What is my world view?
Here is where I think I am on the following subjects.
Morality: Yes, it exists, but there are different kinds - that which is local, and that which is universal. Local morality includes things like proselytising - Christians believe it is orthodox to preach their religion everywhere to everyone, and that it is a moral imperative. There are those who do consider this, to varying degrees, annoying, unethical, even immoral. Items of morality like this are contestable, and it is arguable that the word 'morality' doesn't belong here.
I think that there is a universal morality. It isn't hard-fast laws, but the Christians come close to it with 'do unto others that which you would have them do unto you' - HOWEVER, it is vitally important, what with the variety of cultures in this world, to find out about the 'local' moral standards -- but that is still 'doing unto others' because I would hope that a person would do the same for me.
Gods and Goddesses: I think there is a sacredness in certain paradoxes. It's a great, big universe, with many more dimensions than x, y, and z, and with boundaries that might as well be infinite. If two mutually exclusive things seem logical; seem to exist, then I feel that all is well and good.
This is my basis for thinking that the Gods are facets of the One God, AND just as well separate, individual deities. Our names for Gods come from the names revealed to our long passed spiritual ancestors. To call a God 'the Creator', is to call upon the Deity in the context of many, MANY religions. The Judeo-Christian God is referred to by at least one hundred names. I think that the God to whom I was taught to pray in Sunday school was know to my Celtic ancestors as An Dagda. I think, when we talk of Odin All-Father, the same power is called upon.
HOWEVER, in ritual it is important to be specific, and call upon the Gods and Goddesses by the names through which one feels most closely connected. The Spiritual energies in ritual is like working with colour - one tries to avoid using two colours improperly.
Talking of the Christian Bible, a text can be both sacred and fallible; inspired by a God but interpreted and twisted by men to suit their own purposes. An omnipotent, omniscient God is not jealous. Jealousy is the product of insecurity, and that doesn't fit with any Gods I've encountered. I also think, for example, that God's command to Saul to wipe out the Amalekites was a politically motivated fabrication to justify an ancient vendetta. I see Christianity and Judaism as the response of people to deity, but they did not define the deity, they defined religions. My Celtic and proto-European ancestors also encountered God, Gods, Godesses. They called them by names which made sense to them in the same way that Abram encountered his three Gods at his tent; called them by certain names, and of course the unmentionable Tetragrammaton.
I don't say "I believe" much, but here is what I believe:
That the birth of Jesus is the thing that physically connected God to all humanity. His death and resurrection was the miraculous controversy which kept this idea going for millennia. Humans like a complicated controversy more than a simple miracle.
I believe that there is an architect of the universe who has been called by many names. Christians often start prayers with "Creator God" - an appellation used by many non-Christian cultures. Therefore, I *think* that the names of this God include YWH, Jehova, an Dagda, Odin, and other most high and glorified deities.
I believe that there is also a Goddess who is part of the same God, but also separate and distinct and referred to by the name 'Sophia' in the Bible.
The relationship with an omnipotent/scient God and Goddess with other non-creator Gods is something I'm still wrestling. Is there an hierarchy, or do the Gods do what they will. Are there 'lesser' Gods and Goddesses? Does any of that matter?
Paul? Well-adjusted for his time and purpose, but has issues with women. His own opinion about women in church leadership varies drastically from epistle to epistle. His writings are valuable sacred texts, but not infallible.
Creationism? Again, I do believe in a universal architect. The Biblical accounts of creation aren't meant to tell how the world was made, but why. The act and process of creation is the backdrop to the more important story, which is that of bringing light to darkness, form to void, life from death, and the importance of love. This story is an instruction for living a good and worth-while life, it is NOT a history book.
Afterlife? I believe there is one. I think there may be a spiral cycle of reincarnation until one is ready for some kind of ascendency. Think think this is necessary because the physical universe may one day fizzle out, but that there is something outside - not beyond the three-dimensional boundaries of the know universe, but the outside that is right in front of your face. Maybe that's heaven or Annwyn.
Annwyn. The Welsh name for the otherword. I believe I have experienced the influence of Annwyn in my music making. I have written about this experience in my blog post, Creating Thin Places With Music.
The Greenman. A companion and guardian I have known since I was old enough to climb a tree. I believe he represents part of the spirit of nature. I also think there is something of Jesus in his demeanour. Also Cernunos and others. I think they are one as well as individual Gods. That is what I mean by wonderful and sacred paradox.
Druidry and Bardism.
I am a member of Ár nDraíocht Féin. I am not a druid, but I'm learning about this re-constructionist path. Bardism has been how I practise Christianity, and why a Christopagan world view does not seem like a break with my old beliefs rather than a re-examination and evolution. Music, Poetry, and the other Arts may be the infrastructure that has kept humanity from collapsing even in the worst of times. In the best of times, the Bards in their various guises elevated humanity to new and previously unattained levels of enlightenment. I believe that the Bardic Arts are conduits for the most powerful magick a human can manifest in the physical realms, and that these arts think the veils between worlds and planes; aid humans in having communion with the Gods in real life-and-world-changing encounters. You can use musick to aid in ritual and/or spells, or it can be a working of magick all its own.
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