This entire month has been dedicated to the subject of Pagan values and ethics for The Pagan Experience. I thought for this first week of December I would go back and expand upon a post I made back in 2013 on this subject for The Pagan Values Blogject.
You can read the original post here: Ethics and Values from this Pagan’s Perspective.
The other day, my sons asked me – What do you stand for? I was driving at the time (they like giving me these sorts of questions when I have to concentrate on London rush hour traffic) so couldn’t really give their question a lot of time or thought. But knowing that I had this topic coming up for TPE, I have been giving it some consideration in the back of my mind.
I am not the sort of person who would take part in a protest march. I don’t have the mind set to be an extremist in any direction, and don’t tolerate being in a crowd with all that chaotic energy. In almost every subject I can look at it from differing viewpoints, and understand that things are rarely as black and white as we would like them to be. Good vs evil depends entirely on where you are standing for most things in life.
So, having said all this: What are my values today? What will I stand for?
1.There is no one true universal belief system or religion.
There can only be the religion or belief system that is true for each individual. This holds true whether one is atheist, monotheist, panentheist, or polytheist. Or none, or all, of the above.
2.Forgiveness is over-rated.
I think that expressing and releasing the anger and hurt and pain and taking steps so that the person/s cannot cause me, or those I hold dear, harm again is more important.
3.Anger is not necessarily a bad thing.
Anger is what tells us our needs are not being met, it is what tells us we are being harmed in some way. Anger stuffed down, ignored, and otherwise unexpressed leads to the physical body turning on itself – auto-immune disorders, depression, fatigue. (I am in no way saying that I think internalised anger is the only cause of mental illness, auto-immune disorders, or physical illness.
4.There’s no such thing as sin.
I do not believe that there is a cruel (or benevalent) non-corporeal being keeping a list of everything I do in order to mete out reward or punishment as appropriate. There are however consequences for actions, positive or negative.
5.As much as possible I should strive to not cause harm to myself or another being through my actions or inactions.
Again this falls back on consequences. I don’t pay much attention to the idea of things being returned to me threefold, or nine, or 100 times. This is more in line with basic Newtonian physics on an energetic scale – for everything action there will be an equal and opposite reaction.
6.Having a sense of ego is necessary.
So many New Age (and those claiming to not be New Age) fanatics cry out about how Ego is bad and we must not have any ego at all.
It is this ego, this sense of self that helps us to establish healthy boundaries. Without healthy boundaries, we are wide open being manipulated by any emotional abuser who comes along. And I’ve known a few people who have an incredible attachment to the idea of being ego-less.
At the same time, I think it important that we realise we are more than just physical bodies, we are also energetic beings and it is this energy which connects us to every other thing, living and otherwise, in the multi-verse.
7.Anger is not a bad thing either.
Anger is what tells us something is pressing on our boundaries. It is not anger that should be avoided, but ignoring anger for so long that it bursts out in an uncontrolled manner or begins to attack us from within.
Anger focused can bring about positive change. Anger scattered bring chaos.
8.”Harm none, but take no shit” is still my motto.
While I won’t deliberately harm any one, if I or someone in my family is attacked, I will defend. Even if it means defending myself or my family from other family.
This phrase does not in any way say that I can never do anything that will cause harm to anything or anyone, it only says that I need to be aware of and accepting of any consequences that may result from my actions.
9.A great deal of the problems in the world today have their root origins in fear.
Fear of those who are different, fear of facing our own internal demons, fears of being wrong or worse, fears of not being right.
10. Revenge is a dish best not served at all.
I can and will protect my self and my family, through means physical or magical as necessary. These are set up in such a way however that it is ony through the other person’s actions that it is activated, most often doing mothing more than sending their action back completely unchanged to them. Cause and effect, consequences. But I am not meting out punishment.
I see this as being different from revenge which places me in the position of judge, jury, and executioner.
Besides, I would much rather focus my energy on bringing about change for me instead of giving it to another to use against me.
So, what do I stand for?
My right to be true to myself, and your right to be true to yourself.
As long as we are not preventing anyone else from being true to who they are.