Monday, June 29, 2009

Update on Episode #006

Almost done recording Episode #006. I started yesterday, did a lot of editing, still have some (not much) to go. It will definitely be over an hour long which is always nice. :-)

So far, each episode has been longer than the one before it (not counting the combocast)

Can't wait to get it out, but it's important to not rush the production of it. Each episode is only released and heard first once and will be available for a long time so its important to do it right the first time.

Sorry, just me thinking out loud... :-D

Sunday, June 21, 2009

IPVBM 2009: #2 Thelemic Ethics

In Thelema, for those who may not be aware of it, there is this concept of everyone having a True Will, which is similar to a divine path or destiny for lack of better term. It was revealed in the Book of The Law as Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law. The Thelemite, a follower of Thelema, constantly pursues their True Will whatever that may be. However, no one person can determine this for another and everyone may have their own unique way of finding, pursuing, and determining just what direction thier True Will is leading them in. So, we have no way of knowing if everyone is actually pursuing thier True Will or not, there's no way to be sure. What we have to hope is that the great cosmic, if even chaotic, machine of existence reveals this to us over time.

In regards to ethics, Thelema has the craziest context in which to base the definition of right and wrong. For instance, in the case of the concept of their being a True Will, that which is not in alignment with one's Will or even against it would be considered as being wrong regardless of what one's everyday society would say in regards to a particular act.

For example, stealing, regarded as being wrong in a none Thelemic world, would be right if it were to occur in a Thelemic world and were in alignment with the Will of the 'thief' (also implying that stealing and the idea of theft were still existent in a Thelemic world).

Theoretics aside, we live in the world that does conform to or reflect Thelema. Much like any minority faith tradition or philosophy, Thelema mostly exists at a personal level, which may, at times, not allow it to be easily practiced or applied to the greater world. Though, we can do anything we choose to do, we are unable to thwart the ramifications of our action by sighting our religion as an excuse or justification.
Despite having a law like the Law of Thelema, Thelemites may be unable to fulfill their Will at times due to other societal or worldly concerns. Most of us, after all, live in countries founded or based within other religious traditions and often have to find a medium ground between who we were are and the society in which we live. Regardless of our faith, our ethics more often stem more from the societies and cultures in which we were raised in and not necessarily from our faith. It would then be relevant to ask how much of our upbringing do we impose upon our faith and vice versa?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

IPVBM 2009: #1 Proselytization

When I was driving home from work the other day I saw a not so unfamiliar sight along the side of the road. A man, riding a bike wearing black dress pants, a perfectly white short sleeve dress shirt with a black tie, helmet, and backpack. I'm sure I knew who he was as people dressed similar to him are often seen biking along the road of this area. Who was he you ask? He was probably a Mormon out doing what Mormon's do in my area which is awkwardly ride bikes in dress clothes up and down the street, delivering pizza. Just kidding. He was probably out fulfilling his duties as a young Mormon boy by spreading the words of Joseph Smith to the local masses. This made me begin to think about proselytization and how its not really a Neo-Pagan practice and I would even say that it is generally looked down upon in the Neo-Pagan communities. Meaning as Neo-pagans we don't try and convert people who are not Neo-Pagans, or do we?
Most of us would say no we don't proselytize as a community, but how many of us who say and think this have not at one time argued or discussed the blatant pagan symbolism and themes found in Easter and Christmas with someone who was a Christian? I know I have been guilty of this in the past and whether we like it or not I would say that by doing this we are to a small degree proselytizing. Because by doing so we are poking holes in another faith's tradition and practices to reveal a 'truth.' We may not be trying to get them to accept a particular deity, pantheon, or religious tradition, but by yanking some of the rug out from under them we are attacking and degrading the fabric of what they know and enjoy about their religion.
So, though proselytization is not a direct practice or religious obligation found in the many forms of Neo-Pagan traditions, and is typically something that is not approved of in Neo-Paganism in general, we may, at times, find ourselves engaged in such behavior as a result of the zeal we have for our faith and the lingering issues we may still harbor with the faith/s which we have since converted from. It's important to not allow our zeal to get the best of us and, despite what we know or think, to keep from addressing the understanding of others if doing so serves our own interests more than theirs.
And now a test: Did you ever notice how Easter is on a different day every year? The date for Easter is found according to the Full Moon. Easter is always on the first sunday, after the first Full Moon, after the Spring Equinox!
Try and not tell a Christian that one.
This has been a test of the Neo-Pagan Anti-Proselytization Movement!

IPVBM 2009: #0 Preface

Well it's already half-way through the month and I have yet to participate in International Pagan Values Blogging Month. This does not go to say that I have not been thinking about it and what to blog about. My issue was what to use for the podcast and what to leave for the show blog? So, I've decided to just write and to not stress out over these blogs, but to allow them to simply be wanderings of thought and not polished or near polished essays. Afterall, I have enough trouble writing out the podcast which is why they usually come out once a month. I have been considering using notes instead of writing out every show.... Anyway the entries for this blogathon may seem wandering and random, but I think they will be fun. So without further ado!