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: Nov. 17, 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 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.
| 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.
| 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.
| 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."
| 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.
| 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 11:55:01 am EDT|
|Isabella Plato de Luna (Chaos and Void) ||Age: 32 - Email |
| Good Question... ||Apr 11th. at 11:49:37 am EDT|
|Amorella (Roswell) ||Age: 22 - Email |
I think that being Individualistic is not a bad thing, as long as people try not to pass of their way as the only way.
I know that I personally have extreemly individualistic ideas, but still have lots of contact with other pagans who have ideas of there own. I don't expect them to agree with me on most things, and just enjoy their company and wisdome.
I think that once people put aside the notion that we all have to agree to get along, this issue will resolve itself...
| Individuality ||Apr 11th. at 10:40:08 am EDT|
|brigid (pittsburgh) ||Age: 33 - Email |
do i think we are too individualistic? i think we were made to be individualistic and change is difficult. for centuries wiccans were persecuted. to practice you had to do so in hiding or in secret. the majority of us are solitary practitioners...solitary...meaning alone or "individual". there are still alot of us who haven't come the whole way out of the broom closet! how else could we be but individualistic. is being individualistic a bad thing? who knows. i don't think it is. there are still alot of people in society who think wiccans are "bad people". i'd rather be an individual free to practice what i choose than to be a sheep who follows the masses!
| On Second Thought... ||Apr 11th. at 6:29:34 am EDT|
|elf (cornwall) ||Age: 23 - Email |
On second thought (apologies) I think we should try to have the confidence to be individuals but also to have an awareness of the group mind (collective consciousness) . Most importantly we should avoid being inhibited. By being truly individual we can build together a stronger group. A bit like the way all snowflakes are different, but together they make snow.
| Yes And No ||Apr 11th. at 6:17:45 am EDT|
|elf (cornwall) ||Age: 23 - Email |
We are too individualistic in that we don't look out for each other. We tend to worry more about our bank balance than the poverty of others. We are afraid of each other, people are afraid to stop and offer help to someone on the street. We are inhibited, we are disconnected from the group mind. We see ourselves as individuals rather than part of a species and a planet on the whole. In that sense I think we are too individualistic.
We are not individualistic enough because we lack expression, we are afraid of what others will think of us, we want to "fit in". Most of us are creatively constipated, we lack imagination because of the daily crap we get fed via our television screens. We are not individualistic enough because we believe the lies we are fed, we think we need consumerism (useless items) in order to be a "member of society".
| This Is A Thin Line ||Apr 10th. at 2:50:32 pm EDT|
|Micheal (South Carolina) ||Age: 25 - Email |
I Think that its the ones that are individualistic are the ones that can become the leaders of covens . Then the ones that are more group or humanity thought driven fall to the supoort of the individualistic people . We just need to be carefull of the thoughts that we follow
Yours in this world , and the next
) O ( MICHEAL ) O (
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