• Scott posted an update 3 years, 2 months ago

    I read a quote the other day from James Hollis:

    “One of the most powerful shocks of the Middle Passage is the collapse of the tacit contract with the universe – the assumption that if we act correctly, if we are of good heart and good intentions things will work out. We assume a reciprocity with the universe. If we do our part, the universe with comply. Many ancient stories, including the Book of Job, painfully reveal there is no such contract, and everyone who goes through the Middle Passage is made aware of it.”

    I have reflected on my own journeys of faith, from the good faith of the assumptive world, the discovery of bad faith and how others manipulated my good faith for their own ends, the savage faith of loss of belief in anything but the vital functions of breathing, heart-beating, getting out of bed because that is all there was to do.

    I have come to the stage I call poietic faith, where we make up what we place our faith in.
    The trails have all come to an end. It is time to blaze my own.

    There seems to be some affinity with what I call poietic faith and what you call pagan renewal. What do you think?


    • Hi, Scott— From how you describe your concept of “poietic” faith, I think it would be compatible with Reform Paganism and the Pagan Renewal. Chaos Magic has a “meta-belief” concept to the effect that belief can serve a tool for achieving desired effects, and I think this concept sounds similar to what you are describing. Reform Paganism doesn’t prescribe a certain set of beliefs because we are more committed to the individual and collective spiritual journey, pilgrimage, and quest, recognizing that while our beliefs may change over time, those changing beliefs each figure in the broader journey, pilgrimage, and quest. Reform Paganism therefore creates a space in which persons are free—even encouraged—to grow in spirit over time without the fear that a certain change in beliefs will put them “outside” our community. So blazing your own trail is normative, rather than transgressive. Is that helpful? Thanks for asking. —BF

      • Hi Baldr,
        A space to explore, to quest for myself and the collective. That sounds very inviting indeed. Commitment to the journey, pligrimage, quest. If Reform Paganism and Pagan Renewal were just as I would want them to be, they would be like an oasis in a trail-less landscape, a rest stop and an outfitter: a caravanserai for unchartered wilderness of the soul our culture now finds itself in, and me along with it.

        And if Reform Paganism and Pagan were exactly as you would want them to be, that would be like what?