TPE – Personal Spiritual Practice and Salvation
This is week two of The Pagan Experience. If you would like to read more posts like this, click here.
This week’s prompt is, “Share your favorite spiritual/magickal practices. What tools are incorporated into your daily practice? What feeds you and replenishes you?”
When I think about personal spiritual practices, I think about meditations, or circle casting, or divination. I think about prayer, and songs, and poetry. I think about offerings, and tools, and tithing. I think about going to church or ritual or small spirit groups or classes.
When I think about spiritual practices, I think about salvation or the connection we have to the divine.
Salvation is defined as, “deliverance from sin and its consequences or preservation/deliverance from harm, ruin, or loss.” In Christian terms, salvation is usually seen as believing in Jesus as the savior, and then working on that relationship with him, but for me, as a Pagan and a Kemetic, I believe it means something entirely different.
As a human, I think there is one thing we can all agree on: bad shit happens.
People get sick, people die, people steal, and murder, and hurt others. People create laws that harm entire groups of people, and people vote for those people to be in office. People lie, and curse, and say things they don’t mean. People will disappoint you, and people will hurt you. There is not a single person on the planet who has never been hurt by someone else.
Now that we’ve agreed that bad shit happens, I think there’s another thing we can all agree on: when bad shit happens, we want to be saved from it. We don’t want to be a part of it. We don’t want our friends, our family, or ourselves to be sick. We don’t want anyone to be robbed, or killed, or raped, or assaulted. We don’t want to be lied to, we don’t want to be cheated on, we don’t want to be disappointed. We don’t want to see it happen to others (although sometimes, we fail at that).
So when bad shit happens, we want to be saved from it. We want to be out of it, and however that happens, we want to see it happen.
It’s at this point that many people will turn to prayer and the Gods for help.
Salvation is the process of being saved from that bad shit, whatever it may be, and when it happens, everyone wants salvation. We may not call it that, but that’s what it is.
But here’s the deal: the bad shit isn’t a result of the Gods’ punishing us for our bad ways. It isn’t some devil or satan figure that is coming to get us (see more on this here), and since it’s not, we can, as humans, change it.
But the only want to make that change is to realize what I just said, and then act on that realization. I’m not trying to insight people to go out and evangelize their truths as the truth for everyone. I’m not suggesting we, as Pagans, follow in the steps of our Evangelical Christian brothers and sisters by going out and shouting from the rooftops that our beliefs and ideals are the ideal, and that others must believe as we do.
What I’m saying is this: there are some things that work to better society and there are some thing that don’t. Getting along helps society. Not getting along doesn’t help society. We can get along and not believe the same thing. Maybe that’s some unrealistic optimism, but if we all start working at it, and getting others to as well, then we can maybe start seeing it happen. Who knows?
So what’s my favorite spiritual practice and what does all this have to do with it?
Well, I’d have to say that my favorite spiritual practice is guidance. I don’t get to do it as often as I’d like to, but when I get the opportunity to help guide another soul on their journey, then I really enjoy that time. When we guide others to their truths, we can teach others that it’s okay to believe what you do and to allow others to believe as they do, and help others so that we can all just “get along.”
It doesn’t require any tools except my ears and my voice, and it’s not something I had to study to be able to do, but the biggest factor is just listening to others and offering help when asked. Never have I ever told someone to stop believing how they do, and I won’t ever start that. (Now, I have pointed it out to people when their beliefs are emotionally damaging to themselves or others, but that isn’t to make them stop… just to hopefully realize.)
I believe that there is a path for every person that leads to joy, and I want to help as many people as I can find theirs so they can all experience joy as I have in my life. That’s my favorite spiritual practice: experiencing a life of joy and helping others do the same.
Posted on January 11, 2015, in The Pagan Experience and tagged church, faith, God, Gods, guidance, Joy, Love, paganism, personal, personal practice, practice, spiritual, spiritual practice, The Pagan Experience, TPE. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.