Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Lure of Esotericism

I believe that esoteric practice (ie. Gnosticism, Hermeticism. Qaballah, etc.) is just another form of excessive pride/hubris.  The practitioner believes that he/she has special "secrets" of the gods, which are only entrusted during stages of initiations -- the hoi polloi, of course, not being capable of understanding such things.  BAH! and HUMBUG! I say to that.
Another reason that I look at it with a leery eye is that it has a feel of "dogma" to it.  Most of the esoteric practices of which I am aware arose further to the East and in Egypt.  Some reconstructionists even think that if the ancient polytheist religions were left alone they would have become more neo-Platonic and Hermetic.  I certainly would not have wanted that to happen!
The Mysteria at Eleusis is said to have opened the doors to all this other {redacted}.  Personally, I do not feel that Eleusis was esoteric even though the initiates kept its secrets.  A person did not need to study in order to go through the initiation -- anyone could as long as they could speak Greek.  This sounds like exoteric religion to me.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Another Good Reason to Dump "Pagan"

All of my readers know why I dislike the words pagan and paganism.  Anyway, there is another reason to dislike the terms -- they are being taken over by the New Atheists.  Yes, that is correct, the group of people who have evolution expert Dawkins, who is a professor at Cambridge, as their figurehead, have glommed onto "pagan" to describe themselves because they are all into ecology.  The web site/blog Humanistic Paganism was brought to my attention today in my E-mail because of a short essay by a M.J. Lee entitled "Why Do People Want Supernatural Gods?" Right away I can see that there is a BIG problem with this essay.  In my theology and world-view, the gods are NOT supernatural.  Star Foster had a wonderful rebuttal, to which, of course, none of the so-called intellectuals involved with this group responded.  In fact, she has published a more thorough rebuttal on her blog over at Patheos,
As a matter of an FYI, I would like to recommend a WordPress blog, The New Oxonian.  He writes profusely about the New Atheists (he does not have a good opinion of them).