Monday, December 08, 2008

No Hell Below Us: Heretics and Heros



Imagine what happens to a famous and prosperous Christian minister when he decides that Hell as he always imagined it, preached about, and was taught to believe in, cannot exist. (1) I think you'll find his story of loosing friends and followers and finding a new path as moving as I did.

Sia

Recommended Reading:
The Origin of Satan by Elaine Pagels.

Endnotes:

(1) It's pretty much the same thing I see happening to anyone who won't teach that spells, books and candles are all it takes to make us powerful, rich or loved. I respect those who teach their students how to tap into their own power and will for change, who honor the connections we all share and who have a relationship with the divine based on love and not fear.

5 comments:

Pax said...

Sia,

I am listening to the TAL feed right now... but your endnote reaches out to my heart and pierces it.

"(1) It's pretty much the same thing I see happening to anyone who won't teach that spells, books and candles are all it takes to make us powerful, rich or loved."

Is there really THAT much resistance to the idea that WE have and are the power to change our lives? Is having a loving interpersonal relationship with your deities really such a radical notion?

These two simple things seem so obvious...

Peace,
Pax

Riverwolf, said...

Great interview and reminds me of the many reasons I left Christianity.

One thing I keep watch for, however, is the temptation to substitute one god for another. Just my opinion, but I don't believe any ritual or any god is necessary for a good life. Religion can help us be better people as long as we don't take any of it seriously. I don't believe in Jesus or any other deity, past or present. That said, certain practices do nourish my spirit (or whatever you want to call it). There's always the temptation to get "serious," and then I realize that I'm acting the same as I did when I was a Christian. Regardless of the religion or god, there is no basis for any of this except what we feel. And what we feel constantly changes.

I admire the minister for being true to his doubts, but his new "truth" isn't any more true than the old one. He's still saying, "I have the truth," just as he did before. Give it 10 more years, and maybe it will change again. What to believe? THis is the tightrope we all must walk, I think, in order to live in this world as peacefully as possible and do as little harm as possible to ourselves and others.

Sia said...

Well, if he's a good man and he does good work, that's fine by me. He can think what he likes.

I believe it is possible to admire someone's courage, even when we do not agree with their belief system.

Sia

Kathleen said...

Can you tell me where that beautiful tree picture is from? A card deck, maybe?

Sia said...

I found it at
http://christalynn.net/default.aspx

I wrote to her and I'm hoping she'll tell me who the artist is.

If this is a deck, I want one, too.

Sia V.