Wale

Sometimes, figuring out what counts as a choice is the tricky part.

When I learn something new that resonates with me, I find it difficult not to allow the NRE* to spill over into every aspect of my life regardless of where I initially plan to apply it.  Take the concept of Words Mean Things – I primarily chose to incorporate it into my religious practice because it fits with ma’at and heka…and from there it was easy enough to adhere to at work, and with my family, and in my leisure time.  It’s what I sometimes call a “slippery slope principle”; it’s more difficult to limit the application of Words Mean Things than to stand back while it infiltrates every nook and cranny, and there’s no doubt I’m benefiting from its incursion.  Yet, I didn’t choose to allow it out of its box in the first place.

Of course, I also didn’t choose to stop it.  Why would I, when it works so well?  In fact, I don’t think I ever stopped to think about whether I made an active choice on Words Mean Things until I started writing this post (and rewriting it, and rewriting it), and now I’m noticing some things:

  1. I didn’t actively choose to allow Words Mean Things to run amok all over my life, but I also didn’t choose to stop it.
  2. Not choosing to stop it means I did make a choice on the subject, albeit a passive one.
  3. Passive choices are still choices, and therefore still count as action.  (I think)

As I said before, it’s tricky.  There’s a line between not choosing and passive choosing, but I’m not exactly sure where it is.  I’m also not sure that one can’t be retconned into the other – refusing to make a choice about something that happens anyway can look like a passive choice after the fact.  Does this matter?  Well, in the grand scheme of things I think it must, if only because I tie such importance to action and to being required to make a choice in situations.  I know if I’ve made a choice, and I have to live with the consequences of my action (or inaction)…so I guess the only thing I can really do is be conscious of when I wale, and how I wale, and whether I’ve waled at all.

This is turning into one of those philosophical posts with more questions than answers.  Must be time to stop writing now.

*New Relationship Energy

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Give Me Ubiety

I wish I knew exactly where I am, and where I’m going.

I’d love to feel that I were in a definitive place, a specific location, and that my religious, spiritual, and philosophical journey had mile markers, and rest areas, and scenic turnouts where I could admire the view before ending up at a planned destination with a soft bed, climate control, and room service.  I also have a sneaking suspicion that I am not alone in this wish, but I know I have trouble remembering that it is the journey that is supposed to matter when I’m hot, tired, and in need of some sort of spiritual shower?  I want a destination, goddamn it!

Yes, I’m whining, and I’m continually reminded that this doesn’t make me (or anyone else) less worthy, or less Divine, but gods does it make me feel boring and gods does it make me wonder why I haven’t thrown my hands up and called it a day when I see other people pay lip service to parts of my path that I cling to, tooth and nail.  Why do I keep putting one put in front of the other, sometimes at a run but more often at a crawl, when there is fulfillment in just pitching a tent where I am and half-assing the rest of the journey?  Why do I need so much from my religious and spiritual life when other people are happy to coast?  When the hell am I going to get where I’m going and feel that overwhelming sense of ubiety, of being in that definitive place?

(And now, I’m wondering why I have so many questions, and why the majority of my sentences are so much longer than other people’s sentences.  Gah.)

When I try to answer these questions, I often get stuck in one of several loops – I begin arguing with myself about judging my own actions based on what other people do, or I enter a cul-de-sac of my own making where I check and re-check that I’m actually on a real religious path (and go in circles in the process), or I freeze in place and close my mental doors to anything new out of the fear that I am getting it wrong.  I remember the heartbreak I felt when I realized that I would never find my place in Christianity, that the overwhelming love of God that the people around me had would never be mine, and I freeze in place, terrified that I am once again walking in a direction that will lead to despair.  I hate these loops, and I’m sure that at least part of why I get into them is related to Depression.

The other part?  Well…all humans have doubts, even if they don’t admit them, and it is perfectly natural for me to look at my path, and where I’ve been, and where I think I’m going, and say, “How do I know this is right?”  I don’t have anything to measure my experiences against – there is no mile marker, or sign post, or scenic turnout to show that I will end up at a specific point that is recognized as The Ultimate Destination.  And, for my path, I have to keep remembering that, well, that’s the point.  Walking the path of the FlameKeeping Kemetic (or Kemetic FlameKeeper, depending on the day), and the path of Words Mean Things, means that I won’t reach a definitive end in this lifetime because the journey is the point.  To move through my life, to learn new things and use them to grow myself and my connections, is my destination.  To bring things into being through words, which are action, is my goal.  There is no Xanadu in front of me; no mounting wave will roll me shoreward, and I will not lie, indolent, eating of lotus.  The Journey, the Road, is my destination, and I have ubiety as long as I keep going.

…The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way,
Where many paths and errands meet…
“Roads Go Ever On – J R R Tolkien

Space

Space is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space.”― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

This is a post about space, but not the kind of space you might be expecting. I suppose outer space could be included in the overall theme, but what I really want to talk about is space for. You know; space for being; space for action; space for recognizing yourself in the context of the universe.

Space for can be as nebulous and difficult to grasp as time for, and I think more people worry about the latter with the idea that finding the time for will open up space for…but I’ve never really been able to do it that way. I have to seek out both at the same time or put space for in the priority position in order to get what I need.

Here’s an example: If I go into my backyard after the sun has gone down and the neighborhood is quiet, I can find space for any number of religious or spiritual things. The fact that I’ve gone out to investigate at a time when distractions are minimized means that I also have some time for any number of religious or spiritual things. They may not match up symmetrically – space for a lengthy ritual may not always match up with time for the same ritual, but there’s always something that can be done with the available space and time. Perhaps I shift gears and act in a way that matches both space and time, or I go back to the space when I have the time to complete what I want to do.

(At this point, I feel like I might be writing in circles. There is a point to this, I swear.)

The largest space for you can imagine will not work for you without the right amount of time for. The largest time for you can imagine will not work for you without the right amount of space for. The two concepts are connected and intertwined just as you and I are intertwined with each other, and the tree, and the rock, and my left shoe (especially my left shoe!). We are all Divine, and thus we are all part of each other’s being.

Look up at the night sky, into what we call outer space, and remember that such vastness of space is not possible without vastness of time. Now, look into yourself and remember the things you want to do, and then seek out the space for along with the time for. When those two things are solidly in your pocket, the possibilities are endless.