March 3rd, 2009
|09:05 am - Lovecraftian Theology and The Fire On Our Hearth|
Sometimes, the Onion will run a story so well-written, I must spread the word. Today, that story is "Lovecraftian School Board Member Wants Madness Added To Curriculum". An excerpt:
With the aid of a flip chart, West laid out his six-point plan for increased madness, which included field trips to the medieval metaphysics department at Miskatonic University, instruction in the incantations of Yog-Sothoth, and a walkathon sponsored by local businesses to raise money for the freshman basketball program.
Of course, like most Onion articles, it fades toward the end, but hey: in general it's pretty good. Thanks, brandondedicant, for the heads-up.
One thing that I'd like to ask, though, while I have your attention (if you're not already off reading additional Onion articles): if you picked up a copy of the Grove's book, The Fire on Our Hearth, could you send me an e-mail or drop me a line and let me know what you liked and what you didn't like, and maybe what sorts of formatting changes you'd like to see? We're looking at our second edition, as some of you may know, and we're planning on something much more. . . widely available. This means some stuff goes in, and some stuff comes out. We're hoping to run at about 200-250 pages on the next edition at this point.
If we go the route we're looking, we'll end up with a pretty "frozen" product, so I want as much input as I can get. We've already moved some things around to re-work the organization, but we have a long way to go.
Current Location: Southeast of Disorder
Current Mood: mischievous
Current Music: "Desperation Samba (Halloween in Tijuana)", -JB
Well, yeah: they're wrong, if they think that the value of memorization is being able to repeat something. Rote repetition has no value, in itself.
Memorization internalizes text, and makes one intimately familiar with it. It allows you to develop a voice of your own, one informed by words that have spoken to you. Consider it the ghosti relationship of language: these words enlivened your soul, and now you have the opportunity to enliven their little letter-clad bodies with new and unique meanings.
Think about scriptural memorization: the process is one of internalizing the text, which then affects the way you react and respond to the world. Ever met an old Jewish rabbi who related everything in his life to scriptural passages? We can do that, as Pagans, too, and find our lives related to a descriptive vision of the cosmos. Or, for a more likable example (I hope), think about my own memorization of Jimmy Buffett lyrics. . . it informs the way I live my life, often to the frustration of many others.
If we spend time memorizing prayers, invocations, evocations, statements of intent, and liturgical language in general, then we will never be without things to say. That doesn't mean that we'll just spit back crap someone else wrote, or that we wrote last year. . . it means that when we are called upon to speak spontaneously, we will have a fertile place to draw from, allowing us to speak more clearly and with more accuracy when words fail. Because words do fail, often.
If you seek spontaneity, you need to memorize. . . otherwise, you are promoting stumbling, I'm afraid. This has nothing to do with skill, and everything to do with having words to call on when there are no words.
Heh. This may make a chapter in a book eventually.
Edited at 2009-03-03 05:28 pm (UTC)