least);

5. possibility of practice entirely in the context of a bedroom. Within Paganism I think it’s possibly – to a certain degree, at least – in the context of Roman sacra privata and Wicca;

6. from very "elastic" to no purity rules regarding body fluids, male chastity, homosexual intercourse and presence of people found guilty of crime(s) near and/or the room where rituals occur. It’s extremely uncommon. I think this requirement is met at least partially by Heanthenry and maybe fully by Wicca and Theistic Satanism;

7. not just acceptance of sex, but full recognition of genitals and/or sex – including non-reproductive, obviously – as sacred and possible inclusion of genitals and/or sex in liturgical context. I think just Heathenry (partially), Wicca and Theistic Satanism meet this requirement.

8. identity. This rules out “composing” my own religion, even if it’s sharable with other people;

9. not having to meet moral standards that seem too difficult to me, that don’t make sense to me or that I find self-damaging. This is one of the several reasons why I left Christianity and have no interest in mainstream Dharmic religions; I don’t see any intrinsic value in asceticism and related practices. I also don’t see why I shouldn’t try to harm a human being that harmed me and/or my family first. That’s one of the reasons why I don’t know if Wicca is the right religion for me;

10. being universal enough – or close enough to my ancestors, maybe specially to my Subsaharan African ancestry – for me not to feel an outsider within the community associated with it. Obviously this rules out almost all religions named upthread; there are people that say that Wicca also is primarily a religion related to Britain. Some Brazilian religions meet this requirement, but don’t meet most of the others. There’s no evidence that South Arabic religion ever went beyond the Horn of Africa; Nubian religion seems not to be deeply known and there’s no evidence of domestic practice in its context. Theistic Satanism may meet this requirement, for example, through syncretism of the Devil with Exu (Whose name may be spelled Eshu in English; I don’t know);

11. a certain amount of “adversariality”. This includes – but isn’t limited to – space, for instance, for worship of trickster Deities. This is much more uncommon than one can suppose; many religions have upholding everything – humankind, society, the world – exactly as it is as one of their structural concerns. Hellenism is an exception as for it; and last, but certainly not least

12. amulets, cult statues, portable statues of Deities and religious jewelry, for example.

At some moment I realized that no religion primarily associated with pre-Christian and pre-Islamic Eurasia can be satisfyingly adapted, even after reading many scholarly texts, and that a contemporary religion is way better than reconstructing one; it saves much work and, after all, the reconstruction commonly involves so many decisions and gaps to fill that it can end up looking very alike a contemporary non-reconstructionist religion, and the difference between a recon and a non-recon religion can be just one of degree, not quality.

For these reasons I’ve been considering Wicca and a form of Theistic Satanism more than the practice of other religions through reconstructionism. I have many personal issues than make difficult or that even may prevent me to practice Wicca or Theistic Satanism, though, and I can give more context regarding these issues if needed.

I have read and thought way too much. For years. I’m fed up with it.
It’s said that two – and maybe more? – heads think better than one, heh? Can you help me?

(I wrote half or more of this post late at night and English isn’t my first language; that means this text may contain several mistakes.)
Yesterday I felt I overlooked some requirements. Now I see I forgot at least some more:

13. lack of - or, at the very least, the possibility of choosing not to practice - anything trance-related. This is a very important requirement; I've ruled out almost all centuries-old Brazilian religions - some of which meet several other requirements - because all of them have trance and/or entheogenic substance use as a central feature. I've experienced trance before, more than once; I can say I really don't like it;

15. basics learnable from books. I'm not rich, I live in a countryside town (far away from big cities) and I'm a citizen of a peripheral country. I don't dislike the idea of a initiation in person, but travelling isn't practical in my social context. This rules out all centuries-old Brazilian religions I know of, as well as many Wiccan traditions and many other, mainly non-recon Pagan religions;

16. possibility to treat the place I live -environment-wise - as sacred. Here I don't mean, as a sociologist could possibly say, "re-enchanted environmentalism", i. e., environmentalism touched or informed by religion. I think of it much more in terms of, for instance, sacrificing coins to river-related Deities than, I don't know, protecting certain local species from extinction. Gaulish religion has a way to do it that I like very much;

17. no Pop Culture Paganism. No offence. Really. It, however, doesn't work for me; I don't think all literature has the same religious value. I mean Homer's work has a different religious weight from that of a individual human being in a contemporary society. For several reasons.

I think now my requirement list is complete!

These aren't proper requirements but nonetheless are very desirable features:

a. male focus regarding both Deities and practitioners. As a gay man, gender polarity isn't so meaningful to me; as a man, I don't know how to relate to a female-focused religion. I don't plan to refrain from developing any relationship to any Goddess at all because I have mother and sister; it's possible for me to need help from a Goddess. And I'm grateful for the help I've already gotten from Goddesses to this day. For a long time, when I was younger, my religious life leaned towards Goddesses way more than towards Gods. But I feel things changed a lot in my life and I think it would be good if these changes could feature in my religious life;

b. New Age conceptual and ritual apparatus absent or reduced to a minimum. (Maybe it's important to say clearly that I don't see any problem with this apparatus or with people who apply it to their religious life. I, however, think I'm just being honest when I say I can't relate to it.) Here I mean ideas and practices that, according to extant evidence, weren't present in the pre-Christian religions that I've studied most, but are present in many Pagan religions or in the language of many Pagan people like "energy", "egregor(e)", "meditation" and "visualization". I'm also aware that there are religions where these ideas and practices are present way before what is called New Age came into existence.

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« Last Edit: October 30, 2018, 08:08:28 pm by Kaio »
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Kaio

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Re: I can't make up my mind! Please help me!
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2018, 08:39:32 pm »


Honestly, everything here could be applied to Hinduism. I know you ruled out "mainstream Dharmic religions" with #9, but I feel like you are being influenced by false, steriotypical western perceptions of Hinduism and not by it's actually theology.



Hinduism doesn't demand or expect asceticism, except for members of the clergy and various mysticals sects. Most Hindus aren't aescetic; only about half of us are even vegeterians.



Hinduism can be a very non-demanding religion, especially Tantric Hinduism. Your statements about foreign Gods, homosexuality and genitalia, and lack of strict moral guidlines, all sound very much like things that can be found in Tantric Hinduism.

As for the statements about history, information about practice, and the ability to practice at home, since Hinduism is a living tradition, those are readily available. There are enough Hindu holy texts, let alone books about Hindu holy texts, to fill an entire library.


I suggest looking into Tantra. There are some pretty good websites on the internet, and you can always reach out to Tantric organizations for more information. Tantra doesn't demand chastity, marital fidelity, heterosexuality, vegetarianism, asceticism, or any of the other things associated with "mainstream" Hinduism.

First of all, thank you for replying!

I read few texts concerning Hinduism.
I've read some regarding Tantra.

What I remember off the top of my head is:

- "Tantric sex" is largely a Western construct; at least in some sects sexual acts happen just mentally, and scholars have different opinions regarding the interpretation of lines and words refering to actual sex in some texts;
- I don't remember even a single line regarding homosexuality and homosexual sex, let alone homosexual sex as sacred. I remember, however, scholars writing about gender polarity in heterosexual sex where the man and the woman are identified with Deities at that moment;
- I don't remember anything about the sacred character of genitals, or at least of some genitals;
- I don't remember anything regarding the worship of Deities not traditionally associated with Hinduism;
- I remember negative views regarding materiality. Or materiality seen as instrumental, as just means to attain an enlightened state eventually to transcend materiality.

I can mention my sources if necessary.

But I can be wrong. And I would like you to suggest texts for me to read.

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Hariti

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Re: I can't make up my mind! Please help me!
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2018, 09:28:36 pm »
\


- "Tantric sex" is largely a Western construct; at least in some sects sexual acts happen just mentally, and scholars have different opinions regarding the interpretation of lines and words refering to actual sex in some texts;

Scholars. Texts. That's your problem right there. I have a lot of respect for academia, but this is a living religion we are talking about, and not a secret one either. You can go to Tantric temples, talk to Tantric Yogis, and join Tantric celebrations right now, if you live in India or Nepal. You don't need a scholar to tell you if the sex is literal or metaphorical, you can just ask the people who actually do it. There are plenty of Indian people (not westerners) who participate in Tantric rituals.

The short answer is that a lot of it is metaphorical, but that sex, real sex, is nonetheless sacred in Tantra, and in general Hindu philosophy. There are also reliable accounts of sexual rituals from historical and ethnographic sources.

Precolonial Hinduism did not really encourage chastity or abstinence, and there are plenty of sources, both modern and ancient, that corroborate that. I am short on time right now, but I will get back to you with some sources as soon as I can.

Hinduism as it exists today is quite Islamized and Christianized, but even so it doesn't view sexuality in the same light as those religions do.

- I don't remember even a single line regarding homosexuality and homosexual sex, let alone homosexual sex as sacred. I remember, however, scholars writing about gender polarity in heterosexual sex where the man and the woman are identified with Deities at that moment;

Modern India is very sexist and homophobic. That doesn't mean that the Hindu religion is those things. You can find a lot of information about Hindu views on sexuality, gender dynamics, and related topics by looking up the "Third Gender" in Hinduism. There's a lot of good sources you can find through Google. If you can't find anything I'll try to find you some sources later.

- I don't remember anything about the sacred character of genitals, or at least of some genitals;

Two words. Lingam, and Yoni. One's a penis with testicles, the other is a vulva. Both are highly sacred in Tantric Hinduism, as well as mainstream Hinduism. I don't know what other genitals you might be looking for!

- I don't remember anything regarding the worship of Deities not traditionally associated with Hinduism;

Hinduism as a whole tolerates syncretism, you won't find a Guru or priest who forbids worshiping Gods from other religions. In fact, it's quite common in SE Asia to mix local Gods with Hinduism, and in Nepal to mix Hinduism with Buddhism. I do have sources on this, but I'll have to dig them out. I'll try to find them and get back to you.

- I remember negative views regarding materiality. Or materiality seen as instrumental, as just means to attain an enlightened state eventually to transcend materiality.

Eh, that's somewhat right, but it's not nearly as much of a focus as scholars seems to think. Most Hindus live normal, materialistic lives, including most Tantric Hindus. If you ever visit Nepal, or Bengal, you can see the religion on the ground and get a better idea of it than any book will give you.
"The worshippers of the gods go to them; to the manes go the ancestor-worshippers; to the Deities who preside over the elements go their worshippers; My devotees come to Me." ... "Whichever devotee desires to adore whatever such Deity with faith, in all such votaries I make that particular faith unshakable. Endowed with that faith, a votary performs the worship of that particular deity and obtains the fruits thereof, these being granted by Me alone." - Sri Krishna

Hariti

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Re: I can't make up my mind! Please help me!
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2018, 09:31:47 pm »


Just a suggestion. You seem quite fixated on finding -sources- and yet the OP suggests that reading sources hasn't actually given you an answer.

Perhaps you should get your feet on the ground and actually meet people who practice these traditions, see them for yourself without the third party interpretation? Go to a Wiccan gathering, visit a Tantric temple, or if you don't have the time or ability, at least talk with some practitioners online.

Experiential, first hand information is infinitely more useful in understanding a religion than words on a page.
"The worshippers of the gods go to them; to the manes go the ancestor-worshippers; to the Deities who preside over the elements go their worshippers; My devotees come to Me." ... "Whichever devotee desires to adore whatever such Deity with faith, in all such votaries I make that particular faith unshakable. Endowed with that faith, a votary performs the worship of that particular deity and obtains the fruits thereof, these being granted by Me alone." - Sri Krishna

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Re: I can't make up my mind! Please help me!
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2018, 01:44:42 pm »
For these reasons I’ve been considering Wicca and a form of Theistic Satanism more than the practice of other religions through reconstructionism. I have many personal issues than make difficult or that even may prevent me to practice Wicca or Theistic Satanism, though, and I can give more context regarding these issues if needed.
Wicca is an excelent complete religion. Theistic Satanism is bad for karma. Wicca is flexible and good for karma. In my opinion  :) You can choose whichever you want and that's the beauty of it.  :)

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Re: I can't make up my mind! Please help me!
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2018, 01:50:12 pm »

Hinduism doesn't demand or expect asceticism, except for members of the clergy and various mysticals sects. Most Hindus aren't aescetic; only about half of us are even vegeterians.

Yeah, in fact asceticism is not encouraged until one has fulfilled the Grihastha (householder) and Vanaprastha (retired life) ashramas. Therein lies the contradiction of Lord Shiva being the foremost ascetic and foremost householder and husband. But as God, I suppose he can do whatever and however he wants.

And Sikhism discourages asceticism altogether.

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
 

Jainarayan

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Re: I can't make up my mind! Please help me!
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2018, 02:02:01 pm »

2. ... it’s not clear whether heathen North Germanic people ever worshiped any Deity, for example, seen as foreign. ...

That doesn't matter. Very likely the Norse were willing to worship any deity that crossed their path and could benefit them. Take what modern recon Heathens say with a grain of salt. Especially if they use the term 'arch-Heathen'. Heathenry today is not an exact replica of 12th century Norse religion... it can't be, given a 1,000 year break in the line. You can worship whomever you like. Keep in mind that it may require a measure of UPG and MUS.

Quote
6. from very "elastic" to no purity rules regarding body fluids, male chastity, homosexual intercourse and presence of people found guilty of crime(s) near and/or the room where rituals occur. It’s extremely uncommon. I think this requirement is met at least partially by Heanthenry and maybe fully by Wicca and Theistic Satanism;

The injunctions in Heathenry against homosexual intercourse are less the sexual aspect and more one of society and family. The Norse really didn't care if Eirik and Ingvar got it on in each others' barns as long as they raised families. Family was everything to the Norse for several reasons. The other concern was if one man submitted himself to another, how trustworthy was he in battle? Personally I think that's a a load of MUS by modern homophobic LARPers. I'm gay and would walk through hell for my best friend and for my husband. Homosexual sex is certainly not unheard of today among married, ostensibly straight men. One writer put it as "I have relationships with women, but I have sex with men". So yeah, it's a thing.

Hinduism, btw, has little to nothing to say theologically about homosexuality. It's only a legacy of the British and Muslim invaders that piled homophobia onto India's culture. Some temple carvings are downright pornographic with depictions of male-male sex.

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
 

Noctua

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Re: I can't make up my mind! Please help me!
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2018, 02:59:54 pm »

9. not having to meet moral standards that seem too difficult to me, that don’t make sense to me or that I find self-damaging. This is one of the several reasons why I left Christianity and have no interest in mainstream Dharmic religions; I don’t see any intrinsic value in asceticism and related practices. I also don’t see why I shouldn’t try to harm a human being that harmed me and/or my family first. That’s one of the reasons why I don’t know if Wicca is the right religion for me;



Just answering to this specifically, although a lot of Eclectic Wicca that you see on the internet relies heavily on the Rede and the Rule of Three as a unifying ethos,  from what I understand more traditional lineaged Wicca (eg. Gardenrian etc.) don't recognize the Rede as part of their teachings. So the rule of harming none is not present in all Wicca.

RandallS

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Re: I can't make up my mind! Please help me!
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2018, 06:16:57 pm »
Theistic Satanism is bad for karma. Wicca is flexible and good for karma.

What do you mean? As far as I can see, karma doesn't work that way. As I see it, karma is about what you do not what religion you follow.
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SunflowerP

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Re: I can't make up my mind! Please help me!
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2018, 07:42:15 pm »
Just answering to this specifically, although a lot of Eclectic Wicca that you see on the internet relies heavily on the Rede and the Rule of Three as a unifying ethos,  from what I understand more traditional lineaged Wicca (eg. Gardenrian etc.) don't recognize the Rede as part of their teachings. So the rule of harming none is not present in all Wicca.

Yes and no. The eight-word Rede - 'If it harms none, do what you will' - is present in (BT)Wicca, though the way in which it's present varies; that's also true of many sorts of Eclectic Wicca, particularly those that have roots before the Pop Pagan Book Boom of the '90s. The 'two-word Rede' in which the other six words are largely ignored and 'harm none' is centred, is why the term 'NeoWicca' was coined on TC many years ago (not pejoratively, simply to describe that approach, though it was quickly taken up elsenet and used disparagingly), to distinguish the 'two word' perspective from that of the eight-word Eclectics.

That said, it's true that a lot of what can be readily found online is of the two-word sort, but that this shouldn't be taken as representative of all the things that do, or can, fall under the term 'Wicca', so you're largely right.

There's a lot more that can be unpacked in all that than makes sense to go into in this thread, and it's been a while since we had a thread about it, so those who are interested should look for a thread with a title along the lines of 'Conceptions and Misconceptions About the Rede', which either Jenett or I will start sometime in the next few days.

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Darkhawk

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Re: I can't make up my mind! Please help me!
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2018, 08:16:28 pm »
Wicca is an excelent complete religion. Theistic Satanism is bad for karma. Wicca is flexible and good for karma. In my opinion  :) You can choose whichever you want and that's the beauty of it.  :)

Since neither theistic Satanism nor Wicca is a dharmic religion, I don't think karma is of particular relevance to either.
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

Jainarayan

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Re: I can't make up my mind! Please help me!
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2018, 10:13:38 am »
What do you mean? As far as I can see, karma doesn't work that way. As I see it, karma is about what you do not what religion you follow.

You sir, are correct. Hindus believe all beings are subject to the same laws of the universe and karma, regardless of religion. We also tend towards universalism and pluralism, in that no one religion or path has a monopoly on the "right way", even ours.

Anyway...

Literally, karma means 'action' or 'deed'. Our every action sets off a chain of reactions that may or may not reflect back on us. Popular belief is incorrect that karma = "paybacks are a bitch", and/or that what we do will catch up with us "soon enough". In Hindu (and Buddhist) beliefs it could take a billion lifetimes for the results of ones actions to come to fruition. Nor will the results of those actions necessarily come back in kind. As we understand karma, it is extremely intricate, and only God knows its workings.
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
 

Jenett

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Re: I can't make up my mind! Please help me!
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2018, 01:26:39 pm »
...those who are interested should look for a thread with a title along the lines of 'Conceptions and Misconceptions About the Rede', which either Jenett or I will start sometime in the next few days.

And here it is.
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