Questions and Answers

Answers - Page 1

the Basica

If you have questions you'd like to ask about the Basica, Basicans, and Basicanism, please let me know. I'll do my best to provide you with answers as soon as I can. Thanks!

What's in the Basica?

  The book is made up mostly of text content and also has some pictures. It starts by giving a very small statement about how it came to be written.

  After that brief introduction, the first major section has a clear description of the symbol associated with Basicanism: the Basican Compass. It then proceeds with a clear guide that lays out the foundation of belief and practice. This part deals with both abstract ideas and concrete matters of conduct and attitude.

  Next is a section dealing with ritual that leads up to the one and only officially declared Basican ceremony in the book, with complete instructions fully spelled out. Before the instructions are given, there is an explanation of how to treat any ritual correctly and conscientiously, plus clarification on who, exactly, goes through this particular one.

  A third section speaks of the display of the Basican Compass. It also gives direction on how Basicans are to view and treat symbols and other objects associated with their faith. Following this is a part that talks about what elements to add to a funeral or memorial service for a Basican who has passed away.

  The book ends with a short prayer.

Back to the Questions

How was the Basica written?

  The writing was an inspired act, but not only that. It came over a period of about a year, in 1997, after my having felt an urging to do it for some time. I had no idea when I started just how much I would be writing or what it would be for, other than my own private use. I spent that year in ongoing prayer, being very careful to find out what really belonged in the book, what didn't, and what I should do with it when I was done.

  As is said in the "Statement of Source" at the beginning of the book, my writing of the Basica resulted not only from prayer and inspiration but also learning and contemplation. It definitely is affected by opinions I had and things I knew about before I started. I have absolutely no interest in the kind of hubris it would involve for me to claim otherwise. In other words, here is one of the many ways in which teachings have been made available to humanity: An ordinary person sits down and asks to know, and everything about her is brought to bear in giving an answer. Then, in presenting the completed work to others, she admits as much. My experience is not unique.

  If you are to believe what the Basican Guide says, it's not because it claims to have been put on paper by a person who has been made perfect and infallible, a deity in corporeal form, or a miracle that spontaneously made Divine thought take physical form without human action. If the things the Guide says are true, they're just as true whether they're found in the Basica or in any other book. They're equally valid whether put in writing or expressed by spoken or signed language. Exactly how they're phrased also makes no impact on their underlying truth. And the message can be delivered by a friend, a neighbor, a family member, a respected community leader, a total stranger, or even an adversary, and still lose nothing of its truth or validity.

Back to the Questions

What kind of person set the Basica onto paper?

  I'm an ordinary person, as is said in the book's "Statement of Source". Many people who have been associated with other books and traditions have claimed (or have had it claimed of them) that they are either the offspring of a deity or that they are a deity in human form - meaning in some way above or other than the way in which all people could be considered to be. I make no such claim at all and would not dare to. I would be in grave error if I did, and anyone else who would think so would also be mistaken.

  Furthermore, I make no claim to being capable of parlor tricks or magical movie stunts, being in constantly perfect health, never making any mistakes, or being above ever having any unpleasant feelings. I am as I was meant to be: as human as anyone else.

Back to the Questions

Why is the "t" in the title of the Basica lowercase?

  If you think of the Basica as one of many sources of information and help concerning how we might conduct ourselves and what kind of attitude to take, you might consider the lower case "t" as sort of a "humility cue", reminding us not to be arrogant about our resource. It's "the", as in "those things to be presented", rather than "The", in the sense of "The One and Only Way You Can Get This Knowledge". Using a lowercase "t" was something I felt bidden to do for this particular work. The approach it indicates is very much in keeping with the spirit of the 3 Explicit Prohibitions contained within.

Back to the Questions

Do Basicans believe in God?

  The concept expressed in the Basica of what is commonly called God in English speaking cultures is one that attempts to move people beyond the notion that Ultimate Divine Spirit, as the book calls It, is bound by the limitations inherent in human language and symbolism. The way It is described there also encourages the idea of Spirit as something that's actually "happening", not just statically "being". All this helps free us from being trapped in the belief that "God" (or some other human utterance) is God's actual name and that God is only what human beings can convey to each other by use of that single word.

  While none of the terms people use to refer to this Spirit or address It directly are forbidden - or really even frowned upon - the Basican concept of It is expansive beyond anything we can verbalize or symbolize. The Basican Guide simply makes the point that our terms and symbols exist for us to be able to communicate with each other and with It in a way that quickly and easily relates what we're talking about or that makes clear to Whom we're speaking.

  Keeping all this in mind, we can look to what we can see of that which is of God for some insight into the nature of God. If someone believes that the things in the Basica or in other spiritual teachings given to humanity are of God, that person can trust we are being told something of God's nature by them.

Back to the Questions

What does Basicanism say about life after death?

  There are lots of different views all over the world about death and what happens to people's souls or their spirits after. Some say nothing at all happens: a person just ceases to exist. Others are convinced there is something but that the same thing happens to everyone, no matter what. Still others believe that what happens when people die depends on their earthly behavior and attitude, whether or not they followed the correct religion, or whatever they personally expected would happen (meaning you go where you think you're going to go). All of these things are a matter of faith for those still living.

  Basicanism is not, in and of itself, a highly death focused path. There is neither a description nor a denial of life after death in the Basica, and individuals are neither required nor forbidden to form any opinion on the matter. However, when one considers the rational tone of the book and combines this with the concept of faith, one can conclude and trust that whatever happens is both completely fair and absolutely appropriate.

Back to the Questions

What does the Basica claim about the origin of the universe?

  As with what happens when people pass away, the Basica doesn't require or forbid any particular beliefs about the origin of the universe, our planet, life, or the human race. Unlike death, however, life is something Basicans pay a great deal of attention to. While there are lots of things that aren't in the Basica, some very important things are. Some of them, for example, speak directly to how we are to conduct ourselves and why. These ideas have spiritual merit and meaning independently of stories of origin or concepts of life after death.

Back to the Questions

What place does mysticism hold in Basicanism?

  In addition to having a section on ritual that includes a specific ceremony, the Basica also speaks of mystery, faith, and Ultimate Divine Spirit. It mentions signs, considers appropriate use of and attitude towards symbols, and contains a prayer. The book upholds freedom and individuality and acknowledges the profound value of seeking.

  One thing central to Basicanism is that it doesn't trade either distinction between right and wrong or use of intellect and rationality for obedience to faith or pursuit of mysticism. But with those two approaches appropriately interlaced, there's nothing to stand in the way of individual spiritual development and exploration. While being respectful enough not to trample or exploit the traditions of others, there's no reason Basicans shouldn't become both better educated and more open to direct spiritual experience. There are many methods already known to the world that are in keeping with the values the Basica sets forth. Further discoveries and developments may also be made. The results of these practices can both benefit the individual's personal spiritual journey and contribute to the greater good.

Back to the Questions

Does the Basica contain prophecy about people or times to come?

  There's no attempt in the Basica to predict the future. Where the book makes reference to signs, it's about indications of being in sync with the flow of the universe and acting rightly in the moment, not about discerning what may or may not happen down the road.

Continue to Answers - Page 2
Back to the Full List of Questions

Click on the envelope to go to the Mailbox.

Wayshelter E-Mail

All contents

The Wayshelter

Copyright Dates

unless otherwise noted.

Back to the Introductory Page
Click to return to the main page of

The Wayshelter