Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Mistaken for a Pagan

I was killing time at Borders, waiting for the 9:30 show of Sin City. I picket up Peterson's new book Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places, and the cashier asks

are you part of the Tuesday night pagan discussion group?

No, I think you recognize me cause you helped me find a copy of Paste last week. So what's the deal with the discussion group?

Turns out they meet at 8 pm on Tuesdays, between the music section and the windows. So last Tuesday I went and sat in on the pagan discussion group. It was an interesting evening. When I showed up I was asked if I was a practicing pagan or had any questions, and I answered no on both points. After a bit a perplexed look, I explained that I have had pagan friends in the past, and always found the discussion interesting so thought I'd drop in. I explained about the cashier.

There was no set topic for the night, a departure from the normal format so the discussion bounced all over the place, from

Joseph Campbell and how the same stories get told over and over.

The problem of commercialism. One of group, sorry I'm blanking on her name, had got a Hindi Goddess (idol, image?) in box from the clearance aisle at Borders. She also remarked how this version was a cleaned up version with nice hair and a dress as opposed to the normal matted hair and string of skulls. I quipped that we all the religions face the same challenge: our culture wants to put God in a box and make the divine safe for commercialism.

The importance of words and how our culture tends not to pay attention to anything that's not on the surface.

The group moved from borders to a near by dinner, and talked and laughed to midnight. It was a very enjoyable evening. I thanked them for playing great hosts. One of my rules for travel is that you get to hang out with the locals, vs just going and seeing cool buildings. This group of pagans allowed me to do that.

- Peace


Steve said...

That's awesome!

Dave King said...

I think it's cool to have a pastor who thinks it's cool that I woul have the chance to hang out with Pagans.

- Peace