Articles/Essays From Pagans
June 16th. 2013 ...
How To Stay Spiritual Amidst This Chaos?
Hearing The Music And Dancing The Dance
A Tale of the Wood
June 9th. 2013 ...
The Nature of Sacrifice
The Magick of Buildings
Start your own Pagan Church in Canada - A Detailed Guide
June 2nd. 2013 ...
Maiden, Mother, Who?! (A Discussion of the Triple Goddess)
Gods Who Live In My House
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May 26th. 2013 ...
So You Think You've Found a Teacher...
Learning To Live Your Own Life
Raising Personal Magickal Energy for Spellwork
Casting The Wiccan Circle
May 19th. 2013 ...
The Role of Identity in Magic
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My Wiccan Journey
13 Keys: The Victory of Netzach
May 12th. 2013 ...
Pagan Studies I: How Should We Define Modern Paganism?
The Third Path
Nothing Special... Part Two
May 5th. 2013 ...
The Value of Multicultural Awareness
Put Your Back Into It (Our Lady of the Sacred Honey Badger)
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Red Lipped Bat Fish
April 28th. 2013 ...
Lessons from the Lessers: Iris
April 21st. 2013 ...
Taken By The Goddess: The Crescent Moon Tattoo
The Gods/Being Godbothered
To Be A Witch
The Archetypes are Gods: Re-godding the Archetypes
April 14th. 2013 ...
On The Inclusion of Children
'Wand Fun' With Grandson
Lessons from a Baby
Lessons of Freedom: On Divinity and Healing
April 7th. 2013 ...
Out of the Broom Closet... Sorta
A Journey Through the Witches Tarot
History and Science Behind Numerology
March 31st. 2013 ...
What is the Magickal Self?
Ethics and Numerology
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Keystones of the Sacred Land
March 17th. 2013 ...
Why Some Pagans and Witches Still Hide
Witch Heritage 101: What Happens When Witch Haters Joke about anti-Witch Films
I'm Not a Broom. So What's with the Closet?
March 10th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Things I Did as a New Pagan: Part 3
Hunting for the Real Witch in Film
The Collective Shadow
Lies - The Opposite of Truth
March 3rd. 2013 ...
Grounding and Releasing Negative Energy
A Patchwork of Magick
February 24th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I Made as a New Pagan (Part Two)
February 17th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I made as a New Pagan... Part One
Gardening with Crystal Energies
A Call from the Ancestors
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Black Water Snakes
February 10th. 2013 ...
We Are the Weirdos, Mister: A Completely Uncool Story of Origin
February 3rd. 2013 ...
"I'll Grind Your Bones to Make my Bread": Pagans and Animal Husbandry
The Role of Contemporary Culture in Magic
A Pagan Response to Endangered Earth
The Great Mother's Gift, Heinlein, and the Nature of Squirrels
13 Keys: The Glory of Hod
January 27th. 2013 ...
Why We Do Need Wicca
The Cosmos In the Coffee Shop
On Travel Spirituality and Magick
January 20th. 2013 ...
Beloved Backs and How to Save Them
Building or Burning Bridges?
Plants, Magic and Intuition
Plagiarism - How It Harms Our Community
January 13th. 2013 ...
Ramblings of a Pagan Guy: Stupid Clichés
The Magick and Power of Words
Aging Is Not Easy
The Riddle of Who We Are?
January 6th. 2013 ...
Wicca v Witchcraft
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Jimbo the Swamp God Teaches Faith
Article ID: 13844
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 1,110
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Author: Fire Lyte
Posted: June 6th. 2010
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An old George Carlin joke asks: If god is so all-powerful, can god create a rock so heavy that god cannot lift it? His fellow Catholic school classmates, Carlin said, used this question, in order to stump priests about the omnipotence of that god. Because, of course, if god is all-powerful, surely there’s nothing he cannot do, and the cycle of hilarity that comes with watching priests squirm continues.
Nobody has the same relationship with deity. Some of us see god (dess) as a conglomeration of energy. Some see That as a creator/creatrix deity that loves each and every one of us like a parent while maintaining balance, which knows everything and can do anything. Still others see That as something more than the first but lesser than the last.
We’re also a little confused as to how our relationship should be expressed. Are we subservient to the Divine? Are we working with the Divine? Do we, perhaps, exist above the divine, creating It just as much as it creates us? Do we take Him/Her out for coffee? Can They see us naked? So many questions, so few deities…until now.
With the speed at which we’re hurtling into the future, constantly evolving in thought and belief, it has become a white-hot topic of debate as to where God (dess) comes from. No, this is not a new concept. It’s actually one of the oldest questions about the divine. I remember as a small child attempting to understand the eternal nature of God after my mother and Sunday school teacher attempted to explain to me how God had just always been.
8 year olds have a really easy answer for this: Nuh-uh! One can understand immortality; that’s just not dying. You see it in the movies. You read about it in books, but one cannot see or express something that has always been. The eternal eternity. However, what if you throw this idea out of the window? Or, maybe not throw the idea out completely, but what if you make an addendum to that? A God can either be an eternal deity, or it can be a completely new creation of human thought.
This, it seems, is the argument that many have when explaining the concept of personal deity. If I believe that the Flying Spaghetti Monster is real, and you believe it’s real, and we can get 10, 000 other people to believe that it’s real, then it’ll become real, because we’ve believed it to be so. We have simultaneously decided both that God (dess) created man and that man creates God (dess) .
It is this kind of ‘mind over reality’ thinking that fosters ideas like the law of attraction. Man creates his own reality. Thoughts become things. Blah blah blah… The more belief we give something, the more it becomes real. I’d like to, as objectively as possible, look at some of the problems with this kind of thinking.
Numbers. It seems that the running theory is that if enough people believe in a being, that it will manifest itself into reality on the astral plane, thereby becoming either an astral entity or a deity. But, how many people does it take before the character in my made-up bedtime story told to my children can become an actual, powerful divine force? If I tell the story, I’m giving credence and origin to the being, but add the belief of, say, two children to that. Does the belief of 3 people equal a deity? Or, does it have to be the millions of followers of Harry Potter? Is there a number somewhere in between? Perhaps the kind of belief is essential. Does innocent, blind faith make more deities than skeptical, academic faith? For this to be a law of the universe, there has to be a case in which it works every time. Unfortunately, we cannot test for the validity of the god-creation, so we cannot know.
God-only. Manifestation of spiritual entities – like astral beings or deities – only works in those particular instances. I cannot, for instance, believe in an apple so much that one manifests on my desk. Nor can I believe myself out of gravity. Belief becoming reality thinking only works on something that cannot quantitatively or qualitatively be proven to exist. This kind of thinking presents a conundrum for humanity: we can neither defend it nor go against it. You cannot say that God is not real because of a lack of proof, because the very definition of God is beyond proof. Likewise, you cannot scientifically or categorically defend your belief, because you must admit that it is simply believing in something for the sake of the belief. Depending on your view of this, it’s either a win/win situation or a lose/lose one.
Properties. This is the issue that sort of gets at the very heart of the problem of man creating God (dess) . If you view God (dess) as all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving, all-creating, all-sustaining, etc. then man cannot believe God into existence. If God (dess) is even one of those things, then man cannot have created him/her/it. Just like a woman cannot procreate with her husband to create a horse, man cannot give birth to something that is greater than man. Sure, we can take bits and pieces of materials and create guns or bombs or whatever, and one could say those are greater in power than man, but they cannot in and of themselves create a universe, know all that ever was and will be, or sustain the life of every being in existence.
Herein, though, lies the great fallacy. I am not a philosopher, and I honestly confuse myself when I try and think about the really deep questions of life. I deal with reality on a daily basis. My job title forces me to look at death and decay and social issues that nobody wants to deal with. I do not have the luxury of flights of fancy, because they do not actually fix problems.
So, I can talk about how man cannot create a God/Goddess/Divine being all day long, but there’s something about this that feels false.
I cannot describe myself as a glass half empty kind of person, nor do I feel it is half full. The glass has water in it. That’s the reality. Does it matter how empty or full it is? No, because there’s just enough in the glass for me to drink it. Does it matter how many people it takes to make a God real? Well, personally, that depends on my relationship with deity. And it must be remembered that all the arguments I can come up with to tell others why they can’t deify Harry Potter must eventually turn back to me. Why is my view of the divine any more or less correct than any other? It’s not.
My partner told me that his view of God is shifting, or, perhaps, evolving. He said that he feels that faith, in and of itself, is the real power. And this hits me at a very guttural, instinctual level. He said that we could call God whatever we want, because at the end of the day a belief in the divine is what gives hope to millions around the world. Faith is power. Now, I do not believe that faith is going to manifest something that is not already there. We can believe all we want in Jimbo the Swamp God, but that doesn’t mean that he exists. However, if your faith in Jimbo the Swamp God helps you get through the day, and if you believe that his great swampy-ness is what makes the breeze blow, and that’s what you need, then go for it.
After all, this world needs a lesson in hope. These are tough times for everyone, and if you can find any reason to keep on moving when life wants to stop you, I don’t care what you call it. Faith rocks.
All Gods are one God, and all Goddesses are one Goddess. She creates; he gives order. Names are inconsequential to this harmony.
Now, the line must be drawn in saying that if enough people believe in something, that it actually becomes real on some plane of existence. We do not create that which is greater than we are. The Divine does not need the perception of man to exist. We are the creation, and there is nothing wrong with that. Enjoy your place in the cosmic wheel. Find your faith, and – as the Big O would say – live your best life.
Copyright: (c) 2010 - Fire Lyte - Inciting A Riot
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