Your Own Mileage Will Most Likely Vary

Right now, the rain is subsiding. Five minutes ago, it was a torrential downpour. As I look out my office, I see my dismantled stone circle which has been completely soaked with the rain. Two days ago, I pulled the circle apart so that I could mow the inner part, and just haven’t had a chance to set the stones, Kokopelli,  and the Cast-Iron Crow squadron back into their proper places. While I am watching this, a commercial for one of National Public Radio’s stories is playing. Its for something to with the Galapagos island’s environment. At one point, an individual states: “We are God, we should work at being better at it” and my mind begins to wander, sending its thoughts to my fingers, which results in this blog post. Yeah, this is how the Awen strikes occasionally.

We are God” – that thought strikes some occasional chording in my mind. I have heard that statement in several religious discussions over the last three decades. And one song by Jane Child comes to mind as well, where she utters the phrasing “thou art God”. We anthropomorphise the Gods and Goddesses to be very much like ourselves, without truly knowing if that concept is right or wrong. We, humans in general, will spend countless hours of our lives debating whether the Gods are real, or if They are just one, or if They are just merely psychological constructs created to provide us with focus in our lives. We, humans in general, have fought wars and killed thousands upon thousands over interpretations of some codified understanding of what the God or Gods want. What if those arguments, those wars, all that emotion, all that study, all that soul-searching were for nothing?? Or even more simple, and far less empirical – what is it really didn’t matter beyond you?

I have watched endless debates within the Pagan community over what makes a real Pagan into a real Pagan. When I was trying to find my own personal Path back in the mid-1980s, I saw the same thing within the Southern Baptist aspects of the Christian protestant world. Arguments that could boil down to something as simple as whether you got a “good vibe” from the Pastor. Did he preach the depth of the hell fires in a more inspiring manner than the guy six blocks over? Perhaps, it boiled down to something even far more simple, such as this church had a better softball team in the church leagues. In a manner of speaking, we do the same thing within our Pagan communities. Nine Hells, I’ve done it myself. I decided on the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids (OBOD) because there was far less emphasis on structured ritual than that of Ar N Draiocht Fein (ADF). But honestly, that doesn’t make OBOD more right, and ADF less right. Merely that OBOD fits closer to my own personal perspective of what Paganism and Druidry is for me. I have “broken bread” with ADF folks. They are no different than the OBOD members I have met and stepped into ritual with. And neither are any different than any of the Druidry orders and their members that I have come across.

Perhaps, I am different (or maybe not) then a lot of the Pagans, polytheists, and others that I watch assemble for doctrinal scrimmages over what constitutes this or that. I am a Pagan. I am a Polytheist. I am a Druid. The meaning of each is sacred to me within my own heart and beliefs. Trying to varnish that into the hearts and beliefs of others, in my opinion, is inappropriate. They know who they are, they can define who they are. They might even utilize the exact verbiage that I do. But in the end, they define all of that for themselves. I’m not here to detail what their experiences are and should be. I can show them how I approached a concept, but they are free to use it, adapt it, or discard it as it pertains to their own steps on their own Paths.

It is raining and thundering here on the Texas/Oklahoma border. More than fifty miles to my south, and south-east are Pagan friends of mine. For all I know, their weather is just slightly overcast. They *might* hear the thunder from up here. Then again, maybe not. My current reality is rain with thunder from time to time. Their reality may be different. More than one-hundred miles to my north and north-east are other Pagan friends that I know. They may have high winds, and much more torrential rains. Its doubtful that the weather that they are experiencing is the same as either mine or the folks to the south of me. But for each of us these realities are there for the moment. Different from one another, but all occurring at the same time.

The same could be said for the Gods and Goddesses. My experience of Crow, Coyote and Flidais will be different from others. We will each develop unique relationships with the Gods that call to us. No single relationship will be the same. There will be some similarities, but those relationships will be the same. I know there will be those that disagree with my perspective. I am certainly fine with the disagreement. Why? Because I have no desire to debate the rightness or wrongness of my experiences compared to that of someone else. Remember, it might be raining here, and the sun shining where you are.

Are we Gods? Or just arrogant enough to believe that we are? That is a point that could be up for some debate. Gods have the ability to control and change things. If you look at how we, mankind, change the environments around us, it could be construed that we are Gods of our environments. We pave the environment over, eradicate forests, change our climate more drastically than a typical cycle change would manage without us. And we are arrogant enough to deny that we are the cause of the change in the cycle’s speed. We split words, manipulate meanings, twist concepts to suit our ends – we change our own environments in so many different ways. We threaten one another with annihilation on a massive scale with weapons that will pass one another in the thinnest parts of our atmosphere. These weapons will fall to earth, causing untold destruction, and change to our world. If we define the Gods and Goddesses as entities that have the ability to create, change, and destroy the environment upon which we live….maybe we are Gods and Goddesses.

From my own perspective, we aren’t Gods and Goddesses. We are human beings. We are not the Gods, and the Gods are not us. We, humans, have the ability to change our environment. We have the ability to shape where we exist. But it won’t last forever. Eventually, human beings may find themselves on the decline. Our temples of mall shopping, and skyscraper cathedrals will fade and decay when we no longer are capable of maintaining these monuments. Our Earth will continue to thrive and survive with life long after we humans disappear from its face. And if we disappeared from the face of the Earth and slipped into the annals of unrecorded human History, the Gods and Goddesses will continue on. Of that I am confidant. I have no proof, aside from my own belief that it will be so – and thus the reality of my statement is that it might be right or wrong. And a stronger reality, for me, is that the veracity of that statement is correct for me. And while it might be arrogant, in a manner of speaking, that’s all that matters for me. After all, belief is what works for the individual. And while it may hold true for a group of individuals, how it matters to myself and how I live my own daily life is of the utmost importance. At least for me… Your own mileage, will most likely vary.

 

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