A couple of days ago I went through something that was very hard for me. Twice through that night I found myself in front of the keyboard typing for all I was worth. I thought I'd post those results
here, since that sort of thing IS the reason I made this site.
Adding more in here, because there's nowhere else for it. These are longer than the sayings in Lessons, but not long enough to be pages of their own - yet. - 10/18/04
I think the biggest thing we have to deal with in this life may well be fear. Fear seems to be at the root of most of the things we consider "bad" - anger, frustration... We lash out at other people out of fear, and sometimes don't even realize it. Fear immobilizes us, makes us simply react, instead of think. Out of that all kinds of things result.
How to deal with this? If I knew I don't know that I'd even be here anymore. I'm guessing however it starts with learning to recognize the fear for what it is, instead of masking it with so many other subtle variations of emotions. If we see the fear, and identify it, we come far closer to dealing with the situation than we do by blankly riding the emotional high (or low, as it may seem).
But is that getting too much in my head? Is this a case of denying one's emotions, or is it one of more fully understanding them?
Religion is a lot like science, in that each one is a theory. The theory is based on the assumptions and observations of the individual, but like a theory Religion attempts to impose a model of the universe on reality. The model may work for the given worldview, and it may not work. However, each one seems viable based on the assumptions and observations of its holder.
Understanding another's religion then should be a simple matter of learning their assumptions and observations - never possible to truly accomplish.
Understanding your own is often a process of breaking down the assumptions until all you have left is observations.
But - is what you have at that point still religion?
The body is a vessel for the spirit, but just as a pitcher determines the form the water inside it takes, so does the body interact with the spirit to create something new in the melding. The two are separable, but the separate bits taken together are not the same as the combined entity created.
"Spiritually enlightened" people like to call themselves "Spiritual beings." I personally think that's part of the problem with the new age movement today. We're so caught up in thinking of ourselves as "spiritual beings" and separating ourselves from our physical nature, that we only make the problem worse. Even when people say that we should be "caretakers" of the earth - is Nature helpless? Does She really need us to "take care of her?" I think not.
Personally I think we should focus more on our physical nature. Remove that element of separation of spirit and solid. That line of thought has carried
Christianity, making people think they were above the world, which is what led to the exploitation that has so harmed the world today. If people thought of themselves less as separate from it, and more as a living part of the organism of life, then perhaps they would take more care with our planet, and with themselves, and learn more about life.
Telling a child that she can do anything she sets her mind to is a bit of a double edged sword. We have so much emphasis in our culture on the concept "with great power comes great responsibility" that simply being able to do anything gets turned into an obligation to do everything - which is terrifying, especially for a child. That obligation is never explicitly stated, and most adults (who have learned discernment with maturity) know that the obligation is nothing but a fever dream, but it still becomes real to a child, who runs on interpretation and implication more than explicit statements. I wonder if this is why so many children grow up into adults with a hero complex - intellectually, they know better, but that conditioning is there from their youth.
Returning from Faerie either poets or mad: Because you cannot describe Faerie (or the otherworld) directly, and generally indirect description is the stuff of poetry. If you try to bludgeon in and describe it directly, you will come across as mad, whether you are or not. Perhaps even trying to perceive it without the tools of poetic inference will make you mad - yes, that makes sense. But if you can learn to look at it sideways, poetically, you will survive without going mad from the seeming randomness.
I never understood that before... I accepted the statement, but didn't quite get it beyond the surface of myth. But it's true, in a way...
Is the spirit world the same?
Faerie gold turns to ash when it comes to our world. If you
even think to take away gold (riches) from such a place, you've completely
missed the point, and the experience means no more than that ash. The true
faerie gold is found inside, stays with you and never fades. The Faerie's
treasure is the ability to see Faerie without going mad.