Monday, June 10, 2013

Social Animals

I don't interact much with large groups. I prefer not to.

A certain subset of humans have been taught that the most important thing for everyone is to harmonize, to basically reduce all our differences and ideas and beliefs into one homogenous intellectual soup that will 'save humanity.'

It has been my experience that such a group, particularly when it is faced by something it deems threatening, will militantly try and stop that something. Whether it is a person, or a religious ideology, or a nation-state.

At which point the whole point for harmonizing in the first place is turned inside-out and the group dynamics boil down to 'in-group' versus 'out-group' dynamics.

I find this recurrence annoying. And when I catch it happening, I have to resist trying to destroy the group before everyone resorts to goose-stepping and strapping on military boots, if you get me.

Not very long ago I wrote a post about mirror scrying with thoughtforms because I thought:
1. The debate regarding pop-culture vs. religious ideas in magical practices was based on differences in experiences.

My hope was that if I could get one group to try something they hadn't, they might relax about the others. Meanwhile, if I could get the other group to start heading toward the actual evocation of traditional spirits, they might relax about how mean the polytheists are for not letting them in to their club. I suspect that my antagonistic tone probably resulted in neither happening. No one to blame there by myself, you dig? So - I apologize for being antagonistic to those that were offended. In particular, for calling certain people's assessment of 'metaphysical validity' stupid. I won't apologize for the use of the term 'noob', however. We're all noobs sometimes, and that shit isn't bad. Being a noob is how you learn.

2. I was particularly unamused by a few of the hard polytheist commentators. In particular, some of the comments that Sannion sampled from Galina looked to me very much like someone validating their own spirituality based on the presumed deficiencies of someone else.

If you basically have to hypothesize that someone isn't practicing like you because 'the cult of the dead' or whatever else can't pierce their 'selfishness'? Don't. You may very well be right, but you're basically smearing your opponents in a way that is very hard to disprove. It's a cheap tactic, and you are the person I was referring to as 'stupid'. What I should've said was that the move was cheap, and petty. I have since seen other individuals, just as intelligent as Galina, make very similar comments. Why? Because once that cat's out of the bag, the group-harmonizing is going down.

3. Don't argue with noobs.

This stands to reason with either side. Beginner's are more prone to agreeing with whatever side they take than certain others because they feel the pressure to fit in far more keenly. Additionally, they lack the experience to realize what it is that they may be missing and dislike being told rather viscerally that what few, cherished experiences they've had and which encourage them to keep at it, don't matter.

Noobs need to be left alone to develop. Plenty will drop-out altogether once they plateau out in terms of experience, and become your average middle-class liberal new-age hippy. Others will continue and may find - much like I did - that their early assessments were flat wrong. Even later they will realize that bits of what they previously considered 'flat wrong' was actually 'slightly right,' but the reasons or whatever that you assumed were right were still off.

The most important part of this last part I'm saying is this: plenty of you are saying things that will discourage others from exploring their experiences in a way that may lead them to what you believe. But when you basically just throw down a wall and shout, as though you're a wizard in a beautiful movie that I hate and a far better book, 'None shall pass!'... You create clear lines of separation where there might not be any need for such a thing.

Some of you have spent more time slapping around ideas you don't like than you have spent exploring the things that get you going. And while the pop-culture arguments may have initially spurred interesting or not discussions, they have now revealed the seedy underbelly of arguments on the internet: when you upset people enough, they take it personally. And then they try to do what they see the Supermen on TV and involved in our state do: they wage smear campaigns.

As a magician, I would recommend making an evil gossip eating servitor. But that might wig out some of you hard polytheists. Which is why I'll never join your club. But that's okay, really. I like your club. But if I joined your club?

I'd probably say the very crap I'm pretty much against in this entry.

Now: I am, admittedly, an asshole. And by the strictest definition, I am also a bastard. So take everything in this silly, pointless entry with a grain of salt.


Scott Rassbach said...

I don't argue with noobs. I keep getting them to define their terms and ask them questions which require thought. Then they go away. Some come back, and those I'll argue with.

Of course, I'm a noob at some things, and given how irritated >>I<< get when the tactic is used on me, I wonder why anyone comes back.

Amanda Meredith said...

OMG you quoted LOTR's! XD

Brother Christopher said...

oooo gossip eating servitor. Me likey

Can I take it with chili's instead. I'm not much of a salt person. :)