The HPedia: Resonance

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Resonance is a term found in common Pagan expressions of myths or deities which “call to” or “resonate” with one.  In such Pagan discourse, “it doesn’t resonate with me” is a perfectly acceptable reason to refrain from engaging with a certain myth or deity, without implying anything a priori negative or unsatisfactory about said myth or deity.  Such lack of implied criticism is one of the virtues of the Pagan concept of resonance, and no doubt plays a role in enabling a community of such diversity to thrive together.

On one level, one might describe a certain attraction to an idea, image, or myth by saying “It resonates with me.”  On another level, one might describe an experience of oneness or communion with a transcendent other as an experience of resonance.

From a naturalistic perspective, such a feeling might arise in relation to such ego-transcending entities as nature, society, or the psyche.  Often it does arise following a mystical, numinous, or visionary experience (see “Numinous”, “Mystical”, and “Visionary”).  A sense of resonance with one’s world may even be a goal for naturalists.

It is of crucial note that the experience of resonance does not seem to be at the beck and call of the conscious will, nor is it a product of rational, cognitive deliberation (though such can play a role in its arising).  That is to say, we cannot simply will ourselves to experience it.  Resonance seems rather to emerge from the unconscious as a response of the total psyche to a situation.  To that extent, activities that plumb the unconscious, such as myth, meditation, and ritual, may be required to encourage its emergence.

See also “Numinous”, “Mystical”, “Transcendence”, and “Visionary.”

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2 Comments on “The HPedia: Resonance

  1. I really like this concept, and find it useful. I especially like ” without implying anything a priori negative or unsatisfactory about said myth or deity”.

  2. Pingback: A Pedagogy of Gaia, by Bart Everson: “Solstice Connections” | Humanistic Paganism

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