Jul. 10th, 2011 11:07 pm
sanacrow: a circular black and white drawing of a tribal-style crow (Default)
[personal profile] sanacrow
... That's part of the "These Paths Are Not For Everyone" speech. Not that they aren't rewarding paths; not that they're never fun... but they are full of trials and annoyances and hard work, and dammed little in the way of objectively-identifiable rewards.

When most people are interested in my religion, I try to push them away. "Don't bother," I let them know. "Check out this new age stuff instead; it's got lots of good personal growth exercises & many people are very happy with it." And, "it's too hard to find competent mentors, and too easy to get caught up in other people's ego trips. Hell, it's too easy to get caught in your own ego trips. Go away. Do some nice positive visualization chants and wear a pentacle if you must, but stay away from the gods' they're not always nice folks, and they're <1>wierd.

Oh. Eris sent you, hmmmm? Well, ahm, have a Principia and a Drum Abuse flyer; relax and enjoy the ride 'cos the other options are worse. Melek's been visiting you? Err, I hope you liked it, and tell him that it goes better with a good lube. No, there's not much you can do to convince him to leave you alone, but he doesn't seem to bother people who don't have the *capacity* to enjoy his attentions...

The point is that the "trials", such as they are, come with rewards that may not be apparent from the outside. and we mention them early and often because right now, paganism is *flooded* with people who dislike Christianity's rules and restrictions and want a religion that allows their personal quirks *and* says "the gods will love and cherish you whatever you do, and they will shower you with rewards if you are faithful to them." People ask, 'why don't the gods comfort all those people who are suffering? How can they build a relationship with the gods?" (paraphrase, don't shoot me) As if building a relationship with the gods would ease their suffering.

A relationship with the gods comes with a set of rewards. We don't talk about them much because (1) they're different for each god, and (2) they're not obtainable by wanting them; you have to *build that relationship* to get them. They're also generally not negotiable; Kwan Yin offers compassion but requires it to be directed at others; Eris offers what's often considered insanity; the Feri gods offer beauty and power, but require a devotion to art and sensuality.

Mostly we give warnings about trials so that when people start on these paths they've got some idea of what's ahead of them. We don't need to tell people about the rewards; they'll find those for themselves.

~ Elf of Elfwreck
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sanacrow: a circular black and white drawing of a tribal-style crow (Default)

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