Wednesday, July 6, 2011

"Earth-Based" Religions?

Last Sunday at the Unitarian-Universalist fellowship in Beckley, the presenter talked about earth-based religions. In the discussion that followed, someone suggested that "earth-based" was not necessarily a good label or an accurate one for Wicca and for other self-styled pagan or alternative groups.

We know now that pagan comes from the label in Latin for a division--a political ward or a district--of Rome. Thus we can say that, in the loosest sense, pagan does indeed equate to land. The question is, though, whether the spirituality of the Community's current religious revival is genuinely earth-based. Yes, of course you'll find many groups who are ecologically aware, doing all those good things that help conserve the planet; but are they earth-based?

When you look at the spiritual side of their belief system, you will find that most of them have quite advanced ideas about God/Goddess and about Self and the First Cause.

The more the physicists try to explain the purported Big Bang and the time before its purported occurrence, the more inextricably they tangle themselves in their own underwear.

If E = Mc2, then energy is everything; the solid wall you look at isn't really solid; it is just a bunch of energy units that seems to us to be solid. If energy is everything, then perhaps we can equate it to God/Goddess ... or perhaps not.

"Earth-based" certainly does not fully describe our spirituality. Sure, we're eco-conscious; but we're also spiritual-conscious and conscious of the movement of the planets and stars in our universe. They're a good excuse for pleasant get-togethers. But there's more.

So what the Community needs is a new descriptor for our spiritual path or religion.

How about some suggestions?

1 comment:

Tracie Holladay said...

I've always thought that paganism in general could be better described as "ancestor worship" because historically, there was a lot of that going on in the non-Abrahamic paths. Clan and tribe and all that were hugely important to pre-Christian, non-Jewish people pretty much everywhere.

Hmmmm....tough one....