Religion - free the word!

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Fox of the Oaks
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Religion - free the word!

Postby Fox of the Oaks » 20 Sep 2010, 04:07

Please don't take me too seriously here :whistle: , yet...

Perhaps, when using the word religion, we need to look at its roots. According to wiktionary:

it comes from: re + ligō (“I tie, bind, or bandage”), which is also rather similar to one of the meanings of the sanskrit 'yoga' - from the verb root 'yuj' (to yoke) - though many yoga practitioners may look at yoga as a path or process of development rather than a religion. Some may interpret 'religion' to mean 'tied to beliefs or something', yet I imply here the meaning 'tied to the sacred'. The word religion needn't point to a particular institution and its dogma, we can direct the meaning towards its original essense...

To me, religion means in essence simply a way to bind or connect with something, something 'sacred' or meaningful to a person perhaps - examined this way, what is this but a range of possibilities. Using the word, Christians may seek to connect to God, Buddhists to their Buddha Nature, Hindus to the Self, for many indigenous peoples they work to connect to their ancestral lands, to some their religion is life, to others it is fast cars and slow mornings...

So I ask myself, must I be un-bardic in my word wizardry and fall into limited concepts defined by others, when I could instead pierce through the veil towards a more profound view of 'religion'? I personally prefer this to avoiding that segment of the human collective altogether which I have noticed those who avoid mixing Druidry and religion prefer - I prefer profound inclusion :duck:

Perchance, one can see the essence of truth in all things, the sacred mystery pulsing throughout all, forest and city alike, science and religion and everything else, eyes anew, ears tuned and breath eternal, all that sort of thing... thereby transmuting dogma into something alive beyond its dead-weight meaning that many cling to at all costs - because I see dogma is likely just dead-spirituality, or dead-perception, mistaking a fixed 'given' or living truth - but is not that which is 'dead', 'alive' in the other world? The very molecules in the air vibrating under the speech of head-religion person X, certainly, they are part of nature, the are part of the greater cosmic rhythm, no less affected by the truth of Nature, the Sun, Moon, seasons, life and death than anything else.

If the personal preference for someone could be to express their druidry by saying, 'it is my religion' - we need not assume they are saying it in the same sense as a Christian, Buddhist, Jew, Sufi etc. Perhaps they are, or perhaps it is just a word they use to say they are connecting to something they consider sacred, like 'the forest is my religion' or something...

Granted there is plenty of dogma around the various 'religions' and I understand the need to move away from this. To me this movement requires opening towards a more inclusive cosmic vision, deeper and more essential, well-rounded and mirroring nature, rather than a partial terrain, more universal. To say 'druidry is non-religious' may be like saying in etymological essence, 'druidry is non-connecting to the sacred' - surely we need not say what druidry is not, in an order where the personal freedom is so valued, we can only say what is it, and perhaps is not, for ourselves. Well at least, this is what I say about it, which is simply what it is for me in relation to the world we are all part of...?

Can we not free up the word 'religion' from its dogma? Is it not the duty of the bard to liberate the word?
I'm getting a little zany now.... :yay:

What do people think?

p.s. I hope I don't come across as a preacher here... just trying to share what inspires me.
Last edited by Fox of the Oaks on 20 Sep 2010, 04:14, edited 1 time in total.

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Huathe
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Re: Religion - free the word!

Postby Huathe » 20 Sep 2010, 04:14

Interesting!!
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Fox of the Oaks
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Re: Religion - free the word!

Postby Fox of the Oaks » 20 Sep 2010, 04:15

I would not like to create any sense of a 'them' and 'us' mentality, at least for myself, in Druidry.

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Frog
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Re: Religion - free the word!

Postby Frog » 20 Sep 2010, 13:24

To me, religion means in essence simply a way to bind or connect with something, something 'sacred' or meaningful to a person perhaps - examined this way, what is this but a range of possibilities. Using the word, Christians may seek to connect to God, Buddhists to their Buddha Nature, Hindus to the Self, for many indigenous peoples they work to connect to their ancestral lands, to some their religion is life, to others it is fast cars and slow mornings...
Hello PineRaven
Interesting post - and one that I feel encapsulates a root cause to a number of threads across the DHP.

The question of what is "Religion" and how that differs from "Belief". There have been many discussions about whether the more philosophical systems (Druidry, Taoism, Bhuddism, etc) are religions or just beliefs - and I guess it really comes down to what sits in your personal cauldron. Many have sited that Christianity is a religion... but then, could you take the Druidic viewpoint of being with nature and place on it some of the moral interactions between fellow humans - using the Bible as the philosophy of interaction? And if you were to do that, would it in fact change Christianity to a philosophy rather than a religion?

Ultimately though I would suggest it is the strength of purpose to connect with a belief system that defines whether or not it is a religion. Of course (and I recognise that this is a stereotypical comment) there are those who will wear the badge of a religion - but without giving the dedication to it.
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Fox of the Oaks
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Re: Religion - free the word!

Postby Fox of the Oaks » 20 Sep 2010, 13:46

Hi Frog,

some very good points, particularly about what sits in your personal cauldron, as perhaps we tend to (at least I may) forget that people are behind all these ideas, beliefs, idealogies, religions, philosophies, sciences, paths and so on, making them that way - they do not simply exist on their own in books or on the Internet - an important aspect though perhaps. A practical example of people following a path would seem to put it to the test much more than intellectual exchange about it.

Peace,
PineRaven

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Heddwen
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Re: Religion - free the word!

Postby Heddwen » 20 Sep 2010, 17:20

Hi Pineraven,

Without repeating some clearly made points by yourself and Frog I was really interested in the definitions of Religion. I've always understood the path of Druidry to practice religious tolerence, I take this to mean those who subscribe to a particular path eg Christians and those who don't.There's equal validity. This is especially true of OBOD druidry. I've yet to meet anyone who doesn't connect in somehow or someway to the sanctity of nature, the planets, etc no matter if they're on a path or not. There seems to be a lot of focus on the concept of religion across the DHP,I understand that we all have this spiritual side and in this sense we are "tied" and bound to our beliefs, therefore shouldn't we be celebrating and sharing our similarities? This is not a viewpoint from behind rose tinted glasses, I'm well aware of the potentially contentious nature of Religious discussion. I just feel that positive and constructive dialogue is a step forward.

Looks like you're doing well on the lberation front. I'm glad that you're piercing through that veil :shake:

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Fox of the Oaks
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Re: Religion - free the word!

Postby Fox of the Oaks » 21 Sep 2010, 05:41

therefore shouldn't we be celebrating and sharing our similarities?
Yes by all means, I agree completely.

I'm not sure if I gave the impression that I was trying to highlight differences? Did I? I certainly didn't intend that if so.

Certainly we are all connecting with what is meaningful for each of us, and in doing so, we all have something in common.

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Heddwen
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Re: Religion - free the word!

Postby Heddwen » 21 Sep 2010, 09:59

No you certainly didn't give that impression,I think I could have phrased my comment differently :oops: I meant to say sharing our similarities and discussing our differences in a positive, non judgemental environment. I don't think that you are preaching at all, just saying what (I'm sure) a lot of us are already thinking :wink:

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Fox of the Oaks
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Re: Religion - free the word!

Postby Fox of the Oaks » 21 Sep 2010, 10:05

yeah good. It's hard to tell sometimes on a forum.

Certainly I am acquiring more of a taste for discussing things in common, after my recent parade through outer labels.


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