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September 8th, 2004


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10:11 am - Eliade and Jung will destroy your mind!
I realized recently that we scholarly people like to do something strange.

Fluff-Bunny Newbie: What's a good book on Paganism? How do I learn about my religion?

Scholarly Pagan with Ego: Read Eliade's Myth of Eternal Return. You'll understand things better. Or Joeseph Campbell's Hero with 1,000 Faces. Or get yourself some Jung. And don't call him Jung, call him Young.

FBN: This will make me a better Pagan?

SPE: Of course! You'll know about the collective unconscious! You'll understand how myth is an expression of primordial time. You'll see how there are no original myths.

FBN: Oh. Is that what Paganism is about?

SPE: Well, no. It's about personal experience.

FBN: But why am I reading this then?

SPE: Because they're important. It gives you tools to talk about your religion.

FBN: But I don't know what my religion is about! How will I talk about things I don't have an experience of? It'd be like having a hammer and no nails!

SPE: I use my hammer all the time. In fact, I'm using it now to make my point to you.

FBN: Oh, I see. I'm going to go back to being Christian. Thanks anyway.

SPE: [muttering under breath] Obviously, FBN wasn't cut out to be Pagan anyway.

Why do we do this? Shouldn't our first recommendation be: Go out into the woods, sit there, and wait for something to happen. If nothing happens, pretend it did, because that's just as valid as anything else out there. ?

I think we're messed up, and we need to re-think things.

Besides, pointing people to Jung and Eliade is just going to mess them up.
Current Mood: bitchybitchy
Current Music: "Burn That Bridge", -JB

(31 comments Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:lillassea
Date:September 8th, 2004 05:10 pm (UTC)
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You are so absolutely right. But, you knew that.

I swear to Gods some of these people who do things like recommend Eliade (!!?!!) and his ilk to random newbie Pagans are operating on sheer superiority complex. But, you knew that, too.

What I used to do after the radio shows, when someone asked for book recommendations, was mail them a list of 7 or 8 books from beginner to advanced, and a short description of each, so the person could take the plunge at whichever level sounded appealing.

I mean for pete's sake, we are diverse; we approach/become attracted to Paganism differently; we are NOT all at the same reading/educational level. And to scoff at people and pretend they're "not ready to be Pagan" who are bewildered by Eliade et al., well, grrrr. Most people are, or would be, bewildered by Eliade et al. Do the Ego/Scholar types believe Paganism is only for liberal arts academics?!

I have a friend who sums up his religion/spirituality thusly: "Shut up, go sit in the woods, and breathe." I think it would make a good bumpersticker (not to mention an excellent practice).

I believe Reiki is pretty much bunk too.

-Tess, Nth Degree HPS in the Skeptickal Trad

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