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Author Topic: Difference Between Aimless Wandering and Spiritual Discovery  (Read 1570 times)

Shine

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Difference Between Aimless Wandering and Spiritual Discovery
« on: December 05, 2012, 08:28:22 pm »
Pardon me for such a silly question. But I'm still new to this kind of thing in a lot of ways. Just a bit frustrated, lol. ;)

Lately I feel like I've been wandering aimlessly on my spiritual path. I've ended up discarding virtually all of my practices except for Kemetic stuff related to Bast.

I've also started to branch into other religions again, look around, see what there is. Not necessarily a bad thing. Part of learning when you've only been walking for a couple years, but it worries me. A lot of my spiritual practice involves worshipping deities and I, Miss Wildly Flail Through Everything in Life, worry about stepping on some divine toes. I haven't been hit with an unholy shitstorm yet, but I know it's coming if I keep acting a fool.

So I wonder: At what point can you say you're just fooling around and not evolving? What are some possible warning signs that you're wandering without growing?

How normal is it to strip everything down to the barest of bare essentials, then start over? And how do you pass through numerous theistic traditions without stepping on any divine toes?
Leave your darkness with me, and I will make you shine.

Faemon

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Re: Difference Between Aimless Wandering and Spiritual Discovery
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2012, 11:12:44 pm »
Quote from: Shine;83628
At what point can you say you're just fooling around and not evolving? What are some possible warning signs that you're wandering without growing?

Everyone has their own process. What looks like fooling around on the outside might be evolution to enlightenment on the inside.

But, generally, I judge spiritual practitioners harshly when 1. they continue to seem profoundly unhappy, and/or 2. they continue to unnecessarily harm others.

While some spiritual insights can be painful, they complete the cycle as understanding and groundedness. I would think that generally transitions alone should be towards the better. Also, evolution means (to me) to become better at managing pain and crises-- a better fit for the circumstances, or else finding circumstances that are a better fit. If a spiritual discovery influences a person to act more constructively, then, that's probably the "real thing". Even if they change the path later on, a person ought to have at least learned from where they've been.

Quote
How normal is it to strip everything down to the barest of bare essentials, then start over?

Meditation was the cornerstone of my practice, so, I actively try to strip everything down the barest of bare essentials, and keep it bare and essential. Every moment. I hope that I'm normal!

Quote
And how do you pass through numerous theistic traditions without stepping on any divine toes?
I wouldn't know, I use divine toes for paving stones.

But, having formed this idea of the risks, like offending the gods... I'm curious what makes deity-centered spiritual pursuit worth it to you? What do you hope to get out of it, that you believe only the gods can offer? Because you can have spirituality without gods, and that means without the risk of gods' wraths.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2012, 11:15:37 pm by Faemon »
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Maps

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Re: Difference Between Aimless Wandering and Spiritual Discovery
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2012, 11:57:58 pm »
Quote from: Shine;83628
I haven't been hit with an unholy shitstorm yet, but I know it's coming if I keep acting a fool.

 
This makes me curious about two things: 1. what makes you think so, and 2. how do you define "fool" here?

Sobekemiti

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Re: Difference Between Aimless Wandering and Spiritual Discovery
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2012, 12:01:57 am »
Quote from: Shine;83628
At what point can you say you're just fooling around and not evolving? What are some possible warning signs that you're wandering without growing?


I really don't know if there's any kind of precise definition other than 'you know it when you see it'. I tend to recognise in myself some sort of laziness or disinterest in practice, that I'm so unfocused I can't really do anything. I get to the point where I'm overwhelmed by all the practices and Gods I've collected, and it's time to stop and reassess everything. I'm used to that now, but it can be hard to pick out when you're just starting out.

Everyone's path is so individual that only you can really pinpoint when you've got to that stage. Your process is different to mine, so I can't say that this will all necessarily take you ten years to figure out like it did with me. You might undergo spiritual evolution at a quicker rate than me. Maybe insights will come to you easier than for me. All I can say is that the more you wander, and the more you experience, the better you'll get at picking that out. Every experience teaches you something, that's been my experience. Maybe that ritual or path didn't work for you, but you can use that to compare to what does work for you. That is still a useful experience, in my eyes.

I feel like I kind of have some sort of disadvantage, because Sobek leads my wandering, and He plays the (very) long game. Things never make sense for years, well after they're over. Sobek has the patience for this, but I can't speak for any other Gods. Bast might work differently with you, and give you more direction, rather than just a universal tour of ALL THE SHINY THINGS! to see what interests me. I've been wandering for well over ten years now, and only now am I beginning to path-build, but that's just me. You might not need ten years to find something that works for you.

Quote from: Shine;83628
How normal is it to strip everything down to the barest of bare essentials, then start over?


I've done it a few times. I tend to refer to it as stopping at a crossroads. I wander around, collecting shiny things, but at some point, I just need to stop and clear out the pack to see what I've got. I don't know how normal it is though, to do that kind of work. I know I need to do it, but I can't speak for anyone else.

This last year has been the most complete stripping down, though. I've literally done path-building from the ground up. It's a lot of work and introspection, but this sort of work always is. It hurts to let things go that are no longer needed, but it's necessary to move forward. I got to the point where I needed a solid foundation and a structure to base a religious practice around. I couldn't do that while I was still carrying all these eclectic practices from all over the place that don't fit together. So some had to go. Some Gods have to be put aside. Things have to be reconfigured. It happens, but I'm always better for it, because at the end of it, I have something I can actually practice.

Quote from: Shine;83628
And how do you pass through numerous theistic traditions without stepping on any divine toes?


I've never had any kind of negative reactions from any Gods I've worked with in my wanderings. I mean, I was politely turned down by Amaterasu and told to come back when I had more cultural knowledge about Her and Shinto, and I did have to politely turn Ha-Shem down because I couldn't put Him before Sobek even though He was willing to accept me, but that's about it.

But then I approach my polytheism in something of an open way. Not totally willing to work with anyone who comes along, because I know I'm not going to get along with every God and not every God is interested in working with me (the Irish Gods in particular), but being respectful of any Gods who turn up and being upfront about where I'm coming from.

I belong to Sobek first and foremost, so any relationship has to take that into account. I am always sincere, respectful, and polite, but I know my limits and Who I'm bound to, and that keeps me from potentially stepping on toes by knowing I'm not a free agent who can go and WORSHIP ALL THE GODS! without consequence or commitment. You may find that a useful thing to keep in mind when you're wandering, to keep Bast in mind as you go and encounter other Gods and religions, since She seems to be the one God you're particularly interested in working with as something of a primary deity.
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Shine

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Re: Difference Between Aimless Wandering and Spiritual Discovery
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2012, 01:43:44 am »
Quote from: triple_entendre;83645

But, having formed this idea of the risks, like offending the gods... I'm curious what makes deity-centered spiritual pursuit worth it to you? What do you hope to get out of it, that you believe only the gods can offer? Because you can have spirituality without gods, and that means without the risk of gods' wraths.

 
Thanks for your feedback. :)

I don't know why, exactly, I feel the need to take such a theistic path. Maybe it's because it appeals to me while non-theistic paths don't.

In the case of Bast, I worship her because she's worthy or it and out of a sense of deep gratitude.
Leave your darkness with me, and I will make you shine.

Shine

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Re: Difference Between Aimless Wandering and Spiritual Discovery
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2012, 01:47:47 am »
Quote from: Maps;83657
This makes me curious about two things: 1. what makes you think so, and 2. how do you define "fool" here?

 
1. I'm having trouble keeping up with promises, offerings, and other things that are wanted from me. Also, some gods are getting shorted in terms of time and devotion.

2. Being a fool is taking on more than you can handle, running roughshod through a theistic tradition when you should be stepping lightly, and not living up to your promises. I'm the kind of person who paws at something for awhile, then pushes it aside. You can't do that with deities. You'd think I would have learned that from my experiences in Asatru, but I guess there are still more lessons to pile on. D:
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Shine

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Re: Difference Between Aimless Wandering and Spiritual Discovery
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2012, 01:51:03 am »
Quote from: cymrudraco;83659

I belong to Sobek first and foremost, so any relationship has to take that into account. I am always sincere, respectful, and polite, but I know my limits and Who I'm bound to, and that keeps me from potentially stepping on toes by knowing I'm not a free agent who can go and WORSHIP ALL THE GODS! without consequence or commitment. You may find that a useful thing to keep in mind when you're wandering, to keep Bast in mind as you go and encounter other Gods and religions, since She seems to be the one God you're particularly interested in working with as something of a primary deity.

 
Thanks. This post is good food for thought.

Bast still owns me, far as I know. So perhaps I'll turn to her when things get too crazy. ;)
Leave your darkness with me, and I will make you shine.

Faemon

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Re: Difference Between Aimless Wandering and Spiritual Discovery
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2012, 02:28:06 am »
Quote from: Shine;83664
I don't know why, exactly, I feel the need to take such a theistic path. Maybe it's because it appeals to me while non-theistic paths don't.

Well, that's a very cat-like attitude ;) If you're both spiritually sensitive and spiritually expressive enough to know when gods approach you and to decline them, then... you'd probably know when Bast is saying something else, like, "Go ahead and be yourself, mingle, make jokes, you'll be fine, they'll love you" or, "Hold on, let me talk to this one and make a case for you first, and not one toe out of line from you. When you're called to interact directly, be as polite as possible," or even "Give me time to fix this for you" / "Haha, you're on your own. Don't worry, you'll figure it out! Catch you later."
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Sobekemiti

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Re: Difference Between Aimless Wandering and Spiritual Discovery
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2012, 03:01:50 am »
Quote from: Shine;83666
Thanks. This post is good food for thought.

Bast still owns me, far as I know. So perhaps I'll turn to her when things get too crazy. ;)


Yeah, I think that's a good idea, particularly if She owns you. She may have Her own ideas about what She wants from you, and if they conflict with what another God wants, She may get a veto on that if She doesn't want you doing that. Wandering really can be completely aimless if you don't keep checking back like that.
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Maps

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Re: Difference Between Aimless Wandering and Spiritual Discovery
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2012, 11:00:35 am »
Quote from: Shine;83665
1. I'm having trouble keeping up with promises, offerings, and other things that are wanted from me. Also, some gods are getting shorted in terms of time and devotion.

2. Being a fool is taking on more than you can handle, running roughshod through a theistic tradition when you should be stepping lightly, and not living up to your promises. I'm the kind of person who paws at something for awhile, then pushes it aside. You can't do that with deities. You'd think I would have learned that from my experiences in Asatru, but I guess there are still more lessons to pile on. D:


Ah, oke. I actually "paw" at things, as you say, too, and I don't get the same feeling of impending shitstorms. Maybe it's the difference in pantheon, though.

And important thing to remember, though, is that you have the right to voice your idea about what the terms of engagement are going to be also, like making the switch from a devotional to a barter system. I imagine deities would appreciate the forwardness about that kind of renegotiation rather than flakiness, yannow? Or at least flakiness as what the relationship previously determined.

Why not just pare everything down to your proverbial brass-tacks? Stick with Bast and make her the central focus of whatever worship you can muster these days, and take the opportunity of being freed from your other obligations to explore new things? Having Bast as your constant might make you feel a bit more grounded while exploring than you otherwise might be.

Shine

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Re: Difference Between Aimless Wandering and Spiritual Discovery
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2012, 06:29:24 pm »
Quote from: Maps;83697
Ah, oke. I actually "paw" at things, as you say, too, and I don't get the same feeling of impending shitstorms. Maybe it's the difference in pantheon, though.

And important thing to remember, though, is that you have the right to voice your idea about what the terms of engagement are going to be also, like making the switch from a devotional to a barter system. I imagine deities would appreciate the forwardness about that kind of renegotiation rather than flakiness, yannow? Or at least flakiness as what the relationship previously determined.

Why not just pare everything down to your proverbial brass-tacks? Stick with Bast and make her the central focus of whatever worship you can muster these days, and take the opportunity of being freed from your other obligations to explore new things? Having Bast as your constant might make you feel a bit more grounded while exploring than you otherwise might be.

 
I paw at things, get started with them, then abandon them as soon as a new shiny comes along. Or at least that's my general impulse. I have a feeling different things might be expected of us. That could also account for the differences. :)

The Pesedjet seems to appreciate that I was forward with this change of direction. I've started to pick away anything not about Bast and devotions to her. Things seem to be going well, but then again, this is just the start. XD

Thanks for your advice.
Leave your darkness with me, and I will make you shine.

Shine

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Re: Difference Between Aimless Wandering and Spiritual Discovery
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2012, 06:35:20 pm »
Quote from: triple_entendre;83670
Well, that's a very cat-like attitude ;) If you're both spiritually sensitive and spiritually expressive enough to know when gods approach you and to decline them, then... you'd probably know when Bast is saying something else, like, "Go ahead and be yourself, mingle, make jokes, you'll be fine, they'll love you" or, "Hold on, let me talk to this one and make a case for you first, and not one toe out of line from you. When you're called to interact directly, be as polite as possible," or even "Give me time to fix this for you" / "Haha, you're on your own. Don't worry, you'll figure it out! Catch you later."

 
Lol. I don't know if I'm spiritually sensitive or expressive, but I seem to trip onto such things with alarming, um, clod-headedness.

I get plenty of lead to explore, it seems, so long as Bast comes first.
Leave your darkness with me, and I will make you shine.

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