A contribution to the Pagan Values event 2012
I believe that the Divine is manifest in the universe (Nature) and therefore regard Nature as sacred.
I believe that a balance of energies is natural and celebrate the natural balance and cycles of Nature.
I believe that we are all part of an interconnected web of life and recognize that every action has a consequence and what affects one of us affects all of us.
These are my personal core religious beliefs and values and what makes me Pagan. I did not adopt these beliefs and values after becoming a Pagan, I was a Pagan before I knew that was the word for it. Technically speaking, I am a Panentheistic Deist but that is just being ultra specific about what kind of a Pagan I am.
I don’t believe that such beliefs and values necessarily make someone behave differently or better than anyone else. Pagans are flawed human beings just as susceptible to behaving badly as anyone else. I therefore decided to write about something else for this contribution, namely about something fairly unique to Pagans that I have experienced personally and that I witness other Pagans experiencing on a regular basis. We walk our own spiritual path and often pay a price for it.
Above, fire; below, the lake:
The image of OPPOSITION.
Thus amid all fellowship
The superior man retains his individuality.”*
The I Ching or Book of Changes,
Richard Wilhelm and Cary F Baynes
(*superior man = noble or honourable person)
A few years ago I performed an I Ching reading about my metaphysical studies and the outcome hexagram was number 38, comprising the ascending trigram of Fire over the descending trigram of Lake, which is known in English as Opposition, Alienation, Estrangement, Estranged and Abandoned.
At the time I did not understand why, or even believe, that the path of learning I had chosen would lead to opposition or estrangement. To my surprise, later on some people tried very hard to force me back into the box where they thought I belonged leading to our estrangement.
It is hard to fathom the level of ignorance and intolerance in society in this supposedly enlightened day and age. My family and friends are either Christian, Hindu or atheist and the society I live in is overwhelmingly Christian. It would generally be safest to conform or keep my thoughts about religion to myself, but I get tired of biting my lip when people take it for granted that I am a Christian or disparage religions and religious practices outside the mainstream.
“This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.”
Hamlet, William Shakespeare (1564-1616)