Scheduled a chat for today, and wound up going to do something else that made me not here until later.
So, somebody a few days ago seemed to be insisting to my that my interest in Hellenic religion was “purely academic, to supplement [my] image as an aesthete”. As flattering as that may be to some people, it really pissed me off because, as “logical and objective” as I tend to be on various e-mail lists, I had also been hoping that I was saying just enough to clue people in to the fact that there is real and very genuine spirituality behind it all. It turns out that a few people can tell, and I’m very grateful for that (at the very least, it tells me that I’m doing something right).
As I’m sure some have seen me state a hundred times before, I’ve learned to balance a lot of really weird shit with logic and objectivity — it’s not about anything more than balance with me. I suppose one could say that if I didn’t care so much about how I appeared to others… blah, blah, blah… but frankly, we all care, to some degree or another, in some way or another, about how we appear to others — and I could easily argue that a certain person cares so much about appearing “mystical” that he’ll throw the logic-baby out with the bathwater and go vampire-hunting.
A friend asked me on AIM earlier this evening how i feel about “mysticism”, and I’m very open to mystical aspects of religion — like I said, the logic and objectivity is to balance a lot of weird shit. Like, my father, who didn’t even have a heart condition, apologised to my for being such a shit dad two months and change before he died of a freak heart attack at 59. His doctor had just given him a clean bill of health a month to the day before (so my step-mother said). It definitely was one of the things to help shake out those Atheistic leanings, to put it politely, but at the same time, I think that to fully appreciate the “mystical” side of reality, we have to fully appreciate the mundane. To me, this means being able to find some chord of logic to evaluate it all by. Maybe your logic is less hard-nosed than mine, and that’s fine for you.
I also think that there is a range of “dignified” manners to deal with mysticism, and a range of less-than-dignified manners. Not just when relaying these experiences to others, but I think that if we lack a certain dignity when it’s just us by ourselves, it makes that dignity “fake” with others. But for all of these experiences, both external (like the peculiar timing of my father’s death) and internal, I’ve understood a lot of it to be very personal, so I don’t like to talk about it.
In fact, I think I can even say as much that, after one of the few instances that I talked about some such “weird” experience on some e-mail list, I got a very “cold” reaction from the Theoi afterward. It literally felt like somebody opened up my chest and put my heart on ice. It hurt and I was in tears to the point that my room-mate (a pretty staunch Atheist) could even hear me over loud music and opened my bedroom door to ask what was wrong.
So, yeah, for the most part, I don’t talk about things other than devotional rituals, crafty shit, and if I’m doing a divination for somebody, obviously I’ll talk about that. I don’t talk about much else, I fear the reactions over things that may have been meant for me — and after that one time, I’m not sure I’m the best judge of what *was* for me and me alone or not. Occasionally, I’ll sort of get a “signal” that something is for the good of other Hellenistai — like my posts about deities, heroi, nymphai; in part because a lot of those articles are written from a different “head space”, if that makes any sense.