Over the years I have constantly been working on my faith. I was Wiccan, then general Pagan, now I’m what I call an eclectic spiritualist. I have faith and practices, but I’m not religious. I don’t follow any one tradition, but instead learn about and blend many together.
I believe that faith is more a matter of what feels true in your heart than tradition. People get mired in the dogma of it all, and forget that it’s about heart and spirit, not just mindless repetition of what everyone before you has done and has told you is right. You need to really feel it in your soul, otherwise what you’re doing is totally meaningless at best, and harmful to you and others at worst.
One of the problems I find in my mish-mash approach is not getting tied up in that tradition myself. I don’t want to worry myself with what others think are the “right” or “wrong ways to do things. If I feel that it’s right, and it rings true in my heart, that’s all that matters. However, that makes finding information difficult.
For instance, I have always liked the idea of prayer beads and mantras. While I was looking up information about these things I came across a lot of information about the “right” way to use mantras and malas. According to them, what I do is utterly wrong. But if I believe in it, and I have my soul in the right place, how can it be wrong? It’s only wrong based on extreme tradition. I don’t like having those things in my head though, because it makes me sometimes question my methods. Building your own tradition and practices does have its downsides.
All that aside though, I do feel that finding your own spiritual path is a good way to go. Learn and appreciate as many faiths as possible, and use the parts that resonate with you. The only wrong way is not having faith at all. (And yes, I realize I just offended all the atheists. I’m sorry. You have the right not to believe, I have the right to disagree with you.) Traditions are wonderful if you believe in them, but finding what’s right for your own souls seems more important.
So, I’ll keep building my own way. I’ll borrow from here and there and make what works for me. I’ll try not to let others’ ideas of right and wrong get in my way. I think if I can fully succeed in that I can really get closer to the spiritual place I want to be in. I know that it’s all about heart, and I have to just put that into daily practice.
How many of you out there have built your own faith system or are veering away from the traditions of your chosen faith? How is it working for you? How do you deal with the ideas of right and wrong imposed by the traditions of the faiths you borrow from? I’d love to hear your perspective.