When I was a recent ex-Humanist just learning, after an entheogen-powered epiphanal experience of the Goddess, to be Pagan, I described myself to the people organizing the Covenant of UU Pagans (CUUPS) as “suffering from multiple theology disorder.” They informed me I was not alone.
I can relate. The archetype is important and certainly speaks to a unifying force in humanity, but recognising that doesn’t necessarily replace a belief in Deities. I once remarked to a friend of mine that, while I knew many people who had photos of James Dean, either as a poster in their blog, apartment, bedroom, or high school locker, I’d known previous few who’d actually seen his films. She suggested it was likely because, in addition to being strikingly attractive, at that point (the early 00s), he’d been tapped into some sort of Neo-Jungian archetype, thus explaining the mass appeal to people who’ve never even seen him act. I’ll admit that she was probably correct in that –but acknowledging that posthumous achievement of his, that doesn’t mean he ceases to exist– nor does that mean that a deeper understanding of his archetype cannot be tapped into by actually, well, watching his films and seeing him in action.
Can people perform rituals without belief? Sure, I guess so, but I still think they’re missing out on something by operating that way. I mean, what kind of joyless couch-fuck does one have to be to order a hot fudge sundae and say “no whipped cream or cherry”? I’ve seen people do that, by the way, really weird. I mean, OK, if one likes neither whipped cream nor cherry, I guess that’s fair enough –but don’t tell yourself it’s to save precious carbs of calories or fat grams or whatever the television told you that you don’t need this year, cos I can plainly see that you’re still having the ice cream and hot fudge and nuts. Try it with. If you still like it better sans whipped cream and cherry, oh well, no skin off my back, but don’t lie to me and try and tell me that skipping the confectionery garnish makes you a healthier person, cos I’m not stupid enough to fall for it.
(originally posted at The Wild Hunt)