August 2012



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Delphic Maximum #1 Follow God

Star Foster started a blogging party on the Delphic Maximums. While I know very little about these, I thought it would be interesting to look at them and see how they fit my own defined ethic. I thought it might help me focus on what if anything I should write about for June's Pagan Blog Ethics deal. For more information on Delphic Maximums or to see a round up of who else is blogging on them I suggest musings of a kitchen witch's post.

And now may I present my actual writings on the subject:

My first and instinctive response to “Follow God” is a simple “no”. It doesn't last long, but part of me violently rejects the idea that I am a being meant to obey or follow above all else.

Coming to Gods, for me, was a long and slow process. It's a state that is new and not at all natural. My Gods and I negotiate a lot. We both need to be fluid and respectful of each other in the process to get anywhere. The word follow is too forceful: full of surrender and action not necessarily in line with my will. Objectively, I realize follow has none of these implications, but emotionally, it's a word I reject.

There are all sorts of way to follow. Before I had Gods, there was still something sacred, worthy of respect, and bigger than me in the world. I took time to acknowledge, admire and learn from this nameless experience based thing. Often this feeling came from the natural world for from random acts of kindness others demonstrated. It was something I valued as transcendent and core to my own life. These were moments in time that I needed to honor and that I would cherish and carry with me. I think this qualifies as following God so long as the idea of God in general is not required to have too many human characteristics or human like will.

Separate from these moments of epiphany, or only loosely connected, was my magic and energy work. There is what I consider divine energy, but it also lacks a will as humans define will. It isn't a commanding human-esque entity to be followed so much as a power to be ridden, on a good day, and borne on a bad. It taught me, showed me, pushed me, and occasionally used me as a vessel which I managed with varying amounts of grace, but it never commanded as such or provided a road map.

The point here is that for me Following God means almost nothing. It's on par with telling me to live my life. There are very few moments in my life at this point where I am not aware of energy and deity. If following God means to acknowledge and honor God then most moments of most days I'm the model of this maximum.

On the other hand, I don't do commands well particularly if I don't understand why I'm being commanded or if I believe the harm out weights the good. If following God is something that's done without question, without discussion, and without hesitation then I really only have a 50/50 track record.

Furthermore: I don't think Gods know what is best for a human or for me in particular. I'm not certain one should follow every edict a god may choose to make.

Star Foster thinks there are two bits of criteria to judge one's ability to follow god. She asks us to consider:

1. Is what we are pursuing godly, sacred and of high virtue?

2.Are we following that instead of trying to drive the train ourselves?”

I have no qualms with her first meditative question assuming what's godly is paletable.

The second concern bothers me though. I'm all about driving my own train. Gods might be like life's GPS but I should be able to take a left when they want me to take a right: particularly if I don't like GPS' destination or if I just want to explore the farm stand over on the left. There are perfectly good benign reasons not to follow Gods. Indeed I wouldn't even necessarily call a farm stand stop directly disobeying Gods so much as leisurely following. While my interactions with a more human minded deity is very new, there has already been a time where I went left when deity said right and they just re-routed me to where they wanted me to be because in that instance it meant that much to them. If Gods can do this, I don't see what it matters how willingly or immediately I follow. When they want me to get there, I'll be there.

We all know what if best for ourselves or at least this is a core truth we should all strive to find with or without Gods. I think we need to follow the call that works best for oneself whether that involves Gods or not.