Some have argued that Pagans worship the creation and not the creator. While that may be true in a sense, I think it is more akin to looking someone in the eye when you talk to them. You may only be looking at the face, but in the back of your mind you know there is a whole person beyond just that face. There is more to the body and a mind hidden behind that which is obviously present.
So yes, we may gather in a forest glade and honor the spirit of the woods, the stream, the air and that which is within ourselves. However that local focus is also honoring distant lands, distant stars, an entire universe beyond that seen by the eye and the very spirit of the entire universe.
I was asked today to describe Paganism. So I gave them a short description. What I said was "Take a large canvas of philosophy, paint on the myths look at it with the outer eyes of anthropology and psychology and the inner eye of mysticism, frame it all with basic rituals and a reverence for nature."
I had wanted something simple and yet spoke to the different traditions without getting bogged down in those differences. That can all come out in future conversation. So I am wondering what people think of that description. Is it fair and effective for the most basic intro? I would hope that it would be sufficient for those who aren't really interested, yet also inspire questions in those who really want to know more.
Things I believe about God
by Rev. Marc Roney
1) The full nature of God is beyond the comprehension of the limited human mind. Whatever God is then that is what God is and no preference of humans can change that nature, no matter how good our arguments or desires or faith.
2) God has loved and cherished all life that ever was and ever will be.
3) God wants us to learn, grow and become the best individuals we can.
4) God is more loving and understanding then any human can be, therefore God will not condemn us for mistakes made of honest ignorance of things we do not or can not know.
5) Mankind’s perception of reality does not define the true nature of reality. Humans must continually redefine their perceptions as new information of reality come to be known.
6) God speaks to different people in different way, just as we speak differently to our parents, children, lovers, coworkers and customers.
7) No single path to God is suited to all people, the same as no single job is suited for all people.
8) In the eye of God all people are equal regardless of heritage, race, sex, sexual orientation, even religion.
9) The spirit needs different things to nurture it and different people have slightly different nutritional needs for the spirit, just like the body.
10) just as there are many cycles in physical reality; from the cycles of the sun, moon and stars to cycles of plant and animal life to the cycles that change minerals and rock into other forms... so does the inner life of mind and spirit go through cycles. These cycles interact on personal, group and cultural levels.
11) Different people having different visions of the divine and their sacred quests is no different then an architect giving a metal worker, a carpenter, an electrician, a plumber, etc different jobs and sets of instructions toward the goal of creating an amazing building. Their jobs are very different because each is directed according to their skills and gifts.
12) The nature of God and ultimate reality can be discussed through symbols and metaphor, but this should not get confused as the nature of reality since two people using the same language of symbols and metaphor can actually mean very different thing and two people arguing over different symbols and metaphors may ultimately find they are both intending to say the same thing.
13) All other specifics are open to healthy debate and investigation. I'm sure God is amused by our human rumors of the ultimate reality. God may be male, female, neither or both; singular, dualist, polyistic or animistic; or any of the other possible ways humans try to define God.