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Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 3 months ago

Many Pagans are hedonistic, that is, they believe pleasure to be good, life-enhancing, and even sacred.


Many Pagans are attracted to the simpler pleasures of life - sex, food, dancing and communing with Nature. Others elevate the pursuit of pleasure to become a sacrifice to their chosen deity. As William Blake memorably put it "The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom".


It seems to me that asceticism and hedonism are two sides of the same coin; they both involve the pursuit of pleasure; but pleasure is defined differently. Both involve dedication to one's chosen path. Asceticism is just a more masochistic form of hedonism. Hedonism (in a spiritual sense) is like left-hand path Tantra; the practitioner is seeking the divine at the heart of experience. Asceticism is like the Buddhist renunciation of the world in order to seek the divine in the transcendent.


- Yvonne Aburrow


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