This is part of my work in the Julia Cameron Artist’s Way series. The work this time is from the book the Artist’s Way at Work: Riding the Dragon. The responses are self-examinations and assessments based on work through a daily series of exercises. While I do keep some material offline as it can be very personal and jarring, I often opt to be fairly open about my experiences, both positive and negative.
This exercise asks you to compare your beliefs about God in childhood to your beliefs about God as an adult. So there is religion discussed. Here is where I remind people: I am a Wiccan polytheist, and as an adult, I see all this “there can be only one,” and “there is only one way,” mentality as a con job best left to the Highlander series. If you are offended by religious views that do not harm you but are different from your own, skip reading this one.
Old ideas about God/Divinity
- THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!
- Public prayer equates with public lies – prayer is sacred and thus private
- “Don’t look at me!” Seriously, Exodus says some explicit stuff about not picturing God, so the whole bearded guy in the sky common to this culture is one I actually saw as a touch blasphemous
- “There are other sheep not of my fold.” Jesus was a religious pluralist.
- Give from your poverty; it means more.
- If you are serious enough about your faith you should be Much To Worried About The World to take joy in anything.
- Enlightened people will naturally see the way of Christianity/monotheism/the way “everybody” does it.
- There’s a hell – it’s a convenient place you can mentally send everyone who disagrees with you.
- There’s a plan, and no one has to discuss it with your let alone get your consent.
- Of COURSE the Bible is true.
- Any signs of a sense of humor = you are not holy.
- Women were made from Adam’s Rib, or we were made equal, there’s two versions.
- You can be happy when you’re dead.
- We won’t really know until we’re dead.
New ideas about God/Divinity
- Public prayer equates with public lies – prayer is sacred and thus private.
- Gnosticism: we’re all right. Absolutely each and every one of us. Especially those that disagree. There’s just one. There’s more than one. There’s none. There’s all.
- Adam had a first wife named Lilith; just like many women who think for themselves, she took a look at this submissive crap, said “fuck that!” and found a beach to hang out on. Eve was the next wife, made without spine. Spineless women have been elevated while punished ever since. Women with proper vertebrae have been cast as demons – and still have a much better time.
- Nope, the Bible’s not true – i.e. it’s not the word of God, it’s the word of a whole bunch of men, some wise, some not, most politically motivated. This is also true of the New Testament, which really should have stopped at the be attitudes.
- We do not need an instruction book to know how to be good, do good, and love good.
- The story of Christ is not the “Greatest Story Ever Told.” There are many, many other better stories.
- We won’t really know until we’re dead.
- Religious belief is a neurological function (this is a recent finding.) I am religious because I am inclined to be deeply religious; there are scores of people faking religious belief because of the same degree of social pressure that has been placed on the homosexual to appear straight.
- From direct mystical experience: Jesus is a very sweet, passionate, kind of short Arabic man who is completely mortified by modern Christianity. When he said he was the “son of God,” he meant ALL men are the sons of God. I don’t pray to him as much these days, but he still answers with “Diana! I’m so happy to hear from you!” All this belief directed at him has made him a deity, though.
- Whether man created deity or deity created man is a bit chicken and egg.
- Poverty does not make me more spiritual.
- Prosperity does not make me less spiritual.
- My actions and how I spend my time/direct my energy is what makes me spiritual.
- God(s) very much have a sense of humor, and more importantly, they have a sense of humor about themselves.
- Happiness now is in fact sacred, and makes you more inclined to do good, be good, and love good.