This is the third of a series of entries dealing with my growing spirituality. These posts are designed with a “evolving thoughts” theme, meaning I am using this space to get my thoughts in order and come up with a solid foundation to stand on for my continued spiritual development. What I say here will change and will do so without notice or apology.
In this third installment of the Crossroads series, I’ll be taking a look at the pros and cons of organizing a religous path.
Everyone likes to belong. Whether it is to a small group or a large organization, very few of us are true loners. Truthfully, a true loner would never be counted (and as a group, they cannot be counted) as s/he could not be found. Even with the advent of the Internet, true loners are rare.
Some would argue that interaction on the Internet is not true interaction. While it’s true it’s not face-to-face interaction, it is interaction, nonetheless. On the Internet, as in the physical world, humankind tends to form organizations, clubs, and clans (in the gaming sense.) This is true in the religous world as well. We call them churches, temples, mosques, synagoges, groves, grottos, circles, etcetera.
Joining one of these religous organizations is a commitment one should think about in great detail. If it doesn’t fit, you should change to one that does. Or create one for yourself.
While an organized church can do a lot of good things for people, sometimes organizing along religous lines can be a bad thing. Too many like minded folks gathering together when someone comes along with a fiery speech, whips the congregation into a furor, and steps aside to take none of the blame for the now enraged mob when they do violence against whomever the riot-starter wants.
When creating a new religion, think long and hard if you want an organization around your belief system. Carefully weighing the pros and cons of such an organization is vital to the creation process. You must determine if such an organization is even necessary for your path.
The first step is listing the pros and cons. Your list might look something like this:
1.) Solidarity with like minded folks.
2.) Protection and someone to watch your back. (Closely related to #1).
3.) The satisfaction of leading others.
1.) A ready target for mainstream religions who will be quick to demonize you for not believing in their God. You are a cult to them, and, more than likely, will always be a cult to them.
2.) You become a public figure, (perhaps not so well known when you begin), but you are one. Thus, you are subject to the fear, suspision, and distrust of the public. The best you can hope for is indifference.
3.) If your belief system is one geared towards public assistance, then, inevitably, you will enter into the political realm. Dealing with anyone in public office can be a trial, as they have their own agenda’s and goals.
Be honest when creating your pros and cons list. If you are creating your system of belief to gain personal power and a ready group of people who will give you money, then have the stones to put that on the list.
Once you get the organization established, apply for tax exempt status and enjoy your new life as a cult figure.
Personally, I don’t think organized religion is any good. Oh, it seems to agree with the Christian crowd, but it’s not for me. At no point will I join an organized religion. And I don’t think I really want to create one either. Too much work. Too many people waiting for you to fail.
No, there will be no church formed by me. The simple beauty of my path is one that does not need a special building to worship in. My spirituality is based on seeing what is here, not adding to it in a physical sense.
I want to see the Earth for what it is. I want to see the Universe for what it is. I want to be a part of the Universe and experience the Knowing of it. The simple beauty of being awake for the duration of my existence here. That is my true goal.
I can’t do that as part of an organized religion.
Now that we’ve established the basic presepts and ground rules of the path, chosen the Patron (or chosen not to have one), and made a decision about organizing, we need to talk a bit about what magickal practices, if any, to employ. Next, The Magick of Choice.
OTHER POSTS IN THIS SERIES
Previous: At the Crossroads of Infinity, The Basics
Next: At the Crossroads of Infinity, The Inclusion of Magick.