Saturday, August 13, 2011

Adam/Perthro Pathfinder

Hello and Happy Saturday!

I wish to thank Bill Jiryu Webb for his intriguing interview last week.
Thanks so much for sharing with us Bill!

Today we have a new interview so please welcome Adam.
Adam is a Pagan and I know you'll enjoy his interview as well!

Here Is Adam's Introduction:

My name is Adam, and I turned 40 years old in July. I am a third shift frozen/dairy stocker at Walmart, and have been working there for almost a year now. The other jobs I've had included working on computers (for about a year, though I've done it as a hobby for much longer), working as an automobile technician (for 10 years), and before that, I served in the U.S. Navy during Operation Desert Storm. I consider myself to be a sort of “jack of all trades”, as I have worked on many different types of mechanical and electrical equipment in my lifetime, as well as doing household plumbing work and other odd jobs, which has given me the ability to diagnose problems on and repair almost anything. I am currently separated from my wife, and I have 3 daughters.

1)What religion do you practice?
I am a Pagan. Or maybe you could say I'm a witch. I believe each of us has the power to manipulate energy, and that we do so every single day of our lives, through our interactions with others, and with nature. While I believe the pagan gods and goddesses exist, I personally do not “worship” them, but rather see them as guides and companions, no better than me, as my soul is just a little less (a LOT less) evolved than theirs. That's what living life is for. To evolve, to grow, to become more than I was when I started this life.

2)Are you a convert or were you raised within this religion? If you converted, what did you need to go to convert? And what did you practice prior to converting?
If you could call it converting, I did that 2 years ago. I acquired new knowledge that required me to alter my view of the universe, and what the reality of my existence is. And I said a prayer of sorts to the god that came to me in a dream, to help guide me on my new path. I was raised to believe in Christianity, and held loosely onto many of the concepts of that religion until I was introduced to paganism, then my whole world changed, things finally made sense.

3)Within your religion are there degrees of observance (orthodox, conservative, moderate, liberal)? What are the defining differences between the degrees of observance? Within your religion, which one are you, and why did you choose it?
If I had to label myself, I'd have to say I'm a liberal pagan, as I consider all other belief systems to be just as valid as my own, I mean why can't we have multiple pantheons existing at the same time in this vast universe? As far as I know, there's plenty of room to go around. And yes, I'm sure there are conservative pagans, who choose to believe that there is only one “right” way to be a pagan, but that is not me. I chose to be this way because it's what makes sense to me, there's too much evidence in my mind to think any other way.

4)What is the Afterlife in your religion? (Heaven/Hell concept)
I believe in heaven and hell, it's just not for me, the Christians go to those places. So if you are a Christian, when you die, you go to one or the other. When I die I will revert back to my energy state, and plan my next life with my spiritual guides and mentors, as well as some of the people I will live that life with. As far as I know, many pagans have a similar idea when it comes to what happens to us when we are not in these bodies.

5)In your opinion, does everyone make it to heaven/paradise? If they do not, why?
I'm sure the Christians do, that's what their God says will happen if they accept him as their Savior. If they do not, then I guess they go to Hell. The rest of us that are not of His pantheon go “somewhere” else I believe, it's a little hard to explain, as spirits don't have a “location” as we humans can perceive it, and they don't perceive time as we do either, so eternity to us is like seconds to them. We are incapable of comprehending the way they see time, and that's not an insult to humans. The way I see it, while in these bodies, we are prevented from knowing too much about our “other” existence, because having knowledge of that existence would prevent us from doing what we are here to do, and that's to be human. It would end up feeling like we were wearing a costume, and we would not want to be in that costume for long.

6)What makes your religion a good fit for you?
I believe it because it makes the most sense to me, it's where I feel I belong. That's the reason I picked Perthro Pathfinder as my craft name, because I feel I've found my path. I believe that if you have to have a name, a label, then it should reflect what path you are on, because when we are NOT human, I don't believe we have names at all.

7)What are your holy days and what do you do to celebrate them?
Every day is a holy day to me, this entire life, from start to finish, was planned out ahead of time, and I'm not about to screw it up by not realizing how special it is to be a human, to be given the opportunity to learn and grow, to become more than I was when I got here. I find even mundane things to be sacred, and I keep my eye out for signs from my guides that give me insight on what choices to make, to keep my life on track for what I planned to accomplish this time around.

8)Do you consider people of other faiths to be your friends?
Yes I do, some of my best friends are Christians, and I enjoy discussing religious topics with them, because they understand how open minded I am, and do not condemn them for believing as they do, nor they for me.

9)Would you ever join people of another faith to celebrate one of their holy days?
Yes, who doesn't love Christmas? Or a good Easter egg hunt? Besides, the pagans were celebrating many of those holidays before the Christians did, so it's not REALLY celebrating another faith's holy day.

10)Are women allowed to hold religious office (priest, minister) in your religion and how do you feel about it?
Not only are they allowed, it is assumed and welcomed, as there are many women who are pagans. It is a matriarchal religion, with Mother Nature at the center of many pagan belief systems, and there are goddesses as well as gods. I think it's wonderful to be a part of a religion that does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, or ethnic background.

11)How much does your religion affect your daily life and how much thought do you give it when making a decision? Does it affect in any way your decision on abortion, gay marriage, etc.?
My religion IS my life, in essence, I see everything as sacred, every moment of my life has the opportunity to teach me something new to help me grow, to change, to become more. I think the major “issues” we face are a part of the learning process for each of us, and it is not my place to judge those who would decide to have a lifestyle I would not have, or make choices that I would not make, it is their path, not mine.

12)How would you react/feel if your child wished to marry outside your religion?
As I just stated, everyone's path is their own, and that includes my children, when they choose who they will marry, it is their choice, their path, so if it is to be with someone of another religious belief system, then I have no problem with that.

13)In your opinion, if someone is not of your faith, will they go to hell?
I'm sure they will, if they believe they will, if they are of the Christian faith. I don't believe there is a hell for those of my belief system, or of many others, so no, for the most part, I don't think so.

14)Do you ever feel like your religion devalues you?
That's a loaded question, because while personally I have never felt like it does, there are people of other belief systems who DO see pagans as “beneath” them, and that we are all going to hell in a handbasket, and it bothers me to see them be so rigid, and to not see the value of others' opinions, but at the same time, that is THEIR opinion of me, and I don't have to believe it too.

15)Does your religion give you peace of mind?
Yes it does, it makes me feel as though I know my place in this universe, and gives me a sense of purpose, and has really answered for me the “big” question, “What is the meaning of life?”

16)Do you believe in reincarnation? Why or why not?
Yes I do, you could say it's at the core of what I believe. This is not my first life, nor will it be my last, and each time I live a life, it is to learn certain lessons, or to have certain experiences. I also know that not each life is completely successful in its goals, and then another life must be lived to try again, making for an infinite number of possible lives to be lived. I believe this because it just makes sense to me, there is too much evidence to support the idea, people all the time meet and seem to know everything about one another, and some have extensive knowledge about subjects they were not taught in their current life, it just makes too much sense to NOT believe.

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