Reform Pagan Practice 101: Liberal Learning

This post is the third of five installments in Baldr Frostflame’s “Reform Pagan Practice 101” series, giving his high-level overview of Reform Pagan practice.

Reform Pagans appreciate the value of consilience, which means the unity and consonance of all one’s knowledge. A consilient worldview is one in which no individual strands of knowledge stand apart, all of them having been woven together into a coherent whole.

Reform Pagans also recognize that knowledge is isometric from one domain to another—the structure of knowledge repeats itself across domains. By virtue of this isometry, our understanding in one domain often lends itself to greater understanding in another domain.

Although Reform Pagans know that Truth is, paradoxically, at once accessible only through direct experience and altogether inaccessible through human experience, because of what we believe about the unity and isometry of knowledge, we make “liberal” (meaning “expansive”) learning an essential element of our practice.

Spectrum of Knowledge

To help us make sure we see the full spectrum of knowledge, many Reform Pagans figuratively associate different domains of learning with colors of the rainbow, which, like the domains of knowledge they represent, retain their distinctiveness despite blending together where they meet:

  • Red: cognitive sciences (psychology, epistemology and certain other branches of philosophy, linguistics, etc.)
  • Orange: symbolic sciences (logic, mathematics, computer science, etc.)
  • Yellow: physical sciences (cosmology, astronomy, meteorology, geology, chemistry, physics, etc.)
  • Green: biological sciences (ecology, phylogeny and anatomy, microbiology and molecular biology, etc.)
  • Blue: social sciences (anthropology, sociology, politics, economics, etc.)
  • Indigo: creative sciences (visual arts, musical performance and composition, dramatic arts, literature, etc.)
  • Violet: spiritual sciences (metaphysics and certain other branches of philosophy, theology, etc.)

Many Reform Pagans choose, as a spiritual practice, to challenge ourselves to focus our lifelong studies in turn upon those domains of knowledge we know least about. That way, we are always discovering new manifestations of the isometry of all knowledge and bringing our own personal understanding closer to perfect consilience. The more complete and accurate our understanding, the freer we are from illusion and the closer we are to Truth.

Discuss the Element of Air in Reform Pagan practice here on the Pagan Renewal Network.

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