Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Pagan Naturalism

  1. #1

    Pagan Naturalism

    It occurred to me, while I was thinking about writing something on the crucial role that pagan naturalism must play in any human future on this planet (whether we choose to call it pagan naturalism or some other thing) - that there actually isn't a subsection for pagan naturalism as a tradition on the boards.

    Pagan naturalism defies the stereotype that the majority of people first exploring pagan traditions come into that journey with as a product of their axial upbringing. It's tremendously prevalent in generational paganism, though almost wholly absent in new conversion demographics. A frustration with this state of affairs is expressed even by non naturalist, or supernaturalist pagans every time a persons first question about paganism is how to do magic. How to read tarot cards. How to properly rock a ceremony drawing down the godhead and so indwell the awesome power of the divine matron.

    As australia burns, as pandemic looms ever-present yesterday, today, and tomorrow, as immense swaths of the worlds breadbasket are sitting under inches of water and made unavailable for production....can these questions really approach the true value and benefit that contemporary (or even pre-axial) paganism offers?

    I'd be interested in seeing how pagans and non pagans alike, on this board, prioritize the order of the articles of their faith. What is the tie that binds us all, if there is one? If we could present one unitary message to the world Out There(tm), would it be some comment on astral projection or energy healing? Is there any way for the mass of wildly divergent philosophies called contemporary paganism to clear the air and the detritus for those who want to know what all of this is all about? Or will we remain an ineffectual remnant of a good idea long since dead? Plugging along by leaning on the bored hobbies of middle class post-modern defectors?

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by Rhythm; 22 Jan 2020 at 07:34.

  2. #2
    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
    Reputation
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    8,362
    Religion
    Alchemist and Neo-American Redneck Buddhist
    Location
    Frozen Northern Michigan, near Thunder Bay
    Phrase
    Where are the tweezers?

    Re: Pagan Naturalism

    Can you tell me what "pagan naturalism" is so I know what we're talking about?
    Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.

    I can't do everything, but I can do something.

  3. #3

    Re: Pagan Naturalism

    In contemporary practice, any tradition with pagan thematic elements that proceeds without gods, animating spirits, or magic. A religion of nature commonly (but not necessarily) expressed through metaphoric narratives that serve to explain a relationship (or the right relationship) between man and nature, internally or externally, grounded in natural fact. Historically, from classical ionians, atomists, epicureans, cynics, stoics and skeptics, to heterodox schools in the hindu tradition like charvaka, to the work of Zhuangzi and Mencius in China.

    This is a short list, the big ones whose memories, at least, survived. We could find analogs outside of the western and eastern spheres in Nahuatl philosophy, for example, and it's assumed that that all pagan societies had at least some segment of the populace that adhered to the pragmatic aspects of their myths while de-emphasizing (or completely ignoring) the supernatural aspects.

    All belief sets present such content. Today people would be most familiar with the type through cultural christianity, itself a synthesis between pagan naturalism and christian supernaturalism. I'm still going to write that post about what I see as a crucial role going ahead, but it might take me a minute.

  4. #4
    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
    Reputation
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    8,362
    Religion
    Alchemist and Neo-American Redneck Buddhist
    Location
    Frozen Northern Michigan, near Thunder Bay
    Phrase
    Where are the tweezers?

    Re: Pagan Naturalism

    Methinks I see (What to me is) a snag in your nylon (metaphorically speeking, of course!).

    You seem to have decided, in some way what the end product of a pagan revival should be.

    Based on my, admittedly, limited experience, dealing mostly with young or young new pagans, somebody telling them where they outta end up is wholly contradictory to their reason for looking into paganism. To me, they seem to want to experiment, to try different thought patterns, to experiment - in order to find out what is right for them.

    Anybody who wants to lead them to a particular end point might just as well be da pope.

    Why waste the time and energy of exploring pagan thought when there's already a fine pope open for business?
    Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.

    I can't do everything, but I can do something.

  5. #5

    Re: Pagan Naturalism

    Sure, I do think a pagan revival would, by definition, involve a greater awareness and acknowledgement of nature. Whether that would make nature a pope, IDK. I don't think so, but I don't know what you think of when you think of popes or how nature could serve whatever function that is. In any case, no matter what sort of rejection by rebellion for it's own sake or for principle we might be talking about, human beings aren't going to win any fights we pick with nature.

    That's why I asked about the priorities of the articles of our respective faiths. 30 years ago an aggressive stance on the need to reincorporate sacred nature into our lives still -was- teenage rebellion. It's not as cool now, having been normalized aside of the pagan community. If pagans today reject nature for the same reasons they rejected popes....then I do think we've lost the thing that makes paganism vital and relevant in the present. It would be reduced wholly to a countercultural fetish.

    The irony being that the pagan view of nature is ascendant, especially with young people and non-pagans...but less so..with pagans...and there are fewer pagan voices today than there were even 30 years ago making this central to their own worldviews. I do think that this has something to do with what you mentioned, above. Looking for "our own way" invariably calls up some sort of competition between worldviews, and insomuch as a natural focus is mainstreamed, then paganism as a product differentiates itself some other way, with intangibles and transcendentals.

    I don't have any personal experience with that, I have to defer to the experience of others. I never had to set out to find my own way, and never considered paganism as my own way. It was never that kind of product, the way it was given to me.

    - - - Updated - - -

    -What I'm concerned about..is here we are, this is exactly the time and moment and circumstance that the broader pagan community of my own youth was always talking about. It's here...but are we, or have we moved on? Is something else more important to paganism now, just as that old focus comes into it's own? Nothing else will ever be more important to me, but obviously I don't define or circumscribe the trends and motivations of any larger movement.

    I neglected a direct answer above, to your question...but it would be this. I don't think that nature makes any space for popes to begin with. The ideology that creates that position is unlike pagan ideology in every way....but if we now see any valid comparison between them..then this is a stunning demonstration of precisely what I've long worried about the larger pagan community.
    Last edited by Rhythm; 25 Jan 2020 at 01:25.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 28 Jun 2015, 13:17
  2. Replies: 13
    Last Post: 22 Jul 2013, 00:20
  3. Pagan Poetry (post your Pagan poems here)
    By AL!CE in forum Hobbies
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02 Nov 2012, 11:05
  4. Humanist Pagan VS Atheist Pagan
    By volcaniclastic in forum Pagan Traditions & Discussion
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 17 Apr 2012, 12:39
  5. Replies: 4
    Last Post: 01 Mar 2012, 02:27

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •