Common Ground: The Kinship of Metaphysicians

A syncretic approach to esoteric teachings - the golden threads that connect Pagans, Yogis, Rosicrucians and Masons.

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If They Will Not Accept You, You Must Accept Yourself

Posted by on in Studies Blogs

At one time you may have considered yourself a Christian - because you loved the persona of Jesus, and felt a deep intuitive understanding of his attitude and teachings, as though he was an exemplar of kindred mind, the like of which you might grow to become yourself in time. You may have heard him communicate with you in your prayers and meditations. But the churches in your part of the country insisted that to be a Christian, you had to accept him as your personal savior, whose status you could never hope to attain - and moreover, you had to be evangelical about it. You saw no need for either of these things. You felt that each initiate must make his own sacrifices and his own choices, and that Jesus would prefer that you learned how to stand up for yourself! But because you had such a stiff-necked, self-willed attitude about it, no minister bound by a literal commitment to the Nicene or Apostles Creed could admit you into church membership. 

You might have also considered yourself a Hindu - because you meditated and chanted the Gayatri Mantra, and you received loving messages and assistance from Mother Lakshmi, Lord Vishnu, Sri Krishna and Siva Nataraj. None of them ever turned you away, that you could tell. You were sure you had lived many past lives in India. Yet militant "born" Hindus sent you nasty emails telling you to stop insulting their religion and stop teaching Yoga; you couldn't possibly understand the depth and gravitas of the subject. You couldn't possibly be psychically or emotionally gifted enough to communicate its truth to others. (As though complete strangers would be in any position to make that judgment about you.) 

In the same way, you may feel a deep connection to the Celtic Goddess mysteries of the British Isles. You may be magickally drawn to the Chalice Well and White Spring at Glastonbury Tor. Past lives beckon from there, too - primordial memories so profound that once that thinnest of veils is lifted, no present-day initiation would be necessary for you to assume your ancient mantle of Priest or Hierophant. And yet, here again you encounter those who would bar your way or question your right. They would prefer that you proceed through established training levels of Golden Dawn or Gardnerian Wicca - ironically, as it happens, since those attempts to reconstruct a lost religion are barely a century old! Then there are those whose family Witchcraft traditions stretch back for generations - and they seem pretty elitist, too. You can appreciate and understand their feelings of family authenticity, and you can be happy for them; but what is a person like you to do in the face of it? You have been brought to this crossroads by completely different paths; must that mean that you cannot own a truth as authentic as theirs?  

If they will not accept you, you must accept yourself. What else is there for you to do? 

Personal Gnosis is often demeaned as "unsubstantiated," and therefore considered to be in error by followers of A Book or A Cultural Tradition; but those same people refuse to see how impossible it is for any outsider to substantiate their own faith! Just because gifted bards wrote down a beautiful story in a book, or passed tales on by word of mouth in front of communal campfires, is not enough to make it literally true. It may contain elements of truth - the same primordial elements shared by the authors and bards of many books and songs - but major events and characters have been enhanced along the way, to heighten the dramatic effect. It's what writers, minstrels and evangelists do. 

In point of fact, Personal Gnosis is all we have - when you strip away the doctrines, the dogmas, the man-made scriptures and the self-fulfilling definitions, and come down to the basic individual reality. You either feel a truth within yourself, or you do not. 

Those who feel such a truth within themselves have a conviction of authenticity, so in the final analysis it matters not what others think. It's kind of a shame that they want to be the popular kids, so they refuse you a place at their table; but if they will not accept you, it is sufficient that you accept yourself.   

It's between you and your Guides, anyway. It always has been.

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A student of esoteric traditions since the age of 16, Ted Czukor (Theo the Green) taught Yoga for 37 years until retiring in 2013. For 26 years he was adjunct faculty for the Maricopa, AZ Community Colleges, teaching Gentle Yoga and Meditation & Wellness. Raised in the Methodist Church but drawn to Rosicrucianism, Hinduism and Buddhist philosophy, he is a devotee of the Goddess in all Her forms. Ted has been a Shakespearean actor, a Masonic ritualist and an Interfaith wedding officiant. He is the author of several books, none of which made any money and two of which are available as .pdf files. He lives with his wife Ravyn-Morgayne in Sun City, Arizona. Their shared dream is to someday relocate to Glastonbury, England.


  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham Wednesday, 24 December 2014

    Yes! The cultural turn from "right belief" to "personal experience" is happening in parts of all religious and spiritual communities - blessed be.

  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ Saturday, 27 December 2014

    Couldn't agree with you more. I find it interesting that many on the earth path also are looking for authorities, whether in the form of a person or a tradition. The phrase "our tradition teaches" bothers me a lot. There are many traditions in the world, and just because tradition teaches something does not mean it is right. In addition, the phrase itself is a fiction, as every tradition teaches many things, while it is individuals making choices who determine what exactly is meant by "our tradition teaches." Does Christianity teach war or peace? Does paganism endorse war or pacifism? Depends on who you ask. And in the end the only person who must decide is "me" and "thee."

  • Asa West
    Asa West Saturday, 27 December 2014

    Sometimes a post feels like a drink of cool, clear water on an unbearably hot day. Thank you.

  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor Saturday, 27 December 2014

    You're very welcome, Asa - and thank you, Lizann and Carol. You're so right, Carol, about the mania of looking for an authority! I did that all my life, until 2 years ago when I turned 65 and realized that if I wasn't my own authority by this time, I never would be!

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