Spiritual identity revisited – or continuing to rant

I so enjoyed my gonzo style previous post (did not even check the draft) I am going to continue :)

Australia has just gone to the Census. My son and I filled it out online last night (nice touch ABS). When we got to the question on religion, he looked at me. *Sigh* What was I going to do? His choice, ‘Apathetic Agnostic’ was easy… mine not so.

You see, as I’ve blogged before I am connected to a number of traditions, and they all call to me in several ways; all are wonderful, inspiring and help me unfold and serve. But none of the buggers have quite what it takes for me to call ‘home’ (forgoing the rest).  So, here cometh the rant – complete with uncensored prejudicial opinions :)

Thanks, Nick :)

The Golden Dawn: ok – brilliant modern synthesis of traditional western magic, great opportunities for transformation. But seriously – how can anyone abide the lack of service, compassion and social understanding shown by most adepts and Orders? And what the fuck is going on with using the Gods, seeing them as magical formulas? Not to mention to undeniable fact that many folk still show off their grades and  lineage to compensate for their dick size…and why in holy hell are most of the pubic leaders as crazy as a rodent on speed? Why the hell are you guys putting up with leaders who obviously lie, cheat and manipulate?  Grrr.

Neo-Paganism: Okay, yes, as soon as I am in the circle, under the moon or holding the Chalice I am at home. But, stepping out of the circle I have to speak to… Pagans, who, I am sorry, are mostly just plain stupid. And they don’t read…really, still holding on to the ‘my-religion-is-as-ancient-as-the-hills’ mythic histories as real. Come on guys! Also, what about the Land, huh? … cerebrating your ‘earth-based’ European ‘Sabbats’ all over the world?! And the ignorance of other religions and the petty sniping at Christianity ‘cos some fucking nun growled at you in primary school – grow up!  Grrr.

Lama Ole blessing(?) a student

Tibetan Buddhism. Ah, a perfect tradition, compassionate and whole and complete within itself. Well, yes…but most westerners are picking and choosing like a child with complete run of the sweet shop. Some mung beans are even creating new ‘traditions’ that are like those bags of black jelly beans – ‘cos they just don’t like the rest. What about evil spirits, huh? Or dance and drug induced oracles? And Buddhist guys, have you stopped ejaculating yet?  – His Holiness says you should. And of course most Western Tibetan Buddhist folk are as vital as deflated sex doll. In fact the only vital ones I know are the Tibetans themselves or people who’ve come from pagan backgrounds. Go figure that one! Grrr.

Christianity. Okay, yes, lovely in theory and a great myth, really moves me and makes me humble and open to service and change. But… well, where do we start? Too much to go into really, so… this clip from Eddie Izzard (all good, but go to around 2:20 for Church of England, my Church of choice!?!).

Spot on Eddie, spot on. And why, O fucking, why after celebrating the most profound ritual possible, the Sacrifice that turns the world, will the bloody parishioners only talk about football and gardening? Hello people, religion… you’ve heard of it? Grrr.

Here endeth the rant… thanks :)

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6 comments

  1. Arcad · August 10, 2011

    Haha, I like that Gonzo style. You certainly raise some valid points here. But the question is also if you (one) can only feel yourself home where everyone else is comming with a reasonable mind as well. I mean my feeling for and understanding of Christianity is far different from most of the people labeling themselfs as being Christians. I feel disgusted by its appearance. But it is not the religions fault, it is the fault of some people using/abusing it for whatever reason they may have. I do not identify with that community but with the thing itself. And other people’s ignorance can not keep me away from that.

  2. dirkt · August 10, 2011

    “in advanced perspectives there is no religious identification whatsoever.”

    Ajahn Buddhadasa

  3. John H Halstead · August 10, 2011

    Great post Peregrin! I know the feeling of feeling at home in Neopaganism and while finding (Neo-)Pagans extremely embarrassing and muddleheaded. And as a former Christian, I have to agree that its principal shortcoming isn’t its dogmatism or even its Manicheanism, but its boringness.
    I haven’t had any interactions of the OGD, but the issues you mentioned kept me away from ceremonial magic generally: a disenchanted, instrumental approach to magic and the confusion of initiation into a group with psychospiritual initiation.
    I struggle continuously with the question of whether I fight to reclaim one of these identities (Neopaganism), or do I forge a new one? And if the latter, do I do it alone or do I seek to do so in a community?

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  5. Harry · August 10, 2011

    Stick with the gonzo style. Lucid and straight to the point. It certainly is a better style of communication then say the underhanded, dishonest and passive aggressive style of communication that is being employed by certain leaders of certain organisations around the world.

    Crazy GD leaders…. well, yes sir, there are a plenty of them. The Pagan community have also got their fair share of deranged and self-absorbed leaders. Same goes for the Christians, Muslims, Rosicrucian groups, Buddhist, Jewish, New Age movement etc etc. Starting to see a pattern here ??

    It has always struck me as peculiar as to why the enlightened beings of the Rosicrucians (i.e. Secret Chiefs) seem to choose the most venomous, ego-centered and mean-spirited “adepts” to promulgate their teachings. Why oh why ?

    Why do these bad-boy leaders continue to exist and even flourish in the GD and Pagan communities ?! It’s because there are too many emotionally unstable sycophants who are prepared to make excuses for the poor behavior of their “enlightened” leaders. There are too many people looking to project their own desire for a “messiah” on the loudest and most opinionated person that presents themselves. There are too many people prepared to sell their left testicle (or left labia) to anyone who offers a convenient “truth”. Unsubstantiated or not, for these people a “truth” served on a brittle plate is much better then a “truth” sprouted from the blood, sweat and tears of relentless self-reflection.

    Heck ! I’d be the first to admit that I have even been tempted by the unverifiable claims offered by some of the controversial leaders in the Golden Dawn community !

    The way I see it – in both business, religion and “spiritual” organisations there are too many well-meaning people that fall prey to the webs that are spun by deluded ego-maniacs or just plain ol’ psychopaths. Yes, psychopaths ! Pure and simple. Bare-faced and consistent lying for personal gain (whether it be for power, prestige, or for sex/control with lots of nubile females/males) is a typical sign of psychopathy, or at the very least narcissistic personality types. Psychopathy (and it’s variants) is more prevalent then what most people realise, particularly in religious, corporate and political leaders. There are people out there that will lie to you, that will steal from you, that WILL manipulate you for their own benefit. They will do this all with a smile, with a breathtaking charisma and with a reassuring pat on your back. They have no empathy and will not loose a minute of sleep if their actions result in the ruin of a person or persons. They do NOT think like the average human-being and are – in many ways – not human.

    I worked as a parole officer for a short time and I saw these sorts of personality types on the occasion. Scary stuff when you see them without their masks.

    Regarding your post in general, the problem comes down to “labels” and the strong desire for people to “label” themselves and to expect the same of others. Why do we have to label ourselves ? Why must we feel the need to either label ourselves as a theist, agnostic or atheist – or anything in between ? Why must we profess that we are either Christian or Buddhist, or Hindu-slash-Muslim !? Why are people accused of being disingenuous “fence sitters” or treated as fools if they fail to choose a label ? Fail to choose a side ? Fail to choose a tribe ? I don’t see their choice to not choose as a failure. I see their refusal to label themselves as a virtue.

    I am influenced by Christianity, Zen Buddhism, Hinduism, Freemasonry, Golden Dawn and who knows how many other faiths and models of perceiving the world. I’ll be damned if I am going to “pigeon hole” my beliefs for the benefit of people (or governments) who feel a deep seated need to categorise the people in their lives as either (a) or (b) just so they can better sleep at night.

  6. Teneal · August 10, 2011

    Excellent post! I can’t pretend to have personal experience with all of the communities that you speak of but I can definitely relate to the neo-pagans. If I hadn’t been lucky enough to come across a wonderful group of intelligent, well-read and discerning witchy ladies from the get-go I’d have turned tail and gone back to atheism. The blind ignorance within the community is palpable.

    Just because someone wrote it in a book (or a website for that matter) doesn’t make it true. Nor does celebrating a European Winter festival at the height of Summer in Australia connect you to the natural world. There are too many occultists who are allergic to research and study outside of their sphere (and especially thinking new thoughts) which ultimately makes the different branches of occult systems poorer. Tell it like it is, Peregrin!

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