Posts Tagged ‘Reconciling Different Spiritual Paths’

We’ve been talking about different spiritual paths. About how one size does not fit all, how different people need different paths, and how, if you are forced into a path that doesn’t meet your unique spiritual needs, it can mess with your faith.


And as if that were not complicated enough, lets look at people who are on a certain spiritual path vs those who just claim they are.

As I’ve previously stated, I’m a Christian. In my mind, that means that I should be following the example of Christ to the best of my ability. Incorporating things in my life like kindness, charity, faith, good works, and tolerance of people who are different from me (remember the story of the Good Samaritan?…)

I run into lots of other Christians who are like that.

I also run into lots of people who call themselves Christians without seeming to understand that there’s more to this than adopting the classification and going to church on Sunday. Folks who practice greed, dishonesty, bigotry and cruelty, and don’t see any inconsistancy with that and calling themselves Christians.

This is not just a problem of Christianity. I’ve encountered Jewish folk who eat pork, violent Buddhists, and Wiccans who litter,  just to give a few examples here.

And many times, it’s the people who are actually wandering off the path who are setting the stereotype that people have when they think about that particular faith.

Because bad behavior tends to be larger, louder and more attention -getting than good behavior, no?

Kinda bogus that…

So when I’m looking at the question of reconciling differences between paganism and Christianity, I want to be clear here.

I’m not talking about “Sunday-go-to-meeting” erzatz Christians or fashionable pagans. I’ll be talking about people who actually make Christianity or paganism an actual standard for how they live their lives.

And I’ll be talking about that more up ahead…






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The more people that I meet, the more I realize how fortunate I am in the spiritual path my feet have been placed upon…

There are lots of different spiritual paths out there, with lots of different characteristics

  • Structured vs freeform
  • Thought vs feeling
  • Gender based or not
  • Quiet vs dramatic
  • Spiritual guidance vs personal gnosis
  • Nature based or not
  • Faith vs works

And so forth.

Different strokes for different folks.

 In clothing, “one size fits all”  often means an equally poor fit for everybody. To get a well-fitting garment, you need to know your size and body type and what works well for you.

The same seems to be true in spirituality. While there are a lot of excellent paths out there, one size truly does not fit all, and to get a good spiritual fit, you need to know your own spiritual needs.

Some of us are lucky enough to be born into the particular faith that is best for our needs. I’ve been lucky. But a lot of folks are not.

And that’s where the wounding can begin. Because when you try to push a square peg into a round hole, you damage  both hole and peg. There’s nothing wrong with that square peg because he doesn’t fit that round hole.  He just needs a square hole.

And I run into so many people who are that square peg spiritually, and whose faith was damaged  by the process.

And that’s a shame. Because it can rob people of their spirituality altogether. Because it can cause damage that has an impact on every part of their lives. Because it can make them think that there’s something wrong with them when the truth is that they just need a square hole.

I’ve often wished that there was some kind of blood test that babies could be given at birth so that their personal spiritual needs could be determined and they could be placed on the best path for them at the get-go…

But, until such time as that happens, we’ll all have to do the best that we can. And part of that is knowing that there is not a “one-size-fits-all” spiritual path. And that folks on different paths can still be our brothers and sisters in spirit.

Keep on travelling






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In my last post, I started by talking about my own spiritual path as a metaphysical Christian and acknowledging that it is not the right path for everyone.

 For instance, I see God as male, because I was raised that way. I’m good with that and I don’t feel less or imperfect because I see him as male, and I’m female.

But that’s not necessarily true for everyone. The person who’s had bad experiences with men, or with fathers, or the woman who feels closer to a Deity of her own gender is not necessarily going to have their best spiritual experience on the path that I am on.

I also believe that “male” or “female” are fairly arbitrary labels when it comes to God. I believe that God is too big to be crammed into a little pigeonhole like “male” or “female”, and that images such as that are only ways for me to fit the concept of an infinite Being into my finite mind.

There’s a story about six blind men and an elephant.

The first man touches the elephant’s trunk and says “An elephant is like a snake.”

The second man touches the elephant’s leg and says “An elephant is like a tree.”

The third man touches the elephant’s side and says “An elephant is like a wall.”

The fourth man touches the elephant’s tail and says “An elephant is like a rope.”

The fifth man touches the elephant’s tusk and says “An elephant is like a spear.”

And the last man touches the elephant’s forehead and says “An elephant is like a boulder.”

And they were all right, as far as they could tell.

I believe that many of us are like the blind men and the elephant. We connect with God and our perception is real and true, but we are only able to perceive part of that infinite Being.

And that’s why there are many spiritual paths, each legitimate in its own fashion as long as it is a good match for the person who is living it.

The good thing is that God reaches out to folks in different ways. Since God is Infinite, and not limited by considerations such as gender, He can and does reach out to meet each person where they need Him, whether as God, Goddess, Spirit, or with other Faces.

That’s why there are Christians and Jews and Buddhists and Muslims and pagans and heathens and a myriad of other paths out there.

Because Spirit is there for those who need it….

More coming…






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