A Breath of Air

Removing one’s self from the Christian paradigm is a bizarre experience. Sometimes it feels like removing an iron straight-jacket that was first put in place at birth. I broke my left wrist the day I turned fifteen and lived with a light yet immutable and immobile cast on my wrist for the next six weeks. When it came off the feel of the air was like serrated knives and gentle water all at the same time. Each movement was a joy and an agony all at once. My soul and mind now feel like that sometimes.

I only just realized – I mean, really understood through and through – that damnation is exclusive to Christianity. My whole life I have lived with my spiritual back against a wall, suspended over an endless gulf and straining to find my way to the golden calf of heavenly bliss. I know that according to all the doctrines God is supposed to be forgiving and loving, but that threat of being cast away like garbage always lurks in the shadow.

The problem is that the agency of man in a Christian cosmology is an infinitely regressing faculty. I know I should explain this, but I really don’t have it in me right now. I just want to wallow in the relief of feeling the simple, factual judgment of the real, instead of the ever-pending, never-falling sword of Christian judgment. There very much is justice in the world; we just don’t have to wait to see it in effect. It’s right there in ever breath of the wind and in every trick of fate. A true pagan wisdom is to be found in understanding the immediate justice inherent to ever balanced response of action and reaction as well as in the bizarre, clownish wisdom of the unjust (for therein lies comedy if we are willing to see it).

This is not to say that the marvelous or unexpected is not possible. Quite the opposite. The modern Christian viewpoint, demanding a patient and submissive bent of mind, requires the acceptance of the status quo so long as the ever-spreading tide of monovocal praise of the unitive source is unchallenged. The pagan embraces complexity, diversity and heterogeneity. The world can be flat, round, trapezoidal and the back of a turtle all at the same time for a pagan, because reality is inherently plural – though not actually relative – in nature. For the Christian there is either what is or what cannot (and thus should not) be yet exists for now. For the pagan with eyes and mind fully open to the gods – and this qualifier must be understood completely – there is an ever proliferating reality of possibility.

There is so much, and yet this is all I can say for now …


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