Articles/Essays From Pagans
November 10th. 2016 ...
What Exactly Is Witchcraft?
A Witch in the Bible Belt: Questions are Opportunities
On Death and Passing: Compassion Burnout in Healers and Shamans
What I Get from Cooking (And How it’s Part of My Path)
October 10th. 2016 ...
Witchcraft from the Outside
September 11th. 2016 ...
How Did I Get Here? (My Pagan Journey)
Wild Mountain Woman: Landscape Goddess
September 3rd. 2016 ...
Rethinking Heaven: What Happens When We Die?
What is Happening in My Psychic Reading?
August 12th. 2016 ...
When Reality Rattles your Idea of the Perfect Witch
Hungarian Belief in Fairies
Designing a Pagan Last Will and Testament
July 13th. 2016 ...
What Every Pagan Should Know About Curses
Magic With A Flick of my Finger
An Open Mind and Heart
Finding and Caring for Your Frame Drum
June 13th. 2016 ...
Pollyanna Propaganda: The Distressing Trend of Victim-Blaming in Spirituality
Living a Magickal Life with Fibromyalgia
My Father, My First God
Life is Awesome... and the Flu
May 15th. 2016 ...
Faery Guided Journey
How to Bond with the Elements through Magick
Magical Household Cleaning
Working with the Elements
April 2nd. 2016 ...
An Alternative Conception of Divine Reciprocity
Becoming Wiccan: What I Never Expected
The Fear of Witchcraft
Rebirth By Fire: A Love Letter to Mama Maui and Lady Pele
Blowing Bubbles with the Goddess
Magic in Sentences
The Evolution of Thought Forms
March 28th. 2016 ...
Revisiting The Spiral
Lateral Transcendence: Toward Greater Compassion
Spring Has Sprung!
January 22nd. 2016 ...
Coming Out of the Broom Closet
Energy and Karma
Community and Perception
December 20th. 2015 ...
Introduction to Tarot For the Novice
Magia y Wicca
October 24th. 2015 ...
Facing Your Demons: The Shadow Self
The Dream Eater--A Practical Use of Summoning Talismans
Native American Spirituality Myopia
A Dream Message
Feeling the Pulse of Autumn
October 16th. 2015 ...
Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts
September 30th. 2015 ...
September 16th. 2015 ...
Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate
Nature Worship: or Seeing the Trees for the Ents
August 6th. 2015 ...
Lost - A Pagan Parent's Tale
July 9th. 2015 ...
Love Spells: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
The Magic of Weather
June 7th. 2015 ...
A Pagan Altar
A Minority of a Minority of a Minority
The Consort: Silent Partner or Hidden in Plain Sight?
Why I Bother With Ritual: Poetry and Eikonic Atheism
May 6th. 2015 ...
Gods, Myth, and Ritual in Naturalistic Paganism
I Claim Cronehood
13 Keys: The Crown of Kether
March 29th. 2015 ...
A Thread in the Tapestry of Witchcraft
March 28th. 2015 ...
On Wiccan Magick, Theurgy, Thaumaturgy and Setting Expectations
March 1st. 2015 ...
Choosing to Write a Shadow Book
Historiolae: The Spell Within the Story
February 1st. 2015 ...
Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader
The Three Centers of Paganism
Magick is No Illusion
The Ancient Use of God/Goddess Surnames
The Gods of My Heart
January 1st. 2015 ...
The Six Most Valuable Lessons I've Learned on My Path as a Witch
Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft
Publicly Other: Witchcraft in the Suburbs
Pagans All Around Us
Broomstick to the Emerald City
October 20th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits
A Microcosmic View of Ma'at
October 5th. 2014 ...
The History of the Sacred Circle
Abandoning Expectations and Remembering Your Roots
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
The Great Escape
Article ID: 14384
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 2,168
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Author: Crick [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: January 2nd. 2011
Times Viewed: 2,917
With the advent of the Roman New Year, certain thoughts have gathered in my mind. Why is it that we as a species constantly seek to alter our state of consciousness? Every single day there are literally billions of folks, who engage in activities that are intended to alter the sense of reality that we are introduced into from birth. What is it that we are trying to escape from?
Can it be the behavior that we as humans have introduced into this world, a behavior that we accept as natural? Or is the mystery of life to become cognizant of such activities and to find a higher sense of truth?
We as a species engage in this activity of escape through a wide variety of ways. This may be through alcohol in its many forms and proofs. Or perhaps through the use of a wide variety of drugs which are ingested in every way imaginable. It is interesting to note that though all drugs have the same intended result to some degree, we as a species have become divided as to which drugs are acceptable into which segment of our many societies. The same questions and/or concerns arise over many other forms of consciousness-altering, such as those associated with spiritual endeavors like vision quests and Chautauqua’s or sexual eroticism with its many avenues of so called “sexual freedom”.
As pagans we proclaim our purpose in this life as ‘seeking out the mysteries of life’ and yet we have literally hundreds, if not thousands, of ways to escape the very reality that we claim to seek an understanding of.
Why? By engaging in such activities, are we not as a species subjugating our very purpose for being in this realm? Is this behavior a means of escaping from our spiritual responsibilities in regards to those lessons that deity, as we individually relate to such a concept, has placed before us? In short, are we simply copping out as a species? And as pagans of many and divergent paths, do we not have an obligation to seek an understanding of such personal behavior?
Are we simply a facsimile of the three Abraham religions, which espouse love and peace on one hand and yet engage in every type of escape known to humankind on the other hand? As pagans, do we truly seek a greater understanding of self and thus of our spiritual growth? Does our proclamation that we are Pagan translate into tangible actions in regards to our responsibility to self and to those around us? Or do we simply join in the stampede to find a form of escape from this reality with its panorama of harsh and difficult lessons?
And what about those activities that we engage in using mind-altering substances that are intended to enable us to connect with spiritual endeavors? Are such activities actually inclined towards such worthy goals or is it just another means of legitimizing the great escape from our current state of reality… A reality that may well be constructed for this particular realm only? This of course assumes that one believes in reincarnation and thus the possibility that we are re-injected into the human awareness or perhaps a sense of reality that we are totally unaware of from our current state of understanding.
If they are constructive means of reaching a spiritual plateau, then what about the billions of folks around the world who employ mind-altering techniques simply as an avenue of escape? Are they showing irresponsible insolence to a sacred means of connecting to deity?
Why do you suppose that our world is in such a flux? And more importantly what is our individual responsibility towards such an impasse of misguided actions? Is our responsibility, if any, confined to becoming beacons of personal behavior for others by instilling a greater knowledge of spiritual self within ourselves?
Does it involve becoming actively engaged in the pagan community, provided that such a community extols the virtues of learning our life lessons and utilizing the wisdom that comes from such hard earned lessons? If you are of the mindset that mind-altering substances are relevant to attaining certain spiritual plateaus, what are your personal responsibilities to yourself and to others that you may be teaching… especially in the cases where certain substances may be deemed illegal in your particular swath of society?
Of course, your understandings of this subject may well be in the minority when compared to the current mindset of our species: that engaging in the Great Escape is both fashionable and acceptable on a grand consciousness of behavior. If this brief observation is acceptable, then what does this say of the spiritual direction of humankind?
Are Pagans as an alternative society, intended to make a difference in such a casual mindset? Or is paganism better served as a lifeboat to those who seek a greater understanding of self and life than that which is currently offered by the myriad religions that abound around our planet? Can pagans, who in many cases, came from a former religion and/or spiritual path, find the inner strength to expand their learning curve of life?
If the Great Escape turns out to be legitimate tools of the spiritual trade, can pagans bring such an understanding back into perspective?
Or are pagans relegated to failing the self incurred goal of seeking out the rigid and/or flowing lessons of life which may well hold the key to opening the spiritual door for each of us? Are pagans simply seeking to enjoin the Great Escape by way of indulging the many substances available to humans, just under a different societal label?
Our world as it stands today, and yes extending back to our roots, leaves a great deal of room for improvement on the spiritual level and throughout society as a whole. And yet each of us owns a piece of the responsibility for our existence. And at the end of the day we each must determine our contribution to that responsibility. Ok, folks, it’s time for the old man to get his first cup of java. I would be very interested in hearing your thoughts and comments in a common respect manner. After all, we are pagans!!!
Location: Manheim, Pennsylvania
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