Page 9 of 11 FirstFirst ... 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 LastLast
Results 81 to 90 of 109

Thread: Cherry-Picking Vs. Traditionalism

  1. #81
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Maynooth, Kildare, Ireland
    Age
    39
    Posts
    948
    Quote Originally Posted by malkookoo View Post
    Is it Wrong to stray from specified guidlines within a path?
    Will doing so tarnish a given practice? Will doing so show disrespect to those that have "done the work"?
    Should we adhere to the rules?

    Conversely, does holding onto the traditions from maybe thousands of years in the past keep us from moving forward? Should we take what we like, what is of use, and discard the rest?
    The last part there is what caught my eye and I dont think anyone has brought up the point it provokes yet. The idea that tradition is counter intuitive to progress is a product of modernism.

    The study of paganism is essentially the study of a religion that has not been popular for a millennium. Modernism an exceptionally recent philosophy and applying its concepts to paganism can only further obscure the truth of a path. Does neo paganism have its fair share of Evangelists who will ram their opinion down your throat as the gospel truth, yes. But that is an issue of charactor found in other modern expressions of religion not a negative effect of following a tradition.


    Personally, I take freedom of religion to mean just that. What was pertinent decades, and centuries, and millenia ago may not be as applicable today, it may not Reconnect us the way that religion is supposed to.
    I know this was addressed immidiately but I would apply it differently to traditional religion.

    The beliefs of Traditional Paganism does not apply to our culture because no neo pagan lives in a free traditional culture. That means we are faced with 2 choices. Reconnect to that traditional way of life in pursuit of our spirituality in doing so change ourselves to suit it or change the religion to suit our modern life. Youve probably read my opinion of how successfull I think modernism will be when applied to pagan religions.

    The old guard of traditional religions have an exoteric mode of study and you can do college courses to compliment your understanding of your chosen cultures religion. But the Old Guard are essentially the unconcious inheritors of a secular knowlege. They might not consider themselves to be pagan and they might not like how you choose to live your life but unless you can reign yourself in and show them respect you wont learn.

    An example of a widespread tradition in the western world but not from the western world is accupuncture. The way its taught in the western world completely strips it of all its traditional religious trappings in an attempt to legitimise eastern medicine in the west. The result of that is matter how much you pay for your college course and no matter what piece of paper you are handed until you physically GO to china and WORK in a hospital and ACCEPT the traditional way of practicing you will never have a real understanding of the skill youre trying to cultivate.

    That involves sucking up the fact you are treated like a dumb foreigner and accepting 'there are more things in heaven and earth then is dreamt of in your philosophy'. I think that applies to all religious study. You have to approach it humbley with your mind open to all possibilities. Cherry Picking is the diametric opposite way of approaching religious practice.
    Last edited by Nuadu; April 12th, 2009 at 05:50 PM.

  2. #82
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    At The Drive-In With Joe Bob Briggs
    Posts
    1,538
    Quote Originally Posted by Nuadu View Post
    The last part there is what caught my eye and I dont think anyone has brought up the point it provokes yet. The idea that tradition is counter intuitive to progress is a product of modernism.
    This is true, some people definitely throw the baby out with the bathwater when criticizing traditions. However, there are two extremes here: (1) the belief that tradition is always good just because it's tradition, and (2) the belief that tradition is always bad just because it's tradition. Both extremes are false. Certain traditions have stood the test of time and proven themselves to be worthy of adherence even in modern climes, but other traditions are no longer appropriate to practice here in the modern world and could actually be dangerous if practiced the same way they used to be. For instance, I think many people forget that human sacrifice was a very important aspect of many ancient religious traditions, but I don't see very many contemporary pagans across the globe considering the idea of human sacrifice, in the sense of actually killing somebody in a religious ritual, to be acceptable in today's world. (There is a dissident minority, to be sure.)

    An example of a widespread tradition in the western world but not from the western world is accupuncture. The way its taught in the western world completely strips it of all its traditional religious trappings in an attempt to legitimise eastern medicine in the west. The result of that is matter how much you pay for your college course and no matter what piece of paper you are handed until you physically GO to china and WORK in a hospital and ACCEPT the traditional way of practicing you will never have a real understanding of the skill youre trying to cultivate.
    That's true enough, and a fitting example of how the second of the two extremes I mentioned above can be problematic.

    I think that applies to all religious study. You have to approach it humbley with your mind open to all possibilities. Cherry Picking is the diametric opposite way of approaching religious practice.
    Here I am still forced to disagree. First of all I think the word "cherry picking" is not being used very clearly in this thread; because of the title it can apparently be made to include any form of eclecticism at all. Since eclecticism was also a part in some ancient religious traditions, it doesn't make sense to automatically write it off as something that is always counter-productive to religious study.

    Others have mentioned that it is not eclecticism itself that bothers them, but the people who are excessively eclectic and who claim to follow a specific tradition that does not share their eclecticism. Issues of respect and disrespect aside, this brings us back to one of my favorite questions: who the hell owns any of this stuff, and who the hell is able to press charges on people and sue them for not using the word "Wiccan" or "Druid" or whatever else correctly? The Catholic Church organized the systematic persecution of the Cathars and other Christian heretics because they found their version of Christianity to be insulting and abominable before the "true" Christianity of the church. That's an example of how the first extreme I mentioned above can also be problematic - when people start killing each other simply because they don't follow the same version of the same faith.

    Maybe it's just because my path is inevitably solitary and no two believers in my faith are exactly alike. But I can see no point in trying to regulate the ways in which other people choose to label themselves. Even if I disagree with the way they label themselves - as in the case of 'vampires' - what is the point in making an issue of it? All it will do is make them feel "persecuted," and people can get real nasty when they feel that way. (Feeling persecuted will also reinforce exactly what is intended to be criticized - kind of like how telling somebody "No" can just make them want it more.) We have the ability to define our religions for ourselves and for our congregations (if we even have congregations), but outside that miniscule sphere of influence, pretty much anything goes. Until somebody finally finds infallible scientific proof that one particular religious theology and orthopraxy is absolutely correct over the others, at least.
    Last edited by Darth Brooks; April 12th, 2009 at 07:40 PM.
    My God is a real Ass; He butchered the Dying-and-Rising Lord, He stole the Eye from the Hawk, He sires the Children of Rebellion, and He lusts after God and Goddess alike. Every green and growing thing shrivels into dust at His touch; every convention is violated by the seed of His loins. He brings drought and infertility to the land, and He has no respect for the crook or the flail. Yet without Him, the slave would never break free from his bondage, the evil serpent would devour the sun, and the future would never come to pass.

    The song of the tempest is His name.


    Khepher-I-Suti

  3. #83
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Nottingham (Robin Hood County), UK!
    Age
    33
    Posts
    1,449
    Quote Originally Posted by ~Elise~ View Post
    If you don't follow tenets within a Tradition, then you are not OF that Tradition.

    If you take parts of it and parts of another--then you are following a completely different path.

    What's the difficulty in the understanding of that?
    Hear, Hear! What she said
    ~Free Your Mind~

    )O( Blessings One & All )O(

    ***Knowledge really is Power***- Francis Bacon (1561 - 1626)


    ***Magic, madam, is like wine and, if you are not used to it, it will make you drunk*** - Susanna Clarke The Ladies of Grace Adieu


    ***Magick Works in Mysterious Ways*** - Me






  4. #84
    Russ's Avatar
     is offline Unapologetically Fideistic
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    New Jersey
    Age
    36
    Posts
    610
    Agreed. It would be wrong of me to create a Wicca trad where women and the Goddess where subservant and lesser than men then call it Dianic Wicca, or to start a splinter Catholic group that was Roman Catholic in all but name except for some Islamic Elements added in then call it The Karma Kagyu Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism just to use a couple of extreme examples.

  5. #85
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Central Illinois
    Age
    41
    Posts
    628
    Aside from all the obvious remarks, consider something else. Living traditions of monotheism with long long unbroken lineage to antiquity can't even agree on the nature of divinity or how to approach it. Their own holy texts have been written, translated, rewritten, translated again in an ongoing cycle. Their approach changes with every culture, often different from town to town, and throughout history. I would venture to say Ancient Christians would hardly recognize their modern brethren. That's an unbroken lineage from start to present.

    It's very difficult to "cherry pick" any religious thought when their is a 1,000 year black hole between you and your ancient brethren. Recons do wonderful work bringing elements of these people to life, but be honest. You're working with text written by christian monks on a people they didn't really know. Burial customs and art recovered by archaeologists help lend more knowledge, but these are cultures that were a large geographic presence in language only (Celts and Germanic/Norse). Even the great Egyptian civilization isn't a well built recon dream come true. In essence, we know very little of what the ancients actually thought. In the case of Egypt, you're talking about the Rosetta stone as the only real key to that lock. I doubt it truly captures the heart of Egyptian thought - so go to the art and burial customs.


    3,000 years from now someone may want to "reconstruct" American culture, or to be more precise - what you believed. They might be doing this with a reconstructed English discovered on a restaurant menu found in Texas ...or Mexico. Combined with art and burial customs scattered over the massive landscape of North America they might paint a picture of Ancient America. It wouldn't even be close to capturing the heart.

    With all that said, Reconstructionists do much needed work. They are finding the foundation brick by brick. The eclectic does much need work as well. They bring innovation, inspiration, and creativity. Of course there are all the "nutters" in the middle, but even they might produce a nugget now and then.

    With the right philosophical approach, I'm sure paths of modern Paganism can be more clearly defined. Asatru's Nine Noble Virtues area good example. Cherry Picking ideas aside, I can look to the Nine Noble Virtues and identify people on the Northern Path. How they approach their Gods, hold rituals, celebrate holidays, or what tools rest on their altar is their business.

    Done rambling for now ...the Cubs have a home opener to play ...

    --Kaos
    “Nothing alive is the same from moment to moment. To live is to face the unknown over and over again.“

  6. #86
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Arizona
    Age
    56
    Posts
    632
    I confess. I didn't read the whole thread before responding. This question is a really good one for me right now. My home contains both types of Pagan.

    My boyfriend needs a structured path, with definition. He is still trying on this one and that one, finding where he feels he fits. I, on the other hand, find that very structure unbearably restrictive. I was apparently born with my beliefs, just as I was apparently born with my values. I read and learn, just as he does, but it is much easier for me to pick and choose what fits for me than it is for him. I've read a couple of books where only one or two tidbits felt right to me, and the rest was unusable. I think green witchcraft and Druidry are cool, but have no desire to be a green witch or a Druid. I believe in much of what Wicca teaches, and for a while, called myself Wiccan, but decided recently again that I'm not. I'm very much a cherry picker, but my boyfriend can't and doesn't want to be. He's just not wired that way. He requires structure and a direction. Is either path better than the other? I acknowledge that I'm biased on that question, but, if I was totally fair I'd have to say no. The only really important thing is that it feels comfortable and right for you.
    If you're looking for a pissing match, please look elsewhere. I know what I can do, and don't need to defend it, or be competitive about it. I don't enjoy conflict, so please choose someone who does. Sincere questions are, of course, welcome. Blessed be.

    I have a blog now at LiveJournal. It's uncut raw emotion, so proceed with caution, if that sort of thing bothers you.



    Have you ever been in a battle of wits, only to realize that your opponent was unarmed?

    The only person who has to like you is the one you see in the mirror every day.
    Ironically, if she does, others will, too.



  7. #87
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    At The Drive-In With Joe Bob Briggs
    Posts
    1,538
    Quote Originally Posted by Russ View Post
    Agreed. It would be wrong of me to create a Wicca trad where women and the Goddess where subservant and lesser than men then call it Dianic Wicca, or to start a splinter Catholic group that was Roman Catholic in all but name except for some Islamic Elements added in then call it The Karma Kagyu Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism just to use a couple of extreme examples.
    It might be "wrong," but:

    (1) I highly doubt there are really that many people who would practice Roman Catholicism and honestly believe it should be called Buddhism.

    (2) I highly doubt there are really that many people who would practice some kind of male-centered version of witchcraft and want to call it Dianic Wicca. Part of the whole reason why certain people use certain labels is because they find them appealing, and the idea of a male chauvinist witch even wanting to be called Dianic sounds like a Christian wanting to be called Satanic. This would be like if someone decided to start a Presbyterian church and call it Satanism - it's a completely ludicrous example that probably won't even happen.

    (3) Nobody can stop you from calling yourself whatever you want. If you wanted to be a Roman Catholic/Buddhist/Muslim hybrid, that would be entirely your own prerogative. It would be up to you to find a way to make that work and have it make sense - but so long as it worked and made sense to you then that is what's important. If you wanted to build a congregation of some kind, then you'd have to work a bit harder to justify your reasoning behind your word choices; but even still, there are people who will join anything. And when you had enough members in your outfit, it wouldn't matter what outsiders thought, because you'd have an entire denomination of people supporting your view, pretty much like how things work in every other congregation. You could show up on a place like here on Mystic Wicks and discuss Tibetan Catholic Sufism or whatever, and if anybody gave you any crap, they'd get reprimanded somehow, because even something like Scientology is supposed to be respected in a place like this.

    So in the end it really doesn't matter how ludicrous or idiotic a person's beliefs might seem to anyone else - whether you're a "cherry picker" or a history book thumper. It also really doesn't matter what they think about whatever labels you might choose to describe yourself. If anybody doesn't like it, then tough; they should figure out a way to get their labels copyrighted so they can sue anyone who uses those labels apart from their own definition. Then maybe we can actually get somewhere with this, aside from a bunch of people saying "You can't do that!" followed by a bunch of people doing exactly what they're told they can't do.
    Last edited by Darth Brooks; April 14th, 2009 at 02:58 AM.
    My God is a real Ass; He butchered the Dying-and-Rising Lord, He stole the Eye from the Hawk, He sires the Children of Rebellion, and He lusts after God and Goddess alike. Every green and growing thing shrivels into dust at His touch; every convention is violated by the seed of His loins. He brings drought and infertility to the land, and He has no respect for the crook or the flail. Yet without Him, the slave would never break free from his bondage, the evil serpent would devour the sun, and the future would never come to pass.

    The song of the tempest is His name.


    Khepher-I-Suti

  8. #88
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    3,283
    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Brooks View Post
    So in the end it really doesn't matter how ludicrous or idiotic a person's beliefs might seem to anyone else - whether you're a "cherry picker" or a history book thumper. It also really doesn't matter what they think about whatever labels you might choose to describe yourself. If anybody doesn't like it, then tough; they should figure out a way to get their labels copyrighted so they can sue anyone who uses those labels apart from their own definition. Then maybe we can actually get somewhere with this, aside from a bunch of people saying "You can't do that!" followed by a bunch of people doing exactly what they're told they can't do.
    *exactly*

  9. #89
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    25,571
    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Brooks View Post
    It might be "wrong," but:

    (1) I highly doubt there are really that many people who would practice Roman Catholicism and honestly believe it should be called Buddhism.

    (2) I highly doubt there are really that many people who would practice some kind of male-centered version of witchcraft and want to call it Dianic Wicca. Part of the whole reason why certain people use certain labels is because they find them appealing, and the idea of a male chauvinist witch even wanting to be called Dianic sounds like a Christian wanting to be called Satanic. This would be like if someone decided to start a Presbyterian church and call it Satanism - it's a completely ludicrous example that probably won't even happen.

    (3) Nobody can stop you from calling yourself whatever you want. If you wanted to be a Roman Catholic/Buddhist/Muslim hybrid, that would be entirely your own prerogative. It would be up to you to find a way to make that work and have it make sense - but so long as it worked and made sense to you then that is what's important. If you wanted to build a congregation of some kind, then you'd have to work a bit harder to justify your reasoning behind your word choices; but even still, there are people who will join anything. And when you had enough members in your outfit, it wouldn't matter what outsiders thought, because you'd have an entire denomination of people supporting your view, pretty much like how things work in every other congregation. You could show up on a place like here on Mystic Wicks and discuss Tibetan Catholic Sufism or whatever, and if anybody gave you any crap, they'd get reprimanded somehow, because even something like Scientology is supposed to be respected in a place like this.

    So in the end it really doesn't matter how ludicrous or idiotic a person's beliefs might seem to anyone else - whether you're a "cherry picker" or a history book thumper. It also really doesn't matter what they think about whatever labels you might choose to describe yourself. If anybody doesn't like it, then tough; they should figure out a way to get their labels copyrighted so they can sue anyone who uses those labels apart from their own definition. Then maybe we can actually get somewhere with this, aside from a bunch of people saying "You can't do that!" followed by a bunch of people doing exactly what they're told they can't do.
    Nope, no one can stop you from using whatever title you want to use - unless you're impersonating a police officer or a doctor or something like that. But there is no way that we are going to copyright the definition of a religious practice or set of beliefs. That's just silly.

    I don't tell anyone "you can't do that" or "you're not really Wiccan." I just make the most of the opportunity to point out what most Wiccans do agree on and maybe what the reasons are for doing things a particular way. I find that educating folks works much better than criticizing them for doing things "wrong."
    ____________
    If you make a customer happy, he'll tell 3 other people.
    If he's not happy, he'll tell 20 others.




  10. #90
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Burnaby, B.C.
    Age
    29
    Posts
    155
    I choose not to name my path. It may name itself in time, but I take elements of so many other paths, even some that I have a great dislike toward. I constantly try to explore new uses for many arts, but try to respect the traditions all the same.

Page 9 of 11 FirstFirst ... 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 LastLast

Bookmarks

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
  •