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.”

Check out other entries in our HPedia.

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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