This is largely for the various people that have individually come to me, often unaware of each other and some that I have yet to introduce to each other, to ask if I would take up some sort of leadership to create a new direction. A set of ideas between the various extremes that Pagans, Polytheists and people of related ideologies that tend to at least fall under a semi related umbrella seem to have gravitated to. Particularly for those who have found that individual practice and communication with people separated by great distance is the only available means of putting their ideals into motion.
This would be a set of ideas that values both personal freedom and social responsibility within the context of spiritual exploration and growth. That chooses to set neither of these values above the other and actively rejects notions that would harm either principle. Where there is room for both the importance of scholarship and accurate citation of ancient information alongside new ideas learned from personal experience with clear distinction between the two. And perhaps most importantly, where the freedom of each individual to seek their own understanding of the divine as they feel called to do so is considered of the utmost importance.
As I’ve explained to some of you, I don’t feel adequate for such a role. I am young, much younger than most guess me to be. I lack experience in group dynamics. I could be better read in all the legends and stories that are of importance to those I work with. I am neither a Spirit Worker, nor a Diviner, nor even as strong of a Mystic as many I have spoken with seem to be, despite what many people have seen in me. I’m not even that well known or accepted in the greater community though many people I have spoken with seem to have a higher estimation of my influence than I do.
I have also been learning over the past year that I am much more physically frail than I find easy even to admit to myself. A couple of years ago I could spend a day walking the length and breadth of a city without a thought just to see the sights. Today even as I type these words and having taking strong pain medications a few hours prior, I struggle to sit in a well padded and supportive chair procured solely for my comfort as my condition worsened without succumbing to the pain building in my lower back. Which more than likely in a short while will lead to my needing to lie flat and do nothing for several hours until the pain recedes. This has made it extremely difficult to even manage to focus on reading books, let alone writing, and has begun to have serious psychological effects on my person as well that will require treatment.
All that said, I would much rather if such leadership must be taken up by someone it be taken up by someone other than myself. However, I have also been speaking at length with several of you, and one person in particular and have been coming to a better understanding of what I can do. Namely, my ability to reason impersonally and to write with a minimum of my emotions showing in my work. Passion and fervor are things to be celebrated especially within the context of spirituality, and I would not see anyone condemned for writing with these elements nor would I care to see anyone asked to change their manner of writing for such a reason. However, there are times where an idea may more clearly be presented to a larger audience which seems to be something I have some skill at. Or at least… I will grant I am able to make it seem to others as though I have such skill, which may suffice.
I have also spent some time thinking about why such ideas need to be promoted. I know far too many devout followers of various Deities who practice alone even though locally there are those who worship similar Deities in a similar manner to their own. Rather they choose to practice alone because the most frequent choices are between organizations who often spurn scholarship, personal responsibility and/or personal interaction with the divine beyond a certain point (i.e. Mysticism), and other organizations which offer greater structure but also place limitations on personal interpretation and socially encourage active condemnation of those who do not conform to a certain norm.
Finding myself in that position as well I also find that among those I most closely relate to who are of diverse understanding of Divine experience there is perhaps a need and desire for a framework of communication and mutual respect, as well as differentiation from other ideologies. These ideas are already in existence having formed organically built on models of respect within various social structures going back generations. The particular organization of ideas directed at the present situation is all that is needed. That I am starting to feel I can lend my efforts to creating.
So I have decided that yes, I will attempt to take a lead in such an effort. However it will be on particular terms of my own.
Most importantly I will not do this alone. One of you in particular has talked to me about the importance of seeking council as a counterbalance to my lack of experience and several of you have already aided me in this manner. I could definitely use a few more allies and councilors as things develop. I do advise though that if anyone reading this is in the least bit doubtful they will be all that pleased with the direction I will be taking that they wait sometime and see what unfolds. Some will be grateful, some will never speak to me again. Such is the way of these efforts.
Again, several of you who have encouraged me to speak up in this manner may at times be disappointed or even upset at particular ideas I may present. Not all of you know each other, and several of you have conflicting ideas on certain points. I am unable to create a set of ideas that exactly mirrors everyone’s expectations. I ask all of you to be patient with the process and selfishly I also ask that all of you consider the probability that at one point I will write and act in a manner you did not predict and do not agree with. To be able to move forward with this endeavor, I will need support from people who do not agree with me on every point.
I also will not set mandates as some have asked me to do already. More to the point it is not something I can do. Even had I greater experience and public acceptance than I do the notion of one person, no matter how selected, of setting forth any sort of firm rules for people who are connected only by digital communication spread over an entire planet is ineffective. This has already been attempted by others with differing motives at different times and rightly called out for what it is: dictation. A concept not only ineffective within a diverse social structure, but in direct contradiction to the value of personal freedom.
What I can do is form a school of thought; a structured collection of ideas compiled with detailed explanations of their reasoning. Within that medium I can discuss actions and consequences to be put forward for private individual consideration. This I would do one idea at a time, editing and refining with feedback as I go. Once a complete body of ideas have been created I would then compile them into a single manuscript that could be shared freely in digital form. As I go I would also consider a name for the body of ideas as a whole. This would allow for better communication by individuals who wish to express that they agree, somewhat agree or disagree with the ideology as a whole and help to find like minded individuals. At least, those are my hopes and ambitions.
I will need considerable time if I am to do these things. My health is extremely poor limiting not only the number of hours but the number of days that I am able to focus on more than remembering to eat and take medication. So I ask for patience, a lot of patience. It may at times be weeks between new efforts. I will also need help expanding my sphere of information and in sharing these ideas as they come to fruition.
That should about cover things for now. This project may not even be the focus of my next posting depending on how things turn out. Nor will it take over all of my writing efforts. I still have several unrelated things I wish to write on, new stories, thoughts about the Old Man, etc. For now I’ll leave things at this and see what comes of it.