I am not Christian, Jewish, Muslim or Hindu, in that I do not believe in God, Goddess, gods, or goddesses. I am an atheist. This also means I am not a Pagan, although I practiced Wicca, witchcraft, whatever the currently acceptable nomenclature is, as a Solitary, for 20 years.
I am not a Wiccan, witch, magic(k)ian, mage, wizard, shaman, etc., in that I do not believe in magic(k), alchemy, or the effect of spells.
I am not a Buddhist, in that I do not believe in the Buddhist version of reincarnation.
I don’t believe in ESP, psychic phenomena, or alien abductions. I don’t believe in auras, or communicating with the dead, or channeling lessons from aliens or gurus.
I don’t believe in ghosts, fairies, elves, goblins, trolls, dragons, or fairy-tale-type witches and wizards. I think they’re a wonderful use of the imagination, though. I love reading fantasy fiction, particularly quest-type fantasy, but I recognize that it’s fiction.
I am not a Pantheist, in that I do believe there is a continuation of consciousness following bodily death. I do not believe that I am only a biological entity, that will cease to exist completely upon death.
I believe the Universe is one single, conscious entity, and that I am that entity (and so are you), and I am only able to experience a tiny portion of what I am while embodied in the field of time and space. I believe that everything contains spirit (soul? consciousness?) of some sort and that spirit is real.
I believe I chose, consciously, to become embodied for a human lifetime, but I don’t know why. I believe we occasionally get hints of what we truly are while we are embodied, (OBEs? NDEs?) but that there are good reasons why we aren’t consciously aware of the truth while we are here. It all comes back to us when we “pass on.”
I don’t worship. (Who or what would I worship? Myself?) I don’t pray. (Again, who or what would I pray to?) I’m open to meditation, though. And I like to celebrate nature, life in general, and being alive.
I believe that, while we are embodied, we do have a large range of abilities that have not yet been fully investigated. For instance, I believe we have far more control over our physical bodies than we usually exercise, maintaining a specific body temperature, or suppressing the experience of pain, for example.
I believe that learning and using systems like Tarot and Astrology serves to focus attention and provide cues for imaginative solutions to personal difficulties. I do not think that doing so requires any “psychic” talent. I think that in this, they are as valid as other forms of psychotherapy. I believe in the power of skilled practitioners of hypnosis to create an altered state of awareness in others, to their benefit. I believe it is ethical to take payment for teaching or utilizing these learned skills.
I think that various natural substances, such as herbs, can be as efficacious as manufactured medicines for some forms of illness or injury. I believe there are other illnesses and injuries that require hospitals, massive amounts of drugs, and possible surgical intervention. If you prefer to stay embodied for a longer period of time, it’s all good.
I believe that everyone is capable of defining their own spiritual practice, and that no one needs an organization, texts, or “authorities” to do so. I do not think you have to adhere to any particular system of rules to declare yourself a spiritual being, and that you do not need anyone else to intercede on your behalf and declare you worthy of participation.
Having said that, I also believe that it is comforting to acknowledge others who have the same beliefs in a group setting, as a celebration, maybe with some food and drink, music and dancing? Possibly to mark the changing of the seasons? Maybe out-of-doors, weather permitting? Candles and incense and decorations are nice, too.
I believe that Nature, “red in tooth and claw,” is still beautiful. Joseph Campbell said that all life lives by killing and eating. I try not to kill unnecessarily. I have apologized to the cows.
Much searching has resulted in finding two “religions” or philosophies that closely parallel my beliefs: Taoism (or Daoism) and Panentheism (different from Pantheism). If there were a truly modern, secular wisdom sect that is where I would belong. If I worshipped anything, it would be wisdom. I'd be a proselytizing Wisewoman, hee!
What do you believe?
(ETA: Now that's really talking about myself! Yikes!!!!!11!!!)