Religion is a word having its roots in the Latin word for "re-linking". When the creators of Circle of Firelight sought to re-link with the world around them, and the spiritual aspects thereof, these beliefs were the result. Eventually, we felt the call to share these beliefs and our own spiritual resources with others; that path lead us first to ordination, and then to sharing these understandings with others. Circle of Firelight is the result; a place where we share our understandings with others.
No. We believe in the truths of the world around us. Circle of Firelight is our way of explaining the experiential understanding that we have reached in communing with the same world you live in, the same world that is available to you to learn from. We believe that the grass is green, the sky is up, and the earth is fertile. We believe what we have seen, and touched, and felt; experience of all kinds has gone into our beliefs. Any belief that does not accord with reality is subject to being re-evaluated and changed to reflect the truth of objective fact.
We believe that our world is sacred. We believe that nature encompasses the entire living world, and that sacred nature is present in each and every living being. We are pantheists - we believe that divinity may be found in each and every element of the world of nature. We believe that nothing is unnatural, since we are a part of nature, even the belief that we are not part of nature, or are above its rules, though we find that idea less than credible and quite destructive. We believe that nature does not need us, or our worship, but we may choose to live in harmony with nature, and we will benefit by not attempting to fight the world around us at every turn. We believe that our actions return to us in kind several times over. We believe that at heart all of the universe is energetic in nature, that the smallest level to which matter has been divided is, in fact, energy. We believe that the energy of all living beings interacts with the energy of the world around them, and with each other's energy, depending on proximity. We believe in the cycles of the seasons and the stars, that many things are cyclic in nature, and that action brings reaction in proportion to the energy released by the original action.
We recognize that nature encompasses many forces. As humans, we can best relate to these forces by humanizing them. Gods and Goddesses are these humanized expressions of forces of nature. The shape we give them dictates what aspect of nature we are dealing with in that deity, and it is therefore ESSENTIAL not to attempt to interact with a major force of nature in the form of a God or Goddess one does not fully understand.
The most fundamental unit of functioning of the human mind is energy, and that energy impresses itself on the world around us; a group of people who all believe in a God or Goddess will lend that deity a strength of form that is beyond the ability of one individual to reshape. One should not expect to be able to address only those aspects of a deity one wishes to; the shape lent by the belief of many will cause the whole to manifest where even a part is successfully invoked.
So, while we recognize the ability of belief to shape a force or aspect of the natural world into a more comprehensible humanized form, which we may call a god or goddess, we believe it is often wiser to approach nature as is, without seeking to humanize or influence it. It is difficult to know what baggage may be attached to any god or goddess, and until that baggage is fully understood, it is wisest not to seek to call upon or interact with that personification of deity.
The repeatability of so-called "near death experience" phenomena, where the individual is actually experiencing clinical death for a period of time, however brief, leads an objective observer to the strong suspicion that something does, indeed, continue past the point where we consider the death of the body to take place.
We believe that the body is only one representation of the energetic life form that we are in our truest representation, just as science has shown that each of the molecules and atoms that make up our beings is, at heart, no more than energetic phenomena. Just how that life form continues past the point where it ceases to inhabit the 3-dimensional physical representation we are accustomed to considering to be the body, is as yet undetermined. However, we do believe that something continues, and that that something can return, reborn in the body of another person, for reasons as yet unknown.
This belief is based in part on repeatably documented evidence collected by a variety of researchers, most notably a woman who recently collected the stories of hundreds of children who could clearly recall past lives, which were then researched to a specific individual who had died before the children were born. Since these children were too young to have researched the material necessary to their stories on their own, we consider this to be adequate scientific evidence for the possibility of rebirth of an individual's consciousness.
We believe that it is possible that an individual's beliefs can create the experience they undergo upon the death of the physical body. Therefore, it is possible for an individual to experience Heaven or Hell if they believe in it wholeheartedly. Some of us also acknowledge the possibility of an after life experience that is dictated by the beliefs of others, since energy can affect other energetic phenomena. However, it is rare that many people will be spending their energy on dictating that another person go to Heaven or Hell, so this can be considered an uncommon possibility. For the most part, we believe it is only likely that an individual will experience Heaven or Hell if they believe strongly enough that they will go to either place. Interestingly enough, we don't believe that their belief will dictate whether they experience Heaven, or Hell, simply that they will experience one or the other. Which one may be determined by the subconscious beliefs of the individual, or the teachings of others.
A person's beliefs are among the forces that determine reality, for that individual and others, but they are only one set among many forces that all act together to create what we consider to be objective reality. If you stand under a large object, and it falls, it doesn't matter how hard you disbelieve, it will still squash you if you don't move in time. The energy of your belief or disbelief is negligible compared to that released by the falling object.
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