What is your religion/denomination/spiritual path etc?
Why did you choose to follow the particular path you follow?
What makes your path different from the millions of others?
What comfort/peace/security etc does it offer you?
Think about yourself as a person, and how you follow your religion and what it offers you, do you think someone that is the exact opposite of you could find the same peace that you do?
Most importantly, how do YOU as an individual define the idea of "evil" as compared to the general definition of your chosen religion? Where does evil come from and why does evil exist?
What is your religion/denomination/spiritual path etc I'm, in short, left-hand-path Pagan with roots in Hinduism and LaVeyian Satanism
Why did you choose to follow the particular path you follow. Technically it chose me; I've had a set of beliefs and philosophies my whole life and am currently just finding out where my beliefs can be classified. I consider my beliefs a spiritual path, not religion (because, even though I'm a religion major I detest religion).
What makes your path different from the millions of others? Well all paths are different, but one of the things I pride about my path is that it recognizes the necessity of darkness and evil as a balancing factor and, though it does not exactly advocate doing “evil”, it also is very realistic and does not idealize about a future that will never come to pass. Instead of saying “never hurt another living thing again”, the idea is, instead, “don’t hurt an UNDESERVING thing again” which if you think abut it, is quite different. All of my beliefs are gained through experience, there is no holy book in my path, there is no set of rules etched in stone about what is and isn’t right/true/etc. It’s all based on your individual experience and that’s why it fit me so well, I don’t have to squeeze my beliefs into a straightjacket of values or philosophies considered “ultimate truth” that I don’t always fully agree with.
What comfort/peace/security etc does it offer you My path is not what offers me peace/security/comfort etc. I offer those things to myself. I do not rely on a book or god or spirit to ensure my happiness, I rely on myself. All my path has given me is freedom and that’s all I could have asked for.
Think about yourself as a person, and how you follow your religion and what it offers you, do you think someone that is the exact opposite of you could find the same peace that you do? I honestly don’t think many people would be able to accept the ideologies such that my path puts forth. One of the most important ideas I feel that Pagans (right hand path AND left hand path) in general share is the idea of not forcing their path on anyone else and letting everyone find their own way to the divine. Many people, upon finding their religion and thus finding peace in their religion feel that EVERYONE needs to find peace just as they did. People like that would not really appreciate this path because of the general belief that everyone will find the divine in their own way. (I know not every single Pagan has that belief but from my experience with Pagans and Pagan groups it seems to be a general consensus).
As for left-hand-path Paganism, my particular path, I definitely don’t feel that that’s suited for everyone. Very few people are mature enough to truly accept the darkness and brutality of nature as equal in divinity as the light. Someone that is a “fluffy bunny” Wiccan or Pagan (not that there’s anything WRONG with that) would not find peace in darkness and therefore could not find peace in the left hand path.
Most importantly, how do YOU as an individual define the idea of "evil" as compared to the general definition of your chosen religion? I had to add this in here because the question of Evil/darkness etc is one that I have pretty much dedicated m life to studying.
I could go in to my personal definition of evil but it would be another ten pages long and at 2:45 AM on a Friday night I’m just not feeling like writing ten pages. In short, evil, in my opinion, has 2 different definitions (well more but I’ll stick to the main two) 1] that which you do not like. For instance Falwell doesn’t like gays; therefore he says homosexuality is evil. I don’t like homophobes therefore I could say that homophobia is evil. 2] Something that is intentionally harmless to an innocent being (be it a thought/action/etc). Key word here is INNOCENT. If something is done to hurt someone or something that is deserving then I would not consider it evil. If one hurts an innocent being…. Well then I’d have to go in to the whole idea of karma and I’m just too damn tired to type all that. I think most of you pretty much know what Karma is anyway.
As for how my personal path defines evil, well there doesn’t seem to be any set definition of evil, ask 20 LHP Pagans (or 20 Pagans in general) what Evil is you’ll get 20 different answers (which is partially why I included this question in here, to prove that I’ll get a different answer from just about everyone that comments). I think, in the case of Paganism and LHP Paganism evil is something pretty much left up to the individual to interpret.
As for the question of where evil comes from, again I could type ten pages on this but I won’t. I personally do not know where evil came from but I believe it exists as simply a balancing force in nature. We need polar opposites. There is no up without down, no north without south, no light without dark and so forth. Without the concept ad presence of evil there is no concept of good, there just simply… IS. Without things that are considered evil the world would remain static and unchanging. If you honestly think about it, paradice would be a pretty boring place. Everything perfect, always light, ylou never have to struggle (and struggling is always a learning experience so you’d learn very little). Evil is necessary as an opposite to “good”. Think about this, without the concept of Satan how would Christianity have converted so many people?
this is x-posted to just about every religion/spiritual community on LJ, sorry if you get this like 400 times on your friends page!