The Pagan Pulpit – The Book of Rabyd 1:1 -“If There is a Divine Center to the Universe, It is NOT You.”

 

Happy Sun’s Day

Announcements:

We don’t pray here – we figure God, the gods and goddesses, or whatever powers that be either know already, don’t give a fuck, or are busy with more important matters than our petty stuff. We also kind of assume that they expect us to do stuff that we can do for ourselves, and that we will do them ourselves and not be lazy. We also believe in being good friends, so we don’t presume on our friendship with the powers that be by asking them all the time for stuff while giving them nothing in return.

We also don’t take an offering here.  We figure the powers that be probably don’t need it.  Let’s be honest, offerings are not giving to the divine powers, they are given to an organization to support it.  Just being honest. God, the gods or whatever never see a dime, farthing or peso of that money; it all goes to the church, mosque or shrine.

Opening Song: “Walk” Pantera Cover by Breaking Benjamin with Disturbed’s David Draiman as lead singer. 

Another unique moment in time when you have members of two bands do a cover of another band.  The real problem with music fans is that they tend to be so competitive and in truth musicians might have their rivalries, but they do get along better probably than the fans.  Metal fans can be the worst.  For me if it sounds good I will listen to it. And what sounds good really is a matter of pure opinion. I like this one.

Poem: “I am a Wolf” by Unknown

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Meditation:

Image may contain: one or more people, text that says '"Fear is not real. Fear is simply the product of thoughts that you create. Danger is very real, but fear is choice."'

Song of Preparation: Humility – Carl Sagan:

Not a song, but a cold dose of reality, as we look at the first verse of the Book of Rabid.

Text: 

“If There is a Divine Center to the Universe, It is NOT You.” – The Book of Rabyd 1:1

Sermon:

I of course ran into my first problem with The Book of Rabyd rewrite right out the gate with verses one and two of the old version: ‘There is a God’ and ‘You are Not God’.  The first verse I would consider a little dogmatic now. The second really is a result of understanding one simple truth; that you are not the center of the universe.  After much debate with myself I came up with: “If There is a Divine Center to the Universe, It is NOT You”to replace them both.

The first part of verse one is a propositional phrase.  The idea is possibility without being sure of it to the point of arrogance. I think there are two dangers I am confronting with this phrase. 1) That given the vastness of the universe it is highly likely that any notion of the divine that any religion creates; if it exists, is probably wrong in some way and 2) To dismiss the notion of the divine altogether is also equally arrogant given the vastness of the universe and how little we know about it.

The second phrase is one of humility.  The real kind, not the fake kind of humility that religion produces, which I find to be attention seeking. “Look how humble I am and how much faith I have.”  Or the kind that life knocking you down achieves, which is actually a low sense of personal honor.  No, real humility is the basis for all the virtues of life Humility leads to love, justice and wisdom because one can acknowledge that you are but one being in a vast universe. But also there are other beings trying to do the best they can on this same planet with you.  Real humility leads to respect of self and others which is the foundation of all the rest.

All the virtues, no matter what you name them, should flow from this humble understanding of self and respect for both yourself and others. For me the Nine Noble Virtues are my way of expression of this, but each person could choose their own. It is where; despite the fact that I am not the center of the universe, I will act with my better and stronger self.

This change of course leads to questions about what legacy I want to pass on here. One simple one really – You don’t have to be the center of the universe to have a great life and great relationships.  Just genuine humility about yourself and respect for others.  This should lead to a Honor, Liberty and Solid Relationships.  Real humility has those results.

Closing Song: George Thorogood – One Bourbon, One Scotch and One Beer (Live) 1984:

One last Skaal before we go.  Blues. It’s always good. Enjoy Your Week.

Parting Thought:

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Given the vastness of our universe and our humility as we stand before it, we really have one choice before us – to make our own way as best we can and respect that others are doing the same.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

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