|Community Mandala: Many individual visions manifesting |
(Within distinct boundaries -- not a picture of reality)
I haven't had a good major rant in a long time, but after expressing my irritation to a friend/mentor, she suggested that I consider not expending too much energy pointing out what I do not like as it gives those things more power, draws attention to them & strengthens them all the while wasting my own energy...
Hence, the minor rant.
I signed on to help recruit speakers for, let's call it, a "spiritual symposium." I made a whole bunch of assumptions about what symposium means. I also made a great many assumptions about what "spirituality" & "religion" mean. I really thought I had a grasp of what I needed to do & I became excited, perhaps overly so, about helping make this event happen. I aimed for passion, experience, expertise & diversity. Among the presenters I had approached &/or secured were:
- A Sifu/Qi Gong & Kung Fu Master, to discuss some of the basics of Qi Gong energy work
- A Master Shibari Artist, to speak about the magickal use of fiber art throughout history
- A Hellenic Devotional Polytheist & published author, to discuss the basics of the Greco-Roman pantheons & modern Hellenic practice
- A Hedgewitch/Herbalist, to present local wortcunning information & demonstrate making tinctures & salves
- A Goddess-centric UU Minister & seasoned women's circle leader, to speak about Modern Goddess worship
- A Wiccan Priestess, to present an introduction to Faery Magick
- The Bodymaster for the local O.T.O. encampment, to give an introduction to the O.T.O. and the A∴A∴: & their relationship to/role in the history of Thelema
- A modern shamanic practitioner & Reiki therapist, to provide instruction about basic meditation or journey work...
And there were several more, but I am going to stop before I get disgusted to this becomes a major rant because all this was ultimately rejected by the event Organizer because:
- "People" (whoever these "people" are) are not interested in learning about things that they don't already recognize & know something about
- "People" also find the "theoretical" topics & lectures (i.e., the spiritual & esoteric subjects) boring or perhaps even intimidating & therefore will not attend an event with too much "intellectual" content
- These same "people" do not have the attention span to tolerate any presentation that approaches or exceeds an hour in length
- And "people" are not interested in lectures anyways, they "want to make stuff they can take home & put on their altars" or really, just anything they can make...
Along with all this was the redundant, tiresome assumption that anything about "green living" = pagan. And, that all people who identify as "pagan" have "altars" they like to fill with stuff.
Since I do not have an altar (there are some assumptions there I don't think I need to point out), I am not into just making (or buying, collecting, accumulating, etc. which is one of my ways of "being green") stuff for the sake of having stuff & I was pointedly accused of being "more intellectual" than the "people," I had to (graciously) withdraw myself from the project (ironically, I had already completed my part which was presenter recruitment) & cancel all but two of the presenters above.
I had to excuse myself anyway because somewhere in the last meeting I cast aside my muzzle & shared my opinion.
Which made for some awkward moments.
And a follow up apology.
But, such is the Catch 22 of the big "umbrella" where we have people who identify as some form of "neo-pagan" or alternative spirituality, revival religion, or Earth-based whatever... The spectrum is then cast from the Earth-worshipping Eco-hippie, to the Daoist/Vedic/Heathen/Celtic/You-Name-It Druid, to the secretive Trad-Witch, to the most narrowly particular of devotional polytheists to far-flung neo-shaman, to the most eclectic CUUPS member, to the "Crafty Craft-ers" who get their spirit on making crocheted Cthulhu dolls. Oh, & there is everything in-between & un-decided.
And usually I revel in the diversity. But this week, not so much.
Or, maybe it's that I don't appreciate it when other folks cannot appreciate it.
And make assumptions.
Which, admittedly, I did too. But at least I feel good in making my assumptions on the side of diversity, education and not grossly underestimating the "people."
And I could whine about all the wasted time & effort that took me away from more important things (like writing!), but I won't because I received some valuable instruction on the troublesome habit of assuming. (I never seem to nail that one.)
And I could now go on & on about people who thump on their "green bibles" yet drive the largest vehicles on the American market (with no commercial or practical reason for that size rig) or people who think pagan = Wicca or that magick is only effective if performed "their way," or those who never want to get deeper than the "tools," or, or, or...
But I won't.
Because, as I said, this is a minor rant.