Yep ! I’m Definately a Pagan.

March 21, 2013

We Belong

A belief Older Than Time.
In another Internet location I have noticed a recurring theme to many of the questions and forum subjects; Religion and Beliefs.’ In my own small way I have joined in occasionally but have pulled back when the two camps of believers and non-believers split into almost open warfare.

Even the agnostics among them seem to get angry, perhaps at their own indecision about not allowing themselves to be drawn one way or the other. Within such forums it hardly seemed appropriate for someone like me, a Pagan, to come bumbling along and state what amounts to an alternative suggestion that, in point of fact they, believers and non-believers alike, may both be wrong and give the agnostics further confusion by giving them a third alternative to be unsure about.

In my professional career I became what the American Oil Industry call a ‘Trouble Shooter.’ I went wherever there was a logistical problem and sorted it out. Not wishing to be unduly modest I became quite good at it, not because I was any better or smarter than the people at any given location or trouble spot, but because over time I had developed my own analytical techniques. These were: try always to approach each problem with an open mind. Never try to pre judge or second guess a situation or the people involved no matter how well briefed I was before going in, and remember above all we are all capable of screwing up.

Of course one great advantage that I had over everybody already there was I had no notion of what the hell I was walking into and therefore my mind was clear and objective. I arrived from a distance often seeing the obvious because I was looking at everything from a different angle or perspective.

A while ago I wrote a Blog called I am a Pagan… I think ! Almost as if I wasn’t sure of my own beliefs. Does that make me an agnostic Pagan? Although that hardly seems a genuine analysis of what I truly believe nor of the way I like to live my life or be judged by those around me.

Then I had my ‘Eureka ‘moment, what if I was guilty of my own golden rule?

What if I wasn’t standing far enough back to see what it was I was looking for in the first place ?

It was just like a light being switched on, there it was just sitting there in plain sight the answer as to why so many of those religious forums fall apart with neither side leaving any the wiser for their visit.

My conclusion is that neither side is actually in any real danger of converting the other.. The religious turn away from God because of life’s experiences not through any atheist argument nor is the atheist suddenly going to see the light based upon any of the religious thoughts or theories I’ve seen on that forum, or any other for that matter. Plus of course the agnostic will carry their personal doubts around on their shoulders like an invisible yoke probably until death awaiting as they do for positive answers to their uncertain questions. Let me see if I can expand upon this. If you enter a room where a man in panic stands with his face pressed hard up against the wall and he shouts that he cannot see a way out, you would suggest he steps back a few paces until he can once more see the door. It’s fairly obvious when you think about it but not quite so obvious to someone in a blind panic.

Remember that old adage, ‘You can’t see the wood for the trees…!’

It is my theory that most religions dismissed their Pagan origins centuries ago and therefore have lost the beginning of the story of their faith… So much of the early Pagan traditions have been sucked into or taken over within the various religions that it is my contention that they have forgotten their own roots.

Without standing back the Christian believers cannot see beyond what they are told happened two thousand years ago. For them they already have their Messiah so the search is over, why look further, all they have to look forward to now is the second coming and the end of the world.

The Jewish faith, on the other hand, doesn’t accept the Christian theory and is still looking and hoping for their true Messiah so within their faith they look further back to the first few books of the Bible’s old testament. As does the Muslim faith although through Muhammad they have found their prophet but as far as I can see neither faith has found the true enlightenment they seek.

However, between them they can look back no further than say five…six thousand years, In fact there are many from those faiths who firmly believe that our planet was only created 6,000 years ago. Whereas we who are Pagan standing out here on the fringe and can see much further back to the dawn of man himself.
It is through us and because of us that mankind developed the need for Gods and because of the creation of Gods man created a need for holy men who could speak to the Gods and interpret their wishes here on Earth no matter how bizarre those demands ultimately became and so religion was born.

So how did all this start and possible more to the point where did it go wrong and become the tangled mess it is today.

Within Pagan belief our earlier ancestors saw Mother Earth as the great creator because she provided all things required for life, food, water, shelter and warmth.. You could say that back then we were content with our place and we were as one with the nature that surrounded us. Our ancient ancestors understood the reasons why Mother Nature placed us all together and that was so we could learn from one another.

Back then man was not a superior being, quite the opposite in fact, many other animal species were bigger, faster, stronger more agile and had senses far greater and more sensitive than ours. Man did not teach himself to hunt, he learnt those skills from studying the other animals, they were the ones who had the real power but the real lesson, the one that man missed, was that the other animals used their power only for the benefit of their own kind and not as a way to subdue others.
To be a great hunter you had to be one with the animals you hunted and this you could only achieve by studying the other animals very closely. In many respects it was probably the reverence we placed upon the other animals that led man to consider the spirit world in the first place. In various rituals the wearing of certain animal skins was to take over the spirit of that animal. To a hunter he would often take a token of the animal he was hunting, a claw a tooth, in the belief that it would lead him to his prey.

The first time you kill something for food the initial exhilaration is quickly replaced with a tinge of sadness, perhaps even regret and thoughts turn for the first time to the subject of death and what, if anything, happens immediately afterwards.

After each kill the hunters would praise the Mother for her bounty and thank the dead animal for the gift of life it gave to them. In honour of the Mother and the dead animal nothing was ever wasted and they took only what was necessary to sustain life.

It was purely logical to accept that if animals had a spirit then so too did man and upon death that spirit had to go somewhere. If the Earth was the Mother then the Sun was the Father and the Moon was their daughter. The stars had little early significance other than they were thought to be the camp fires of our ancestors in the spirit world.

Early Pagans were deeply superstitious about anything they didn’t understand, which was practically everything from solar eclipses, earthquakes to lightening storms everything in their lives was either a good or bad omen. Someone had to be found to help identify and explain these mysteries. Enter the Shaman, wise-man, witch doctor or medicine man and over time they developed their stories some involving Gods or spirits, some good and some bad.

You can imagine a meteor shower 25,000 years ago being explain away as all your ancestors coming back from the spirit world…How much easier to understand that an earthquake or a lightning strike is an act of an angry spirit upset at being slighted in some way let us have a quick sacrifice to make it feel better.

It doesn’t take too large a leap of the imagination to see how certain Shaman could use these superstitions for their own, or their leader’s, advantage. Then as now most people love to hear the words, ‘Don’t worry we’ll take care of it !’

From that day onwards mankind took the first faltering steps away from the Mother by proclaiming himself superior in all things. A journey he completed when by declaring himself above all animals and treating them as lesser beings.

And so we come full circle back to not being able to see the wood for the trees. To a place where we seem to have missed the fact that none of the other animals feel a need for spiritual enlightenment.

None have ever declared war upon any other species.

None fear death the way we do and none have ever felt the need for a superior being for guidance.

For they know the way of the world something we have lost and as a species I fear we may never find again.

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