Journal Entry: 24 December 2017

Fact and factoid post alert! The following are more or less notes I made while skipping rope about the internet.

A chameleon walking up a tree branch in a butterfly conservatory.
This is neither a hoptoad nor a tuna.

Hop-Tu-Naa (not to be confused with Hoptoad Tuna) is the ancient new year’s celebration on the Isle of Man and is Celtic in origin. 31 October is the nearest Gregorian calendar date. The Isle of Man New Year was known as Oie Houney. Which I like saying even though I am probably not even close to pronouncing it correctly. It reminds me of Hoi Polloi, another phrase I like saying, and which I thought was just another way of saying hoity-toity. After that it gets sort of complicated with who originally said what.

Just a couple of those interesting facts that deserves to be typed out in a blog.

“God” as a job title not a person or deity! Love it. This is from ThoughtCo.com, Do Pagans Believe in God? by Patti Wigington, 25/11/17. God as a job title! That is so funny-weird and cool. “God as a job title and not a proper name” is the direct quote. Some more interesting facts – pagans may differ from Wicca in beliefs and rituals. I did not know that. And apparently, there are people who identify as christian witches and practice magic within the framework of the christian religion. That must be a long and complicated history, given what happened to so many women (and men) who, accused of witchcraft, were tortured and killed at the hands of mainly the Roman catholic church (which I believe falls into the religious category of christianity). Funny, how so little notice is given to that genocide. Sort of like the genocide of people who lived in North and South America before the arrival of the Europeans, eh?

Wicca is a specific religion. There are different traditions of Wicca and each follows and honors the deities of that tradition. Pagans, on the other hand, follow an Earth- or nature-based belief system so there’s no deity.

“Wicca is not about believing, it is about experiencing – and thus not against science. Experience for yourself, you are expected to ask questions. Learn. Challenge the world – in the end what you come to know is what you believe. Challenge the Universe to reveal itself.” – Phyllis Curott at phylliscurott.com.

I really like what she said about challenging the Universe to reveal itself. I don’t think it is really too much of a challenge. In fact, it is sort of a challenge to ignore the Universe. Unfortunately, many people are up to that particular challenge. Doesn’t take much to see the ignorance in action…

 

Journal Entry: 11 December 2017

decorative imageI haven’t transferred a blog post in almost two weeks. I keep thinking about it but not taking action. I could easily make the excuse that I’m too busy with stuff. Work Stuff, getting ready to go to MI stuff, on and on. But deep down, I know it is because I have these fears about writing something so public. What if I’m wrong about what is going on in my head as I think about these things? What if someone thinks I’m crazy? Will I have an impact on anyone, as per my soul contract? Once again, my level of confidence is not high about my ability. Yet that is exactly what I’ve been told is holding me back!

So maybe I just need to write something and let it go… so I will. Here it is.

In all religions and belief systems, there are certain things that cannot be reconciled. Buddhism has not – at least in general public understanding – provided an interpretation of the soul. As a belief system, doesn’t necessarily have to do so, or at least it doesn’t have to explain it to me. There may be an interpretation of soul in Buddhist texts (source of information passed down through centuries) that is beyond my simple understanding of Buddhism. Perhaps it is explained or understandable to those with greater knowledge of the intricacies of this belief  system.

It could also be a complete culture block I have for understanding how Buddhism sees the soul. I think this is partly due to our cognitive tools being crafted by the culture we grew up in and live in. A hammer in one culture may be a sledgehammer in another or it may be a delicate hammer used for faceting a diamond. So what I would call the soul may be known as something else in other systems of belief, or even what individuals all around me call the soul. [Would this be some type of relativism? Is relativism a bad thing?]

Of course, the difference between Buddhism as a belief system and Christianity as a belief system, is that Buddhism encourages individuals to question what is presented to them (at least that’s what the Buddha said) – to delve deep into meaning, to look at it from all angles. The religions, such as Christianity, seem to require that you don’t look at the details, you don’t question it from all angles. Instead, you have blind faith when you have questions or need clarification (this may be true for Buddhism as well – just that I never got to that point in my own study of it).

Except for the question of the soul.

What’s strange is that in Buddhist belief, something moves through the Bardo once the physical body dies away and before the “person” takes on a new birth. This “person” experiences the Bardo – so is this different than a soul?

This will take more study. Good thing I’m a lives-long learner!

Blessings, S

From Jumping into a Pool to Jumping into an Ocean

Water droplets collect at the tips of pine needles, ready to drop.
Dew drops are oceans waiting to happen.

In my first post in November 2017, I wrote about how scared I was when jumping into our once-upon-a-time swimming pool. I was using it as an analogy about writing a blog. Now I’m looking to jump into a much bigger and reliably scarier body – a whole ocean of myself – as I share my journey through excerpts of my inked (hand-written) journal about the spiritual path that I’m on.

Some of my writing will seem naive, corny, or ignorant. But I am putting it out there in case there’s something insightful for someone reading it. Truth is though, I don’t know how you’ll react – that’s up to you. You may get upset because my views contradict your views on a whole variety of subjects. I don’t know if it is a good use of your time reading something that upsets you a great deal, so I wish you well in finding what may suit you better. Or, you could stick with me a little while and see what happens.

Because something wonderful is always about to happen.

Continue reading From Jumping into a Pool to Jumping into an Ocean