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What I Believe
Article ID: 13836
Age Group: Adult
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Posted: May 23rd. 2010
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First I would like to say that I do not wish to convert anyone to my views. My purpose is to simply put down in black and white how I see the world. I am not trying to preach or collect followers, nor do I intend to offend or insult. I only write this with the intention of sharing my thoughts and opening communication between fellow Pagans. With that said, this is what I believe.
I believe in a single, universal, cosmic life force- an all knowing, all being spiritual essence that is God. It is eternal; it has always existed and will always exist. It is present in all things, animate and inanimate. All life has the Divine Spark- a piece of that divinity. I believe that this is what is commonly referred to by many different cultures and religions as the soul. I believe that it is not only a privilege of humanity, but that the divine is also present in every animal, insect, rock, plant, drop of water, or breath of air. All of creation shares this common trait, that it comes from the divine, and it includes the divine. This life force exists on a spiritual, ethereal plane, but manifests itself in all things physical.
God, being omnipresent, includes all extremes, and therefore, all opposites: positive and negative, light and dark, hot and cold, male and female. This is the essence of existence, that opposites are required to define each other. If there were no light, then there would be no darkness. God in itself includes all opposites, and therefore can have no definition. But it manifests itself in these opposites, in the physical and spiritual world, and therefore the human mind can begin to relate to it. The balance of these opposites is perfection, and is God.
This brings us to the idea of the God and the Goddess. This is a human concept that we have created to explain the manifestations of an un-explainable God. Two equal opposites, neither of which can exist without the other. It is not a perfect metaphor, as no metaphor can be, but it helps us wrap our human minds around the essence of God. Each person, included in the divine soul, has aspects of both opposing forces, which to us seems to be most easily illustrated by the sexes. But all opposites are present, since the soul is divine and divinity encompasses all. To put it in a different perspective, horses, for example, in their own way, may understand their divinity quite differently. It is probably on a more subconscious level, and not divided into male or female, dark or light, positive or negative. They probably do not understand it at all, but do not feel the spark of the divine any less than we do. In fact, they may understand it more, on a deeper level, since they are more controlled by the instinctual motivations of pure existence.
Humans, in trying to understand God, have made it harder for themselves, simply by trying to consciously grab hold of the idea. This is the handicap that we all share. I believe that horses have feelings; sadness, anger, boredom, depression, joy, but these emotions are pure and undefined by the rationale of a human mind. They learn, they think about their physical world, but I doubt that they ever consider the questions of divinity and its existence or any of the other age-old questions that humans discuss or kill each other for. Horses simply are, and they simply know without knowing that they are part of the divine in their own way. They have no questions about God, and therefore need no answers. This applies to all other living things, they do not question or seek answers; they simply know in their essence that they are part of God. This also includes our “Mother Earth”, the sex of which is another human fabrication. It has an even deeper understanding of its connection with the divine, even though it has no conscious or subconscious mind. It simply exists, fulfilling its place in the cosmos, deeply connected with God. It does not need to understand.
So for us humans, it is easier to understand the whole by understanding what we see as its parts, and giving those parts familiar aspects of the physical world that surrounds us. As this understanding changed and grew throughout history, it became more complicated, and brought more human metaphors in to help explain even further, creating all kinds of pantheons and deities both male and female, with different attributes. Characteristics of God were isolated into individual archetypes. Over such a long time, it became a huge, twisted, convoluted mass of beliefs and religions and conflicts, all in the name of understanding God. Beliefs built upon beliefs built upon other beliefs.
There are many who have lost sight of what they are really searching for, and are lost in the labyrinth of belief. Belief and faith are the most powerful concepts in the world. They can make a father kill his son without a second thought, or they can make a person give up all they own to feed total strangers. Misguided beliefs and faith can have the absolute opposite effect of their original intentions, and bring someone so much farther away from God that they cannot even see that they are going in the wrong direction. Because Faith and Belief are not of the physical world. They can only exist if there is no physical evidence to corroborate them, because if there were physical evidence, then it would not be faith.
I also believe that there are other forces on the ethereal plane that are separate from God. Some are essences of spirit with particular characteristics of their own, for example, elementals, demons, or angels, which are derived from the ethereal characteristics of God but not attached to it. And some are manifestations of the human mind, an imperfect mirror back up from the physical in to the non-physical, projections of our own subconscious. In other words, ghosts. When someone says they are experiencing a haunting, it may be one of the ethereal beings trying to interact with or influence the physical world, it might be a soul that has not yet returned to God after death, or it may just be a manifestation of that individual’s own subconscious, and not an outside influence at all.
I believe that magic is real. I believe that we can create change in the world around us, physical and spiritual, through the focus of will. It is a scientifically proven fact that all matter is made up of energy, which vibrates at certain frequencies. So therefore, can we not make conscious and deliberate changes through creating the right brain waves and thought patterns? This takes focus and practice, and that is called meditation. Meditation can be used to make magic, to communicate with others and to seek a better understanding of our own souls and minds. I believe that the subconscious mind, which we only usually access during sleep, has the closest connection to divinity, and therein lies that Divine Spark.
Our subconscious minds are a giant storehouse of information, a super computer that has not yet been fully understood and explained by science. It holds true creativity, and knowledge that transcends our individuality. It is in the mysteries of the subconscious that we can find truth and a real connection with God. But it can also work against us, simply because we do not understand it. It can store negative reactions and programming and cause us to do things that we don’t have to even think about or realize we are doing.
The subconscious mind begins gathering information even before birth. It may even carry on some of the emotions and programming from our parents, since we know that we all began as cells from the father and cells from the mother. The subconscious may even carry the imprint of all of your ancestors all the way back through history. A collective memory, buried so deep within us that we go through our daily lives not realizing that this memory has an effect on everything we do, every choice we make, every relationship we have. So if, through meditation, we can soften the barrier between conscious and subconscious, we can look inside and see what is there, the strengths and weaknesses, the things we want and don’t want, and change those as well. This is not easy. We are so used to working in the physical world and using our conscious mind for everything, it’s almost like a baby learning to walk. But as we progress in meditation, and allow our subconscious to surface even more, it becomes easier and more effortless. Then we can begin to mold it and shape it in the ways that we see as beneficial to the growth of our own divinity. We can work stronger magic as we develop our subconscious and train it to work for us rather than in spite of us or against us.
I believe in the power of divination. It can be used as a tool to communicate with God, and the very word is derived from the root, “divinity”. It is not a means to “see the future”, or predict precisely and with all certainty what is going to happen. Divination, in whatever form fits the individual, should be used as a guideline, a cosmic road map of sorts, to help direct choices and steer us on our journey. But just like checking a road map to plan the route before a long trip, things can happen along the way to change the final outcome. Each life is an ever shifting current in the torrential rapids of the universe, so there can never be a way to “see the future” in a concrete and immutable fashion. There are too many choices to be made, to many uncontrollable factors that may shift the course of the stream, like a rock dropped into water. But that does not invalidate the guidance that divination can provide. There still exist the elements of cause and effect, action and reaction, and divination can help us recognize these factors on a given situation that we may be too involved in to realize.
This brings us to the question of interpretation. The intensity of the situation we are asking guidance for may cloud our judgment of the message being given through the divinatory method. That is why many people ask others to do readings for them, and interpret the answer without any pre-existing knowledge of the situation. This allows the reader to freely examine the symbols without the pull of other thoughts and emotions. A good grasp of meditation is absolutely necessary to properly interpret divination, whether reading for ourselves or for someone else. For it is only through a connection with the divine in our own soul that we can hear what God is trying to tell us. This can be illustrated by a telephone metaphor- if you want to ask a question of someone in the next town, you must first pick up the phone and then dial the number. If you only pick up the phone and do not dial, of course you get no real answer, only a tone in your ear. If you cast runes or draw cards without meditational preparation beforehand, you get nothing but an echo of your own thoughts, impulses, pride, and sentiments.
Every one of us on earth has our own individual language of symbols, created by us long before birth. That is what we use to react to our world on a sub-primal and super-conscious level. Our subconscious mind uses that language in our dreams to try to communicate to our conscious mind. We add to this language every day as we learn and interact more with our world. This language can either assist or hinder us when we work with divination. Most methods of divination use a set standard of visual symbols, each with a standard meaning. However, it is not necessary to cling to these common sets exclusively, since any set of symbols and meanings can essentially mesh with our own symbol language and facilitate the divine communication and direction that is desired. This is why there are so many different methods of divination, and all can be equally effective, dependent upon the reader.
I believe in re-incarnation. I believe that our souls are separated and sent down from God to inhabit the physical world. Here we can learn and grow and make choices, and move closer to rejoining the universal life. It is in this way that God is able to grow and change and avoid stagnation and entropy. Some souls may take longer than others to attain ultimate enlightenment, and may need several lifetimes to complete the cycle. Some Eastern religions refer to this as Nirvana, Christianity calls it Heaven, but it is all essentially the same- the soul no longer needs the body, and rejoins with God.
I do not believe as Christianity teaches: that one lifetime is all that a soul is allotted to influence its eternal fate. This does not allow for children who die before birth or soon after- are they automatically given a free pass to Heaven, or instantly doomed to Hell because of inherited sin? I believe that in every lifetime a soul passes through, there are certain lessons to be learned, goals to complete, which are unapparent to the conscious mind. If a soul can progress forward enough, it attains the ultimate enlightenment of returning to God.
Some opponents of the reincarnation idea have asked the question: “So if souls are recycled, then how come there are more people on the Earth now than in the past? Where did the extra souls come from?” My answer is this; that new souls are sent as more people are born to receive them, so that God can continue to grow and increase as the new souls eventually spiral back to it. This means that not everyone has a past lifetime to draw memories and symbol vocabulary from; some souls are taking the “baby steps” on their journey to enlightenment.
This is what I believe. I have no desire to be classified with Wiccans or Druids or any other group, although all have my deepest respect. I have come to these conclusions through meditation, thought, research, and conversation with others, some of whom share similar opinions, and some very different. Take from it what you will.
Location: Arden, North Carolina
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