[PUBLIC] About the Kemetic Orthodox Religion > [PUBLIC] Kemetic Orthodox Q&A

When your family would disapprove of your spiritual path

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Nesertem:
I'm a newbie who is considering to join the beginner's class. My parents live with me, I'm not dependent on them (I make enough to support myself), but they would absolutely disapprove of me joining any pagan religion. Especially since my mental illness really started to show itself when I began exploring my spiritual path. (Those inner voices have no power over me now though.) Would it be against Ma'at for me to pursue Kemetic Orthodoxy? I am developing my practice but I feel the need for community and I wish to serve a higher purpose.

Ta-idet:
It's not the most ideal but as long as you're not a minor, you should be fine! There are definitely people in the House in similar situations to yourself. Ideally you'd need to be able to have a physical practice, like maintaining shrines and performing Senut, so that may be an obstacle (if you need to keep stuff hidden) but there are plenty of (discreet) ways around that, too, until you're in a better living situation. As long as your living situation wouldn't be at risk and there is no danger to your person.  :)

Tai'awepwawet:
Ma'at is a concept that ultimately, we as mere mortals can only do our best to work towards. We don't know for sure what is or isn't ma'at, though in many cases we can take a very good guess!

What I'm meaning here is, some might say potentially disrupting your family life goes against ma'at. Others might say that forcing someone to live under the shackles of an oppressive family is against ma'at. Who is right? We don't really know.

What we do know is that KO has rules to minimise the chances that someone will end up in a very poor situation (say, kicked out by their guardians with no means of supporting themselves) as a result of the temple accepting their membership request. The temple does not wish to be the cause for such trauma and difficulty in an applicant's life. But those rules centre around you being a financial dependent and/or a minor. If neither of those things apply, the temple basically considers that the ramifications are yours to consider. It would be up to you in that case to decide whether you felt applying to join the beginner's class was the right thing for your life.

The same is true of your mental health really. We have many members who have many different kinds of mental illnesses and experience many different symptoms, and as far as I've seen it's left to those individuals to determine what's best for them in terms of pursuing their faith. If there ever appeared to be a severe risk to someone's well-being, that might change, but I haven't personally ever seen this happen.

~Isha

Senneferet:
I'm not a member of the house and so do not speak for them. I did notice that you say your parents live with you. Do you own the home your are living in or are at least responsible for paying rent?
If yes, then surely your parents should respect your religious choices (mental health problems or no - I have had trouble as well). If they are under your roof then they should abide by your rules?
I'm probably opening up a huge can of worms for you here. It's just that I had parents who disrespected my choices and my rules even once I had moved into my own home. It's very frustrating to have to dance to other peoples tune, especially regarding something as important as your spiritual path.

Padjaiemweru:
First, hello!

Second, a reminder - though I am a member of the House of Netjer, I do not speak for the temple, the religion, or anyone but myself.

This is a tough situation to be in, and there are no easy answers. I have lived briefly, as an adult, with my dad who forbad me to do anything Kemetic in his house and demanded that I go to church on sundays or live on the street. I had been a member of the temple for almost 10 years at that point. It cause a huge fight that ended in a stalemate (I agreed not to set up my shrine for the 2 months I lived there, and I wasn't required to go to church, but mostly because I was working most sunday mornings). That fight and the anger it brought about didn't get dealt with for years afterwards.

Though I don't know you and your situation, I obviously don't want anything like that to happen to you or anyone else. Anger and resentment is not a healthy thing between any people, but especially within a family.

All that said, the beginner's course is designed to be a "step 0" of membership in the temple. No commitment, no cost, just a bunch of knowledge that introduces you to the concepts of how the temple and faith are organized, how we interact with Netjer and our Akhu, etc. It's the kind of stuff you would learn growing up in the culture (if we had a localized community of practitioners).

No matter what you wish to do, though, I do advise talking with them. You can't hide part of yourself successfully for long, and I agree, it's not within ma'at to do so. Invite your parents to join you in the beginner's course, to see what you see, to assuage their fears about cults, demons, etc. Like I said above, there is no commitment to the temple to take the beginner's course, and quite a few parents, spouses, and friends of members have done so.

Another but of info I've given out to others in the past. There's no rush to take the beginner's course and become a member. The faith isn't going anywhere, Netjer isn't going anywhere, the love they have for us won't fade. Waiting sucks, but sometimes it is necessary.

I wish you all the luck and peace of figuring out what to do.

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