A little background to uh… why I am doing this topic today/night. Like any good pragmatist, I watch YouTube videos to make up for my lack of face to face interaction with people in the Pagan-Heathen community. A number of videos that I have watched recently, although the actual date of the video varies, have been mentioning or directly talking about the Wiccan Rede and various topics around the Rede. Something similar that I’ve seen a number of videos discuss is the colour of magic (black, white, grey, daffodil yellow…) and why or why not they (the person doing the video) thinks what they think about the subject. The cannier of you readers will probably have worked out where this is headed, so I’m going to cut straight to the chase.
When/if you don’t have a deity or deities to work with, for whatever reason, the next best thing is to focus on developing your personal moral compass.
Its something that literally came to me in the shower. I was thinking about how I always like to say that I am ‘a lover not a fighter’ when it occurred to me that the statement is not always true. It was then that I started considering all the different scenarios in which I would be ‘a fighter’. This is an area in which I think that organised religions have more experience in dealing with and handling, and as you can see for yourselves is often the bone of contention amongst Pagans and Heathens. Organised religion simply has the resources to be able to set forth a prescribed rule of morality and ethics that can be understood by it’s adherents. On the other hand, Pagans and Heathens really live by their own individual moral compasses.
Naturally, there are numerable commonalities. My brain aches when I even think about trying to speculate why, so I wont. It’s just going to be an accepted fact that there are elements of human morality that can be common across a number of groups, even though those groups might come into conflict. Never the less, this is really what a person who doesn’t have Deity in their practice/s should be working on. Developing a cogent sense of their personal morality and code of ethics. Even you never share it with anyone, even if you never write it down and all you do is hold it in your mind – knowing what you feel is right, wrong, in between, ethically dubious but morally acceptable and every other combination. As best you can that is.
For me, there are a number of elements that I consider when I think about my own moral compass. My many years of martial arts training and the people that I train with, my parents and the way that they have raised me, and other such things have all contributed parts of what is becoming my moral compass.
What or who has gone into yours?
End Note: I wondering whether this Praxis topic could become a tag of its own, or even a category? I seem to be doing a number of them lately..