Thursday, 16 October 2008

a symbiotic relationship

What is our relationship with the deities? Some people serve them. Now, maybe I'm being cranky and difficult, but I am not at all sure about this. I will happily co-operate with someone who has the same values and agenda as I do, but not because they're a discarnate entity; rather because they have the same values and agenda as I do - which may mean I only co-operate with them on a temporary basis while the shared goal is being worked on.

I don't think I'm on an equal footing with the deities in their domain (the numinous, nebulous, eternal, non-local) - they graciously allow me to access their form of consciousness; and in return I allow them to access my local, focused, finite, time-based consciousness (in which they are not equal to me). So no, it's not equal in the sense of being the same, but it is on equal terms - they're better at some things than I am, and I'm better at somethings than they are. It's a symbiotic relationship.

Maybe this means I am not religious in the conventional sense - but I became a Pagan because I didn't agree with blind faith and subservience to the big bully in the sky, so I am not going to give this one up without a struggle.

Yes, I want the world to be a better place, with more peace and harmony, social and economic justice, and respect for the environment (by which I mean deep ecology) - but I am not at all sure that giving power to floaty entities (and most likely ending by having a priesthood that claims to speak for them) is the way to achieve these goals. Domination and submission games are for consenting adults in private.

So, I will happily co-operate with any entity (incarnate or discarnate) who wants peace, harmony, social and economic justice, and respect for the environment - but I will not serve.


Makarios said...

IMO, this depends on one's concept of service. In a loving relationship between two people, for example, each one will willingly--and indeed eagerly--place themselves at the service of the other; not by way of subservience, but because, in a loving relationship, service to the other is a source of great joy.

Yvonne said...

That would fall under my definition of symbiotic :)

Sia said...

Well said.

When asked, I say that I do not worship, I celebrate and connect with - it's a very different relationship.

Have you read "She Who Changes" by Carol P. Christ? You might like it.

Sia V.

Yvonne said...

Hi Sia - honoured to have you commenting on my blog.

Yes, I agree, it's a very different relationship.

I haven't read that, but I have heard good stuff about the author.

Anonymous said...

Glad you posted on this and I share your opinions. Even though I like to identify myself as a pagan, I don't align myself or serve any gods or goddesses or spirits. Your concept of a symbiotic relationship makes more sense to me. I'm done serving. I did it for years as a Christian, and I found that tradition lacking. It would seem that I'm just dressing up in the same idea in different clothes. Nothing has truly changed. And that's what I wanted when I left Christianity. The freedom of his new path is what attracted me. And certainly, some pagans do wish to serve a deity. And there's nothing wrong with service itself--it's a wonderful way to express community.

As Sia noted, "celebrate and connect" is what I'm aiming for.