The opinions posted on the Pagan Perspective pages are those of individuals and are not neccessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
Posted: Sep. 8, 2002
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Question of the Week: 105 - 4/5/2003
Are Pagans TOO Individualistic?
We hear it said all of the time: Pagans are individualistic. We hold our own personal freedoms and acts of self-determination (and perhaps, our own self-worth and esteem) to be of the utmost importance and often view events, ethical and moral issues and Pagan-related teachings through this lens.
Does the good of the one always outweigh the good of the many? Should it? Are there times and/or circumstances in which such an individualistic mindset is detrimental to a bigger picture?
Have there been times when you have put aside your personal feelings in order to support a group or project even if you were somewhat ambivalent about ‘going along’? Or have you left a group or situation because you would not -- or could not –- go along with the crowd or leadership position?
How do you reconcile your individuality with the goals or teachings or codes of your group? With other Pagans? How do you decide?
| Reponses: There are 56 responses posted to this question.
|| Reverse Sort
| NO! ||Apr 11th. at 11:55:01 am EDT|
|Isabella Plato de Luna (Chaos and Void) ||Age: 32 - Email |
| No ||Apr 11th. at 2:58:15 pm EDT|
|David (ohio) ||Age: 14 - Email |
no i don't think pagans are too individualistic cause everyone has the right to keep to their shelf.
| No ||Apr 11th. at 3:27:43 pm EDT|
|Gardener (New England) ||Age: 48 - Email |
When you leave a group or a situation because you can not go along with the crowd or leadership position because it goes against what you believe in, then you are not being individualistic so much as being true to your inner beliefs (or your inner self) .
And to be able to contribute positively to the greater good you must first be able to believe in yourself.
| I Read The Question Twice... ||Apr 11th. at 3:53:29 pm EDT|
|Lunae (aka Kerridwen) (rural STL area) ||Age: 31 - Email |
just to be sure.
I'm focusing on the aspect of "good of the one outweighs the good of the many."
Really people, in a general sense, No. If you've lived your life and experienced any groups (and oh, *belonged* to them in a participatory fashion for any time which involves "years") , you have compromised either to keep the peace or for some other reason.
I'm not saying the "big/ personal" issues. We've all known a Catholic who had an abortion, for example.
Now if you are solitary and doing what is truly best for you (not what you *want* but what you *need*) , of course you'll do exactly what's right for you.
And really let's face it, apply the same to a group in which one find's herself, "what's truly best for your joint focus/ concerns as in what is *needed* not only *desired...*
BTW (for those searching for something a tad more cohesive) it's my understanding that Reclaimers work by consensus only-I'm not Reclaiming so this isn't a "testimonial."
| The Individual Is Illusory ||Apr 11th. at 8:29:43 pm EDT|
|CA Tyron (Los Angeles, CA) ||Age: 36 - Email |
I believe that Pagans come together out of affinity and not compulsion. Those things that make us all distinct expressions of spirit do not dispel the overarching unity that we allow ourselves to be drawn to. I feel sure there are situations in the larger Pagan community where people feel dominated or coerced and uncomfortable-this is likely to happen in any goal oriented gathering of any kind, unless some sort of successful mass hypnosis is acheived. Group activity makes compromise necessary. I personally believe it is intrinsic to the various Pagan faiths that one approaches by affinity and noone is coerced "for their own good." If your circle, clan, grove, coven, or other makes you unconfortable it's probably a sign to look elsewhere.
| Stars In The Sky ||Apr 13th. at 10:59:00 am EDT|
|Dove (Alabama) ||Age: 48 - Email |
Just like the stars in the sky we are all shining in the void. We all look the same at a distance but are really all different close up. This is the way all religious groups are. You will think that all or this group or that group are this or that way but it is not so. Do not say "All of these are (Fill in the blank) because on the one on one basis that is really not true. Most know what they are required to believe and then there is what they really believe. No two people, no matter how well they know each other, believe exactly alike. We are all individuals, even in groups.
| No. ||Apr 13th. at 4:39:47 pm EDT|
|Enoon (Everetts NC) ||Age: 51 - Email |
The very need to communicate, says that you are social. To love yourself, is to love the whole universe. To be an individual
is to know that there are others.
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