|What We Are: Step One Along the Path of the Magus
||[Sep. 4th, 2005|04:01 pm]
Anti-Politically Correct Occultists
Note: I am cutting this whole cloth from my own journal, so please keep that in mind when reading it.|
Recently I made an observation in the asatruar community about a common behavior that was occurring in an "introduction" meme. I'm including this in this journal instead of wyrd_writings because the point I want to make is not specific to Heathen matters, that was simply the forum in which it was generated. Let me provide the following background information. For those who don't care about Heathen matters, bear with me a moment, as this will pass quickly.
One user added a line to the meme that asked people to respond to where they fell on what was termed the "Asatru Fault Line." This was a quip comment about being Folkish, Tribalist, Universalist, or whatever else. (If you care what any of that means, I redirect you to any number of other resources not relevant to this post.) After the addition of this point, a great number of people began to express themselves as "non-Folkish, non-Tribalist." Now, I don't give a rat's ass what their answer to this is. What they think has no bearing on me. But what I did notice was the habit of replying in the negative. It seems to me that the point I was trying to make when I commented on this observation has so far been missed. I hope that a reply I made recently will clear things up a bit. I would like to share this reply with you all. Again, there are comments about Heathenry within it, so please bear with me on that.
"But it's not just "non-Folkish," is it? The problem lies less in the language and more in the thought process, which is my point. It doesn't matter where one falls on in these catagories. What concerned me was the way so many expressed it. Sure, a lot of people disdain being called Universalist, and sometimes with good reason. Others do not, but that isn't the point. The point is that so many people defined themselves by what they are not, rather than by what they are. To Hel if there isn't a term for it. If there isn't, explain what you are. Terminology is only a short cut to expression of defined ideas. Where that short cut doesn't exist, the idea itself needs to be expressed.
For example: Any hypothetical person could have used the following instead of "non-Folkish, non-Tribalist."
Fault Line: There is no one single phrase that sums up my ideas in this area. (They might then go on to explain what some key features are.)
Sure, it's longer, but it is an expression of thought pattern. This example shoes someone who defines themself by what they are, rather than by what they are not. In a way, defining ourselves by what we are is the more "Heathen" mindset. It is an expression of personal awareness, instead of abstraction from other things. But at the end of the day, what we are is a much smaller and more important list than what we are not. I can know more about a person by what they are than by what they are not. What a person is not tells me next to nothing about what they are.
It is for this reason I found it so sad. I read expressing oneself by what they are not as simplistic. It makes your existance relavtive to the existance of others. And it shows little examination of the self. To know who and what you are, rather than what you are not, is a sign of cognitive thought and deep intellect, not to mention awareness of the whole being that you are. Knowing what you are not leads to individuation. Knowing what you are makes you an individual.
As a side note, and not necessarily relevant to much of anything, some have described this as the first step of the magus in gaining a true grasp of reality and magical power. When we know what we are, we can command far more than when we are merely limited to what we are not."
I would like to stress this point again, to everyone. When we define ourselves by what we are not, we seek to justify ourselves by relation to all that is around us. When we define ourselves by what we are, we cease attempting to justify our existance and declair our right to exist. It is for this reason that personal affermations are written in the positive. When we say "I do not want to be sick" our mythic mind hears "I want sickness." In order to achieve that which we want, we must say "I want to be healthy." The mind will now hear "I want health." This is one of the primary principle of spiritual alchemy, I would also note. For those of a magical orientation, this is the first step (as I noted) to gaining any effective power. On a more mundane level, this is the first step towards a whole mental state.