On The Alienated Westerner Developing The Pagan Mindset
Some refer to various forms of Paganism as practiced around the earth and throughout history as religions; I don't. For me, for a particular system of beliefs to be a religion it must follow a world denouncing theme. Any belief system that rejects what is real in favor of something yet-to-be, or hidden-behind-the-scenes, is a religion. Christianity, Judaism, and many of the Eastern belief systems are religions.
An atheist, I guess, is simply one who doesn't believe in a god, or gods. Most modern Westerners who considers themselves atheists share common traits. Most Western atheists have either personally rejected what they understand to be Christianity or where raised by those who did.
There's a common misunderstanding for such people. Just because they rejected the gospel and its god, doesn't mean they rejected the world denying mindset. In the more extreme form they replace the idea of heaven on Earth with utopia. But, even those who're more moderate, still betray themselves in their world denunciation. The very idea that one should expect the world to be other than it is, or to change to an idealized form to better suit one, is world denouncing.
Even to claim that one wishes to take part in changing the world personally, hints at world denunciation. It's true that everyone has some effect on the world in their life time, and that with effort such effect increases, but its common for the modern Westerner to exaggerate the degree of this effect.
Firstly, we mustn't confuse the world with the Earth, or the Earth with humans. When I say the world I refer to all of reality, including all of outer space, for which humans, far from being the center are just one relatively insignificant part. When I say the Earth, I mean just that, the planet Earth, a giant rock of multiple elements which cares nothing for humans, nor for anything else.
The Earth, as I mean it, while a highly chemically active rock, is not a rock to care about the degree of it's chemical reactions. So even if humans have the power, collectively, to destroy all life on Earth, the Earth itself has no preference. In other words, even if humans were to destroy all life, they wouldn't be drastically effecting the course of events on the Earth, in general, and will be far from drastically effecting the world itself.
So one can't change the world in any significant way whatsoever, but neither can one change the course of human events easily. Even if something one does happens to start a chain reactions of events that has a large impact on humans, it must be based on understanding of reality, followed by a willed course of action. Otherwise, one is only a pawn, not anything close to what may be considered a source of the change.
When a person has developed an understanding of the world, through experience, perception, and honest evaluation, one can better develop values that aren't world denouncing, and implement those values though actions, which while trying to make some impact on one's surrounding environment, have no intention on trying to drastically change humans in general, the Earth, or the world.
Most modern Westerners who claim to have surpassed Christianity are still basically Christians, with a world denouncing mindset. They haven't freed themselves from superstition, but are still mired in it. They aren't rational minded, but let their emotions cloud their logic. It's true they believe in science and they usually believe in the rational higher quality forms of it, rather than quackery. And, it's true they don't believe in ghosts, or other supernatural forces like that. But, they still have supernatural values.
To understand what I mean by supernatural values, one must look at what natural values may be. Natural values, are what humans have naturally created for most of their existence. Whatever details their beliefs may have contained, such as myths and gods, they've generally been metaphors for the reality of their existence. Whatever particular system of beliefs most cultures of man have held throughout out the vast majority of their existence, they've generally had a consistent mindset, what I call the Pagan mindset.
They honor their ancestors, their kin, and the environment in which they lived. They have a love for the world, as it is, with no wish for anything to have been other than it was, and no wish for change other than that which furthers their traditions. As their environment changes, they adapt to it, rather than trying to change it or wishing to change it.
They are natural, therefore, naturally non-superstitious, or those who don't believe in the super-natural. Loving the world, as it is, they have no desire to try to find what is non-existent, hidden, or outside of the world.
So one may ask about the modern Westerner, who has been disconnected from his past, and ancestral lands. Some, far from having an intimate understanding of their ancestors and their traditions, are descended from relatively recently mixed ancestry. Even if they put all the pieces together through years research of family trees, anthropological studies and historical documents, they'd still have no basis for reestablishing or joining, when possible, their ancestors' Pagan traditions, because they would have more than one to choose from, often drastically different.
No, a modern disconnected Westerener, may wish to wait under a much latter date, if ever, to concern himself with the less intimate, often banal, details of his past. His past, which includes his ancestors, and the world in which they lived, is manifested in himself. An honest glance in the mirror - an honest look at his reflection, without guilt, fear, vanity, or any other emotion clouding his view, will provide more valuable information that a year of research.
He has no intimate understanding of a culture beyond the modernized mixed culture he was raised in. No family unity, rarely even knowledge of his family. He finds identity in shallow things. Such as the demarcated boundaries and power structures that developed through multiple motives into what's now called the state, or country in which he lives. Or by the political groups within. Or as an atheist, a minority, a woman among men, or a man among women. He finds identity based on the profession he's in even if it serves him poorly, and he can't even explain coherently why he chose it, or that he even finds it suits him.
No modern state values its citizens, it uses them, and the best case scenario with those states leaning towards some degree of democracy, is that they ask for nothing more than to be used in turn. If one is an American, be proud to be part of that exclusive club, and pay your necessary dues, but don't create your identity around that fact. Furthermore, to create an identity among a political group within is even more ill-advised. One casts one's vote, if its no problem to do so, but then forgets about it. The alienated Westerner I'm speaking of wasn't born to be a statesman. He needs not take the burden of the state onto his shoulders by identify with one of the internal competing interests for power. If he must choose sides, and be active in his support for it, then he'd likely choose based on safety alone. If he's from a country such as America, Canada, Australia, or most, if not all, of western Europe, then he has no need of that.
It exposes a profound dissatisfaction with the world to identify as an atheist. It's an identification, not of what one is, but of what one's not. So there are those who foolishly believe in the Judeo-Christian god, and if a person is not one of them, it doesn't mean he must identify as not being one of them. If one is intelligent and values intelligence more than any other trait, one doesn't call himself an anti-moron.
It's no different identifying as a woman among men, a man among women, a disabled person among the more healthy, or a part of a minority ethnicity among the majority ethnicity, or any other type of minority, or person in a group of those with supposed lesser power than those in another group. It's identifying as what one is not, as if what one is not is either something one should be spiteful not to be, or spiteful of.
A self-labeled feminists identifies not as a human of the female gender, but as a person whose not a supposedly oppressive male. She forgets her father was a male and her child may be a male. And those who identify as of a minority ethnicity, they don't take themselves as what they are for what worth they can find, but look to those who are not them - the majority ethnicity, and say I'm not that, as if they would prefer to be other than they are or would shame those who are different to give them what they couldn't take for themselves otherwise.
Using shame so-called oppressed groups have carved out a shallow existence of comfort for themselves for years, in American, I believe, specifically since the 1950s. If one is a healthy rich white woman then how can she identify as a victim just because she's not a man? If one is a healthy rich black man, how can he identify as a victim because he's not white. If one is a health white man, how can he identify as a victim because he's not rich? These labels, I use as examples among many; black/white, rich/poor, healthy/disabled, woman/man, are not all encompassing descriptions, but just factors that some people can make claim to. If one wishes to level all humans - make them all equal, one may as well work towards doing so directly, with courage, not indirectly and indecisively as is shown.
But, these those various groups claiming to be oppressed are not to be opposed. An alienated modern Westerner, let's say an American, need not make claim to having anything to do with any of them. There is no substantial consequence should he not do so.
If one is a healthy, rich white man, who's one of these alienated Westerners I speak of, he doesn't need to be resentful that he's meeting all the criteria as an oppressor by the so-called oppressed groups. He neither need feel anger at any disadvantage they give that he would otherwise not have, nor any shame for any advantage he does has. Nor does he need to take part in the activism, in either of the two supposedly diametrically opposed directions. If he has the Pagan mindset, he'll simply observe what is real, then adapt accordingly.
Of one is a disabled, poor back woman, who's one of these alienated Westerns, she doesn't need to be resentful that she meets all the criteria as an oppressed person by the so-called oppressed groups. She neither need feel anger at any disadvantage the supposed oppressing groups gave her, that she would otherwise not have, nor shame for any advantage the so-called oppressed groups may have gave her. She too, may avoid activism, and if she has the Pagan mindset, observe and adapt.
No, to have the Pagan mindset one doesn't identify with what one isn't, or doesn't have, or can't do. One identifies with what one is, what one does have and what one can do. One with the Pagan mindset doesn't act like a victim to the circumstance of the world. One loves them as that which made one what one is. One takes responsibility for everything. One would not change anything in the past, and would only change the present as first an adaptation, then creation, procreation, as one is reasonably able. If one must put on masks to better adapt, then fine. A person in the jungle may where animal skins to better be protected and blend in. A person in modern America may play the victim to get the protection and resources that pretense provides. But he'll be of the Pagan mindset in his own mind and as he speaks of himself outside his sphere of influence, such as anonymously online, he never speaks as a victim.
It takes courage to take responsibility and to strive to know oneself as one actually is, not as one may have fooled oneself, or have been fooled, into thinking one is. Courage can only be developed gradually. Awareness only found slowly. Responsibility only taken piece by piece. Self-love only comes after one has shed all delusional self-infatuation and had to deal with oneself in all one's humility and vulnerability.
The term Paganism has been abused by modern Westerners. The Pagan rituals of peoples' not one's own, or only with a thread of attachment are just further delusion. One may not know what to do, where to go, how to live, what to value, but one doesn't need to choose based on seemingly random convenience or choose what is offered from those with their own motives. One may attempt to obtain an excruciating degree of honesty about himself and the world. One may start from scratch with one's reflection and go from there.
You need to be logged in to comment