collapse
2020 Donation Drive

It's time for our annual Server Donation Drive! We need to raise at least $710 to keep The Cauldron's server online for another year. Please help! Either hit that Paypal button to the right and make a one-time donation in any amount or set up a monthly Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor subscription. You can find more info in this message!

Donations as of 29 November 2020: $636 donated. Only $74 more needed! Thank you, donors!


Note: This total is updated manually, usually once a day


* Recent Posts

Re: Recently Blogged by PerditaPickle
[Yesterday at 06:21:02 pm]


Re: What are you playing right now? by PerditaPickle
[Yesterday at 12:24:36 pm]


Re: Introduction by sevensons
[Yesterday at 09:50:42 am]


Re: Crazy thought by PerditaPickle
[Yesterday at 09:14:53 am]


Re: World of Warcraft: Shadowlands expansion by PerditaPickle
[Yesterday at 07:53:38 am]

Author Topic: Evaluating Your Gnosis  (Read 6542 times)

Darkhawk

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 5004
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 902
    • View Profile
    • Suns in her Branches
  • Religion: An American Werewolf in the Akhet; Kemetic; Feri; Imaginary Baltic Heathen; Discordian; CoX; Etc.
  • Preferred Pronouns: any of he, she, they
Evaluating Your Gnosis
« on: August 10, 2012, 05:56:10 pm »
Somewhat inspired by another ongoing thread (I'll post a link there when this is written).

One of the things that's important when doing any sort of mystical/spiritual/questing/etc. work is figuring out what bits are "real" and what bits are just the inner talking thing.  This is the flip side of "learning to trust the inner voices" - knowing which voices are inner, knowing how to tell what's worthwhile and what's mental noise, and so on.

So are some thoughts.

* Does this experience primarily focus on self-aggrandisement or feeding my(/the person claiming it) ego?  Does it provide a sense of importance or centrality to the person receiving it that distinguishes them from others?

I'm sure everyone's familiar with the whole "war on the astral" thing, in which the people 'in the know' would become part of a grand conflict in which only they could save the world.

* If the insight is about me (or whoever, you know from here on out I'm just gonna say 'me'), is it something about me that is personal to just me, or is it something that I think other people should know about me?

This recent post includes comments about how people who claim to be doing possessory work really don't sound very credible if all the stuff they have to pass on is all about how the god thinks people should be treating the horse - as opposed to being either about the god or about the people who are receiving the messages.

* If it is just about me, what proportion of my response is "Oh yeah that's awesome!" and what portion is "Shit, that's gonna be a lot of work...."

The more something sounds like pipe dream wish fulfillment fantasy, the more likely it is pipe dream wish fulfillment fantasy.

While "Oh man, I have to do what?" is not a guarantor of a message being genuine, something that requires specific effort from me has a higher credibility rating than "play these numbers and you will totally win Powerball".

* Is the stuff posited as a thing to do either dangerous or likely to be harmful to others?

Honestly, while this is a warning flag, it's not necessarily a warning flag on whether or not the experience is genuine - there are plenty of things out there that are not benevolent.  Some would encourage self-harm or other-harm for shits and giggles; some don't actually care who gets hurt in order to meet their other goals and are entirely content using people as disposable chess pieces.

It's at minimum a warning flag about whether or not the entity talking to one is worth listening to.  Just because it doesn't have a body doesn't mean it has your best interests in mind.  Or anyone else's.

* If there is a dangerous action posited as a result of this experience, is the danger commensurate with the reasoning for doing it?

Obviously, people's evaluations on this will vary.  But, really, all of reality is a constant process of risk evaluation.  (Driving cars.  Dear gods, driving cars.)  Some people will perceive as dangerous things that others think of as completely routine.

Dangers are not just physical, and indeed, not just psychological.  Social danger is real: if you get that symbol tattooed on your forehead like that spirit suggested, it will be really damn hard to have ordinary conversations and you might have a devil of a time getting a job afterwards.  Some actions risk losing friendships.  Others require financial hardship.  Actually think this shit through.

* How together is my life?  Is my situation stable at the moment?  Is this message promoting or interfering with that stability?  (If 'interfering with', refer to previous point.)

If I can't keep my shit together, I can't trust that the little voices are external to my shit.  Most people with mental illness issues are familiar with this problem: anxiety loops, intrusive thoughts, self-hate spirals, and so on.  If my life is not currently more or less in order, then it is much more likely that impulses, impressions, and stuff that might otherwise read as spiritual impressions is actually the chaos from outside me rattling around inside me until it takes a form that has resonance.

Also, the less I appear to have discernment, good judgement, and basic stuff management capability in my life, the less likely it is that I will be able to present genuine spiritual experiences in a way that are actually aligned with discernment, good judgement, and basic stuff management.  If, for example, I don't know how to manage a romantic relationship and have them all crash and burn all the time, I don't have the skills to figure out spiritual insights about romantic relationships either, unless they are painfully basic.

* Am I working in a spiritual discipline that promotes this type of interaction, insight, and development?

There are tools for this sort of work, and they have functions.  If a particular result reliably happens after the usage of that tool, then there is an obvious observable link to be drawn.  If something happens that's odd, but which is consistent with that tool, then, again, there is an obvious observable link.

Last week I did a purification bath of a particular sort.  When I got out of the bath, I had a powerful urge to do a particular cleansing ritual as well.  I started the ritual, and had an experience that basically felt like hacking up a hairball into the cleansing.  Easy explanation for experience: purification loosened up something that needed to be cleaned up specifically.

* How consistent is the behaviour of this entity with other knowledge about that entity?  This incorporates both mythological knowledge and related practices and more modern stuff.

Kali is not going to pat you on the head and snuggle you warm in a blanket of comforting illusions.  For example.

This is not "is this entity reputed to have this kind of interaction with anyone else", particularly, because that strikes me as a useless piece of pseudo-information; types-of-interactions are not exactly the sort of thing that fossilise.  It is "Within my interactions with this entity, is their behaviour consistent with how they are reputed to act".

This also and especially includes "Does this entity ever surprise me in a way that I determine - whether at the time or after sharing experiences with others - is consistent with their nature?"  (One of the first things Big Red ever said to me was "When are you going to dye your hair again?"  Which is, well, a kind of weird and unexpected query - but not only is He associated with redheadedness, but pretty much every female devotee of His I've encountered was either a natural redhead or dyed their hair red.  So: lore backup and modern community backup, both, for a kind of off-the-wall comment.)

And, perhaps most importantly, the sanity check question:

* If I am just making this all up, would that create a major disruption in my behaviour?

If having delusions means that, for example, I do a lot of self-care and mental health work, that's a little weird, but hey, whatever works.  If having delusions means that I give more to charity, but not more than I can afford, there is no harm done.

On the other hand, if having delusions means I neglect my family, that's a problem.  If having delusions means I lose my job, that's a problem.  And so on.

So.  Anyone else have checks they'd like to share?
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

Tana

  • Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 2295
  • Total likes: 3
    • View Profile
Re: Evaluating Your Gnosis
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2012, 06:13:27 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;68235

So.  Anyone else have checks they'd like to share?


No. Nothing to add.
*applauds*
\'You had to repay, good or bad. There was more than one type of obligation.
That’s what people never really understood.….Things had to balance.
You couldn’t set out to be a good witch or a bad witch. It never worked out for long.
All you could try to be was a witch, as hard as you could.\'
Terry Pratchett \'Lords and Ladies\'

Confuzzled and proud. :p

Annie Roonie

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 915
  • Total likes: 1
    • View Profile
Re: Evaluating Your Gnosis
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2012, 06:24:47 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;68235
So.  Anyone else have checks they'd like to share?

Oh this is a useful kind of checklist. Thank you.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2012, 06:25:06 pm by Annie Roonie »

Neteruhemta RaShuSet

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Join Date: May 2012
  • Posts: 243
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
    • http://www.facebook.com/kristen.nash1
Re: Evaluating Your Gnosis
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2012, 06:44:57 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;68235
Somewhat inspired by another ongoing thread (I'll post a link there when this is written).

One of the things that's important when doing any sort of mystical/spiritual/questing/etc. work is figuring out what bits are "real" and what bits are just the inner talking thing.  This is the flip side of "learning to trust the inner voices" - knowing which voices are inner, knowing how to tell what's worthwhile and what's mental noise, and so on.

So are some thoughts.

* Does this experience primarily focus on self-aggrandisement or feeding my(/the person claiming it) ego?  Does it provide a sense of importance or centrality to the person receiving it that distinguishes them from others?

I'm sure everyone's familiar with the whole "war on the astral" thing, in which the people 'in the know' would become part of a grand conflict in which only they could save the world.

* If the insight is about me (or whoever, you know from here on out I'm just gonna say 'me'), is it something about me that is personal to just me, or is it something that I think other people should know about me?

This recent post includes comments about how people who claim to be doing possessory work really don't sound very credible if all the stuff they have to pass on is all about how the god thinks people should be treating the horse - as opposed to being either about the god or about the people who are receiving the messages.

* If it is just about me, what proportion of my response is "Oh yeah that's awesome!" and what portion is "Shit, that's gonna be a lot of work...."

The more something sounds like pipe dream wish fulfillment fantasy, the more likely it is pipe dream wish fulfillment fantasy.

While "Oh man, I have to do what?" is not a guarantor of a message being genuine, something that requires specific effort from me has a higher credibility rating than "play these numbers and you will totally win Powerball".

* Is the stuff posited as a thing to do either dangerous or likely to be harmful to others?

Honestly, while this is a warning flag, it's not necessarily a warning flag on whether or not the experience is genuine - there are plenty of things out there that are not benevolent.  Some would encourage self-harm or other-harm for shits and giggles; some don't actually care who gets hurt in order to meet their other goals and are entirely content using people as disposable chess pieces.

It's at minimum a warning flag about whether or not the entity talking to one is worth listening to.  Just because it doesn't have a body doesn't mean it has your best interests in mind.  Or anyone else's.

* If there is a dangerous action posited as a result of this experience, is the danger commensurate with the reasoning for doing it?

Obviously, people's evaluations on this will vary.  But, really, all of reality is a constant process of risk evaluation.  (Driving cars.  Dear gods, driving cars.)  Some people will perceive as dangerous things that others think of as completely routine.

Dangers are not just physical, and indeed, not just psychological.  Social danger is real: if you get that symbol tattooed on your forehead like that spirit suggested, it will be really damn hard to have ordinary conversations and you might have a devil of a time getting a job afterwards.  Some actions risk losing friendships.  Others require financial hardship.  Actually think this shit through.

* How together is my life?  Is my situation stable at the moment?  Is this message promoting or interfering with that stability?  (If 'interfering with', refer to previous point.)

If I can't keep my shit together, I can't trust that the little voices are external to my shit.  Most people with mental illness issues are familiar with this problem: anxiety loops, intrusive thoughts, self-hate spirals, and so on.  If my life is not currently more or less in order, then it is much more likely that impulses, impressions, and stuff that might otherwise read as spiritual impressions is actually the chaos from outside me rattling around inside me until it takes a form that has resonance.

Also, the less I appear to have discernment, good judgement, and basic stuff management capability in my life, the less likely it is that I will be able to present genuine spiritual experiences in a way that are actually aligned with discernment, good judgement, and basic stuff management.  If, for example, I don't know how to manage a romantic relationship and have them all crash and burn all the time, I don't have the skills to figure out spiritual insights about romantic relationships either, unless they are painfully basic.

* Am I working in a spiritual discipline that promotes this type of interaction, insight, and development?

There are tools for this sort of work, and they have functions.  If a particular result reliably happens after the usage of that tool, then there is an obvious observable link to be drawn.  If something happens that's odd, but which is consistent with that tool, then, again, there is an obvious observable link.

Last week I did a purification bath of a particular sort.  When I got out of the bath, I had a powerful urge to do a particular cleansing ritual as well.  I started the ritual, and had an experience that basically felt like hacking up a hairball into the cleansing.  Easy explanation for experience: purification loosened up something that needed to be cleaned up specifically.

* How consistent is the behaviour of this entity with other knowledge about that entity?  This incorporates both mythological knowledge and related practices and more modern stuff.

Kali is not going to pat you on the head and snuggle you warm in a blanket of comforting illusions.  For example.

This is not "is this entity reputed to have this kind of interaction with anyone else", particularly, because that strikes me as a useless piece of pseudo-information; types-of-interactions are not exactly the sort of thing that fossilise.  It is "Within my interactions with this entity, is their behaviour consistent with how they are reputed to act".

This also and especially includes "Does this entity ever surprise me in a way that I determine - whether at the time or after sharing experiences with others - is consistent with their nature?"  (One of the first things Big Red ever said to me was "When are you going to dye your hair again?"  Which is, well, a kind of weird and unexpected query - but not only is He associated with redheadedness, but pretty much every female devotee of His I've encountered was either a natural redhead or dyed their hair red.  So: lore backup and modern community backup, both, for a kind of off-the-wall comment.)

And, perhaps most importantly, the sanity check question:

* If I am just making this all up, would that create a major disruption in my behaviour?

If having delusions means that, for example, I do a lot of self-care and mental health work, that's a little weird, but hey, whatever works.  If having delusions means that I give more to charity, but not more than I can afford, there is no harm done.

On the other hand, if having delusions means I neglect my family, that's a problem.  If having delusions means I lose my job, that's a problem.  And so on.

So.  Anyone else have checks they'd like to share?

 
I think that questioning isn't denying what is happening, it's making sense of something that could be off the wall. If you can't step aside and question, there's a good chance that you are missing half of the view.

How are you changing based on what is happening and how are the forces around you changing by the actions you are taking.

Are you being patient with yourself and how you are progressing. If things aren't progressing the way you want them to, is it really the fault of "outer" forces, or is it just that life isn't handing you lemons to make lemonade.

There's probably a bunch more, but my mind is blown right now.

Juniperberry

  • Grand Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Banned!
  • Posts: 1891
  • Total likes: 4
    • View Profile
Re: Evaluating Your Gnosis
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2012, 07:59:48 pm »
Quote from: Neteruhemta RaShuSet;68249
I think that questioning isn't denying what is happening, it's making sense of something that could be off the wall. If you can't step aside and question, there's a good chance that you are missing half of the view.


 

At the end of the other read the idea of gnosis and what it would me in my worldview finally crystallized: Results.

I can have the gnosis/feeling/sense all I want that I should apply to jobs in certain states, but when the state quarter of one option keeps dropping from the couch, my pocket or from someone's hand then it's been verified externally, physically and materially.

I don't think the people of the past were idiots and I also don't think they thought of UPG and how to tell if something was real in the ways that we do.  It was real when it was real.  Simple. (This is also considering that most of the ones similar to my worldview didn't deal with gnostic mysteries). A woman says Thor would help during the battle and it floods and drowns the army? Results. Lie on an oath to Odin and the mock spear actually does damage? Results.

This also falls on line with the fact that the gods are external,actual things and not spiritual transcendent beings. Results are external. Things have to become real and play a part in the world, god or man. So any upg I have would just be kept in my back pocket until it became realized.

Good to have that concept  in a tidy box for now. :)
The pace of progress in artificial intelligence (I’m not referring to narrow AI) is incredibly fast. [...] The risk of something seriously dangerous happening is in the five year timeframe. 10 years at most.--Elon Musk

I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence," [Bill] Gates wrote. "First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don\'t understand why some people are not concerned."

Juniperberry

  • Grand Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Banned!
  • Posts: 1891
  • Total likes: 4
    • View Profile
Re: Evaluating Your Gnosis
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2012, 08:17:53 pm »
Quote from: Juniperberry;68261
At the end of the other read the idea of gnosis and what it would me in my worldview finally crystallized: Results.

I can have the gnosis/feeling/sense all I want that I should apply to jobs in certain states, but when the state quarter of one option keeps dropping from the couch, my pocket or from someone's hand then it's been verified externally, physically and materially.

I don't think the people of the past were idiots and I also don't think they thought of UPG and how to tell if something was real in the ways that we do.  It was real when it was real.  Simple. (This is also considering that most of the ones similar to my worldview didn't deal with gnostic mysteries). A woman says Thor would help during the battle and it floods and drowns the army? Results. Lie on an oath to Odin and the mock spear actually does damage? Results.

This also falls on line with the fact that the gods are external,actual things and not spiritual transcendent beings. Results are external. Things have to become real and play a part in the world, god or man. So any upg I have would just be kept in my back pocket until it became realized.

Good to have that concept  in a tidy box for now. :)


More thoughts. (I have some time on my hands...)

I mentioned in the other thread the Piraha tribe. Christian missionary Everett went down there and was reconverted by them. They would see, literally, their spirits and gods among them. They'd point to a spot on the beach and say there was the god who said go away and couldn't understand when Everett didn't see it. And they couldn't understand God. They couldn't understand worshipping something that you never saw, something that was more a concept than a real thing, that had no visible interaction with the world. Where is God, they asked. And he couldn't point to a breeze here or mist there or a bird in a tree. There weren't any visible results of God's presence.

And I'm reading this book about the change in mindset of Europeans (Spain, France, Ireland, Rome--not just Germanic) in regards to the dead. How the returning dead--men lost at sea who came back for a funeral feast, for example-- went from something people literally saw and experienced to concepts and ideas in Christianity. From full-bodied entities to ghosts and phantoms. Things became illusions in Christianity, you "sensed" a presence instead of the presence really being. There was an idea of a presence but not a realized presence.

If there's a way to change that mindset back, of going from concepts as sensations into concepts as actual things, then I'd say one start is definitely seeing your "gnosis" as a visible result, as something you can physically and literally interact with and see as having an impact on the world around you.
The pace of progress in artificial intelligence (I’m not referring to narrow AI) is incredibly fast. [...] The risk of something seriously dangerous happening is in the five year timeframe. 10 years at most.--Elon Musk

I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence," [Bill] Gates wrote. "First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don\'t understand why some people are not concerned."

wadjet

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Jul 2012
  • Posts: 327
  • Total likes: 1
    • View Profile
    • http://eirikra.blogspot.com/
Re: Evaluating Your Gnosis
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2012, 09:26:16 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;68235
Dangers are not just physical, and indeed, not just psychological.  Social danger is real: if you get that symbol tattooed on your forehead like that spirit suggested, it will be really damn hard to have ordinary conversations and you might have a devil of a time getting a job afterwards.  Some actions risk losing friendships.  Others require financial hardship.  Actually think this shit through.

* How together is my life?  Is my situation stable at the moment?  Is this message promoting or interfering with that stability?  (If 'interfering with', refer to previous point.)

If I can't keep my shit together, I can't trust that the little voices are external to my shit.  Most people with mental illness issues are familiar with this problem: anxiety loops, intrusive thoughts, self-hate spirals, and so on.  If my life is not currently more or less in order, then it is much more likely that impulses, impressions, and stuff that might otherwise read as spiritual impressions is actually the chaos from outside me rattling around inside me until it takes a form that has resonance.

Also, the less I appear to have discernment, good judgement, and basic stuff management capability in my life, the less likely it is that I will be able to present genuine spiritual experiences in a way that are actually aligned with discernment, good judgement, and basic stuff management.  If, for example, I don't know how to manage a romantic relationship and have them all crash and burn all the time, I don't have the skills to figure out spiritual insights about romantic relationships either, unless they are painfully basic.

 
Thanks for bringing this up - it's very relevant to some things I've been thinking about.

The ones I quoted I think are the most important. It's "that topic" nobody likes to talk about in Paganism, but I think it's a seriously overlooked issue. The mental health issue, that is. Major elephant in the room. I have a bit of history (?) as a mental health advocate, so it's something that drives me nuts, har har.

There are some UPG things that are totally minor in the scale of things. Like, for instance, I raise an eyebrow when people show me their images or describe their physical interpretations of Gods we share. Haha, no, how do you think that? But guess what - it totally doesn't matter if Loki has red hair or black hair. Some stuff has no effect on others, and that is a-okay.

For more major stuff, I agree with Juniperberry that it's about Results. And I don't mean "it made me feel good" because drugs make you feel good too. I mean that 9 times out of 10, the day after I do a rain dance it rains. Or whatever. I write down all my Tarot readings for re-evaluation later, and now I trust my accuracy. This is especially important for establishing legitimacy to others, as in that person's blog post. Nobody cares about how your God makes you feel, anybody could just make that stuff up, that's called having an imagination. We want to see Results. Results also prove you aren't nuts, of course.

But getting into mental health, which covers everything from severe psychosis to depression to social phobia to low-self-esteem and so on. Mental Wellness is a huge factor of both spirituality and happiness in life, I think, but there is such stigma against being "crazy" that people just try not to think about it. And because most people think Pagans are "crazy"...we especially ignore the overlapping issues. And UPG is definitely where it comes in.

Possession, specifically, makes me frown, by the way. If you literally feel possessed, literally hear things being told to you, you need to have a psychological evaluation. That is what a sane person would do, simply to rule it out. If you are ruled sane, then hey, it's your god talking. (And yes, they take your religious views into light. I had a "red light" on a test once because I said I believed in ghosts, which showed red because it seems to conflict with my logical nature. But explained to the doctor, they just say, oh, okay, and it's discounted.)

I should note that hallucinations and delusions, are generally accompanied by deterioration in other areas of life too, and often social isolation. This is something you should always check yourself for. Are you maintaining your heath and home? Are you eating, sleeping, bathing, going to work? Are you speaking to your friends and family regularly? If not, you may want to step away from your spiritual focuses for a while and make sure you're alright.

Here's a personal crazy story that I'll share, because I think sharing these kinds of thinks helps break some of the ignorance about mental health: A few years ago I was prescribed an inappropriate anti-depressant which triggered a psychotic mania. ("Mania" and "psychotic" in the medical sense rather than the colloquial, of course.) During that half-year, I became absolutely certain that I was being visited by the dead spirit of my aborted fetus, who wanted me to starve myself for ritual purification as retribution, so that eventually she could take over my body to have a life of her own.

I verified this with lots of different rituals and omens. At the time I thought this was all very reasonable. (This is, uh, not at all how I interact with the spirits, now or ever, by the way.) That's called NUCKING FUTS. But also, at the same time, I (a) wasn't eating properly and lost a lot of weight, (b) wasn't focusing at work and my performance suffered severely, (c) paranoid of public spots and an emotional rollercoaster of random laughter and tears, and (d) severely self-isolating, basically only speaking to my boyfriend and mother on rare occasions. Ding ding! Not Gnosis.

(Uh. Long post.)

Nyktipolos

  • Grand Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • *
  • Posts: 1498
  • Total likes: 2
    • View Profile
Re: Evaluating Your Gnosis
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2012, 09:41:53 pm »
Quote from: wadjet;68273
I mean that 9 times out of 10, the day after I do a rain dance it rains.

 
Because I've been hanging onto this quote for a while:

“Do you know why the Indian rain dances always worked? Because the Indians would keep dancing until it rained.” - Sherman Alexie

(He isn't being spiritual here; it's a tongue-in-cheek poke at people who believe that Native people are a bunch of magical mystics and when they did rain dances, It Always Worked. Well, there was a reason for that.)
"Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light;
I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night." - Sarah Williams
On the Rivers

wadjet

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Jul 2012
  • Posts: 327
  • Total likes: 1
    • View Profile
    • http://eirikra.blogspot.com/
Re: Evaluating Your Gnosis
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2012, 09:45:02 pm »
Quote from: Nyktipolos;68277
Because I've been hanging onto this quote for a while:

“Do you know why the Indian rain dances always worked? Because the Indians would keep dancing until it rained.” - Sherman Alexie

(He isn't being spiritual here; it's a tongue-in-cheek poke at people who believe that Native people are a bunch of magical mystics and when they did rain dances, It Always Worked. Well, there was a reason for that.)

 
Heehee, I actually thought of that while I typed it. Yeah, no. If you're convincing yourself THAT way, you're pretty much screwed.

Nyktipolos

  • Grand Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • *
  • Posts: 1498
  • Total likes: 2
    • View Profile
Re: Evaluating Your Gnosis
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2012, 09:51:27 pm »
Quote from: wadjet;68279
Heehee, I actually thought of that while I typed it. Yeah, no. If you're convincing yourself THAT way, you're pretty much screwed.

 
Taking a turn for the seriouser, now :):

Well, if you put in the time and effort and do the work, generally there are results. You know, that whole "before enlightenment: chop wood, carry water. after enlightenment: chop wood, carry water." One just has to be wary and constantly re-evaluating their work to not fall into the trap of trying to do the same thing expecting different results.
"Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light;
I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night." - Sarah Williams
On the Rivers

SatAset

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 482
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 6
    • View Profile
    • Fiercely Bright One
  • Religion: Kemetic Orthodox
  • Preferred Pronouns: She, Her
Re: Evaluating Your Gnosis
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2012, 10:48:02 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;68235


So.  Anyone else have checks they'd like to share?


I have one that I don't think has been mentioned.  

Sometimes the Holy Powers will tell us things that we don't want to hear.  Their answers aren't going to be "Yes, you're doing great".  There are things we don't want to face, but we need to face in order to be better, more whole people.  So the Holy Powers are going to tell us things, some will be confirmations of what we already know and others will be what we don't want to hear.  

We need to allow space for both of these.  

I think this goes in tandem with keeping your life in order and owning your own shit.
I am the Goddess of Who I can Become. I mix the magic of the sorceress with the blade of a warrior. I walk the liminal pathways to see the face of the Goddess, both terrible and kind. As She stares back at me, I tremble in awe and ecstasy.  --SatAset

Sharysa

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Feb 2012
  • Posts: 471
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Evaluating Your Gnosis
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2012, 09:54:34 pm »
In addition to the OP being extremely useful, I'd like to bring up a lot of stuff regarding looking at all the details.

In my most recent thread, Juniperberry mentioned three VERY important things that were consistent with folklore--"I keep seeing visions of a fantasy world where I'm finally happy and everything's shiny-perfect, and it makes me feel like shit in my actual life," plus offhand mentions of "my soul-piece gave another soul-piece some bells" and "that inexplicable chronic pain in an extremely specific area of my back finally stopped acting up."

The latter two had immediately translated to "the Fair Folk are messing with her, so she gave herself protection from them" and "she got shot by the Fair Folk, which is probably why she's hearing all these voices and seeing these visions that make her so discontent." I didn't realize the last one was important until she mentioned it, and suddenly I went, "Well, shit. That explains a LOT."

Hell, I ASKED here if there was any meaning to the bells because "the only connection I know of is that bells ward off the Fair Folk," but everyone just kept focusing on the whole "fantasy world that I can't stop thinking about" part and going "GET SOME THERAPY NOW."

I didn't even think to mention the inexplicable-chronic-pain-in-my-side because I kept focusing all my energy on trying to make sense of the visions.

Quote from: wadjet;68273
I should note that hallucinations and delusions, are generally accompanied by deterioration in other areas of life too, and often social isolation. This is something you should always check yourself for. Are you maintaining your heath and home? Are you eating, sleeping, bathing, going to work? Are you speaking to your friends and family regularly? If not, you may want to step away from your spiritual focuses for a while and make sure you're alright.

Here's a shade of gray that most people haven't really thought about: My obsession with the fantasy world that makes me so discontent with normal life? Has actually IMPROVED my life. Before the obsession, I just waited around being nice, hoping someone would throw me a bone and praying to the gods for help.

And now I've gotten so discontent with my normal life that I'm taking voice lessons, looking for therapy, and trying to figure out how to make things happen on my own, ALONG WITH being nice and asking help from the gods.

Is it normal? No.

Are they tangible results? Yes.

Am I still feeling like crap? Yes, but doing something about it makes things WAY more bearable.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2012, 09:55:06 pm by Sharysa »
On hiatus, but might pop in now and then. Just making it official.

My blog. 40% normal, 60% spiritual, 500% details.

Morag

  • Senior Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Location: deep in the woods
  • *
  • Posts: 2512
  • Country: ca
  • Total likes: 160
  • cranky witch
    • View Profile
    • Everyday Magic
  • Religion: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • Preferred Pronouns: zie/zir or she/her
Re: Evaluating Your Gnosis
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2012, 10:08:18 pm »
Quote from: SatAset;68299
I have one that I don't think has been mentioned.  

Sometimes the Holy Powers will tell us things that we don't want to hear.  Their answers aren't going to be "Yes, you're doing great".  There are things we don't want to face, but we need to face in order to be better, more whole people.  So the Holy Powers are going to tell us things, some will be confirmations of what we already know and others will be what we don't want to hear.  

We need to allow space for both of these.  

I think this goes in tandem with keeping your life in order and owning your own shit.


This.

I hear stuff from the gods that I don't want to hear all the time. It'd be nice to get a "Life is only going to get better, also We love you!" Instead, I get "More shit is going to hit the fan, forever and ever, also, We love you, and you'll probably be stronger for weathering the coming storms, that is if you don't completely break down and die."

Actually, if the gods did tell me things were only going to get better, I wouldn't believe it was the gods talking to me. I'd start checking for a) complete mental breakdown and b) malevolent entities screwing with me.
Pray drunk. Hex sober.
Everyday Magic
"The most powerful god at any given moment is the one who can solve the moment's problem."
-Darkhawk

Catherine

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 990
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Evaluating Your Gnosis
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2012, 12:50:20 am »
Quote from: Morag;68437
This.

I hear stuff from the gods that I don't want to hear all the time. It'd be nice to get a "Life is only going to get better, also We love you!" Instead, I get "More shit is going to hit the fan, forever and ever, also, We love you, and you'll probably be stronger for weathering the coming storms, that is if you don't completely break down and die."

 
Yeah, I get a whole lot of this too.

wadjet

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Jul 2012
  • Posts: 327
  • Total likes: 1
    • View Profile
    • http://eirikra.blogspot.com/
Re: Evaluating Your Gnosis
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2012, 01:37:33 am »
Quote from: Sharysa;68435
Here's a shade of gray that most people haven't really thought about: My obsession with the fantasy world that makes me so discontent with normal life? Has actually IMPROVED my life. Before the obsession, I just waited around being nice, hoping someone would throw me a bone and praying to the gods for help.

And now I've gotten so discontent with my normal life that I'm taking voice lessons, looking for therapy, and trying to figure out how to make things happen on my own, ALONG WITH being nice and asking help from the gods.

Is it normal? No.

Are they tangible results? Yes.

Am I still feeling like crap? Yes, but doing something about it makes things WAY more bearable.

 
I think you're misunderstanding me... If you have a preoccupation with fantasy, and it makes you say, gee I'm going to put more effort into my life, that may not be the usual way people go about finding self-motivation, but there's nothing abnormal or unhealthy about it.

I'm by no means "normal". But my physical health and daily life functioning are directly impacted by my mental state. Maybe it's not normal to talk to Spirits and worship Norse Gods, but right now I'm happy and healthy and functional.

The difference between being "obsessed" with something and having an obsession in the medical sense is that an obsession is detrimental to your life, and takes over your time so much that it starts effecting your function.

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
0 Replies
1112 Views
Last post September 22, 2011, 08:20:04 am
by RandallS
4 Replies
2294 Views
Last post January 04, 2015, 02:16:15 am
by GoddessGal
0 Replies
2540 Views
Last post June 25, 2016, 02:21:13 pm
by Eastling
6 Replies
4805 Views
Last post August 08, 2019, 06:59:34 pm
by Eastling
5 Replies
900 Views
Last post February 26, 2020, 11:19:30 am
by arete

Special Interest Group

Warning: You are currently in a Special Interest Group on the message board with special rules and focused discussions.

* Who's Online

  • Dot Guests: 34
  • Dot Hidden: 0
  • Dot Users: 0

There aren't any users online.

* Please Donate!

The Cauldron's server is expensive and requires monthly payments. Please become a Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor if you can. Donations are needed every month. Without member support, we can't afford the server.

* Shop & Support TC

The links below are affiliate links. When you click on one of these links you will go to the listed shopping site with The Cauldron's affiliate code. Any purchases you make during your visit will earn TC a tiny percentage of your purchase price at no extra cost to you.

* In Memoriam

Chavi (2006)
Elspeth (2010)
Marilyn (2013)

* Cauldron Staff

Host:
Sunflower

Message Board Staff
Board Coordinator:
Darkhawk

Assistant Board Coordinator:
Aster Breo

Senior Staff:
Aisling, Jenett, Sefiru

Staff:
Allaya, Chatelaine, EclecticWheel, HarpingHawke, Kylara, PerditaPickle, rocquelaire

Discord Chat Staff
Chat Coordinator:
Morag

Cauldron Council:
Bob, Catja, Emma-Eldritch, Fausta, Jubes, Kelly, LyricFox, Phouka, Sperran, Star, Steve, Tana

Site Administrator:
Randall

SimplePortal 2.3.6 © 2008-2014, SimplePortal