May. 26th, 2015

windinthemaples: A lane of red maple trees in riotous fall color. (Grow)
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This week, I'm reading Pagans & Christians: The Personal Spiritual Experience by pagan theologist Gus diZerega. It's the kind of book that I'm slowly reading with pencil in hand, circling passages and writing notes in the margins. I love the way that he insightfully and sensitively distills both religious traditions into some key essentials that explain the many barriers of understanding between us. There have been a lot of "a-ha!" moments where I realize that something he's saying makes so much sense but that I'd never thought of it in those terms. There's been something sweet and healing about those discoveries while I'm hosting so many Christian houseguests! :)

This passage, though, from a section on living within a pagan worldview, has been my favorite thus far:

Of all the world's peoples, we moderns have traveled farthest from the harmony of the world and spirit, and a daily perception that our world is sacred. We are almost completely surrounded by our own artifacts, and we see them through the lenses of our own preoccupations with power, profit, and pride. We also feel the emptiness that results.

Our situation is not really so bleak. While our society has obscured the sacred with everything it touches, we moderns can still reconnect with Spirit, with the sacred and divine, in honoring and pondering the lessons contained within what is most timeless in nature, and therefore least susceptible to our manipulation. It is here that Wiccans, and most other Pagans, find their scripture, a scripture that is renewed with every seed that sprouts, every droplet of rain that falls, and every day that dawns.

In seeking to experience genuine spiritual value we are increasingly drawn outside human society, into the timeless cycles of nature, and of life, in order to grasp that which is larger than us all. Doing so puts the frantic hustle and bustle of our lives into a different, and more fitting, context. So long as we are infatuated with the promise of technology and power, we remain largely deaf to the realm of Spirit. We are entranced, instead, by the narrow realm of ego, a fragment thinking it stands alone and seeking endlessly to be a whole while simultaneously turning its back on that from which it manifests and which sustains it.

Once we realize the ultimate emptiness of seeking power and possession, we are open once again to the more subtle but infinitely deeper truths graspable through nature and nature's cycles. We discover the true and sacred context which gives meaning to our lives. This context encompasses not only the cycles of nature where in many cases they are most apparent, but underlies all existence, even enobling and lifting up the secular world as well.

As a manifestation of Spirit, Nature becomes a source of wisdom. The cycles of the seasons are owned by neither corporation nor government. The phases of the moon are unrelated to either Madison Avenue or Washington, D.C. No human purpose mediates our encounter with them. They are available to all. They directly manifest value, and we need no access to copyright or cash in order to perceive it.

...

For us, it is in and through nature's processes that we most directly find our inspiration and our home. Those of us who have been blessed by the Goddess's presence know beyond doubt that this world is sacred, that it is permeated by Her love, and that this path can be one of shining beauty and profound wisdom.


Reading that is giving me a kick-in-the-butt. Like, "I should shut off Netflix and the Internet and de-activate my iPhone, avoid all non-essential shopping, and spend the entire summer outside somewhere!" The call of the Walden Ponds of the world is strong. <3

What's inspiring you lately? :)

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windinthemaples: A lane of red maple trees in riotous fall color. (Default)
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