A few comments here and there have gotten me into the current train of thought that I have. There are so many different ways to approach one’s own spirituality. Depending on the individual, their purpose, and their individual need – one can dive deeply into their beliefs and daily practice. or one can skim from the surface of the water, sampling from various areas of the body of water, collecting all the samples together to make a mosaic of belief. or one can choose some completely different method of partaking in belief that I have not thought of in this extremely small sample-sized paragraph. The point is that we all approach belief differently.
For the longest time, I utilized the skimming the surface concept. I sampled here and there – tossing what didn’t work; keeping what did. That worked for a while, until I sampled a bit deeper and encountered Coyote and Crow face-to-face. Now I dig deeper. My rituals have a different feel to me. My daily rituals remain simple, but bigger ritual aspects have become a little more complex. I research more. I am digging through my ancestry to find what I believe may be “missing” pieces. I am deliberately encountering more Spirits of Place. I am deliberately coming face-to-face with the concept of Spirits of Ancestor. Even my desire for conversation is taking on a need for deeper, more in-depth topics.
And then I look outwards, and I see so much less in Spirituality. And not just from the Pagan community. I see how shallow Religious-osity (I know its not a word, I made it up) is in the world around me. As times seem to get more desperate, more tenuous, more unpredictable – I see more people clinging onto the Lifeboat of Religion. And so few of these folks are Pagans. So many more are grasping on to Christianity in its various forms.
I sometimes wonder if that has to do with the ease of which people can grasp the concepts of Christianity? After all, its a belief system that nearly all of us have had shoved down our throats from mainstream and pop cultures. Paganism, with its implied need for inner work (and there’s plenty of that), and seemingly complex ritual (its more foreign than complex to the over-saturated pop-culture mind) is not a ready-made belief system. The handholds may be more difficult to comprehend than the ready-made Lifeboat of Christianity.
Perhaps the handholds on the Lifeboat of Christianity are easier to comprehend because the bar for acceptance is a bit lower? Or is it because today’s pop culture has such a shallow aspect to it, that a belief system with deep meaning would be difficult? But that’s not really a fair statement. I have met many Christians that have a deep, extremely powerful and meaningful Belief system. I have also encountered folks within the Pagan belief systems that are seemingly shallow with their own beliefs. Its also not fair of me to claim someone else’s belief to be shallow or deep; particularly when I am comparing their belief to my own – utilizing my own personal standards of what is shallow and deep.
I also have to realize, I came from the same position that many of these folks – both Christian and Pagan are at. To sit and judge their perspective as being shallow or not nearly as deep as what I perceive my own to be – that’s definite a narcissistic perspective coming from me. As if my own beliefs are better or deeper than others. My perspective is where I am, and my only standard of measure should be where I was previous to where I am now, and where it is that I am striving towards with my own beliefs.
But I do wonder sometimes….is a shallow pop culture a symptom of how the average person perceives their own Spirituality or is it a cause of an approach to Spirituality that has seemingly been more shallow as the time moves forward? And that’s really an answer I do not know how to approach. But its still there, in the back of my mind. Perpetually unanswered, except where my own personal perspective is concerned.
Yeah, I’m just a blast at parties. (/snark)