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humility and hubris - Chronarchy

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February 6th, 2004


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10:09 am - humility and hubris
I caught myself this morning. It seems I was in an ego-fit (it happens sometimes), and I started to wonder if I'm going overboard on the religion: whether I hit it too hard sometimes, whether I appear over the top to others, and (worst of all) whether I do this for the right reasons.

I mean, really, I talk about doing these daily rites, which are done about twice per day, once in the morning and once at night. Ideally, and when I'm doing them, I'm not trying to do them just to say I can do them. I'm doing them with the intent of both honouring the deities and improving myself.

It is not from this intent that my questions spring, though: it's from the fact that I then talk about it, sometimes from the standpoint of "Well, this is what I do, and what I find right".

Sometimes I feel like I'm harping on this, that I'm suggesting that doing twice-daily rituals will be right for everyone. Other times, I feel like I'm suggesting that a person isn't a "True Pagan(TM)" if they don't do what I do. And today, I scared myself thinking about what the perception of my own devotion can do for me politically in ADF.

Just today, I posted a message on ADF-Solitaries that said this:

>Does anyone one have a source to or have created
>8 solitary rituals for The High Days?

It's a project I'm working on (I'm not solitary, but I really feel like I need more religious practice in my life, and the High Days seem like a natural place to start). I'll definitely let you know when I manage it.

You know what, though? That parenthetical statement, when I re-read it, sounded like I was saying that two rituals a day isn't enough for me, that I need more.

I thought about why I felt the need to say that. Did I feel like it would impress people, or was it the truth? Yesterday I jokingly suggested I should run for Archdruid in a few years, and re-reading that little fit of amusement I started to question whether all this stuff was just hubris, whether I should really take a time out and back off.

When my seriousness in religion was questioned a few weeks ago, I thought about why it was brought up to me privately, rather than on a public list. The answer I came up with? I'm just too popular on the email lists to be questioned. For a little bit, I thought that was pretty cool, but then I started thinking about the implications of it.

Are there people who disagree with me, but are afraid to state it because they don't want to tick me off, or they're afraid I'll pull support from elsewhere? I don't want that, and I wouldn't do it. I love to be called on stuff when I'm wrong. Not only do I learn a lot more, but, dammit, I can take it and I can take it well!

Here's a worse thought: did I come to the conclusion that I'm popular on the lists based on empirical evidence, or on the hope or egotism that would bring it up? I just don't know.

Hell, even this entry is making me wonder if I'm not trying to play up the aspect of really being humble and honest for potential future gain. *shakes head* You know, if there are things I can't stand, they're false humility and dishonesty. I'm wondering just how hypocrytical I'm being.
Current Mood: crushedcrushed
Current Music: "Honey Do", -JB

(18 comments Leave a comment)

Comments:


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From:tlachtga
Date:February 6th, 2004 03:46 pm (UTC)
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The fact that you're able to question your own motives is good--it means that you're not actually being hypocritical, acting with false humility.

You're obviously very intense about religion--which is great. However, maybe you ought to be giving moderation its due--slow down a bit, back off. If you're worried, maybe it's time for a little break. No one could blame you. If you feel like your intentions may be misread, then it's time for a break and come back when you feel more sure about yourself and what you're doing.

I do a morning and evening ritual also; I do them half out of a need for ritual itself--I need stabilizing forces in my life--and also half out of a desire to simply honor the kindred. But I understand the desire to excell in everything. Even students take holidays, however.

But hey--I'm new to all this. I could be wrong.
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From:chronarchy
Date:February 10th, 2004 05:04 pm (UTC)

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maybe you ought to be giving moderation its due

I've given that some real thought. Not sure yet how to work it out.
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From:tlachtga
Date:February 10th, 2004 05:08 pm (UTC)

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It's difficult. I would never say that I'm an expert. Moderation is something people always have to work towards, not generally something people master. (Or that could just be the crowd I run with.)

How to have moderation in religion? I'm not sure either.
From:moonversion
Date:February 6th, 2004 06:29 pm (UTC)
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Oh babe. I still think you should run. :P

Only you can decide the answers to any of your questions, and more importantly only you can decide if they even need to be answered. <--Look, I'm going Eastern "mind" on you! ;*)

We can only guess because none of us are you. Like I told you yesterday, I don't think you have an "ego problem". And you know as well as I, if someone disagrees with you-- they'll speak up. You haven't reached the head of the sheep status... just yet. ;*)

It is not wrong to have some amount of vanity in your religion, it's a trait that is often tied in with pride.
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From:chronarchy
Date:February 10th, 2004 05:03 pm (UTC)

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You haven't reached the head of the sheep status

"Head of the sheep" status? Huh? Is that like, "Norwegian Death Metal Band" status? I'm really confused. . .
From:moonversion
Date:February 10th, 2004 05:07 pm (UTC)

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It's when you are the head sheep and everyone else mindlessly follows you around without question or a thought, because your thoughts and opinions are theirs-- even if they did not know it yet.
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From:qorinda
Date:February 6th, 2004 07:57 pm (UTC)
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I wouldn't say you have an ego problem, and certainly not in regards to ADF. You are highly respected by many people for good reason. You tend to know your stuff. It's nice to know when we can count on someone.... it's similar to how I feel about Cei. I may not like everything he says, and I may never know as much as he knows, but I am glad that there is a resource on the list at my fingertips.

And the truth is, you DO work on this stuff! You write rituals, you "meditate" twice a day. It's the truth. SO, why not say so?

Personally, I think you will make a great ArchDruid when the time is right. :)
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From:chronarchy
Date:February 10th, 2004 05:02 pm (UTC)

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I may never know as much as he [cei] knows

None of us will ever know as much as Cei. And a part of me is greatful for that. Can you imagine if everyone in ADF knew as much as Cei? I'd never get a joke in edgewise. . .
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From:zylch
Date:February 6th, 2004 08:23 pm (UTC)
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Aw, not only is he perfect, he's humble too!

Ok, just teasing. For what it's worth, if I happen to disagree with you I promise that I will have no problem in saying it, and saying it forcefully when necessary. Generally, however, I either tend to agree with you, or at least not disagree enough to warrant breaking out of lurkdom on the lists.

As for the converation questioning your seriousness, I know that if I were to approach someone with that question I would do it in private not because I was afraid of offending them or what support they might call up, but simply because someone's personal practice is a personal matter, and not something that needs to be hashed over in a public forum.

Last note: it can be a very good thing to back off from something for a while, just to get some perspective on it. I backed off from theatre when it had taken over my life, and even though I would have sworn that I couldn't live without it I found that I actually didn't miss most of it. What parts I did miss, I was able to find elsewhere. Then I tried backing off from classics, and that was a complete failure. It set me back a bit, as I had already done a substantial bit towards preparing for a career in theatre, but I'm happier the way I'm going.
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From:chronarchy
Date:February 10th, 2004 05:01 pm (UTC)

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it can be a very good thing to back off from something for a while

I actually did back off, last weekend. Made me feel worse. But, on the bright side (cuz there always is a bright side), it made me realize where the real problem was. . .
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From:autumnfey
Date:February 6th, 2004 08:59 pm (UTC)

An outside perspective . . .

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Not being involved with the ADF, but still knowing you, I'm searching my heart for some sound advise, but I'm not sure what to say. I agree with others that you don't have an ego problem (that is to say you do not let your ego be a problem or cause problems for others). You do have an ego, but that is not a bad thing in and of itself. It means you believe in yourself and you have no problem expressing your views. As for the hypocrisy, I can actually relate to that pretty well. When I started PSA I was put into a visible position and I felt great pressure to verbalize my beliefs and talk about my practices, and in knowing that I had to talk to people about them I felt pressure to learn more and do more. It is a cycle you can get into of practicing what you preach and the more you practice the more you preach the more you . . . I also had some real moments of self doubt (who am I kidding, I don't know what I'm talking about, I'm not nearly as real a pagan as X . . .) I also understand your doubts about putting stuff like this in a journal or forum and I can see where your thoughts are going with that. True, by putting this into a journal you are going to get attention and you will have people (like me) clamoring to tell you that you are not hypocritical and it isn't false humility. But maybe a little part of it is. It is really a dangerous game to start playing with yourself (I have played a very similar game with a different tune). But in the end, you just need to step back and forget about all the people who are reading your journal or looking up to you. In the end, you know in your heart what your motives are and that is what you have to live with. Also, keep in mind that just because pride motivated you to start something, it may not be pride that pushes you to continue with it.
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From:chronarchy
Date:February 10th, 2004 05:00 pm (UTC)

Re: An outside perspective . . .

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keep in mind that just because pride motivated you to start something, it may not be pride that pushes you to continue with it.

That's damn good advice. Thanks.
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From:bean_drui
Date:February 7th, 2004 07:05 pm (UTC)
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Keep in mind that there is a huge difference in pride and self awareness than egoism. I think egoism is quite blind. Sometimes I think I'm a Pagan Snob... but I question that fact and gnaw over it so much that I can't put too much stock in it.

You running for arch Druid? Hey, I'd vote for you. But only because I know from your posts/dedicants program stuff/website/daily devotionals that you work hard. Not because you are a cutie or because you are popular.
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From:chronarchy
Date:February 10th, 2004 04:58 pm (UTC)

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I like to think I'm a Pagan Snob. We should get together to discuss the finer points of mead sometime. . .
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From:bean_drui
Date:February 10th, 2004 06:09 pm (UTC)

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I'm afraid we'll have to wait until after my workshop on "how to treat a scholar like a fluffy"...
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From:smithing_chick
Date:February 9th, 2004 05:56 am (UTC)
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Well, I know I'd vote for you as AD based solely on the fact that you're so damn attractive. :)

Certainly not because
- You've got to be one of the hardest working people in the ADF at the moment
-you know your shit
-you say what you think
-you're honest
-you've kept me from going absolutely friggin' batshit with some of the weirdness that my group went through
-you get shit done

Whatever ego you've got is well-earned, my friend.
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From:chronarchy
Date:February 10th, 2004 04:57 pm (UTC)

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you've kept me from going absolutely friggin' batshit with some of the weirdness that my group went through

*grins* Nah, I just smiled and nodded. Really, I didn't do too much at all. . .
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[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:February 10th, 2004 04:55 pm (UTC)

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One can only hope. I did, after all, just purchase that car about 3 months ago. It'd be a shame for me to have to sell it now.

But I think you're right about the claustorphobia in there. *laughs* And with such a wide, open space, you'd think I'd be just fine. . .

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