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Friday, January 20, 2012

Pagan Blog Project - B is for Belief

I thought I would write a post for this week of the letter B on belief since they can be the cornerstone of spirituality. I have always thought that it is to my advantage that I have allowed my spiritual beliefs to remain fluid. I view the progression of my beliefs to be a beautiful journey, one I definitely have not finished. I have considered myself for the last 7 − 8 years to be a Panenthiest - a belief a cosmic energy exists and interpenetrates every part of nature and timelessly extends beyond it. This may change and it may not. My panenthiestic belief has the opportunity to extend towards atheism or Deism depending on my future spiritual choices.

There are reasons - valid reasons as to why I naturally lean towards atheism. I have a tendency to believe science trumps religion. Yes I am one of those ‘people’ in the science vs religion debate. But I am also a spiritual seeker. I love being able to look up at the sky and understand the information we have learnt of our tiny local and know that ultimately I have no understanding of exactly what I am viewing at the same time. That experience enhances all of the intricacies of the Universe. There is no separation between us, Earth and the Universe. We are all composed of the very same Universal elements. Spirituality comes as easily to me as my thirst for scientific knowledge.

My head tells me that while it is in the realm of possibility that creator Deity exists, it is also very probable that it does not. That we are a cosmic ‘accident’ and products of evolution. That there is no reason for our existence. That any Deity perceived is of our own creation.

My experiences tell me differently though. I certainly was not looking for Deity and when they did present themselves, I ignored them. Yes I straight up ignored them in the same way I do when I’ve had a weird dream. I stood up, shook my head and completely forgot about it. That didn’t stop them from continuing to contact me though. I was quite happy on my journey thus far. I still felt an absence of something I couldn’t place my finger on, but I was happy.

There are a lot of things I believe in such as energetic healing, reincarnation, soul ascension, cosmic energy, auras, but a belief in Deity is far more complex. This is something that is outside of myself, that operates autonomously. It is outside the scope of my knowledge yet in the realm of my experience. Once I accepted those experiences (and it took a long time, years in fact) my life began to change, and quickly.

So now I am at a place where I am trying to form my beliefs with an inclusion of Deity - a concept that I still have much difficulty wrapping my head around. Some days more than others. And I’m not going to lie. It hasn’t been an easy process for me and has led to inner turmoil and self-doubt. Why are they? Where are they? What the? But it has also given me a gift - the reason and meaning behind faith.

I wasn’t raised in religion. My parents remain without spirituality in their lives. I also was not raised in knowledge of science. I was left to explore and study under my own devices. The only other spiritual person in my family was my Grandmother. Having immigrated from Japan after World War 2 she kept her religion close. I spent the majority of my childhood with her and observing what it is to truly live your spirituality. My Nana didn’t deal in pompous rituals or nor did she speak frequently of her religion. Instead I witnessed her devotion and prayers in the light of the rising Sun every morning. Whispered so that only she and Deity would hear. It was a personal communion, sacred and beautiful. I saw her tending to her garden daily, a manifestation of devotion and energetic communion with the earth. She was an animist, as are many Japanese of Shinto belief. Deity, herself and the Earth were one in the same to her. She knew how to make that garden thrive using learnt knowledge and Divine guidance. I was never able to tell her how much she influenced the person I have come to be but I can take what she unintentionally taught me. Belief is personal and precious. Spiritual belief is something to be lived and not preached. Trust yourself and have blessed faith and you will be fine no matter what.

My beliefs are fluid and change because I change. I have evolved throughout the years and so have my beliefs. If they didn’t I would be very worried for myself. There is nothing wrong with being confused, I often find myself confused. My mind will wonder outward and I find myself thinking about the entire scope of human belief and our place in the Universe. In these times I just need to remind myself that I am so small and the Universe is so large, there is no way that I am going to be able to understand every aspect of it, and I’m not supposed to. It’s okay to feel one way one day and the opposite the next. Soon enough thoughts will merge and a new belief will be formed and later on new thoughts will eventually shift it around a little. Belief doesn’t have to be stagnant. I think too many worry that others will think of them as having no substance, I know, I’ve been there. But if beliefs don’t flow, if they don’t change then it means that I am not growing. Staying still scares me more than the conflict I am experiencing now.
In the end our beliefs are as important as we want them to be. I’m not finished becoming whoever it is that I am turning out to be.