I know ya'll are expecting me to talk about the last two Core numbers in numerology, and I was so planning on doing that today. However, I was worried that I would bore ya'll by repeating the same/similar topic each day and besides, pushing that post back gives me a carrot to dangle to keep ya'll coming back :). So instead of numerology, I'm going to use the latest prompt from Pagan Blog Prompts (there is a button on the right hand sidebar if ya'll want to go check out this blog)/ So her it goes...
"Religion, Faith, and Beliefs...while these three words are often used interchangeably, they are not the same. What do they mean to you?"
I really like this topic because I have strong opinions on religion and faith. I personally do not like the institution of religion and I usually respond to questions about my religion with the statement that I "am spiritual, but not religious." Before I actually get to my dissection of that phrase I'd like to discuss the official definition of each word versus my own interpretations.
- An acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists
- Something one accepts as true or real; a firmly held opinion or conviction
To me beliefs are those ideas and opinions that we personally belief are true. In my opinion, beliefs are specific and unique to each individual and no two people can hold the same collection of beliefs. Also our beliefs are not stagnant, rather they evolve as we change and grow. The beliefs we have when we are children are not always the same beliefs we have as adults.
- Complete trust or confidence in someone or something
- Strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof
Faith to me is a word that holds a myriad of meanings. My personal definition not only includes the faith in a divine presence, but also includes faith in my family and in myself. Some people see faith as a blind trust in something that cannot be seen or proven, and faith is therefore a waste of ones energy. I however believe that faith and trust (and a little pixie dust) is what keeps one sane. Without faith, we would all be cynical and our lives would have less meaning.
- The belief and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods
- Details of belief as taught or discussed
Now for the main event. Like I said earlier, I do not like the concept of religion. On paper it sounds really good: the belief in the divine. However, the true implications of religion are never included in the write-ups. Religion to me is a prison where dogma and tradition are used to control and dominate those who choose to enter into its domain. Religions are bureaucracies that are usually patriarchal and underhandedly (and often more publicly) scorn the role of women through scripture and dogma. They also lead to an alienation from the divine in the general community through their teaching that only chosen individuals within the religion can truly understand the will of their deity. The main problem I have with religions is their incessant need to denounce any form of worship that does not adhere to their personal dogma.
I guess I don't believe in the institution of a religion because of my definitions of belief and faith. Beliefs are individual and personal, religions are uniform and their teachings dictated by those in power. Faith is based on trust and ones personal beliefs, religions are based on dominance, scare-tactics, and founded on the ideals of others long passed.
This is why I say that I am spiritual rather than religious. Refusing to label myself as a member of any particular religion means that I am free of any dogma that will be attached to that label, and it is a mistake to believe that you can dedicate yourself to any organization or group without having to combat dogma. I am free to believe and worship as I will without having to worry about wading through all the red tape that comes with religion.
Well it is time for me to call it a night. I hope you liked the change of pace for today. I promise I will get back to numerology tomorrow, I have to or I won't be able to do my post for Friday. However, I will go ahead and let you know that I won't be talking about the last two Core numbers. Like I said, I have to set up my post on Friday and there is another number besides those two that I need to talk about before I can post Friday. So the Core numbers are going to take a backseat for now, but I promise: I will get to them soon!
Blessed Be Everyone!!