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Thoughts on Cultural and Spiritual Appropriation
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
How Good Is Your Wheat?
Article ID: 10571
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 3,783
Times Read: 5,154
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Author: Rev. Onyx HP
Posted: April 23rd. 2006
Times Viewed: 5,154
On a small island lived a population of people. This island was isolated from all others in the world. There were no means of communication with the outside world. There were also no means of transportation except by hand: no beasts of burden and no pedal power.
Although this was a primitive existence, everything was provided for the people on this island. All of their necessities were provided. They didn't lack for food and water and never needed health care. They had no worries. The only thing they had to do was grow wheat. Everyone had to grow their own wheat and no one could help another grow their wheat.
At the end of the season they had to harvest their own wheat and take their wheat to the top of the only mountain on the island. At the top of the mountain stood the only mill. Everyone had to take their own wheat and no one could help another with their wheat. And everyone must take their wheat to the mill.
There were three paths up this mountain. There was a gently sloping path. The weakest and the most infirm on the island could traverse this road. It was gentle and easy to climb carrying the wheat.
There was a second path that they could climb. The majority of the people on the island could climb this road. It was steeper than the first road but not so much that it was a burden to most people.
There was a third path up the hill. It was steep and treacherous. It was fraught with dangers. It went straight up the mountain. Only the hardiest and most brave could would even attempt this dangerous climb.
The mill was run by a blind miller. His only task was to take in the wheat and mill it. He sat there day in and day out waiting for the people of the island to bring their wheat to him.
When a person arrived at the miller with their wheat, the miller always asked one question. It was always the same question. He did not care which road someone took to get the wheat to the mill. He simply asked, “How good is your wheat?”
It occurred to me years ago, after studying many world religions, that the fundamental problem with most religious intolerance is our ignorance that they were all saying the same thing but from different perspectives. Yes, there are cultural differences and ethnic differences and all that stuff. But fundamentally they are all saying the same thing. Most talk of a higher power than ourselves. Most talk of the importance of that power in our lives. All talk of how we are better off living a life that is just and kind and moral.
The differences come when we start talking about whether there are a god or a goddess, or both a god and a goddess, or many of each. We argue that it may be our own higher selves linked to a cosmic soul. We argue whether mankind is essentially evil or not. Whether we need salvationand where it can be obtained. There are myriad differing themes.
Wouldn't it be nice if the world would stop fighting over which one was right and understand that they all can be right? It is only our perspective on the divine that differs. Like seeing a different facet of a beautiful gem, we each see the same gem, but it presents itself differently based on the angle from which we see it.
If you are drawn to a Jewish synagogue and that works for you—if it makes you whole and happy spiritually— then that is where you need to be. It may not be the place for me or someone else. But it is the place for you.
If you are happiest rejoicing in your salvation by Jesus, again, if it makes you whole and complete spiritually then that is where you need to be. It is right for you.
If your place is in a Pagan circle, with the same qualifications, then you have found your spiritual home. Rejoice in the blessed happiness it brings.
If your path leads you to any other of the many paths, and you are happy within that path, then, agaIn, rejoice that you have found your spiritual home.
You may be happy in finding your own way, striking out alone in your quest for spiritual fulfillment and happiness—the spiritual lone wolf, so to speak, bold in your eclectic view of spirituality. Then you are home in that path.
And if you still seeking a home, don't give up the search. Everyone must choose a path, or the wheat may be no good. It may have soured with apathy. There is a home for you. There is a home for everyone.
Another point I would like to make about this story is that it doesn't matter which path you take . . . so it follows that it doesn't matter which path another takes. If they choose another path than you, it does not make them wrong. Live and let live.
The Wiccan Rede says "If it harm none, do as thou wilt." I agree with this. The only intolerance that I harbor is for those who seek to convert me to their way of thinking, or get me to take the path they have chosen for themselves.
I know that they believe what they are saying, and for them their path is right, and that is good for them. But I may choose an easier path or a more difficult path. I may even choose to switch paths several times. But they need to learn to allow others their own point of view. They need to learn to rejoice in the brotherhood of mankind. We all share in the wish to be happy and fulfilled. We are going to choose that path that works best for us.
The Golden Rule says, "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you." I believe that too. I do not wish to be converted. I am happy in my choice of faith, my choice of roads. It works wonderfully for me. I am making it up the mountain just fine, making sure my wheat does not sour. So I do not seek to convert others from their path. This is a good way to live. And I will always preach that.
Rev. Onyx HP
Location: Thomasville, North Carolina
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