Monday, June 18, 2007

An ye harm none...

This is the Wiccan Rede. The two principles shown are pretty good...and pretty standard for anyone who seeks a spiritual path.

First, "An' ye harm none, do what ye will." So how is that important today, regardless of your spiritual path? Simple. What's the golden rule? Do unto others as you would have done unto you? Sound familiar?

I think every religion or spirituality has some kind of rule that is similar. It's important to act with respect and concern for others...and for onesself. The Rede does say, "An' ye harm none..." Doesn't that include self? I believe it does. So if we are living a path that is full of self-harm and self-degredation, are we not failing to follow the Rede?

An example comes to mind. Recently on a forum in which I participate a couple of folks were talking about being confronted by Christians (as they are Wiccan) or others who wanted to engage in conversation. One person seemed flustered and ended the conversation without even purchasing the book they went there to get. Another spoke about religious folks who come to your door.

Here's the rub: Are we to be kind-hearted and gentle with these souls even though we disagree and think they're obnoxious? Or are we to meet them head to head on spiritual matters? I think kindness wins out. Here's why: If we are confrontational, have we not done the exact thing we dislike in them? I believe so. Just as they are not going to change our beliefs with their approach, neither are we going to change theirs. It just becomes a stand-off of who's the better fighter. To me, this fails the Wiccan Rede. We are harming them by being confrontational and rude. And in the end, aren't we really harming ourselves by allowing our peace to be shattered by our rudeness?

Some may disagree, but I would put forth that it is easy to get caught up in the affairs of the world around us that can and will cause us to give up the peace we seek. And if that is the case, does the junk that clogs up our spiritual conduit give us an impairment when we seek to perform rituals or prayers?

I had to learn a while back that what Christians have been taught as "witnessing" is nothing more than quoting bible verses. When most are asked to explain their spirituality, they cannot. Again, they revert back to quotes. Now, does that mean we cannot involve ourselves in meaningful dialogue with them? No, of course not. I LOVE a good conversation on spiritual matters. It challenges me to think through my spiritual journey and to understand within myself that which is important. I don't really think of challenging the other. I think of what I can learn. However, in so doing, the person I am with is challenged, as well. This is the essence of conversation, isn't it? Mutual stimulation! There is a difference between the challenge of stimulation and the challenge warring against another's beliefs.

So, I offer you the challenge. When confronted by others who may not share your spiritual journey, consider your speech and body posture. Are you one who encourages another to find their inner self and God(s) or Goddess(es)? Or are you simply argumentative for arguments' sake? Arguments never solved a problem, nor have they ever encouraged self-discovery.

Dialogues do just that. So take to heart the Wiccan Rede which reads, in part: "An' ye harm none, do as ye will."

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