i do NOT get paganism. help me

Discussion in 'Paganism' started by sheeprooter, Jan 21, 2005.

  1. sheeprooter

    sheeprooter Member

    i am very open minded to basically everything. more than that, i WANT to believe in "crazy" things. so when a good friend told me she was gonna go to the pagan club and see what its like, i went along. here's what happened

    we wound up staying there for three hours, most of the time sitting in a circle listening to people tell completely off the wall stories about the spirits/gods/entities of whatever sort that they encountered. the main story teller was this 24 year old guy with a beard and long hair who could have been a professor. me and my friend mostly listened, as the others laughed with each other. they seemed like a very happy group of people, which is what i need. i want to be a part of them. but i dont know if i can, since i dont know if i could ever believe in what they believe

    towards the end, i gathered some courage and asked them if there was any way they could prove to me that any of what they were saying was real. like arrange it so i can see it for myself. so the proffessor guy spent a minute or so summoning some sort of energy ball, with eyes closed. he looked like a sorcered. he then placed it in my hands. i had my eyes closed and was trying my best to meditate, to clear my mind. i felt nothing at all. i really felt genuinely bad, because i didnt want to make these people think i thought this was all BS. i had the imaginary ball in my hand, and the others said they could feel it. my friend said she could feel it. we tried this a few more times and i could not feel it at all. NOW, even if i could feel it, how would i not know it was placebo? im a psych major. i know how powerful the placebo effect can be. it can make you believe ANYTHING. can make you feel anything. its quite remarkable, but it is definetly not supernatural by any means.

    since im open minded, im going to go back next week. i really like the people in the group and want to be friends with them. but from my best guess, these people are deluding themselves. they, like me, WANT to believe in this mumbojumbo so much that they fool themselves into believing that its there. and when they hang out with each other, in that closeley knit group, they reinforce eachothers crazy beliefs. i was struck by the incredible lack of scientific consideration among these people. sometimes strange things are not supernatural, and can be explained logically. im not saying that all strange things are explainable in a scientific way, but these people did not even CONSIDER rational alternatives. why is that? maybe because they want to believe in it so much that they put their logical brains on hold? and of course, this explanation can be extended to all pagans, since i believe these people are good indicators of paganism in general

    I MAY BE WRONG. THIS WAS ONLY MY FIRST IMPRESSION. but please, someone, explain this stuff to me. how do you know for sure that these beings and forces or whatever are real?
  2. RyvreWillow

    RyvreWillow Member

    Wow, you are totally over-thinking everything, lol. let me see if i can help a little.

    Alright, here's the thing...there's no scientific proof (yet!) for most spiritual occurances. Everyone knows that. You're afraid these people are fooling themselves into believing in things that aren't real. That's a very noble and logical concern. However, sometimes simply believing in something does make it so. Sound flaky? Maybe so, but i like to call this "Faith."

    Sometimes we lean on logic out of fear. Not like you're afraid these people will eat your brain or something, but you are afraid of change within your own mind--like, crap, what if i start believing stuff that goes against everything i've been taught, all the scientific facts i know to be true? Well, i hate to tell you, but even scientific fact is fiction--even things we know to be true, from a logical standpoint, can't always be proved, even with all the right variables and controls, etc. That's just the nature of energy and live and existence.

    My advice to you is to keep hanging out with these people and enjoy yourself. They don't expect you to believe in or agree with everything they say; that is the great thing about paganism; there are tons of ways to look at everything, and every way is just fine. Listen to the stories, and let your mind wander. You may be surprised at what you find there. i know i was.
  3. Soulless||Chaos

    Soulless||Chaos SelfInducedExistence

    But what if it is just the placebo effect, what difference does that make? It only goes to show the power of the mind... Control your mind, and the rest will follow... :D
  4. Sage-Phoenix

    Sage-Phoenix Imagine

    Woah slow down you're going from nought to witch in three seconds.
    I came from a similar state to you, and am still working on it. Still don't even buy everything myself. Just try to stay open, then when I'm ready it seems to fall into place. Probably just how my mind works or something.

    Can't honestly say what is true or not, wouldn't even try. It's a leap of faith. Working in Pascals wager here; you might as well believe, as it does no harm if your wrong, but pays dividens if your right.

    By all means make friends and read around the subject, but don't sign up for anything (literally or otherwise) until you know the whole deal. Paganism is so broad you can be part of it and still think stuff is crazy. Only go with what you are comfortable with, it's about benefiting yourself rather than ticking all the boxes and being a 'good pagan'.

    I've tried meditating before too, and no not much happens first time, more because it's a new thing. Takes some perserverance to get results, and basically tune yourself in to the mind set. It's working on whole diffrent level of the mind than usual.

    Hope that helps, good luck on your journey. :)
  5. WayfaringStranger

    WayfaringStranger Corporate Slave #34

    to thine own self be true.
  6. Feawen

    Feawen Member

    Well, there's nothing to be afraid of I don't believe - your friends aren't gonna get sucked into some jim jones thing (psych covers that yes?)

    And it's said that your brain can do as much as drugs can do to it - hallucinations etc if you want it to. That requires faith and belief etc. If people want to stray from logic, they're aware they are and take a leap....

    And if it doesn't work for you, just do what you feel happy with. Being like your friends all the time won't happen too, remember, and they'll understand...
  7. don't call peoples beliefs mumbo jumbo. even if you dont believe in them. it's quite rude
  8. Zoomie

    Zoomie My mom is dead, ok?

    Agreed. Very rude.
  9. Zoomie

    Zoomie My mom is dead, ok?

    OK, but you have to promise to wear the blue dress.
  10. gnrm23

    gnrm23 Senior Member

  11. Zoomie

    Zoomie My mom is dead, ok?

    OK, I have time to answer you properly now. I DO work for a living you know...

    I'm a hypocrite? You profess your love for the Christian God, then post the rituals to raise Apep, the Egyptian God of evil and destruction in the Pagan forum, and have the nerve to call it an evening sermon? And then you call ME a hypocrite?!?!

    So you're saying in addition to schizophrenia we should add delusions of grandeur? I have interminable pity for you Michael. Please go take another lithium and have a nap. You'll feel better in the morning.
  12. gnrm23

    gnrm23 Senior Member

    ya jus' gotta luv thelema...
    (or else...)
  13. Arachne

    Arachne Member

    why all of this hatred toward zoomie, michael? he has done no wrong to you! if you fear and dispise us so much then why are youeven spending time amongst Pagans? leave him alone, and it's most likely he'll leave you alone as well unless you keep provoking anger.
  14. jim_w

    jim_w Member

    I think the reason that you're having trouble with paganism is that it's about as spiritual and deep as Calvin Klein underwear. No offense to anyone here, but paganism is a lifestyle accesory. People get into it because they want something to define them as people, and waving incense around and chanting gives them that.
    "I WANT to believe in crazy things" says it all. Look at that statement again, and think about it. Does you interest in paganism stem from how you think others will perceive you if you follow it?
  15. Zoomie

    Zoomie My mom is dead, ok?

    That was perhaps the worst analysis of Paganism I've ever heard. Couldn't have just said "You're all going to burn in hell" and left it at that?

    No. Why would I care what other people think? I don't wear it like a mask, I practice it proudly, and I don't hide it from anyone. Does your "interest" in your personal belief stem from anywhere but within you?

    So sorry. You failed miserably.
  16. jim_w

    jim_w Member

    So, why do you practice paganism? As a matter of fact, *how* do you practice it? What does paganism give you that a more mainstream (and therefore less oh-look-at-me-aren't-i-alternative) religion wouldn't?
  17. gnrm23

    gnrm23 Senior Member

  18. jim_w

    jim_w Member

    And that's something that an established religion doesn't offer because... ?
  19. well we could say:

    'why do you practice christianity? as a matter of fact, *how* do you practice it?'

    but we don't. it's belief, we don't know why it works like it does
  20. Professor Jumbo

    Professor Jumbo Mr. Smarty Pants

    Michael, do you really want to know about paganism, or more appropriately various pagan practices and beliefs? Or do you just want to harp on the stupid useless annoying bullshit quotient of modern "new age" paganism?

    Now every single religion in the world, at least as far as I can tell, has a significant stupid useless annoying bullshit quotient (or SUABQ). Chrisitianity has it, Islam has it, Hinduism has it, and new age paganism (being no exception) has it. The SUABQ of various religions often differs greatly and as history tells rarely remains constant within anyone religion of any siginificant length of time.

    Michael et al. have hit very nicely here upon what the SUABQ of new age paganism currently is. That however is not how paganism and pagans should be looked at. It would be like looking at Muslims as if they were all a bunch of terrorists, or looking at Hindus as if they all spent their time putting the beatdown on the untouchable caste, or looking at Christians as if they were all followers of Fred Phelps. This is a dumb thing to do. If you really want to know about paganism (or whatever it's called) you probably should not go asking pagans "Well gee, what do you believe? By the way your religion is a bunch of crap, here's why. . . " This is not a good way to start a discussion.

    I'm done with my rant now, people annoy me.

    p.s. Here is a link to the web site belonging to Fred Phelps' church just in case any of you don't know who he is. It is a very nasty and evil website, I do not share its opinions and am in no way responsible for its content. http://www.godhatesfags.com/

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