I sometimes think that people often enough have a “life philosophy” that they live by that is often separate from the religion they practice. Often enough, these philosophies tend to run counter to the religion they practice. Why that is, I’m not sure, perhaps some inherent contradiction of who we are as humans. But regardless, it can be seen in any path. Christians who profess the dangers of sin and temptation, then live like they’re free to do whatever they please. Muslims who proclaim the beauty and peace of Allah, then go and commit war crimes in his name. Pagans who profess love and tolerance, then will hate someone of the same faith because they are “conservative” or “red neck” or not “progressive” enough.
Not that I’m one to talk really. My own life philosophy is in reality quite different from Heathenism at its heart. Heathenism is all about honor, family, oaths, and doing right by your people. My life philosophy, if you will…is different.
I call it the Path of the Black Lotus.
I’ll admit, it was influenced a bit by Buddhism and in that path, the lotus (often white) represents purity. The Black Lotus is the opposite, really. Back during the dark time with the…dog…that stole my girlfriend and destroyed my life, he asked how I could not be jealous of him in the poly relationship the three of us had. I told him the truth, I follow the path of the Black Lotus, and the secret to that path is that I give myself permission to do anything I please.
See, I have a theory. When people deny themselves the ability to do something, they want to do it like nobodies business. Tell a Christian he can’t have porn? He’ll get himself addicted. Tell a kid he can’t have a cookie, he’ll do anything he can to get it. Like that. I long ago figured out the way to control my darker urges wasn’t to deny myself them, but to grant myself them.
In my intolerance, I can become tolerant. In my hatred, I can go without hating. In my ability to kill, I do not have to take a life. By giving myself ultimate power over a situation, I could act in any manor I desired.
How did I not get jealous of him and throw a fit? Because I could, at any moment that I so chose, get jealous and destroy him. So I didn’t have to. Now, maybe I should have. That’s a question I struggle with daily now that things have…gone the way they did. But I still have a measure of peace, because I could at any moment go over an….
Do whatever I want.
The white lotus is about purity, enlightenment, the pacification of one’s nature, and so forth. The black lotus is about enlightenment, but the dark kind that comes from knowing evil the way most people wish to know good, from the embracing and exploitation of one’s darker nature. It’s a lot different from Heathenism, but it works well in it, just as Buddhism can work well in most other religions that are out there.