Friday, March 26, 2010


Can one person laugh her head off with Mr. Deity, and also be deeply moved by Kathleen Norris' "The Cloister Walk"?

Can one person nod in agreement when reading Richard Dawkins, and also demand that her local radio station play more traditional Christmas Carols?

Can one person be in stitches visiting The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, yet also sincerely respect the faith of the believers in her life?

The answer is yes. I lay claim to all of the above.

I tend to adjust my vocabulary to some degree depending on who I talk to and whether I like them or on my mood. Take the J.W.s.  Not my cup of of tea, but the local group is a good bunch of people who walk their talk. 
I trade Reflexology/Reiki sessions for pedicures.  My barter partner does a great job, is a sweetheart with a nice sense of humor, and is a Jehovah's Witness. That church is her community and her strength. Who am I to go against that? 

Does that make me a hypocrite or a diplomat? When do I rant against organized religion, and when do I respect it?

Belief in a personalized deity has inspired both the best and the worst in people.
It is really quite simple. The criterion that determines my loathing or respect is this: does the believer in question come from a space of Love or from narrow-minded fear and loathing?

Someone (who?) said that monks of all religions get along just fine, it is only the priests that fight. Monks focus on the mystic heart of faith, where all is One. Priests are in charge of the ritual, the specifics of worship.

Dutch mystic Gerben Hellinga compared all religions to the spokes on a bicycle wheel. They all go the same Centre. Great image. In this metaphor the monks relate straight to the centre, while the priests are worried about maintaining their particular spoke.

My own metaphor was this. Picture a mountain with different paths going to the same summit. From some sunny open paths the traveler can wave to other pilgrims, on their way to the same peak by another trail. Other travelers follow a path whose view is barred by high walls.

What are my true opinions anyway? Ah, those juicy big questions....Why? Wherefore? Inasmuch as which?
What a waste of precious human life to wrestle with them! We will find out the answers all too soon, or be blissfully unaware of their lack.

I call myself an Agnostic Taoist Pagan.

Agnostic, because I do not know. Pagan, because Earth is my connection to All That Is, whatever It may be. Taoist, because I don't have the slightest desire to create or recreate any pantheons. I know myself to be a part of the Great Mystery, and am happy to let it go at that.

Pagan also because whatever other realities there may be, we are HERE, NOW, to DO EARTH.
A certain type of New Ager or Buddhist can't wait to get out of here into the next dimension. I call it "Why bother in the first place?" forms of spirituality. This planet is pretty awesome. Shouldn't we celebrate being here?

So here is my Credo, with thanks to Zen, Voltaire, and the Dalai Lama..

Be Here Now.
Cultivate the Garden (literally and metaphorically)
Just be Kind.

Any deity for whom that isn't good enough I don't want much to do with.

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