So Tell Me ... What's The Weather Like on YOUR Planet?

28 September, 2012

T is for Transformations

(Look at me doing a PBP on time!  Holy shit what!)

Important truth of the universe: the shit doesn't stay put.

Things change.

One of the ways that people do religion wrong is using it to attempt stasis.  It's not that this system, these tools, this work changes you: it's that it provides a good set of excuses to not do anything.  (You know you have made a god in your own image when it hates all the same people that you do, right?)

Even the most passively performed religion still tends to posit some sort of ideal, which the practitioners are at least expected to think about moving towards.  (So pick a religion to passively ignore with an ideal state that seems useful/appropriate/valid/worthwhile/appealing, damnit.)

The more you actually take this sort of thing seriously, the more change it will make.  It's not a coin-operated system where you put offerings in gods and get back what you want in this fleeting moment.  I mean, you may get what you want at times, but there's a lot of backfill on that.  If spiritual stuff leads to more and more navel-contemplation and self-absorption, well ... is that the stasis creeping in?  The perverting it into a dodge for change?

If you're going into the mysteries - Craft traditions, attempts to reconstruct ancient ways, other things - then this is even more so, because a mystery religion is explicitly about transformational experiences, and if you back down from the work for that it's a damn good way to get hurt.  Or, simply and straightforwardly, to fail: to not get accepted for the initiation, to have nothing happen, to be turned away from the teacher for not learning the safety procedures, or whatever else.

And the risk there is a deep one, identity-deep: because the thing about the way the shit doesn't stay put is that one doesn't know where it's going all the time or, indeed, whether or not it is going to hit the fan. Initiatory work means rearranging your spirit in some fashion; even if one's not going for Specific Transformational Experience there is still the process of, say, becoming a better devotee for a god, or better embodying the virtues of the religion, or other things that actually matter, and which will, in the long run, change who you are.  And you can't know from the other side for certain if who that will be is who you wanna be.

Not that you can tell that about getting up in the morning either, but when making deliberate choices it's good to know if you are the sort of person who can live with having made those choices.

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