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Ár nDraíocht Féin
Three Cranes
Chaos Matrix

September 8th, 2004

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10:11 am - Eliade and Jung will destroy your mind!
I realized recently that we scholarly people like to do something strange.

Fluff-Bunny Newbie: What's a good book on Paganism? How do I learn about my religion?

Scholarly Pagan with Ego: Read Eliade's Myth of Eternal Return. You'll understand things better. Or Joeseph Campbell's Hero with 1,000 Faces. Or get yourself some Jung. And don't call him Jung, call him Young.

FBN: This will make me a better Pagan?

SPE: Of course! You'll know about the collective unconscious! You'll understand how myth is an expression of primordial time. You'll see how there are no original myths.

FBN: Oh. Is that what Paganism is about?

SPE: Well, no. It's about personal experience.

FBN: But why am I reading this then?

SPE: Because they're important. It gives you tools to talk about your religion.

FBN: But I don't know what my religion is about! How will I talk about things I don't have an experience of? It'd be like having a hammer and no nails!

SPE: I use my hammer all the time. In fact, I'm using it now to make my point to you.

FBN: Oh, I see. I'm going to go back to being Christian. Thanks anyway.

SPE: [muttering under breath] Obviously, FBN wasn't cut out to be Pagan anyway.

Why do we do this? Shouldn't our first recommendation be: Go out into the woods, sit there, and wait for something to happen. If nothing happens, pretend it did, because that's just as valid as anything else out there. ?

I think we're messed up, and we need to re-think things.

Besides, pointing people to Jung and Eliade is just going to mess them up.
Current Mood: bitchybitchy
Current Music: "Burn That Bridge", -JB

(31 comments Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:September 8th, 2004 09:42 am (UTC)
Is it wrong to loathe the "nonfluffly pagan" mindset? The pompous, better-than-thou ones that smirk at everything that is even remotely Ravenwolf-esque? In the smorgasboard of spirituality, if a technique or belief works for someone, why should they be belittled for it? Simply because it's viewed as "too mainstream, weird, impossible, or silly."

For that matter, what makes regular reiki so much better than uberrod's runic reiki? Or have you finally seen the bullshit as good fertilizer?
[User Picture]
Date:September 8th, 2004 09:53 am (UTC)
Well, I believe that all Reiki is all pretty much bunk, no matter what you're doing with it or how you do it. But then, people say the same thing about Cthulhu, so I call them even.

And no, it's not wrong to loathe it.

I just hope I stop myself before I go from, "Dude, that's not historically accurate," to, "Dude, that's completely invalid."


I'd be very unhappy with myself if I ever told someone that their belief system was invalid.

You're right, though: what works is what is important. Even if I think it's kinda funny (like the Teen Witch Kit, which is terribly funny, but completely valid, and still completely historically inaccurate).
[User Picture]
Date:September 8th, 2004 11:04 am (UTC)
Well, if you disbelieve all reiki equally, then that's okay. I forgive you. :)

I like ADF, as pretty much everyone knows that they're just making it up as they go. "History isn't historically accurate." It gives a humility to the entire system that I don't see in many places.

It is good to point people in the direction of Jung, Eliade, and other great spiritualists, but for their own explorations, not simply because they're great spiritual authors.
[User Picture]
Date:September 9th, 2004 05:36 am (UTC)
"History isn't historically accurate."

Hey, that's good... ok, so I've been around for a long time now, but I hadn't seen that quote until today, and it struck a chord for me... thanks for posting it.
Date:September 10th, 2004 07:41 am (UTC)
yes, that's one of the things i've found most refreshing. a nice clarity about "here's what we know, here's what we're pulling out of our arse, but we think it works because of point a."
[User Picture]
Date:September 9th, 2004 07:49 pm (UTC)
But Runic Reiki is superior to other Reiki. Wasn't that in the manual? :-) Has someone been talking smack about my Runic Reiki?

I wouldn't think it was wrong either to loathe the nonfluffy mindset. This point of view can degenerate into meaness for meaness sake and total bitchiness. On the other hand, one can be too liberal about things until things just degenerate into total ineffectual sillines. I'm thinking the more moderate point of view is better here.

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