Friday, June 08, 2007

Arnulfa explains her beliefs about the archetypes of gods and goddesses


In response to your post about archetypes, my personal beliefs are:
  1. I believe that the gods and goddess exist as corporeal and incorporeal entities representing the energy of the universe in our lives and they are transcendent and not immanent.

  2. I believe that the gods call us to them instead of us calling them down.

  3. I believe that as transcendent beings they are deserving of respect and honor.

  4. I believe that the major religions of this day do not address the sacred feminine in a way that is vital and separate from the patriarchal perception of women.

  5. As a result of 4, I believe that the dominant world religions do not offer enough support and role models for women.

  6. I believe that it is arrogant for humans to feel that gods are nothing more than aspects of our psyche or inside of ourselves.

  7. I believe that applying the principles of science to religion constitutes a part of the practice of science as a religion. I didn't address that issue.

  8. I believe that religion incorporated into government is a political and not a spiritual practice related to control of a group of people.
Is that a little clearer?

What I wrote was a statement of personal religious beliefs and not a religious manifesto. I gave the reasons supporting my beliefs in a manner that was probably too wordy but did not indicate that these beliefs apply to all others. In no way did I imply that others are required to believe as I do. That is why I found your statement that you don't need my permission to believe differently so confusing. What closed door? I gladly conduct dialogues with anyone who wants to. By the way, why is my being from a tribe that is indigenous to somewhere other than North America disturbing to you?

Why do you have to know which one in order to understand my words? Does that piece of information make that big a difference? Ad do you really think that because the gods/goddesses are higher than us that it excuses us from responsibility for our own lives? Did I say that anywhere? Because the term crone was claimed by feminists long ago, does that prevent each female from ever being able to rediscover and to claim it again? Things do not remain static and each of us has to walk the road of maiden, mother and crone in our own ways. Those voices of reason and sanity you speak of were frequently silenced forcibly. And I too celebrate all of my life’s passages, including those of mother, grandmother and now crone. Just because I celebrate them with the goddesses as living entities instead of archetypes does not make those passages invalid.

There is a difference in the way that logic is applied to the physical sciences and the way that it is applied to religion or articles of faith. I don't believe the dialogue ended in 1962. It has been going on in philosophy and religion for as long as there have been human beings on this earth and will continue until they are no longer here. To use one of your own examples to demonstrate the difference in applying faith and logic to an area of daily life; when you fly on an airplane you have faith in the theory of aerodynamic principles, which is an abstract, however your logic tells you that there can be mechanical failures that can counteract those principles causing you to crash, which is a concrete consequence of the failure of a physical factor. These are two different applications one is of faith related to the abstract and one is of logic related to a possible physical event. Are we talking about spiritual beliefs, science or religion? If scientists want to make determination of what is faith and what is logic, then let them admit that their beliefs have taken science into the area of religion. Otherwise, we are comparing apples and oranges, when we compare the world of the physical sciences with the world of metaphysics. This is different from an analysis of religion using faith and logic. See point 7.

There is also the concept of dualism in religion that is a little more complex than the term binary. As an adjective, one definition of binary in Merriam Webster’s online dictionary states "...of or relating to the use of stable oppositions (as good and evil) to analyze a subject or create a structural model." I prefer dualism because it is specific to the consideration of spiritual belief systems and as such has a much more complex definition "...a doctrine that the universe is under the dominion of two opposing principles one of which is good and the other evil... or the quality or state of being dual or of having a dual nature." That second definition
describes the spiritual path I obtained from my lineage. They practiced dual faith combining Catholicism with the old ways. The similarities in the two included a belief or doctrine that there is good and evil and that they are in opposition. That is not an uncommon occurrence in primarily catholic countries. Does that clarify my beliefs any?

Yes, there is a concept of religion as "opiate of the masses" as part of the Communist manifesto. I didn't indicate I was not aware of it, it just has no place in my belief system just as I have no place in the communist belief system. That is called freedom of expression. In America, I can say that, under the communist system, I would not have been able to. The issue, if you understand communism is not that I will not allow their belief system, it is that they will not allow anyone else’s. I believe that religion as an expression of personal spiritual beliefs is different from political rhetoric and the oppressive control systems that have been developed by dominant factions in governments to control groups of people. See point 8.

Bottom line: We are saying very similar things but from two different positions on the spiritual beliefs spectrum. I never said anywhere in my article that no other belief systems were valid. I said these beliefs were mine and here are the reasons why I believe that way. You are right, spiritual beliefs are similar across cultures. Is this because they represent archetypes or is this because the human condition is consistent across cultures or even because human minds work in similar ways? Or is it the collective unconscious at work? It is not faith against logic. I said that faith transcends logic. Perhaps I wasn't clear in that it transcends logic in the area of spiritual faith. Logic only works when you agree upon the ground rules of engagement, for example, in the area of subjectivism and the rights of the individual. If a person does something that they believe is not wrong but violates the laws of the country, who is right? The person committing the crime or the law created by the group? Using the theory of subjectivism, then that person committing the crime is not in the wrong, because what each individual decides is equally valid. The laws of the group have no right to infringe upon his belief. So let us agree upon the rules of engagement.

— Arnulfa

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