I was thinking about this before I read Dver's post on Choice, but I think I have it articulable now.
21 February, 2013
People talk about the price that comes of doing intense spirit-work, the obligations and taboos that accrue if one pursues that as a lifework. And it gets talked about because there are people who will treat their community's medium as a public service, who are enraged that the local witch needs to pay the electric bill, who are consumed by fits of jealousy and want to know why someone else can pierce the veils between worlds and bring back messages and not them.
And a while back when people were talking about god-slavery as a practice/calling, there was one coming in with a great deal of, "Well clearly my gods do this much more seriously than yours," as if there is only one way to do it, and only a particular set and flavor of framework for devotion (one tending towards the ascetic, the henotheistic, the heavily taboo-bound) was relevant. (I was a touch nonplussed by running into subbier-than-thou-by-proxy, but such is the nature of religion at times?)
But everywhere is a complicated network of choices, and I can trace back through mine, and see each decision, each angle, even at times when there was no choice possible, no other option: to do otherwise would be a betrayal of myself or my vows or some other principle I held dear.
I recall a night looking Neb.y in the eye and seeing before me the grand fork, one way towards Little Foot and family and the life I was urgently trying to build and had been seeking for a long time, the other towards ecstasy and transformation and vast unknowable deeps on the far side of the dark.
I reached into the future and put my arms around my child, and I said, "You cannot have this."
And the god laughed at me, a long and hearty laugh, and He said, "Prove it."
So I did.
And that has made all the difference.