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Author Topic: The value of being nameless  (Read 1430 times)

Arcadia

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The value of being nameless
« on: June 03, 2012, 11:39:24 pm »
Whilst browsing over at the house of vines, I found a post that I found very thought provoking.

Quote
Now we know ourselves as Pagans,
a label which separates
us from them
with endless squabbles over who belongs
in or out.


Thought I'd share with you.
Guided be the hand and mind
[/FONT]

Elani Temperance

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Re: The value of being nameless
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2012, 03:02:43 am »
Quote from: Arcadia;58328
Whilst browsing over at the house of vines, I found a post that I found very thought provoking.

Thought I'd share with you.

 
I like the post, I just don't believe in it or think it's entirely historically correct.

Tribes have always battled each other, over land, over religion, over mates... over their name; their identity. Entire empires arose from war waged under banners, proudly displayed. Even way back when, we were a proud people. Think of the Jews, who have been stigmatized over their identity (name) pretty much since their existence.

Major religions don't have to proudly proclaim their name because everyone knows it now. I very much doubt that early Christians sat back and watched their religion spread without a word from them. They carried the name far and wide. They told everyone of the One God and after being persecuted for their believes for a good long while, the scales tipped and they became the household name we know Christianity as.

As for Paganism; yes, we are a varied bunch and some question who should and should not be able to lay claim to the name. Pagans define what Paganism means. The label consists out of commonalities found within most practitioners. This is unfortunate, as it tries to limit a term that is, by nature, unlimited. Yes, internally, we would probably all be better off without the Pagan label as it holds no meaning to us. But towards the outside, towards the major religions, we need it. Because if we ever want religious rights, if we ever want to be understood instead of feared, if we ever want to leave our fringe position behind, then we need to go the way of Christianity and stand behind our Pagan name. Not because it's accurate (look at Christianity: how many denominations are there? How many commonalities are there anyway?) but because it matters to be heard.
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Maps

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Re: The value of being nameless
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2012, 08:53:25 am »
Quote from: Arcadia;58328
Whilst browsing over at the house of vines, I found a post that I found very thought provoking.



Thought I'd share with you.

 
Meh, your average holier-than-thou stuff. I've seen these kinds of arguments time and again (if I had a nickel, etc), and the kind of person that says it comes from a place of privilege about their security in their identity and are basically chiding others for being at risk of being swallowed up by bigger fish if they don't have the means to delineate who they are. We're not a monolith, and a sure way to make sure we turn into one is forbid anyone from using language that would allow them to understand how they differ from others. Pretty Orwellian when it comes down to it.

Arcadia

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Re: The value of being nameless
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2012, 10:10:33 am »
Quote from: Maps;58405
Meh, your average holier-than-thou stuff. I've seen these kinds of arguments time and again (if I had a nickel, etc), and the kind of person that says it comes from a place of privilege about their security in their identity and are basically chiding others for being at risk of being swallowed up by bigger fish if they don't have the means to delineate who they are. We're not a monolith, and a sure way to make sure we turn into one is forbid anyone from using language that would allow them to understand how they differ from others. Pretty Orwellian when it comes down to it.

 
I was hoping it might get some discussion going. Guess I should have said that in my first post.:)

Whilst I understand where he is coming from, there is some of it that doesn't quite sit with me.

I haven't heard this argument before, so it's a new one to me.
Guided be the hand and mind
[/FONT]

Darkhawk

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Re: The value of being nameless
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2012, 10:56:21 am »
Quote from: LittleWitchMagazine;58367
if we ever want to leave our fringe position behind, then we need to go the way of Christianity and stand behind our Pagan name. Not because it's accurate (look at Christianity: how many denominations are there? How many commonalities are there anyway?) but because it matters to be heard.

 
There are vastly more commonalities in Christianity, including heretic forms, than there are among pagan religions, because pagan religions are different religions and Christianity is variants on one religion.

The historical point that Sannion is making is more or less true: most ancient cultures (and many modern tribal cultures) do not have a word for "religion".  This is because "religion" as something that can be pointed at as something easily distinct from "the way we go about living our lives in the world" is pretty much a Roman invention.  Pre-Roman cultures didn't come up with the distinction; the West has it strongly because Western culture is very, very Roman.

However: no modern pagan is living in a context in which religious stuff is seamlessly integrated with life the way an ancient community did.  Most of us are converts, and we did not convert by, say, marrying into a community and learning the customs and rituals that are accessible to adoptees.  We don't have an established body of customs to point to and claim as our own; many of us are pleased with 'I can look up some relevant practices in a book' as an accomplishment.  Since modern pagan religions are things learned, and are practiced in a world in which there is considered to be a distinction between the material and the spiritual, they get recognised as distinct things.
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

Maps

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Re: The value of being nameless
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2012, 11:10:41 am »
Quote from: Arcadia;58416
I was hoping it might get some discussion going. Guess I should have said that in my first post.:)

Whilst I understand where he is coming from, there is some of it that doesn't quite sit with me.

I haven't heard this argument before, so it's a new one to me.

 
Oh I've heard it all over the place, with stuff having nothing to do with religion too-- it's, unfortunately, a pretty utopian sentiment, and we all know what "utopia" directly translates to! Wherever there are people affirming their reality and identity in the face of adversity, there are people that use this to try and shut them up because differences are scary.

Of course, there are very well-meaning folk that genuinely believe in the Love Light and Woo we're all children of Mother Earth kind of stuff, but even that is rooted in "differences are scary" even though they might not be consciously aware of it.

It's a nice, but ultimately useless and largely irrelevant, line of thought. But don't we all wish it could be true?

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