As I enter the new stage in my Spiritual growth more things begin to take their rightful place in my mind and practice.
This year has been spiritually challenging for me. When I began to embark on the winding path of Paganism I naturally rejected previous Christian teachings (though I was never really exposed to them properly) and jumped on the bandwagon of Pagan-Christian resentment. I resented the damage that had been done in the name of Christianity over the hundreds or years and how much culture and life was lost in the process. I resented how Christmas was celebrated and Yule usurped, and Halloween mocked. I took great pride is rudely dismissing Christians who preached on the streets, brandishing my pentagram mischievously and mocking them for their silly beliefs. Fortunately for me I was not actually into Paganism because of the rebellion of the teenage years. I was actually genuinely besotted with it, just at times those little corruptions crept in.
It took me about 3 years to actually bother to sit down and learn about what they actually believed in. I'd spent time throwing bible verses back at them, criticising parts that didn't quite add up, but never actually empathising and understanding. This last year everything has changed. Not only with my opinion towards Christianity, but Islam too and in fact all religions.
This year has been so spiritually taxing because I have had to go through revelations that at first it did not want to even consider. It's easier to criticise other people, but what about yourself?
it began with me learning about other religions and trying to understand where things had gone wrong - with the intention of building tolerance. I believe that you should do unto others as you wish for yourself; tolerance can't be expected when you don't to it back - and yes even if someone throws it back in your face, be the change you want to see in the world.
So I learnt about Christianity and Islam. It took a little while for initial prejudices to shift and then realisations of reality vs fiction settled in. To cut a long journey short, I began questioning if these religions were right and if I was wrong and that was VERY stressful. You know, I actually seriously considered Islam for myself. My BOS is covered in my theories and doubts.
Then one day under the stars I sat clinging onto my Labradorite and prayed. I prayed that I would understand what God wanted me to know. I wanted to do right but I didn't know what way to go. If going the wrong way would end up with punishment then surely if you really wanted to do right then God should simply reveal it?
And They did.
It took some time to take in and understand the message and now I am at peace with it.
Maybe it is God's way of telling ME what I need to know and understand - and maybe it is different for other people; so please, if you disagree with the following, then that is YOUR gnosis and this is MINE:
What I have come to understand is that EVERY religion has truth within it. God is the creator, who transcends name, gender and form because God is in ALL THINGS. So God has all forms at once. God manifests to me as the unified God and Goddess - for creation needs masculine and feminine. God and Goddess manifest in every thing and I believe that all gods and goddesses are a part of Them. But everything has it's own energy, it's own 'personality', just like I am a different person to you, yet we are linked as humans and children of the earth; we are all one.
So Ra is the god of the Sun. We know he exists, because he is the very being of the Sun, the heat, the power, the life everything. We know the Sun exists! The same applies for all other gods and goddesses of earth's pantheons. Mythology are humanity's way of explaining the nature of these beings, which ultimately unite to the All. So yeah, the Polytheists are right; the Duotheists also; and the Monotheists too.
This leads me to the point about those Monotheistic religions. As above, by believing in the Creator, the All, we can also assume that this is indeed Allah, Yahweh, and Jehovah - regardless of any myths of beliefs that humanity has put upon their names. If we can believe that Aphrodite exists as the goddess of love and beauty (for we know that exists and that she manifests in every feeling of love we exude) then why not the same for Jesus?
It is almost irrelevant whether or not Jesus existed as a real person or not; what is vital here to his followers today is what he represented and continues to. Jesus is an archetype of peace, love and salvation; his mother the archetype of motherhood and pure love. That is who he has become. If we can observe something in nature and recognise it as a 'goddess' and give it a culturally specific name and representation, then why is it so unbelievable that the same has happened to this Jesus-god? It doesn't mean you have to worship him; i don't personally worship Poseidon. But why not just accept him as a relevant and acceptable figure?
This is really important to me.
Even if you disagree with this gnosis that I came by, it doesn't matter. What matters is that you accept or least practice tolerance for everyone. For me, belief-wise why would I not preach tolerance? But even if you don't believe in this Universalism, I ask that you treat others how you wish to be treated. Simple as.
The topic of the truths of Christianity and Islam (I am yet to explore Judaism, although it is embedded within the former two) is something I'd like to further discuss, as they are far more linked to Paganism than you may realise, had you initially dismissed them along with your bible as you mounted your broomstick as I did.