I have to laugh when I think of all the directions this post could take. But if you know me at all, you know I’m taking this down the spiritual path. As we grow older our memories of early life become more vivid. This is not the post for explaining why, I’ll leave that for another day. However, as I meditate and look for new and innovative ways to connect with the spirit world, more and more memories from my childhood surface. Which more often than not, these memories involve my Celtic/Christian grandfather. Most people automatically assign very pagan rituals and beliefs to the Celts and to some degree they are correct. My grandfather saw the connection between Celtic beliefs and Christian teachings and worked it like magic . . . literally.
What I learned and now am seeing more and more clearly is the all-encompassing connections among all spiritual/religious/universal beliefs and practices. Almost all beliefs have a God, Divine Creator, Universal Consciousness which is at the head or is a beginning for all life, both physical and spiritual. Obviously we have unique names and there are some unique attributes, but a “God Head” nonetheless. Then of course, they all have lesser god(desses), demigod(desses), prophets, angels, spirits of all kind and manner. I’m aware I’m not telling you anything you probably don’t already know. The issues arise when you realize you have beliefs different from or appearing adverse to your core belief system; then what?
Then you look for the commonalities and connections with your warring beliefs. For example, I have a friend who was raised Buddhist. She’s a great person and lives her religion every day. One day while we were hiking I told her she would make a very good Pagan. At first this hurt her feelings, but then I pointed out to her some core beliefs she lived by that were considered very ‘Pagan.’ She has the highest respect for nature, she is such a ‘tree huger’ she puts me to shame; she is a vegetarian only because she cares so much for animals (even fish and fowl), she can’t bring herself to eat them; she pays strict attention to the phases of the moon because she is so fascinated with them; she is very interested in the Pagan holidays and changing seasons; but was afraid to experiment with them. So we spent the rest of the day making the connections between her Buddhist beliefs and Pagan beliefs.
Another good example is my Celtic/Christian beliefs. At first glance it may seem a conflict of interest so to speak to carry and honor both belief systems. The truth is I carry many belief systems, these are just the two dominant. I start by realizing I believe God made everything, then I go to Jesus is God’s son, then I go to God made all the other prophets (Buddha, Mohammed, etc.) who all have excellent teachings which we should live by; then I go to God made the planets, moon, stars, seasons, animals, plants, and it is all good. So when I practice my Celtic (a/k/a Pagan) rituals and beliefs, I’m still honoring all that God made.
When we resolve the perceived conflicts of differing beliefs within ourselves, then we can see the way to resolving the perceived conflicts with other people.
If you’re having some difficulty resolving differences between spiritual beliefs, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org