spirituality and polyamory

Shaya

New member
Hi,

I'm relatively new to the concept of polyamory and currently it intrigues me deeply.

As a disclaimer, I identify with atheism myself. I get the feeling that within the population of people who identify as practitioners of polyamory (even if currently monogamous), there is a higher proportion of those who would identify with astrology, crystals, paganism or polytheistic belief systems.

Do others here agree with this statement or not? If so, why do you feel this is so?

As a warning please, this question was asked in this thread with a range of responses and then got sidetracked with an argument over the word spirituality. I don't want this thread to get sidetracked on definitions please. Personally, I feel that Magdylyn provided the answer that rang truest with me, and was surprised no one echoed it. I want to know what others think about her answer:

So, to sum up, you feel that polyamorists in general, are either atheist, agnostic, or have created an individualistic spiritual practice, rather than following a prescribed model of a ready-made religion.

Since poly people are going against the grain, the norm of our monogamist society, in their love-style, they also seem to have a propensity to not blindly follow a mainstream religion that endorses monogamy.

Makes sense.

IsidoreNabi also said something that made sense to me. He points out that there may be a reporting bias in surveys of this nature because those in monotheistic religions may be secretly poly but would be less likely to list polyamory on a survey because polyamory could be considered sinful.

It's possible that polyamorists who belong to formal, traditional religions simply don't identify themselves as poly, but rather as sinners, and engage in clandestine polyamory and whatever form of self-loathing and self-punishment their religions prescribe.

What do you guys think?
 

Tinwen

Active member
Well, it's a little harder to be a good Christian and have multiple sexual partners ;) ... not impossible tho, if you don't take on all the attached dogma.
A practice (like tantra) which is more accepting of sexuality will probably appeal more to polyamorists.

I do like Magdlyns answer to the original thread which you present here.

As a disclaimer, I identify with atheism myself. I get the feeling that within the population of people who identify as practitioners of polyamory (even if currently monogamous), there is a higher proportion of those who would identify with astrology, crystals, paganism or polytheistic belief systems.
This is a little confusing. The original thread asked about 'private beliefs' or perhaps alternative spirituality, you're narrowing it down quite a bit.
Just please realize that believing in astrology or crystals is usually not the core of one's spiritual reality - those are (I think) tools to the people who use them.
For the record, I am willing to say that polyamorous people incline more to non-majority belief systems, but I don't think they are more into astrology, as that seems pretty widespread even with Christian or "atheistic" people, in my country at least.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
I imagine people with non-standard religious views will tend to have more of an open mind toward non-standard relationship models such as polyamory. That's my view on the subject, short and sweet. :D
 

Spork

New member
I imagine people with non-standard religious views will tend to have more of an open mind toward non-standard relationship models such as polyamory. That's my view on the subject, short and sweet. :D

Agree. I think that those who just accept the turnkey cultural package deal that they are brought up with, will more likely conform to expected standards like the family religion (whatever that is) and the same relationship style (likely monogamy) that their parents and other close families have modeled.

On the other end of some sort of a conformity spectrum, some folks are all, "Question everything! Try everything! Radical everything!" and those I would guess, would be more likely to give poly a go... As well as learning about lots of different spiritual and philosophical alternatives, and if they adopt any, it would be more "fringe" flavored varieties.
 

Aery

Probie
Hi,

I'm relatively new to the concept of polyamory and currently it intrigues me deeply.

As a disclaimer, I identify with atheism myself. I get the feeling that within the population of people who identify as practitioners of polyamory (even if currently monogamous), there is a higher proportion of those who would identify with astrology, crystals, paganism or polytheistic belief systems.

Do others here agree with this statement or not? If so, why do you feel this is so?

As a warning please, this question was asked in this thread with a range of responses and then got sidetracked with an argument over the word spirituality. I don't want this thread to get sidetracked on definitions please. Personally, I feel that Magdylyn provided the answer that rang truest with me, and was surprised no one echoed it. I want to know what others think about her answer:



IsidoreNabi also said something that made sense to me. He points out that there may be a reporting bias in surveys of this nature because those in monotheistic religions may be secretly poly but would be less likely to list polyamory on a survey because polyamory could be considered sinful.



What do you guys think?

Nope... To of what you passed on here... I can live with understanding the religious impulse, anyway... But here it gets maniacal!!
 
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Aery

Probie
I once took training in all this... I can say it's convoluted crapola... Like I have to answer question of every line? Bother you? Not that there's nothing to gain from study of sourceroots of thinking these things and their received impositions of thinking...
 

Aery

Probie
The way Desert goatroper. Mideastern ideations latched on and fucked over other developed/developing Western thinking... What you asking? Others didn't write stuff down... till a few, post-christian scribes decided to... You know?
 
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Polycouple08

New member
Spirituality and polyamory

I myself am a Christian. In all of my reading of the Bible There is one big thing that sticks out, especially throughout Christ time. Why does the Bible say that we are to love everyone with a godly love unless God and Christ are polyamorous? I've been kicked out of churches for asking questions like that. For others of why does it say in the beginning of the Bible? God created the heavens, plural and the earth? When preachers can't understand or grasp something, they say it's against God's will or the Bible or against the religion, whatever. But if you look at it or what other explanation can there be for the fact that throughout the Bible, it says, God so love the people. It just everywhere in the Bible, multiple loves. In my opinion, and the research I've done it seems that Christ himself was polyamorous and God feels that polyamory is good because guess what God himself says. Love thy neighbor. My wife is Wiccen she loves how I can go head and talk to preachers and get them questioning everything they try to teach at a Sunday service. As I said when my wife and I got together and she first told me of her religious preference that's fine as she asked me why, I say that and I explained to her, God says that there shall be no gods before hand he doesn't say anything about after.
 

Shaya

New member
Awesome dude. I'd love to watch you in action at a church. I would even go to great lengths to see if I could get you in the pulpit for a Sunday mass somehow and watch you preach. ;)

I wouldn't be surprised if there were a few poly converts at the end of your sermon. ;)
 

ElMango

New member
As a person who practices Norse paganism, in what accurate information I've found over the years is that it supports both mono and poly relationships.

I mean, Loki turned himself in a mare and had a baby.
 

Al99

Active member
Tinwen wrote:
Well, it's a little harder to be a good Christian and have multiple sexual partners ... not impossible tho, if you don't take on all the attached dogma.

Yes, the attached dogma is the issue. Which leads to the question of how one defines a Christian - baptized member of a church? - one who accepts the Nicene-based theology of mainline Christianity (protestant or Catholic)? - one who has the emotional experience of "being saved"? Or one who is a disciple of Jesus' teachings of love and forgiveness (as opposed to the Pauline theology that was manufactured to deify him)?

Ok - so I do consider myself a Christian in the spirit of the last definition - with a personal theology that is somewhat of a de-mythologized Platonic-Gnosticism - but that's just me. There are as many paths as there are individuals (imho). It does seem to me that what is important - if one is to identify as a Christian - is that one aspires to kindness, love, and forgiveness. Also seems to me that has little to do with one's choice of sexual expression - be it poly, mono, hetero, gay, pan,.... etc... - other than seeking to be kind and loving in whatever expression is chosen.

Many folks I have met who identify as atheistic are more truly agnostic in that they cannot outright deny the possibility of some sort of Higher Power - be it First Cause or Prime Thought or Spirit of Love, etc.... They just cannot accept the rigid dogma and preposterous theological notions that organized religions of all sorts propose. Al
 

Spork

New member
I suppose that I am more truly agnostic, but...I actually do believe in a "higher power" it's just that I reject the urge to define or anthropomorphize said force. I call it only The Purpose, or my God Concept. It's just this basic thought that there's an awful lot of interesting stuff going on in nature, that seems to make an awful lot of sense and the odds of everything coming together ~JUST SO~ for life on our planet, let alone any individual specific one of us, to exist...

This idea of mine, it does not require worship or deification. It's neither good nor evil. It's more like a sort of awe at nature and science and everything. I don't care what happens when I die. I'm sure I will, and then I'll find out...or not. I am not interested in fables and parables to lay down the laws of civilized behavior, it's pretty easy for me to see, without any holy book explaining it, what is the path that leads to greater social harmony and what is not.

After all. Evil acts are only acts that make one unsafe to be part of civil society. Acts that violate others. And they repel us, most of us, at a deep inner level that has nothing to do with our religious upbringing and everything to do with our culture and socialization, though these things can for some people be one and the same. It is interesting, as a nonreligious parent, raising my sons and trying to teach them to be civil. That it is wrong to violate others in the pursuit of your own gratification, is probably the biggest most difficult lesson. Stealing for instance. Or that dishonesty is harmful to the self. If my son lies to me about his schoolwork, he is not harming me. He is harming himself. He just isn't wise enough to see it.

I suppose it's got to be so much easier to raise them with "God says so."

But I cannot bring myself to be so intellectually lazy, nor to encourage it in my kids. I think maybe that's my beef with religion. It's the institution of it, the way you accept authority in order to not have to think about the whys and wherefores of decent human behavior, the need to have dire consequences just to keep a person on a good path. And there are too many rules in most organized religions that don't fit with my idea of good, needful social behavior rules...many of them having to do with patriarchal absolutes and what people do with their genitals.

I just cannot for the life of me believe, that the same mighty force that keeps the planets in orbit, and cells dividing, and the stars alight, and the reactions of chemicals to one another functioning in predictable ways, and a million other things that just ARE...is going to scowl and frown and want to punish a person for touching themselves, or for loving a person with the same plumbing, or for loving multiple partners, or anything like that. The same force that made cats to play with their prey probably doesn't even care of we blow up the planet here. If we did...the particles would still follow the laws of physics, which we did not write.

So I find religion to be at the same time...pretentious and rather insulting.
 

Magdlyn

Active member
Yes, the attached dogma is the issue. Which leads to the question of how one defines a Christian - baptized member of a church? - one who accepts the Nicene-based theology of mainline Christianity (protestant or Catholic)? - one who has the emotional experience of "being saved"? Or one who is a disciple of Jesus' teachings of love and forgiveness (as opposed to the Pauline theology that was manufactured to deify him)?

Actually the (real) letters of Paul were written before the earliest gospel (Mark). The gospels were written to expand the Christ idea into fun myths... not the other way around. Half the writings attributed to Paul, though, plus the later short gospels, were written after the 4 main (synoptic) gospels, which all grew out of Mark and a couple other oral or written sources. The pseudo-Paulines were written late in the first century or early 2nd, when it was obvious Jesus was not coming back any time soon, and the church needed rules around what the f to do now?

This is basic Biblical historical critical consensus thought.

Ok - so I do consider myself a Christian in the spirit of the last definition - with a personal theology that is somewhat of a de-mythologized Platonic-Gnosticism - but that's just me.

I consider myself gnostic with some pagan leanings. Gnosticism isn't limited to Christianity, it was a common belief system in Greek, Jewish and Eastern theology of the time. Gnostic Christianity was wiped out by the Romans (or went well underground), and gnostic Judaism was pretty limited by those that thought CE rabbis and sages spoke directly for Yahweh. Reform Judaism is pretty gnostic today. Now, Buddhism has remained gnostic for the most part.

They just cannot accept the rigid dogma and preposterous theological notions that organized religions of all sorts propose.
 
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Tinwen

Active member
There are as many paths as there are individuals (imho). It does seem to me that what is important - if one is to identify as a Christian - is that one aspires to kindness, love, and forgiveness. Also seems to me that has little to do with one's choice of sexual expression - be it poly, mono, hetero, gay, pan,.... etc... - other than seeking to be kind and loving in whatever expression is chosen.
Nicely written. To me, whoever self-identifies as Christian is Christian, I don't understand the various sub-branches, but I know Christian and poly people.
 

Al99

Active member
Actually the (real) letters of Paul were written before the earliest gospel (Mark). The gospels were written to expand the Christ idea into fun myths... not the other way around. Half the writings attributed to Paul, though, plus the later short gospels, were written after the 4 main (synoptic) gospels, which all grew out of Mark and a couple other oral or written sources. The pseudo-Paulines were written late in the first century or early 2nd, when it was obvious Jesus was not coming back any time soon, and the church needed rules around what the f to do now?

Nice summary, Magdlyn - thanks! I did do a bit of reading in this area many years ago - and the main thought I came away with was that a at least a fair number of the critical Biblical scholars (and so it seems to me as well for what little that is worth) concluded that Paul was the single individual most responsible for laying the foundation for both the deification of Jesus and the theology of vicarious atonement - arguably the two most important cornerstones of main stream Nicene-based Christian theology (both Catholic and Protestant). And since his letters were among the first important circulated Christian doctrinal literature, that would certainly make sense.

In contrast to classic Christian theology, my recollection is that there seemed to be a strong opinion among many of these scholars that the "Gospel of Thomas", an early Christian Gnostic document of Truth sayings, is most likely the closest thing we have available today to the actual teachings of Jesus - and the closest to the hypothetical "Q document", also believed to have been a collection of Jesus' sayings even closer to his actual lifetime. Although one does get glimpses into what Jesus most likely actually taught in the traditional Gospels - especially in the Sermon on the Mount, and most pointedly in his distillation of the Law: "Love God - Love each other". And that one statement is my take on the essence of Jesus' teaching and what is important to me as I identify as a Christian (even if one of Gnostic inclination).

Gnosticism isn't limited to Christianity, it was a common belief system in Greek, Jewish and Eastern theology of the time. Gnostic Christianity was wiped out by the Romans (or went well underground), and gnostic Judaism was pretty limited by those that thought CE rabbis and sages spoke directly for Yahweh. Reform Judaism is pretty gnostic today. Now, Buddhism has remained gnostic for the most part.

Again, nice insights. I will just add that it was the early mainstream Church that did as much to wipe out those early Christian Gnostics as the Romans - although by the time of Nicaea, they were pretty much synonymous. I had some exposure earlier in my life to Reform Judaism through some close friends - so did some reading there as well - and I would agree that there does exist a definite Gnostic element in modern Reform Judaism. (Those of us who have a Gnostic Bent will always be grateful for the Nag Hammadi discovery!)

I do personally envision Jesus as an Ascended Master/Avatar/Totally Enlightened being (possibly one of several who have incarnated throughout history) with his message of love and forgiveness as having been especially appropriate for the cruelty of the Roman Empire (too bad the Church that was founded in his name has often not done much better). But even if there is no truth to that at all, his message still resonates with me. But that's just me.

Al
 

Suede

New member
Intention

This is an interesting thread with a lot of fascinating perspectives. I haven't read all of the comments/replies, but being spiritual since the mid 60's (think Dr. David Hawkins, The Biology of Belief, Meditation with small bells) I prescribed to the notion that as long as my intentions were based on educated and well thought decisions and my feelings were allowed to grow naturally in the relationship and into love, and in my case a Triad with two males, then the relationship (marraige) would be blessed. I have not experienced a feeling that was negative re my spirituality or ultimate spiritual destination based on the Intention to love more.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Sounds like you have thought out your spirituality, and as it relates to your triad.
 
It is difficult to be in a one-sided relationship. You should give your relationship sometime because decision took up in a hurry often lead to disappointment. You should take help of some professional like a counselor, therapist, psychic like Voyante Sérieuse or some other professionals that can make you understand about your problems, whether the step you are going to take will break you or make you.
 
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