Probably one of the most difficult steps in learning a new religion is to let go of your pervious one. For some, they integrate belief systems, and the pagan religions work well with this method. However, in order to understand certain concepts, you have to let go of belief systems that don’t work for you.
A story tells…
A professor visited a Zen master to enquire about Zen. As the master was speaking the professor kept interrupting with his own opinions. So the master served some tea. He overfilled the cup and tea went everywhere. The professor shouted "the cup is full, there is no room for more tea!" The master replied "like this cup, your mind is so full of its own opinions, there is no room for anything new, in order to taste my tea, you must first empty your cup." Empty your cup
For some, letting go of the idea of Hell or punishment for doing bad things can prove difficult. Perhaps you can’t let go of the idea that some of the darker aspects of ourselves are just as much a part of us, and that instead of trying to get rid of them, you need to find a way to find peace with that side of your Self.
Elements of thought I found profound (and helpful) are;
- That not all choices we make have a good or bad choice, or that the choice we think is ‘bad’ ends up being the best thing that happened to us.
- That you can’t get rid of fear. You work through it. Fear makes us human, protects us from doing stupid things, but when it paralyzes you from growing and expanding yourself, you need to work through your fear.
- Lessons come from everywhere, from the people, events, and the myriad of things in our lives if we’re open to that. For example; I learned focus by watching my cat chase a moth one day; where he never lost sight of the moth even while tripping and knocking things over.
- What works for you might not work for someone else. I believe religion should be different from person to person because we all have different needs. Some people need order and instruction, while others prefer to work from the gut. Some need the fancy tools, while another can work with nothing but their imagination. Which leads to…
- Whatever works. If saying an affirmation every morning, keeping a charm upon your person, or meditating every day works for you- do it. Even if its silly.
Have you emptied your cup when you started on the pagan path? What new ideas and concepts have you discovered?