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Author Topic: Getting over the hump  (Read 2541 times)

Wulffwynne

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Getting over the hump
« on: December 27, 2011, 01:41:48 am »
I was raised to believe that spiritual travels were something to be afraid of.  In "born-again" Christianity, it is believed that if the soul leaves the body, you leave your body vulnerable to demonic possession.  I was taught that meditation as in deep contemplation and thought was acceptable, but to stay in full control over my mind and not to meditate in the Eastern sense.

I'm 30 years old and I started breaking away about 10 years ago.  I understand that Christians feared other paths and labeled other deities to frighten people.  In an academic/historical sense, I have complete understanding about how the Old Religions were stomped out... and I truly believe that much of humanity suffers spiritual disconnect.  Which is what has enabled us to institutionalize such horrors as factory farming, whaling, oil drilling, strip mining, etc, etc.  

I have this intellectual understanding of WHY I'm drawn to paganism.  But I can't get over the hump of letting go of fears that were embedded deep within my psyche from 20 years of programming.

I've heard "ghost stories" from people whom I trust to be honest about tools like Ouija boards inviting the wrong sort of spirits in people's homes.  And I know that people use sage to cleanse a home of evil spirits.  

So... if I want to begin to meditate and commune with other entities... are there precautionary measures to take?

Another embedded fear is that demons communicate in disguise.  Christianity teaches that demons mask themselves as such things as spirit guides.  I feel conflicted because I've felt disconnected from Christianity for so long for so many reasons... but my spiritual fabric was entwined so deeply in it for so long that I feel it's blocked me from engaging on other paths on anything deeper than an academic level.  I know "about" other religions, beliefs, etc.  I know "about" meditation, astral projection, spirit guides, etc.  But I haven't been able to take the plunge and explore on a personal, spiritual level.

Can anyone relate?  Any tips for easing in the waters?

Oh and one last thing... I have tried meditating, astral projecting, and remote viewing here and there.  I've gotten as far as feeling my spirit start to detach in that tingly way.  But I always pull back in.  I guess I sort of gave up, it's been a long while.

And I also had a vision when I was very very sick... but will save this story as my post is already terribly long... :-/

Khep

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Re: Getting over the hump
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2011, 09:22:18 am »
Hi, Wulffwynne.  You mention a couple of things you've been doing, or are interested in, but I don't think you really say what you believe.  I'll go with your point . . . "I truly believe that much of humanity suffers spiritual disconnect." I agree.  
Here's a few points about how I see my *own* beliefs as they inform the way I am exploring Wicca:

- The divine is a reality, and is the source of everything.
- You reap what you sow.  The intent behind every action is very important in determining the result.
- Good and evil are real - but they are not two supernatural forces battling it out (as many Christians believe) for my soul. They are qualities found in human actions, and they can both reverberate in unexpected, far-reaching ways.  
- Seeking reconnection with the divine is an act for the good - towards life and love and all positive things, even though pain and darkness are also part of life we accept.

Quote from: Wulffwynne;36544
I've heard "ghost stories" from people whom I trust to be honest about tools like Ouija boards inviting the wrong sort of spirits in people's homes.  And I know that people use sage to cleanse a home of evil spirits.  

So... if I want to begin to meditate and commune with other entities... are there precautionary measures to take?


People can be "honest" about what they -believe- is true, based on their understanding or experience.  I prefer to rely on my own understanding and experience -- "gnosis".  I don't see the world as divided into things or entities which are either morally good or evil.  What people *do* can be either.  

While some people may use sage to cleanse "evil", others like myself see the action of "cleansing" to be about purifying one's self -- a psychological process. When I take a shower, I don't call the dirt I'm washing off "evil".  But it feels good to feel "clean."  The same thing can extend to tools, the home, etc.

Many sources (in Wicca, at least) recommend that before doing this kind of work, you start by "centering," and "grounding."  The "protection" we seek isn't because of "evil spirits."  It's because tapping into nature's energy can be draining or disorienting if you aren't prepared.  (Often you won't really be aware of the effect until the next day). And because things work best when you are 'clear', as much as possible, from excess energies and outside influences you may have picked up from other people or activities.  Basically, you want to pare things down to just you, your intent, and natural energy (which comes from or is the divine.)
      Wiccans also will sometimes 'cast' a circle within which they work.  The idea is similar -- creating a "sacred space" where only the intended energies are allowed in.  It's not a matter of protecting against "evil" entities, but rather of focusing energies through (good) intent.          

Khep
ā€œI am certain of nothing but the holiness of the Heart's affections and the truth of the Imagination.ā€    ā€• John Keats

Devo

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Re: Getting over the hump
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2011, 09:43:10 am »
Quote from: Wulffwynne;36544

So... if I want to begin to meditate and commune with other entities... are there precautionary measures to take?

Can anyone relate?  Any tips for easing in the waters?


 
If you're worried about potentially messing something up, you should start with warding/barrier type things. There are probably a million ways to make them, create them, do them- but the purpose in the end is the same. To protect your ass while you're doing stuff.

You could create one out of light, call upon elements to construct one, use items to help create a barrier... you name it. But essentially, it would create a safety bubble for yourself so that you don't accidentally allow anything in. Not that I think it's a huge concern- but if you're wanting to ease in, this would probably be the best bet.

If it's deities you're wanting to talk with, I always start with offerings. Offering them food and drink, and letting them know that you're open for communication. Usually, if a deity is interested, they'll be sure to let you know. The same could probably be done with local spirits- if you're into that.

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Wulffwynne

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Re: Getting over the hump
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2011, 12:14:09 pm »
Quote from: Khep;36563
Hi, Wulffwynne.  You mention a couple of things you've been doing, or are interested in, but I don't think you really say what you believe.  

 
Thank you both for your insight.  I guess I'm still formulating what I believe.  I do believe in good and evil, but I guess it depends on how you define those terms.  I don't believe in Satan and his league of minions out there to screw us all anymore like I was raised to.  But I believe evil acts are committed every day.  I do believe there are evil people out there, serial killers, rapists, abusers, etc.  I don't know whether I believe in "good and evil" spirits right now.  

I do believe in a spiritual realm.  Physicists hypothesize about other dimensions and feel confident that they exist and that those dimensions might interact with our dimension.  I believe that very often scientists and spiritualists are discussing the same phenomena but use different terminology so they don't understand each other.  

Likewise... I used to believe that all the hype around crystals was superstitious hogwash.  Then I saw respected scientists in a documentary discussing vibrations in quartz crystal, and that crystals have a memory like computer chip storage.  And it just clicked in my head "new-age hippies have been saying that for YEARS!"  So, I'm starting to open myself up to capabilities of crystals, but do not know much about it at all yet.

I'm beginning to believe in Chakras, but don't know much about them yet.  And am feeling strongly pulled toward the idea that the Age of Aquarius is real and people are tuning in and waking up to higher forms of thinking.

I believe the Earth is sacred and should be protected, and that animals deserve respect.  And that everything is interconnected.  Spiritualism, science, philosophy, psychology, history, everything is a piece of the puzzle of the larger picture.

But as far as what I practice... I don't really practice any rituals or adhere to any system.  I've spent the last 10 years just absorbing information and formulating my ideas.  I never really considered modern neo-paganism as something I would be drawn to until recently when I realized my beliefs were slowing turning toward a pagan path without me even realizing it.  

So now I suppose it's about putting my beliefs into some sort of practice where they can develop and grow.  And there's where I'm confused and don't know where to begin.

Juniperberry

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Re: Getting over the hump
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2011, 12:26:17 pm »
Quote from: Wulffwynne;36544
I was raised to believe that spiritual travels were something to be afraid of.  In "born-again" Christianity, it is believed that if the soul leaves the body, you leave your body vulnerable to demonic possession.  I was taught that meditation as in deep contemplation and thought was acceptable, but to stay in full control over my mind and not to meditate in the Eastern sense.


What I needed to remember was that I was still using Christian conceptions of soul to contextualize alternate teachings. Christianity has the belief (not fact) that there is a soul separate from the man, but other religions may not. The Norse, for example, believed in the hugg, not soul, and it's more along the lines of thought. A person sends their thoughts out, but a person is always a full person, they don't leave an empty cavity of a body. There isn't anything for a 'demon' to possess; there are only thoughts heard, gathered and shared.

Quote
I have this intellectual understanding of WHY I'm drawn to paganism.  But I can't get over the hump of letting go of fears that were embedded deep within my psyche from 20 years of programming.


It really just takes some time in understanding that Christianity is not the only way to view the world. Once I started realizing how influential the concepts of Christianity were in dictacting how I viewed the world, and then discovered the ways in which other cultures and systems believed something different (not opposite, just unique), I began to realize how much of what I took for granted about life was religiously cultural and not Truth.

Quote
I've heard "ghost stories" from people whom I trust to be honest about tools like Ouija boards inviting the wrong sort of spirits in people's homes.  And I know that people use sage to cleanse a home of evil spirits.  

So... if I want to begin to meditate and commune with other entities... are there precautionary measures to take?


Awhile after I became heathen I watched Paranormal Activity. Normally a movie like that would have scared the crap out of me. But as I watched I began to understand how even our Hollywood movies are embedded in this subtle, religious culture. If it had been Paranormal Activity: The Heathen Addition, then it would have been a completely different movie.

That's not to say that other beliefs don't have evil or destructive entities, but that they're understood differently and interact differently. If you're protecting yourself against Christian conceptions of evil than it's going to be hard to get over that hump.

Quote
Another embedded fear is that demons communicate in disguise.  Christianity teaches that demons mask themselves as such things as spirit guides.  I feel conflicted because I've felt disconnected from Christianity for so long for so many reasons... but my spiritual fabric was entwined so deeply in it for so long that I feel it's blocked me from engaging on other paths on anything deeper than an academic level.  I know "about" other religions, beliefs, etc.  I know "about" meditation, astral projection, spirit guides, etc.  But I haven't been able to take the plunge and explore on a personal, spiritual level.


Can anyone relate?  Any tips for easing in the waters?



The reason, in Christianity, that demons will come to you in disguise is because Christian teachings support the Trial concept, and individual salvation. You're on earth to prove you're good enough to join God in heaven. Demons work against God and thus try to tempt and distract you. I know you know this, but sometimes it helped me to just hear it in black and white. Demons are supportive of the framework of God, they are part of the structure of the religious narrative. Anything that isn't God is a demon. You're deceased Grandmother could be a demon.  

I guess I would just suggest that you keep reading about different religious concepts so that you can continue to absorb how Christianity is just one of many, and how different and equally complex other structures can be. And then try to apply the different concepts in interesting circumstances (like while watching a horror movie ;) ).  It might be a good mental exercise to help you break down some cultural barriers.
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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."

Fireof9

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Re: Getting over the hump
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2011, 01:33:05 pm »
Quote from: Wulffwynne;36544
Can anyone relate?  Any tips for easing in the waters?


 
You do it slowly Wulf. I was raised in a very fanatically fundamentalist Christian hom. It took me almost 20 years to free myself of that and even though I thought I was free in the last 5 I sometimes wonder..... It really gets in your head and becomes a part of your psyche, you put everything up beside it and compare out of natural habit.

So start small. Start with contemplative meditation, start with slowly opening yourself up. Seek out your inner quiet and get to that.Once you are doing that without any emotional baggage things will start to work better for you.

The thing is, it sounds like to me, is that you are dealing with a lot of worry that what you are doing is "wrong" or a "sin". That will lead to nothing other than guilt. So this worry and guilt are going to be constant barriers for you.They create fear and it will hold you back from ever getting to where you want to go. If you meet deity or guides, judge them by your own standards. There are both out there that have their own agendas and not your best intrest in mind. However you have the power to decide that on your own - just trust in your own personal morals, values and judgement!
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Wulffwynne

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Re: Getting over the hump
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2011, 12:55:26 am »
Quote from: Juniperberry;36582
What I needed to remember was that I was still using Christian conceptions of soul to contextualize alternate teachings. Christianity has the belief (not fact) that there is a soul separate from the man, but other religions may not. The Norse, for example, believed in the hugg, not soul, and it's more along the lines of thought. A person sends their thoughts out, but a person is always a full person, they don't leave an empty cavity of a body. There isn't anything for a 'demon' to possess; there are only thoughts heard, gathered and shared. .

 
Thank you both.  I think understanding where someone else's mind is at is always difficult for another person.  But I think you both coming from similar experiences hit the nail on the head pretty closely.  I'm understanding things on a surface, sort of factual context.  But when it comes to a deeper, practical context, I'm lost.    BUT, I think it's been a process to break free of the modular way of thinking that I had been "trained" to do.  And I think I needed to have strong foundations in areas such as history and science before I could accept paganism.  I wouldn't have understood it properly.  

I saw it as girls in high school wearing black and pentacle necklaces claiming to be Wiccan for a month before moving on to the next fad.  (Incidentally, the girl I'm thinking of I happened to see at the Baptist Church I grew up in and broke off from, which my sister is now sending her son to preschool at... Apparently she attends now).  

In other words, I had to get over my preconceived prejudices and circle back to it in my own way and my own time. It takes years to truly break free of something that had dominated your very world view from the time you could talk.  I mean, my baby book records that my first word was "Bible!"  If you truly believe something, you can't just shut it off like a switch.  Deprogramming can take time!

Wulffwynne

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Re: Getting over the hump
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2011, 01:02:28 am »
Quote from: Fireof9;36591
You do it slowly Wulf. I was raised in a very fanatically fundamentalist Christian hom. It took me almost 20 years to free myself of that and even though I thought I was free in the last 5 I sometimes wonder..... It really gets in your head and becomes a part of your psyche, you put everything up beside it and compare out of natural habit.

So start small. Start with contemplative meditation, start with slowly opening yourself up. Seek out your inner quiet and get to that.Once you are doing that without any emotional baggage things will start to work better for you.

The thing is, it sounds like to me, is that you are dealing with a lot of worry that what you are doing is "wrong" or a "sin". That will lead to nothing other than guilt. So this worry and guilt are going to be constant barriers for you.They create fear and it will hold you back from ever getting to where you want to go. If you meet deity or guides, judge them by your own standards. There are both out there that have their own agendas and not your best intrest in mind. However you have the power to decide that on your own - just trust in your own personal morals, values and judgement!

 
Fire, well, I'm kind of past the whole guilt and sin thing.  I define my own ethical parameters based on reason and my own gut feelings of right and wrong.  I don't feel it's "wrong" to contact spirits or deities.  But, I feel fear that I don't quite understand it yet.  I don't want to do the wrong thing, not in that the action is sinful, but that I have no idea who I'm contacting and if I'm inviting something benevolent or malicious into my home.

But you and Juniper gave me much food for thought. I really appreciate your advice of starting small and doing some centering meditation and focusing on just finding my inner place and drowning out the noise. You're right on the money, I need to be centered and start opening myself up to the universe in baby steps.  I'm not ready to dive in with offerings and such just yet.

Thanks again, I really felt like you related to where I was coming from and gave meaningful advice.

dragonfaerie

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Re: Getting over the hump
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2011, 12:07:41 am »
Quote from: Wulffwynne;36674
In other words, I had to get over my preconceived prejudices and circle back to it in my own way and my own time. It takes years to truly break free of something that had dominated your very world view from the time you could talk.  I mean, my baby book records that my first word was "Bible!"  If you truly believe something, you can't just shut it off like a switch.  Deprogramming can take time!


I really find that journaling helps with that process, because you can chew on a topic for a while, put it away, come back to it, look at it from a different angle, etc. Choose one of these concepts that cause you discomfort and start by asking yourself why.

So if you're fearful about spirits and non-human entities, take some time to journal on that. Once you deeply understand what the hang-ups are, then you can at least tailor your protection to address those fears. And possibly, through exploring your beliefs on the subject, how Pagans tend to believe, and delving into current research and ideas of the paranormal, you might even be able to work through the issues entirely.

Karen

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Re: Getting over the hump
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2011, 08:44:40 pm »
Quote from: Wulffwynne;36544
....

 

If it's not too personal, may I ask why you want to "commune with other entities?"  I mean, is it just something you're interested in or do you (or did you) have some previous experience with another entity?

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