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Thread: Evolution

  1. #1
    Zephyranth
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    Evolution

    This is a question that I posted on PaganSpace awhile ago, and while I got some fascinating answers it certainly wasn't 100% satisfying for me. I'm not so much asking because I don't know what to believe, because I think I know what I personally believe, but I'm curious as to other's beliefs.

    My question is this: With your Pagan beliefs, how do you tie evolution into your practice?

    Before I discovered Paganism, I had no questions about evolution. God didn't exist, evolution was fact. Period. But after several months of exploring Wicca and becoming familiar with the Lord and Lady, I found myself wondering how to make it all fit. I was asking myself questions like: If we as humans evolve, do the Lord and Lady evolve with us? They haven't always had a human form like we generally see them now if we didn't look like this... Did they? It's naive to think that they were always in human form if we weren't even like this... My mind kept coming up with more and more problems with evolution. Only after asking some other Pagans did I reach my final conclusion.

    But before telling you what that is... I would love to know what you all think about it

  2. #2
    Sr. Member Witcher's Avatar
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    Re: Evolution

    I think the gods are manifestations of a divine spark that we have as conscious human beings. We evolved to this amazing state of being able to have consciousness, a real hard consciousness at that, one that can create symbols, worry about the future, imagine various scenarios, etc. With this evolution, the divine spark of the universe was filtered through our minds into religious imagery. That's how I see it.
    "For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft." -1 Samuel 15:23

    "Most witches don’t believe in gods. They know that the gods exist, of course. They even deal with them occasionally. But they don’t believe in them. They know them too well. It would be like believing in the postman." -Terry Pratchett

  3. #3
    Zephyranth
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    Re: Evolution

    Quote Originally Posted by frankophonic View Post
    I think the gods are manifestations of a divine spark that we have as conscious human beings. We evolved to this amazing state of being able to have consciousness, a real hard consciousness at that, one that can create symbols, worry about the future, imagine various scenarios, etc. With this evolution, the divine spark of the universe was filtered through our minds into religious imagery. That's how I see it.
    Wow... Of all things I've heard on this particular topic, this actually isn't one of them. That makes a lot of sense to me, although it isn't the reasoning that I came up with on my own. It's quite brilliant, actually, to look at it that way... To believe that these ideas and the channeling of that energy could only be filtered through us after we reached that level of consciousness. However, I tend to believe that my deities exist there whether or not I choose to acknowledge them. I see them certainly as actual beings. If I were to adopt that way of thinking I would have to adapt it slightly... Perhaps they were always looking over us-- Just because we cannot feel them and aren't aware of them doesn't mean they aren't there Just a personal thing of mine.

  4. #4
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Evolution

    I think that the forces that we project our own image upon as deities were created with the universe. I don't think the manner in which we perceive the gods has all that much to do with what the gods are, so much as how we understand them to be. Also, evolution of life has little to do, imo, with deities, as I neither believe that we are created in the image of the gods, or that they have any role in evolution.
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
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  5. #5
    Zephyranth
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    Re: Evolution

    Quote Originally Posted by thalassa View Post
    I think that the forces that we project our own image upon as deities were created with the universe. I don't think the manner in which we perceive the gods has all that much to do with what the gods are, so much as how we understand them to be. Also, evolution of life has little to do, imo, with deities, as I neither believe that we are created in the image of the gods, or that they have any role in evolution.
    I agree... It has a lot to do with the way that we perceive them. I am also not trying to imply that I believe the deities are responsible for evolution or that the two topics are necessarily related. What I'm asking is how you make those two pieces fit in your own life... Everyone has a different answer and I'm interested in hearing everyone's

  6. #6
    Supporter Gardenia's Avatar
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    Re: Evolution

    Quote Originally Posted by Zephyranth View Post
    My question is this: With your Pagan beliefs, how do you tie evolution into your practice?
    Put simply, I do believe in a Creator, who... I guess you could say, set the universe into motion, and to an extent perhaps planned some of the outcomes of this, and guides it somewhat as we go along. Not to the level of everyone has an individual, unchangeable fate, or anything like that... More like, planned all/some of the natural laws, knew how those laws would play out in some bigger cases, but perhaps with more unknown details. More on the big picture scale, you know? To that extent, I also do believe in evolution, and I think it fits in without issue with this particular view of the universe.

    They haven't always had a human form like we generally see them now if we didn't look like this... Did they? It's naive to think that they were always in human form if we weren't even like this... )
    I believe that the human, animal, or whatever else... any personal form of Deity we can think of, that's just humans trying to understand Deity, rather than any 'true face' of Deity. Just ways for us to try and understand at least a piece of something much bigger. Or, perhaps in some cases, it is Deity showing Itself to humans in a way we can relate to. A little of both, I think.

    That said, I could also see how one could believe that Deity guided evolution to create us as we are, in the image of Deity... but, not my personal belief.

  7. #7
    Zephyranth
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    Re: Evolution

    Quote Originally Posted by Gardenia View Post
    I believe that the human, animal, or whatever else... any personal form of Deity we can think of, that's just humans trying to understand Deity, rather than any 'true face' of Deity. Just ways for us to try and understand at least a piece of something much bigger. Or, perhaps in some cases, it is Deity showing Itself to humans in a way we can relate to. A little of both, I think.
    Yes, that makes a lot of sense to me as well. The idea that a deity might show themselves to a specific kind of being in their own form so that they could better comprehend them. But, as you said, I can also see it being that humans simply do not know how to perceive deities in their 'true forms'... Instead, we simply put them in a place where we can wrap our minds around them. Very wise...

    You have all given me a lot to think about. I think I might revise my views a little bit after hearing such good opinions. They all make so much sense to me.

  8. #8
    Member Gallifrey's Avatar
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    Re: Evolution

    I worship nature as it is, and consider gods more as representations of nature and various aspects of the universe, so there's no conflict at all for me, or with anything scientific. The way I see it, nature and divinity are practically synonymous with each other... almost like everything is part of the same living organism, and evolution is one of the inner workings of that organism. I do think the universe and its workings are extraordinary!

    This all makes me sound perfectly like a strict pantheist. Really, I'm kind of like a polypantheist - but it's a bit hard to explain, and outside the scope of this discussion anyway. I'll have to think for a bit about how to really describe it... but anyway, evolution, I love evolution, lol. I love everything about how nature works!

  9. #9
    Zephyranth
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    Re: Evolution

    Quote Originally Posted by Gallifrey View Post
    I worship nature as it is, and consider gods more as representations of nature and various aspects of the universe, so there's no conflict at all for me, or with anything scientific. The way I see it, nature and divinity are practically synonymous with each other... almost like everything is part of the same living organism, and evolution is one of the inner workings of that organism. I do think the universe and its workings are extraordinary!

    This all makes me sound perfectly like a strict pantheist. Really, I'm kind of like a polypantheist - but it's a bit hard to explain, and outside the scope of this discussion anyway. I'll have to think for a bit about how to really describe it... but anyway, evolution, I love evolution, lol. I love everything about how nature works!
    This seems like a really good way to look at it I always love seeing people who know what they're talking about!

  10. #10
    Member Gallifrey's Avatar
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    Re: Evolution

    Quote Originally Posted by Zephyranth View Post
    This seems like a really good way to look at it I always love seeing people who know what they're talking about!
    Aww, thanks! When are you gonna share your view of it? I'm a little bit curious now that you've built all this suspense :P

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