Thoughts, lessons, and theology from an eclectic witch from a varied background.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Your UPG is wrong! Or is it?

I have noticed a trend that is present in the pagan community. This general push that says someone's UPG is wrong because it doesn't fit the speaker's idea of what it should be. This tends to lead to the person with the 'wrong' UPG getting mocked, harassed, or shunned. I am not amused. I have a very simple position on this.

We can never know the full complexity of the universe. We can never know the fullness of another person's experience. And we can never communicate the fullness of our own experiences. These three things are simple facts about existence. Pretty much everyone from any walk of life can agree on this, if they're being reasonable.

These three facts means we must make allowances for other people having experiences that are completely different from our own possibly being valid. If someone insists that they are other-souled, then we need to accept the possibility that they are. To a very large extent, we don't know what precisely is going on when it comes to spiritual aspects of existence. There is a reason why there is a plethora of religions out there. There is a reason why there are as many theories about the nature of the soul and its existence as there are. This reason is because we all have limited knowledge and differing perspectives.

There is no need to mock others for their statements with respect to themselves. These are beliefs they hold about the nature of their being. Some are going to be strange. Some are going to make sense. And there is going to be a percentage that is symptomatic of some kind of problematic thinking. We don't need to attack each other over disagreements.

As someone who struggles with the problematic thinking part in several areas, I can tell you right now that attacking someone who has an inaccurate worldview and distorted beliefs is not going to help. It will have one of two effects. It will either ensure that the person is not going to listen to you or it is going to cause greater harm. If you sincerely believe that someone's beliefs are distorted and unhealthy, you try to present a case as to how it is wrong and get them to see reason. Failing that, you may attempt to get them help to see it. Or you stop discussing the distorted beliefs, giving this person no platform to further entrench the system or draw you into somehow supporting it.

Be reasonable, people. Think about it with some empathy. Because someone out there is going to say that your UPG is wrong and believe it a sign of problematic thinking.

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