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Leave Traditions Alone

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Forums -> Comments -> Leave Traditions Alone

Leave Traditions Alone
By: / Novice
Post # 1
I've seen this a lot, not only on this site, but with many places that hold what is commonly seen a "New Agers".

There seems to be a belief, especially within the Pagan/Occult community that you can build whatever path you want and call it good. To a very small degree, this is true. However, many times people take concepts that belong to a tradition and demolish them for their own personal purposes, while continuing to use the same name of said concept.

I can't begin to stress how wrong that is.

Whether it's Hoodoo works, Hindi beliefs or even Christian dogma, respect should be shown for the tradition where the information came from.

A perfect example of this cultural appropriation is the Western version of Karma. What many people who ramble off about this fail to realize is that Karma is a Hindu belief. Not only is it a Hindu belief, within the tradition, it does not apply to those outside the tradition. What does that mean? It means if you aren't Hindi, Karma has no effect on you whatsoever.
Somewhere down the line, someone decided to adopt part of this concept and declare it to be true for all, even mixing it with the Rede and making it same or similar to the Harm None suggestion (for what it's worth, your dharma determines your Karma. If your dharma is that you are to be a horrible person, you get "bad" karma for not being a horrible person).

It has been twisted, perverted, destroyed and rebuilt to please the spiritual desires of a group of people and is a classic example of the "I can do what I want , it's my path" mentality.

What so many have failed to realize is, that you insult the methods, techniques and theories that you borrow. You insult everyone in the tradition from which you borrow.

If you are not of the tradition, it is not yours to redo. The moment you take someone else's concept and change it to fit your needs, it's no longer in it's original form, so why use the terms to associate it when you've just destroyed what was there?

We see this in Hoodoo a lot. I heard someone once refer to it as "Post-Christian butt hurt". Christianity is found heavily within Hoodoo, and is not a hot item among many Pagans. But for whatever reason, Pagans don't want to include the Christian elements. While that is perfectly ok, it is not ok to include Hera or Isis or anything else and still call it Hoodoo. Why? Because by including it, you demolished what it was, making it something else. The term no longer applies.

My pipe dream is to have people start to sit down and think about where their concepts come from. Look into the history of the tradition from where they stem. Take the time to appreciate what it is.

If you still want to incorporate it into your path, call it something else. Say "I was inspired by" or "it is similar, but my own" rather than slapping traditionalists in the face by using terms that no longer apply.

/end rant
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Re: Leave Traditions Alone
By: / Knowledgeable
Post # 2
thank you Kache, good rant :P and well said.
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Re: Leave Traditions Alone
By: / Novice
Post # 3

Totally agree with you.

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Re: Leave Traditions Alone
By: / Novice
Post # 4
Before you stamp your feet you should understand that paths, religion and faiths have always heavly borrowed and taken from others and it will always be so. A lot that teach they are the first to come up with a concept fall far from the mark.

By the way Karma as a concept outdates Hinduism by a very long way and has been changed, so you may want to find a Hindu forum and tell them not to have such an attitude of "I can do what I want , it's my path"

It is like telling someone not to plagiarise a plagiarist.
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Re: Leave Traditions Alone
By: / Novice
Post # 5
Please enlighten us all with the research information describing Karma (using this direct term, less my point would be made) as predating Hindu practices. I would love to read about it as the information I have complied from both books/web sources and people of the actual tradition have all said differently.

At best I can see it argued as being part of Buddhist belief systems, at which point I will gladly amend that portion of the OT to say "Eastern Practices" in another reply.

And you are correct, practices have always borrowed from others. However, the terminology is not the same across the board as the original concept becomes fitted to the new path. Which was my point when saying "call it something else". The established traditions have indeed done just that. They found new words to describe old practices by other faiths.

Examples of such would be the terms Qi, Ki, Prana, Holy Spirit, Mana, Ashe, etc. All are, at the base, same ideas, however since each tradition holds a different view, there's a different name.

Now, naturally it can be argued that the different languages are what causes the separation, however none of the traditions from which these words have come are working on collaborating to call it a universal term nor do people of that tradition use the terms interchangeably as they are similar, but not same.


I'm not sure where I was unclear about the point of "call it something else if you plan to change it to suit your needs".
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Re: Leave Traditions Alone
By:
Post # 6

Kache, I totally agree.

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Re: Leave Traditions Alone
By:
Post # 7
kache, i completely agree with you on this, it is something i have been bothered by time and time again, and often by people who do not even know where the original term originated, what its general meaning is, and often turn it into something so completely different you sit there and want to literally smack the stupid out of them.
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Re: Leave Traditions Alone
By: / Novice
Post # 8
I see where you are coming from kache and I do understad. People throw together aspects from different religions and call it one. However this is what I see. Im not hindi but I believe heavily In karma, not simply due to any religion, but simply because how I was raised. My whole family belives in a 'westernized' version of karma and none are of any real set religion.
If your American than you would know America's cultur is a mix of many different cultures around the world. Al types of people live in the good old US of A and there for a new generation has evolved. One that is unique and sets out on thier own, realizing that they do not need to comform to one set path. Instead taking and followin thier true selves by mixin them. Wicca is no longer a strict as one of its founders Gerald Gardner. Wicca is ever changing, ever evolving. There are those like us old guys who stick with the old paths like scott cunningham than therss the new generation, forge ing thier own path. Theres nothig wrong with that as long as they arnt stupid about it and pretend to know all, that thier path is rightouse.

All religions are the same. Simply put. There is a higher being of some sort and a drive to be better for yourself as welk as being true to yourself.
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Re: Leave Traditions Alone
By:
Post # 9
"All religions are the same. Simply put. There is a higher being of some sort and a drive to be better for yourself as welk as being true to yourself."

No. All religions are not the same. All religions come out certain needs that we as human beings have, however all religions are not the same. There are massively different thoughts between different religious beliefs, some of which do not acknowledge a higher deity but rather attempt to propel the individual into their own form of deity (this is Luciferian). Other religions acknowledge various deities, others acknowledge only one, and still others acknowledge a mix of both various deities and one main form of deity.

The thing about religions is, that as soon as we make generalizations, we immediately say something wrong. No religion is the same, and no religion believes the same thing.

Kache, I totally love this. Awesomeness. :3
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Re: Leave Traditions Alone
By:
Post # 10

I love this post, Kache. Your rants always have something to learn from them and are always very sensible.

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