Friday, July 17, 2009

One more step on my path

It's so odd how the mind wanders all over the place.

I was just thinking about our old fundamentalist church and how a couple who joined wanted to present the church with a gift of a painting of Jesus. They wanted it to be in the sanctuary behind the baptismal tank where you could see the picture from the pews and meditate on Jesus before the service started. That church, however, viewed that kind of thing as rather idolatrous so the picture was relegated to the foyer where you could see it if you happened to be heading down to the ground floor area.

They shared the story of it with the congregation amidst many tears and amens and wonders at the miracle of it all. I don't remember verbatim but the short version is that a woman went into a trance (apparently in front of someone who could verify it and apparently had a stopwatch so she could record how long it took) and painted this picture after having a vision of Jesus. She supposedly painted it in one sitting, while in this trance in record time (I can't remember how long it took but it was hours and not days.) The validation papers that came with the painting stated that the woman was given a vision of what Jesus really looked like and that's what she painted.

Praise God! Now we know what he really looked like: white, European and perfectly even teeth. struck me at the time that this wasn't what Jesus really looked like since there didn't appear to be a drop of Jewish blood in him.

I still struggle with Christianity. No, not really Christianity. I struggle with what to do with Jesus. I still love the guy. I'm just not sure who he is anymore. Last night when I tried to meditate (I'm a long way from really accomplishing that yet, but it's a start) I was looking at my olive wood statue (that is supposed to be the Holy Family but is, to me, Brighid holding a child and the child's father at her feet. I'm not sure why that's what I decided it was, but it seems to work for me...anyway you look at it, either it's a random child's father at Brighid's feet or Joseph at Mary's feet. Make what you will of that.) Anyway...last night I looked at the statue while communing with the goddess and it hit me really hard that the baby really was Jesus. Does that make the father at her feet Yahweh? Or Joseph? Haven't a clue. I just felt like she was telling me not to leave Jesus behind, that he belongs to her also.

Blasphemous, right?

Still, it makes me more comfortable with staying with my church. I don't have to make a complete break with it. I can retain that which is beneficial and beautiful and throw out that which is burdensome and harmful. It occurred to me also, while I was talking to Brighid, that I'm not really sure who she is. Mythology is mythology, as it were. All the stories we have are of humans trying to understand the Divine within the context of their environment. Who's to say
Brighid is her real name? Maybe her name is also Mary. Who knows? I just know that I'm drawn to the aspects she and Lugh represent. They speak to who I think resides within me and is waiting to come out.

I'm just not terribly interested in learning about rituals and spells just yet. I'm far more fascinated by the history and mythologies of the Celtic world,and the history of the making of the Bible and the rise of the church. My journey isn't a rush to get to the good stuff. It's a trip through the jungle of knowledge and information. I sat for 55 years and let people tell me what to think and what the Bible was really saying. I don't mean to change one bond for another. I intend to find my own way from now on, and that includes my journey into paganism.

It's not my intention to disparage anyone who jumps in by reading books about Wicca or spell casting. That's their journey. They didn't walk the same path I did so why should they follow the one I'm on now? I just mean that I am going to walk into this with a small amount of skepticism and one eye warily on the lookout for frauds. They exist in every discipline, every philosophy, every religion. I just don't want to get fooled again.

If I find myself back where I started, in Christianity, then that's where I'll end up. I'm following the path, not forging it. But if I do find myself there, then I can guarantee that it will have a whole new look to it. That I'm sure of.

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