Why do you Care?
Greetings folks, why do you suppose so much energy is spent on convincing others that ones particular beliefs are valid?
Let me guess, the fickle finger of blame will immediately point to those of the Abrahamic beliefs. And in one respect you would be right. Those particular religions do spend an exorbitant amount of time seeking validation for their particular beliefs. This frantic need for acceptance is enforced through means of intimidation, peer pressure, religious terrorism and constant reinforcement through the bully pulpit.
My personal belief is that this desperate need for empowerment is based upon a deep seated spiritual insecurity. As with many such beliefs there is a great deal of hypocrisy that feeds the fires of self doubt. Perhaps this is one of the reasons that members of such beliefs are now going against the tide and seeking out alternative beliefs/paths.
But then we as pagans need to look into the mirror of self awareness.
Is the Pagan movement above such a struggle of spiritual identity?
Unfortunately the answer is No.
Over the long years I can’t count the number of times I have seen “Witch wars” spring up over a personal comment by someone. Or seen brothers and sisters of the pagan community, “flame each other over a difference of opinion. Or seen the actions of so called “trolls” disrupt otherwise tranquil gatherings.
And my question to all of these actions is “why”?
Why do we care what others think of our personal beliefs? Can any one person define the beliefs of the many that walk the path of mysticism? Can any one person hold up an experience with energy work, alternate realms, deity, and say this is the accepted standard for all?
Within the world of mystery and magick, is there truly only one approach?
And yet we continue to judge others based upon nothing more then our own perspective. “Why”?
I personally believe that each of our spirits is assigned to a soul prior to embarking upon this realm that we call life. I believe that each soul is a vestibule containing pre-destined lessons unique to each person. I have a very firm belief and deeply held respect for the Great Mysteries. And I believe that part of the criteria of such mysteries is learning how to bring into balance those lessons that have been assigned to each of us.
If I am correct in my personal assumption, then why should we care what others think of our personal beliefs? Don’t get me wrong, constructive criticism and the sharing of thoughts and views is essential to spiritual growth.
A beach starts out with a single grain of sand, but it doesn’t stop there. The same analogy applies to life. When we stop listening and learning then we become stagnant in our spiritual growth. To walk the path of spirituality, regardless of what label one may apply, one has need to be a student for the duration of that life. For like the beach we are constantly being shaped and altered in our struggle to move forth to become one with our chosen concept of deity.
And yet back to the original question, why do we spend so much time seeking empowerment from others for what should be our personal beliefs?
And another thing I have noticed is that this phenomenon is for the most part associated with Western world inspired beliefs. Whether this is one of the Abrahamic religions, Pagan spiritual beliefs, what have you?
One needs to but look around this world of ours to see that this is so.
Have you ever heard the Australian Bushman trying to convince the world that their belief in animism is the only way? Of course not, they simply accept what works for them as far as their spiritual beliefs and let it go at that. They incorporate their spiritual beliefs into their everyday lives in such a way that there is an unbroken flow of spiritual rhythm that melds from one day to the next.
This same matter of fact acceptance can be found in many lesser known beliefs around the world. They are considered lesser known only because they have neither need nor desire to seek out the approval of others. Such beliefs are very much a personal quest and do not need the empowerment of their peers or the rest of the world for that matter. They don’t make a conscious effort to take time out of their daily lives to devote to their spiritual needs. Instead they live it as seamlessly as one breath’s in the air around them.
And so I have to wonder, is there a basic and fundamental lesson here that we are just not getting?
Are the overwhelming needs for validation and the constant search for empowerment an obstacle that we place before ourselves un-needlessly?
Could this sense of insecurity stem from an as yet un-acknowledged feeling of guilt? With such guilt stemming from the fact that we have to make time for our spiritual needs rather then just allowing them to be a part of our everyday persona?
Quite frankly I don’t have the answer or answers that would serve as a generality for all.
But then I only need to answer these questions as they effect my personal spiritual growth.
How about you?