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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Self Wisdom

When I was young, I used to chafe when an older person would say (smugly, I assumed, though that was probably not the case), "You'll understand better when you're older."  I was well-educated.  I had a sharp, agile mind (certainly faster than it is today); so why should this person think that I couldn't understand something? 

Of course, one grows and inevitably gains experience.  And he finds that "understanding better when you're older" is more a matter of tingling nerve endings recognizing something they have felt before, than of intellect.  

One of the lessons I've finally learned from those nerve endings, is that even my best friends don't always care about my philosophical revelations and spiritual breakthroughs.  For one thing, they've all had their own - and for another, they are often too embroiled in their own family emergencies and life traumas to pay attention to my self-congratulatory email meanderings.  If I'm lucky, when I post an essay on Witches & Pagans, one or two readers who are dealing with the same questions may find my insights helpful and may even be kind enough to say so in the "comments" section, which always makes me feel very good.  But otherwise, the person who benefits most from putting my thoughts in writing is me.  I shouldn't expect anything else.  

I used to imagine that judgmental people were trying to force me into a constricted pigeonhole, the easier to understand and dismiss me.  But now that I've faced the fact that most people couldn't care less what I believe, and wouldn't even waste the energy to be judgmental about it, I have to admit that all this time I've been trying to pigeonhole myself!  I've been looking for a simple way to explain what I am.    

So, here is my latest attempt to do that. 

My philosophy of life is Buddhist.  My religious beliefs are Neopagan.  I self-identify as both a Yogi and a Hedge Druid. 

Another lesson gained from this process, is that I feel uncomfortable stating, "My religion is Neopaganism" - because I'm a solitary practitioner and there is nothing formulaic or standardized about my practice.  I do engage in rituals, but they flow through me spontaneously and emotionally, according to the circumstances of each situation.  It is far more accurate to state, "My religious beliefs are Neopagan."  I have taken the Spiritual Belief System Selector test on http://www.selectsmart.com/RELIGION/ numerous times over the past several years, and even though that site has evolved through many changes and improvements, the result has always been the same: my beliefs are 100% Neopagan.  So that, at least, seems pretty well established.  I may be closely aligned with a couple of other traditions, but the only 100% alignment is Neopagan.   

So here I am.  It's nice to have this perspective on myself.  

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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. theoczukor@cox.net.

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