Monday, August 1, 2011

I hear you're deeply spiritual!

But: what does that even mean?

Do you practice theurgy? Do you work with spirits? Are you in touch with God, on the secret Big Red Phone like the Comissioner and Batman? Does Jesus, like, love you man? Are you integrating spiritual lessons in your life to accomplish a more fulfilling task? Is what you're discussing a specific type of Theurgy, with specific requirements for practice?

Is it all of these? None of these? Some of these?

When you drop lines about who is or is not deeply spiritual, these types of clarifications are helpful. Otherwise, you're just pretty much saying that you or someone you hold in esteem is better than someone else because of a subjective judgment call that you, personally, have made.

Which is pretty lame.

ETA: Some time ago, I was talking about the weird dichotomy of Theurgy and Thaumaturgy, and a Theurgist I largely respect noted that he had felt that I might not consider him a "real magician" because he focuses on devotional theurgical rituals.

Nothing could be further from my thoughts: I consider magickal practices part of a world-wide continuum, which is perpetually rearranging itself and re-arraying itself in new and fascinating forms. One of the aspects that helps fuel this is devotional magick. (Thaumaturgy also fuels it, but in other ways. Everyone has the same needs, and there are plenty of folks in this world that have discovered their needs were not being met despite their best efforts. Thus: one of the things thaumaturgy can potentially teach you is that everyone has something they feel is missing.)

I practice devotional work at specific times, and for many different reasons. Some I do because I have oaths to uphold. Some I do to try and gain a better understanding of the world. And sometimes, I do it just because I have something that needs to be addressed, and types of theurgy have the potential of addressing that.

I respect those that feel drawn to only theurgical work, and only devotional work. It's something very necessary in this world, to varying degrees, and which can enmesh someone in a far bigger world than they initially believed even existed. I do not respect those that made grandoise claims about their own enlightenment, and proceed to explain why this form of practice or that form of practice is evil, due to their own bias. That is a type of self-induced ignorance, and one I find particularly offensive.

If you do nothing but theurgical work? Good on you. Keep doing it. If you do nothing but theurgical work and then try to lead a personal crusade against something you admittedly know little about, based on your bias? You're probably doing the culture at large more harm than good, because you've devoted yourself to spreading ignorance in the name of enlightenment. You are the enemy. And that sometimes, or has at times, included myself.


Scylla said...

"I'm deeply spiritual" has always been shorthand for "I want to sound impressive and -deep-, but don't hold any real convictions or beliefs you could recognize... because I'm pretty much bullshitting my way through it until something with a nicer shine comes along." in the circles I move in.

But then, I have a case of the cynical all up in my grumpbutt.

Jack Faust said...

@Scylla: Sometimes it, in my experience, also means: "I didn't think about the specifics of explaining my practice, and how it differs from others, and I need to start."

Sometimes it means exactly as you put it.

It depends on who's saying it, what the subject is, and why they're saying it. I suppose.

Rose Weaver said...

Sometimes it means, "I'm very eclectic in my practice, and I continue to explore new ideas."

Scylla said...

I suppose it's all in the tone. If it's said like one is huffing their own farts from a brandy snifter, it's far more likely to be the one I referred to.

If it's said more like someone who's just been told the restaraunt is out of Coke, but does have Pepsi, I suppose it's more the other. ;)

Rose Weaver said...

@Scylla, exactly. "I prefer to use Coke, but have discovered through trial and error that Pepsi is a good substitute in a pinch because I've kept my mind, and my options, open."

The other you describe is a pompous ass, yes. ;)

Psyche said...

I use "deeply spiritual" to mean "concerned with numinous experiences", as I have no gods.