Greetings and salutations, faithful followers of this blog! I’m Timothy Scott Purvis and I have random blog to share! I don’t always get on here and share my feelings anymore. Mostly due to the fact that I can go off on tangents as well as the fact they really don’t get read very often due to my Story Time With Tim postings. Right now, though, I’ve decided to share a post I made on Facebook because, well, it means a lot to me. My mother keeps trying to pull me back towards Jesus or whatever and refuses to see me for who I am. I haven’t so much stepped away from my personal faith as evolved it to a place she can’t recognize. So she keeps sharing all these crazy bible thumper posts to my page and it drives me absolutely nuts!
But, you know, to each their own, I suppose. I just can’t follow the ways she wants me to and I wish she would understand but some people simply refuse to hear. What is that old saying? ‘Lord, you give them ears, but they do not hear.’ I feel that way a lot. Master Splinter from the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie said, ‘To hear, one has only to listen.’ Which, is pretty much the same message. Anyhow, here’s what I posted and talk to you all again soon.
“Jesus said, “If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.” “Yet to know oneself, at the deepest level, is simultaneously to know God; this is the secret of gnosis.”
~From Gnostic Doctrine
THIS is why I consider myself Pagan. Not because I worship spirits and sprites, deities and demigods. In fact, Lord Cernunnos and Lady Danu could give a shit. But like the Buddhist statue, they aren’t a source of worship but rather a source of meditation. When I feel lost I center myself in the balance of Life. The Yen and the Yang. The Ouroboros of existence. Gnosticism teaches that Wisdom can be found in all philosophies and all ideologies. It is the search for Knowledge and the greatest knowledge comes when you know yourself.
I’m a Pagan because, according to the church and all of its ‘infinite wisdom,’ I am a heretic. I ceased going to church because everywhere I went I saw judgement, self aggrandizement, and greed. Casting aside a brother in Christ simply because he wore a leather jacket and not a suit rather than hearing the words of his experience from his travels and the sights he has seen.
And so shall I remain a Pagan. Oh, I’ve thought about Wicca, and Islam, and Shamanism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Shinto. Yet, I hadn’t found quite the right religion for myself. Until discovering Gnosticism and then discovering itself not so much a religion but a line of thought. A journey of self discovery to uncover the truth of our reality. And I knew then what that made me: not religious yet no atheist either. The Universe, for me, is too expansive. Too unknown to say there is nothing. And whatever God should exist out there in the broad Infinity of the unknown, whatever Word should be imparted upon me: shall remain between me and Them. And I know I’ll be accepted for me because of me.
I’d rather align myself with the beasts of the land, the woods of the mountains, the people who raise their arms to the skies and summon the four winds, the atheists and scientists who seek out knowledge to understand, those who freely give compassion and love unconditionally regardless of faith, or philosophy, or orientation, or ethnicity, than those who tell a person they’re going to burn in Hell for an eternity simply because they’re trying to live their best lives possible and refuse to follow this belief or that. This personal truth, or that truth. We all have our own truths. But our own truths don’t change facts. Facts change the world. Truths change a person.
And let me clarify I don’t imply individuals who go to church. People seeking salvation, seeking compassion, seeking community and acceptance. To those people I say I understand. It’s the reason why I am where I am now. I just, at that point in my life, realized something sad and unfortunate in the modern church. A shame that caused me to leave and never look back: the church likes to preach the words of Christ, likes to claim of salvation by finding yourself in their pews! Yet, they certainly don’t LISTEN to the wisdom that Christ had to speak. In fact, they went out of their way to destroy any evidence of those ancient writings. That it is better to live, than to die. That it is better to learn and know, than remain in the dark waiting for death refusing to hear new knowledge.
Because they think themselves greater than Christ.
Instead they espouse dogma! Loyalty to them! Teach that to manipulate the Bible is to become a personal affront against God Himself and to commit heresy! Yet, have no compunctions doing so themselves by losing all the ancient scrolls from which this knowledge, these parables, these teachings came!
To twist and turn and manipulate the common person. So that they can put themselves on the dais. Take your worth, your soul, your compassion, and run off with all of it to commit their own personal sins in an airport bathroom…
And they do this on the back of a man who may have once existed many thousands of years ago. Or may have not. Irrelevant. And spoke of the same issues of his day as those who love to be the Pharisees in this day: the church just isn’t worth the effort. They’re politicians with robes with a larger reach.
I’m curious what Jesus might have thought of this modern day of ours? Would he be happy? Or would no table in the world be safe?
However we might view that man, personal savior, wise human, son of God, or merely a legend born out of dozens of other myths: it isn’t relevant. Because the quest for community and knowledge is what’s important. Not to utilize a two thousand year old doctrine to use as an excuse to be an asshole to someone else!
A wise man once said, ‘I like your Christ very much. He seemed like a very wise man. It is your Christians I do not like. For they are so very much unlike your Christ.’
So mote it be.
~Timothy S Purvis