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Author Topic: Fear and trembling  (Read 2691 times)

Sophia C

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Fear and trembling
« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2012, 01:49:16 am »
Quote from: NanoRaven;79622
I've been troubled over this issue for the past few weeks and wondering if anybody has any input? The comfort I once felt as a child in the religion of my mother and the explanations given by my father were obliterated once I got a bit older and found the Internet and started consuming non-censored news.

Do you find yourself comforted, in your devotion to the specific Gods or worldview and is this a natural by-product of believing and faith or do you have to continuously work at it? Despite all the bad news we encounter and the struggles of life?

I guess, to put it simply, I'd just like you to explain what it's like to be a theist. And if you were a hard Atheist before, how did you come by to believe in Gods?

Thank you very much in advance :)

I think of my spiritual journey as a progression. (To quote St Paul: 'When I was a child, I thought like a child...') Your reference to what your parents taught you is exactly the point: I think that kind of religious comfort is for children. My problem was that I didn't grow out of it for a long time.

I don't necessarily find my current beliefs comforting. F'ex, I used to believe very firmly in an afterlife, now I'm not sure we do anything but get recycled into plant food when we die. It's less comforting than my previous belief in an eternal paradise after death, but it also feels a lot more right.

There are plenty of things that are comforting about my current beliefs, including believing much more strongly in my gods than I ever did in the Christian god, and believing my gods feel a kind of tribal loyalty to me and will support me in right action. My gods are much more real and personal than the contents of my previous beliefs. But they give me many more kicks up the backside, push me to get out of my comfort zone, and certainly aren't interested in comforting me most of the time. Which is exactly why they are more real to me than what I used to believe in, too. On the whole, I prefer the reality, excitement and commitment of honouring the gods I do today than what I used to weakly, vaguely believe.
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NanoRaven

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Re: Fear and trembling
« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2012, 07:00:35 am »
Quote from: Sophia Catherine;79720
I think of my spiritual journey as a progression. (To quote St Paul: 'When I was a child, I thought like a child...') Your reference to what your parents taught you is exactly the point: I think that kind of religious comfort is for children. My problem was that I didn't grow out of it for a long time.

I don't necessarily find my current beliefs comforting. F'ex, I used to believe very firmly in an afterlife, now I'm not sure we do anything but get recycled into plant food when we die. It's less comforting than my previous belief in an eternal paradise after death, but it also feels a lot more right.

There are plenty of things that are comforting about my current beliefs, including believing much more strongly in my gods than I ever did in the Christian god, and believing my gods feel a kind of tribal loyalty to me and will support me in right action. My gods are much more real and personal than the contents of my previous beliefs. But they give me many more kicks up the backside, push me to get out of my comfort zone, and certainly aren't interested in comforting me most of the time. Which is exactly why they are more real to me than what I used to believe in, too. On the whole, I prefer the reality, excitement and commitment of honouring the gods I do today than what I used to weakly, vaguely believe.

 
Thank you very much, for all of your replies, definitely something for me to mull over. There are a few deities that I feel 'called to', I will explore the path and I will see where that takes me.

Rhyshadow

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Re: Fear and trembling
« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2012, 05:27:05 pm »
Quote from: NanoRaven;79726
Thank you very much, for all of your replies, definitely something for me to mull over. There are a few deities that I feel 'called to', I will explore the path and I will see where that takes me.

 
Any questions you have on anything, toss it out; I'm sure one of us can at least give you clues or point out books/web-sites to help you

NanoRaven

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Re: Fear and trembling
« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2012, 06:39:30 am »
Quote from: Rhyshadow;79775
Any questions you have on anything, toss it out; I'm sure one of us can at least give you clues or point out books/web-sites to help you

 
There was a thread about treating gods like vending machines. I wonder if praying to individual gods from different pantheons are something akin to that? What if I prayed to the Sophia, Athena, Saraswati, Thoth and Ariadne for my role as a student-scholar; prayed to Dionysus, Mannanan and Apollo because I am 'drawn' to them; honoured Hestia, Vesta and Brighid due to the shared fire/hearth symbolism?

Perhaps the way I want to go about it is rather absurd and I am conflating what I am exposed to for the past few weeks with what I assume is my 'path'. With regards to Hellenic polytheism, I read that the ancients didn't normally have a personal patron and prayed to the main household gods and others of specific roles and it was the same with the Celts who honoured their ancestors more. My apologies if I got this wrong. I am not interested in reconstructionism however, but I don't want to cause offense particularly since I don't know (and I don't think I'll be able to anyway) how to differentiate UPG and aspects of psychosis (I take my meds but still I fear that what I experience isn't truly 'real').

sunflower47

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Re: Fear and trembling
« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2012, 09:50:56 am »
Quote from: mlr52;79713
Once I made the choice to trust that something was there (that was blind faith as you define it).  Since that time I have direct experience and knowledge, of that power which I call GOD, and no longer requires belief.

 
How did that work for you? (And I'm not asking sarcastically, I'm being serious) I'm sort of at that point I think... I was just journaling about this last night. I personally feel like I can't definitively say that I know what I believe, just that I feel like something is there, and that it interacts with the world.
It kind of stresses me out.

veggiewolf

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Re: Fear and trembling
« Reply #20 on: November 06, 2012, 03:12:53 pm »
Quote from: NanoRaven;79821
There was a thread about treating gods like vending machines. I wonder if praying to individual gods from different pantheons are something akin to that? What if I prayed to the Sophia, Athena, Saraswati, Thoth and Ariadne for my role as a student-scholar; prayed to Dionysus, Mannanan and Apollo because I am 'drawn' to them; honoured Hestia, Vesta and Brighid due to the shared fire/hearth symbolism?


If you're referring to this thread, let me try to clarify.  There's nothing wrong with worshiping/honoring/praying-to multiple gods.  The issue comes in (IMO)when people play god-roulette - "I asked X for my boyfriend to come back and He won't give it to me.  He's so mean!  I'm going to go worship Z instead!"

Quote
Perhaps the way I want to go about it is rather absurd and I am conflating what I am exposed to for the past few weeks with what I assume is my 'path'.


Do you have an established practice right now, or are you still seeking?

Quote
With regards to Hellenic polytheism, I read that the ancients didn't normally have a personal patron and prayed to the main household gods and others of specific roles and it was the same with the Celts who honoured their ancestors more. My apologies if I got this wrong. I am not interested in reconstructionism however, but I don't want to cause offense particularly since I don't know (and I don't think I'll be able to anyway) how to differentiate UPG and aspects of psychosis (I take my meds but still I fear that what I experience isn't truly 'real').


I cannot speak for Hellenic or Celtic polytheism as I don't follow either.  However, nothing says you have to have a patron.  In fact, I'd be willing to bet that most self-identifying pagans don't.
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Rhyshadow

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Re: Fear and trembling
« Reply #21 on: November 06, 2012, 07:15:09 pm »
Quote from: veggiewolf;79889
If you're referring to this thread, let me try to clarify.  There's nothing wrong with worshiping/honoring/praying-to multiple gods.  The issue comes in (IMO)when people play god-roulette - "I asked X for my boyfriend to come back and He won't give it to me.  He's so mean!  I'm going to go worship Z instead!"



Do you have an established practice right now, or are you still seeking?



I cannot speak for Hellenic or Celtic polytheism as I don't follow either.  However, nothing says you have to have a patron.  In fact, I'd be willing to bet that most self-identifying pagans don't.

 
Veggie is right as regards Celtic paths - Patrons are actually a rare thing and you don't go seeking them, they come up and tap you on the shoulder (or rap you upside the head in my case)

Multiple pantheon following is fine in an eclectic path - I do it myself; that's the "twist" in my Celtic path as there are a few Norse deities I work with as well, but my primary focus is on Irish-Celtic

Don't be in too much a rush to settle on one or several deities to follow; examine, investigate, inquire

NanoRaven

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Re: Fear and trembling
« Reply #22 on: November 07, 2012, 08:42:07 am »
Quote from: Rhyshadow;79910
Veggie is right as regards Celtic paths - Patrons are actually a rare thing and you don't go seeking them, they come up and tap you on the shoulder (or rap you upside the head in my case)

Multiple pantheon following is fine in an eclectic path - I do it myself; that's the "twist" in my Celtic path as there are a few Norse deities I work with as well, but my primary focus is on Irish-Celtic

Don't be in too much a rush to settle on one or several deities to follow; examine, investigate, inquire

 
I understand, thank you for the knowledge :) I have lit candles and offered vodka/water last night to both Manannan and Brighid. I am intending to continue this nightly particularly as it is the monsoon season here and I read about Manannan being a storm God. Once I return to my country after my semester is over, I will figure out how to set up a space when I come back next year. For now, I will have to depend on a travel shrine, a make-shift one as I will be moving back to my country and then on to another country before coming back here for school.

It's a little strange because I'm currently in a Muslim country but only today did I notice the prayers from a nearby prayer hall that I can hear from my room. I'm not sure if it's a special festival today but it did remind me of the god of my mother. She gave me a little book of Muslim prayers when I left to go to school, the prayers reminded me of that.

Waldhexe

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Re: Fear and trembling
« Reply #23 on: November 07, 2012, 12:27:29 pm »
Quote from: NanoRaven;79995
I understand, thank you for the knowledge :) I have lit candles and offered vodka/water last night to both Manannan and Brighid. I am intending to continue this nightly particularly as it is the monsoon season here and I read about Manannan being a storm God. Once I return to my country after my semester is over, I will figure out how to set up a space when I come back next year. For now, I will have to depend on a travel shrine, a make-shift one as I will be moving back to my country and then on to another country before coming back here for school.

It's a little strange because I'm currently in a Muslim country but only today did I notice the prayers from a nearby prayer hall that I can hear from my room. I'm not sure if it's a special festival today but it did remind me of the god of my mother. She gave me a little book of Muslim prayers when I left to go to school, the prayers reminded me of that.

I'm just asking out of curiosity and because we don't have many TC members from asia...you don't have to answer if I'm too nosy.

Do you come from Malaysia or is that the country you are at the moment?

NanoRaven

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Re: Fear and trembling
« Reply #24 on: November 07, 2012, 01:28:08 pm »
Quote from: Waldhexe;80010
I'm just asking out of curiosity and because we don't have many TC members from asia...you don't have to answer if I'm too nosy.

Do you come from Malaysia or is that the country you are at the moment?

 
That's alright, I'm currently in Malaysia, it's not my country of birth though. :)

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