One of the hallmarks of Pan Society is that we have no dogma. But how do you live with no rules? How can you have a group identity without shared guidelines?
That might sound like the ultimate climate for anarchy, lawlessness, and chaos. Another way to look at it is that it gives you the freedom to live from your values.
Animism is NOT a revealed religion. God didn’t choose a prophet to tell his word to and instruct him to bring it to the people. You are the ultimate authority on you.
Pan Society is not going to tell you what your values are, but most of us are here because we value sovereignty. For me that means living a life of choice and taking responsibility for those choices.
Connection is probably another shared value. Since I value humanity as part of my tribe, I’m probably going to be more considerate, forgiving, helpful, and aware of other humans, plants, animals, spirits, and the mineral kingdom.
In order to stay connected to people who are very different, I probably want to cultivate tolerance and open mindedness. I want to understand who people are and what they love so that we stay close. Maybe I am open to sharing myself so that they can get to know me too.
So maybe I value courage. Courage can get me through rough spots and new experiences in all the realms.
Maybe I value reciprocity. I know that I take a lot from Nature and want to give back to her so that she remains vibrant and alive to support me. This can extend to people too.
Perhaps I see that I really like it when I am given space and people respect my boundaries. So return the favor by waiting my turn, accepting “no”, respecting things like fences and closed doors, and asking permission before treading into someone else’s space.
I think you are getting the idea about what it means to live from your values. One thing I know is true is that you can’t be happy or authentic when you violate your values. When you violate your values, you violate yourself. So there is motivation to live in this way that is very different from things like:
- because I was told to
- so that I don’t go to Hell
- so that I don’t get judged
- because I don’t want to look bad
All of those things are external controls. Your values are your internal controls. You decide what your values are and whether you will honor them or not. It’s self-regulating because when you violate your values, you don’t feel great. Or sometimes, someone else or the community will sanction you with disapproval, distance, or verbally.
We’re always getting feedback from our actions. If you are mindful, you don’t need a set of rules to tell you how to behave. Your heart will tell you when you’re out of alignment. So trust yourself. Trust others.
There may be some growing pains as you figure it out. Sometimes we respond to total freedom by having a field day. It’s all good. Things will level out once you get the hang of it.
At Pan Society, your life is the living testament of your beliefs. So live them. If you do that, it will all be fine.