Saturday, 10 December 2011

Naturalistic Religion and Paganism

 I have to give up the supernatural and focus on this world, what we can truly know rather than idle speculation. I know the 'religious urge' will still carry me from time to time.Nature is so full of awesome power and magnificence and beauty. It is. We are. Why look for a supernatural 'source' of nature of which we can have no certain knowledge, when we have nature itself.

More and more people are identifying as 'naturalistic' pagans but they are derided and sidelined by traditional pagans who have their 'gods' and 'magical powers'. I wonder how  the latter people can say they believe in 'gods' as supernatural entities and yet claim they are a 'nature religion' when they inevitably focus on some magic 'otherworld'. ( In my view polytheism is no more necessarily a nature religion that monotheism).

I think a naturalistic spirituality or religious naturalism can borrow heavily from 'neo-pagan' forms of ritual with their celebration of the rhythms of nature. A naturalist spirituality that is pagan accented should focus on nature, the land, yes also the stories of the ancestors. My kind of naturalistic spirituality is also interested in the 'archetypes', the ancestral forces of the unconscious psyche that are surely the naturalistic origins of the subjectively real and powerful 'spiritual experiences' of modern pagans. As they rise up from the 'other world' unconscious into manifestation they appear as revelations, as coming from 'outside' the self, and as perfectly 'other'. But of course they are parts of ourselves, hidden creative parts desiring expression. So no doubt these 'gods' have a wisdom to teach us.


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