Friday, February 24, 2012

D is for Divine

What is the divine?  One of the things that has drawn me to the study and search of my Pagan self is the way Pagans view the divine.  During my upbringing in the Roman Catholic church, it was my understanding that God was outside of us.  That there was this mysterious force that was outside of the everyday that we had to go to church to worship and show your devotion.  It’s not that you couldn’t pray at home and God wouldn’t hear you, that’s not what I mean.  And maybe as a young person this wasn’t the correct understanding, but that is what I got.  As I got older and tried to revive my Catholicism by finding a new church or group, I still felt this ultimate disconnect with what we were supposed to be worshiping as divine.  So this lead to me reading and discovering all of these various religions that exist and what eventually drew me to the Pagan path.  There seems to be an overwhelming appreciation of the divine in everything.

One article I came across recently I think says it most beautifully.  “In its most simple form, this spiritualized veneration of nature is a form of pantheism - the belief that all things are divine, and the divine is in, and one with, all things. It is also monistic (monism is the belief that everything ultimately is united in one all-encompassing divine reality). Within this approach, worshiping nature and worshiping the divine are identical acts.” That being in tune with the world and nature is the same as worshiping the divine.  This thought I think is one that I read over and over.  There are also other Pagan views of the divine, this article also discusses those, but this one statement is the one that resonates with me.

There are other articles that state similar thoughts, this one titled "Neo-Paganism - The Divine In All Creation" that was originally published in 1994, states "the Divine is in all creation and everything has Divinity within. (...) the common thread within the multicolored tapestry of modern Neo-Paganism, is a reverence for Nature's ever-returning cycles, a spirit of community among individual diversity, and a search for personal truth, found not within another's revelation, but engraved on the spirit of the individual."  This is my other draw to the divine as interpreted by many Pagans, that we can all have our own interpretation of the divine.

If we were to ever meet in person, one of my "talking points" about religion is that all the arguments that seem to happen are often over a label, what do you call that thing that you hold divine/believe/etc.  This statement from the Pagan viewpoint, that the belief that all things are divine, meant I didn't necessarily have to label what I was feeling, when I get caught up in nature, when I enjoy a good book, when I meet fantastic new people, and that I could appreciate the divine in all things.  So I guess the conclusion I would like you to have a thought that the divine is what you make of it, that as a Pagan we are responsible for our own search and source of divinity in our lives, what we hold sacred, and what we are searching for.

Image from here

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