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Author Topic: Your Thoughts on a Physically Based Path  (Read 3433 times)

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pencils

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Your Thoughts on a Physically Based Path
« on: January 03, 2014, 08:57:44 PM »

I'm still sorting out my spirituality after my Christianity collapsed a couple of years ago.  I'd like your thoughts about incorporating the physical earth and heavens as part of a spiritual path, if you would.

Science is almost spiritual to me - the study of the physical earth and heavens.  From the time I was a kid I could learn about rocks or streams or stars, go out in the forest near my home, and feel something.  Something powerful.  A deep draw and connection, a blending and synchronizing of myself with the natural world.

When I was a kid in Sunday School I was taught the Jesus stories.  It was a strain.  I really tried to be filled with awe and wonder about the Christian teachings, but the awe and wonder came later in the day when I was released to the outdoors.

That's how the natural, physical world has been for me: it has the effect that the Jesus stories were supposed to have.  Reading about biology or geology or astronomy or whatever, and then going out to see the ferns, the hills, gaze at the stars has always been my version of my childhood Sunday School and Church.  Study followed by worship.

I like the idea of sacred space, candles, etc. - the more usual aspects of Pagan worship - but I'm not a very "magickal" person in the normal Pagan sense.  I've been looking for ways to incorporate the real, physical world into my spiritual practices.

I'd appreciate any thoughts you might have - that I am not a match for typical Pagan practices, ideas of how I might do it, anything.
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Draconis Rex

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Re: Your Thoughts on a Physically Based Path
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2014, 04:40:01 AM »

I don't see as there is a problem with what you are thinking, I would say you only need to understand how the two are really tied together. The earth was here long before we were, and it'll be here long after too, it didn't need our help to make itself as magnificent as it is. Just never lose sight of the fact that we came from the earth, and in the end we all go back there. And greater still, we are part of the universe.
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Aidan

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Re: Your Thoughts on a Physically Based Path
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2014, 04:54:21 AM »

Agreed with our big friend puff here.
When i was younger i tried to block out the physical world from my spiritual path, but that may not have been very healthy......
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Ashe Isadora

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Re: Your Thoughts on a Physically Based Path
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2014, 06:13:59 AM »

Wicca is very much a real world religion, not pie-in-the-sky, so I agree with Drac that science fits in neatly.  It's common to have people with advanced degrees in the hard sciences circling next to you.  In fact my first HP/S  was a professor of microbiology at a large university when she wasn't spell casting and designing ritual, and she saw no conflict there.
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Draconis Rex

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Re: Your Thoughts on a Physically Based Path
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2014, 06:30:47 AM »

I believe we in this modern world we should be embracing the sciences, after all where did the original knowledge of our natural world start from?..... think about it.
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Arnemetia

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Re: Your Thoughts on a Physically Based Path
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2014, 09:06:20 AM »

For me, the physical is part of my spiritual.  We use the earth to ground, stones, crystals, herbs & candles are used in many rituals and spells, part of the physical world.  An unending line of connection to that higher power you choose to believe in. 
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oldghost

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Re: Your Thoughts on a Physically Based Path
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2014, 12:29:12 PM »

For those here that know me pencils I sleep very poorly when I in my home but when I go out in the forest it's like being back in the womb , surrounded and protected by mother earth herself . There is something special being in the real natural world the place we all came from .
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pencils

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Re: Your Thoughts on a Physically Based Path
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2014, 05:50:47 PM »

Thank you all - it helps to hear others' takes on things like this.

Obviously no everyone feels this way (and that's fine) but a main spiritual issue for me is climate change and the devastation it is bringing to the natural world.  I've been following the science of it closely for over a decade, but the last few years things have gotten quite dire.

It's things like CO2 being dissolved into the oceans so fast they are acidifying faster than at any time in the last 300 million years (link).  They also are warming at an unprecedented rate.  Between the warming, acidification, pollution, and overfishing, scientists suspect the oceans already are in the start of a mass extinction.  Even if they haven't yet, it's hard to see how that possibly can be avoided.

The planet's surface is expected to warm a catastrophic 4 C above preindustrial temperatures by the end of the century, with more to follow, on our present path (link).  Even several decades from now the world won't be anything we are familiar with.

It's said that "nature bats last," but that she has the biggest bat.  Indeed, when you study past extinctions, you find that things can get mind-bogglingly horrible.  The oceans have lost their oxygen and got dominated by bacteria that emit poison gas.  There were bands around the equator literally too hot for mammals, even for plants in some cases.

It's something that I find deeply disturbing.  I stick to science, don't pay any real attention to activists and what have you.  (The links above are just introductions about it.  I actually get my information from scientific journal articles.)  They are screaming as loudly as they can that we are at risk of our civilization ending, perhaps even before the end of the century.

Such dire statements of course get ridiculed by certain factions.  They say environmentalism is the new religion.

For me it is in fact a spiritual issue.  We are facing the end of our Eden.  Mother Nature (for lack of a better term) is being hurt very badly, and she is beginning to hit back already.  Her retaliation will almost certainly become devastatingly violent.

It is important to me to appreciate the natural energies that we are immersed in, but there is this other side of the coin, if you will, of the Goddess being so badly injured and striking back.  It's been a difficult thing for me to deal with spiritually.
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oldghost

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Re: Your Thoughts on a Physically Based Path
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2014, 06:16:55 PM »

Well pencils do you not think it's about time we used what we can do to alter the outcome make things better our government ' s won't hell those asshole are the one doing it .
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pencils

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Re: Your Thoughts on a Physically Based Path
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2014, 08:21:32 PM »

Well pencils do you not think it's about time we used what we can do to alter the outcome make things better our government ' s won't hell those asshole are the one doing it .

Yes.

Actually the time to avoid disaster was 20 years ago.  Science knew these things were real, but honestly no one knew it would happen so fast.

At this point there will be a lot of dealing with consequences.  It takes decades for the oceans to catch up with warming, so we are looking at something like 50 to 75 ft of sea level rise over the next few hundred years that no one can do anything about.  Along with that probably will be a marine mass extinction.

I read scientific journals mostly, and it is amazing what they are reporting.  They use their careful, hyper-precise language as always, but what they are saying boils down to this is probably the end of everything we know.  It's an almost sickening realization that science has been coming to just in the last few years.

What would need to happen, in physical terms, is emission reduction at 6% per year, and also removal of 100 billion tons of carbon from the atmosphere.  It would be a WWII-scale effort.  If we can do that, we might be marginally okay.  If not . . . well, things might get fairly . . . disruptive.

If anyone is interested, the gory details of that is laid out here: http://www.plosone.org/article/fetchObject.action?uri=info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0081648&representation=PDF

I'm actually working on the drawdown part myself.
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TheGreenWizard

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Re: Your Thoughts on a Physically Based Path
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2015, 03:53:07 PM »

I know this is old, but the post has resonated deeply with me and so I MUST reply!

pencils - I really, truly, appreciate your post. I was in a similar situation in my childhood - the forests, woods, and outdoors were my "church" so to speak, and I really could not believe nor get into what I was taught at Religion on Monday nights. I often feel much more relaxed when I'm out in the middle of nowhere where I can just link with my surroundings. That being said, I love me a good book on biology, astronomy, ecology - anything science related and I'm completely there.

Back to your OP: I really think it's up to the practitioner on how s/he wants to incorporate the Earth and Heavens into her/his Craft. Personally, I fill whatever space I'm in with living things - be they animals or plants. I also try to make it a point to go to parks and take the paths not taken so that I can get away from people (I live in NYC so it's a rare thing to be away from people). Once I have time again to really practice my Craft and find a work-life balance, I'll tell you more.
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Draconis Rex

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Re: Your Thoughts on a Physically Based Path
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2015, 05:13:29 PM »

Work - Life balance? Can't think of a time I've ever had one of those..... The scales have always been one end or the other.
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marisol

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Re: Your Thoughts on a Physically Based Path
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2015, 10:47:03 PM »

Take whatever time you would use for ritual or worship if you prefer that word outside and enjoy nature. I believe that is a good way to incorporate the two.  Our spirituality is deeply connected to nature. I see no reason why whatever time we spend in nature can't also be spiritual.

Balance is something we all strive for. But we can't often maintain balance perfectly. It is natural for  balance to change. Change
is the only constant we can expect to remain.
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TheGreenWizard

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Re: Your Thoughts on a Physically Based Path
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2015, 09:16:23 PM »

Work - Life balance? Can't think of a time I've ever had one of those..... The scales have always been one end or the other.

Well... let's just say that I've only thought of work for the past several years and working to advance myself professionally. I haven't done anything personally, in significance, where my body or spirituality are concerned. In fact, I feel that I've severely disconnected with the natural world and almost take it for granted...

Balance is something we all strive for. But we can't often maintain balance perfectly. It is natural for  balance to change. Change is the only constant we can expect to remain.

I truly enjoy this part of your post Mari. As a scientist, it's something that I find in all of science: entropy and change will always be in flux, and will always be present.
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