Monday, September 6, 2010

On unity (with the natural world and more)

I've had a lot of problems identifying myself as "pagan". The problem is that I don't see myself as particularly earth-based.

Now, when it comes to unity, I believe in that well enough. I can quiet reasonably say that I believe in an inherent unity of all things.

But note that I said all things.

I sometimes travel when I sleep. Astral travel? I'm not sure. I just know that sometimes I dream in my head -- and everything is a fabrication of my mind -- and other times I'm dreaming elsewhere. I've flitted back and forth between the two states before and they feel distinctly different. (More on this in a later post.)

I first started having doubts that I was a Christian after a dream. In the dream I was arguing with a Monotheist. In disgust, I turned and walked away. As I was walking away, I paused to worship a desk. The idea seemed pretty easy to see: God is in all things -- including desks. I accepted that I was a Pantheist. There are Christians with Pantheist tendencies, after all.

Once I started meeting other deities in dream, I elaborated my views to "God is in all things -- including other deities." I believed this while ostensibly being a Christian at first, then I realized that describing myself as a Christian made no sense so I started calling myself a Panthiestic Polytheist.

Interestingly, it was at this point when I visited the Shining Void (also known as Nirvana -- though I didn't know it at the time). There were two things to do there, lose yourself and become one with the place, and leave. I decided to leave. That was the point when I stopped calling myself a Pantheistic Polytheist and just started calling myself a Polytheist.

My time in the Shining Void made it clear there is an underlying unity among all things, and yet everything we are, and all that we are here to experience is totally unrelated to this unity. It is like having a painting and the subject of the painting pondering the unity of the paint-universe (what with it all being made of paint), instead of enjoying the colors, shapes, and textures that the artist brought forth in the piece.

That is, focusing on unity distracts us from the beauty of difference. The goal isn't to see ourselves as the same, so much as it is to relish our differences and celebrate them.  We can only fully understand ourselves when we try to understand the those that are different.

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