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August 1st, 2006


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12:13 pm - One goal many roads
One of the things that fascinates me about the experience of being otherkin as well as my experiences with various characters becoming unexpectedly real and the various forms of totemism, shamanic spirit allies, and similar phenomena that I have encountered is the nature of the connections between people and the various entities, concepts or whatever that they make a connection to. As I started to explore in this post about such connections, I have encountered all manner of explanations for these connections – past lives, ritually forged magical ties, bonds of emotional closeness, racial memory, or even odd genetics-related explanations. Ultimately, I see no good way to choose one option over another – the actual phenomenon of such connections seems ultimately quite similar.

One of the truisms of both modern magical practice that has also been part of the experience of almost every mystic who has ever had a profound visionary experience is that everything is connected to everything else. This is provably true on the level of physics and chemistry and observably true in a metaphysical sense, but alone it is not a particularly useful statement. However, it is also quite true that some connections are stronger than others. With that said, we can now start to examine and consider these connections.

My experience, which seems to be by no means unique, is that even between two living and embodied people, such connections can be exceptionally profound. As part of how we fell in love, teaotter and I forged a deep and lasting magical connection between ourselves, using a technique she had learned earlier. The results of this were very significant. Much of her power involves dreams, and so afterwards she had dreams involving some of my memories that I had not told her (oddly, most often these were events from some of the more affecting, intense, and ultimately magical (in several senses) RPGs that I had played in, while I had a few dreams involving her memories, including a very odd one where I was her in a dream and in some way relived a time she had spend with a friend of hers when she was in High School.

I have also had experience of connections with concepts or unembodied entities being at least as intense. Boundaries dissolve and for at least a while, the fact that we are both all connected and in a sense, we are all one can during the most intense connections become more important and powerful that the fact that every entity, embodied or not is a separate and distinct being.

So, what might all this mean. While I am perfectly willing to accept other's views of their own subjective and visionary experiences, and each person's "Unverified Personal Gnosis" is their own, my take on the matter is that all significant connections differ primarily in intensity and not in kind. For some, describing the connection with another being as a past life may be most useful, for others talking about inviting a spirit to move into their head-space is most useful, and for some talking about awakening to the realization that they are in some fashion a specific entity or a specific type of entity is what works best for them at this time. In some way, all of these different connections are different, because the entities on both sides of the connection (embodied and not) are different and because the connections are conceptualized differently. However, I also think that in some way these connections are the same, or at most differ solely by intensity. I do not know how useful this observation is, I just came up with it two days ago, but it seems perhaps worth investigating more closely. I would appreciate any thoughts on this that people reading this might have.
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful

(9 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


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From:lupagreenwolf
Date:August 2nd, 2006 01:04 am (UTC)
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*nodnod* I'm totally with you here. I go into a LOT of theories in the book, and the thing is, you can't just point to one and say all 'kin came from that source.

It's the same thing as totemism; some people see totems as archetypes akin to Campbell's "Animal Master", others see them as individual spirit guide,s and still others as psychological aspects.

The thing is...I think too many people worry about the past, and not enough about the present. They worry so much about putting their personal story together that they don't enjoyt the story they're living *now*.
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From:lupagreenwolf
Date:August 2nd, 2006 01:38 am (UTC)
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*nodnod* It's like Wiccans who try to prove, with very thin threads, that Wicca is 50,000 years old.

I also think that there is some sense of escapism, especially in newer 'kin, because we;re all of a sudden confronted by a mystical, woo-woo kinda second life that makes the present one seem bland in comparisohn. It;s only with maturity that we learn that magic is as inherent to this world as any--just gotta look for it.
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From:heron61
Date:August 2nd, 2006 02:41 am (UTC)
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It's like Wiccans who try to prove, with very thin threads, that Wicca is 50,000 years old.

Exactly!!! I was thinking the same thing - both are about a quest for validity, and are closely related to the argument from origins. In all cases, the central point is that we are taught from an early age a degree of reverence,or at minimum respect, for both history, and especially, continuity and duration - a belief held for two decades is innately considered more important and deep than one that has only been held for a few weeks. Claiming that Wicca predates not only Christianity, but recorded history makes it important and valid because it is enduring and so innately worthy of respect. Someone claiming that their experience of a connection is more valid because it is a memory of a past life works because the entire concept comes with connotations of history and continuity (in that the connection is valid because someone used to be their past life) and so serves to validate the connection, just as people who justify their belief that a particular institution is currently corrupt by claiming that it's long-ago origins are corrupt are appealing to this same sense of history and continuity.
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From:lupagreenwolf
Date:August 2nd, 2006 04:33 am (UTC)
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BTW, TY for quote permission and for the email :)
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From:epinoid
Date:August 2nd, 2006 01:55 am (UTC)
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I am never going to be able to explain my thoughts quite as well as you have already developed yours so I'll go for trying short and sweet.

We are all trying to connect to the same thing or things but our minds can't quite wrap themselves completely about what we are experiencing. What it can do is create metaphors, images, stories, etc. and give them enough detail to bring them to life. The stories are as different as we are from each other but because they are working with the same things at the core there is enough familiarity that we can share them albeit imperfectly. (It gets tied into the pattern recognizer in us, the same one that finds faces in every pattern we see.)

I explored around the related threads a bit and thought that the idea that spirituality is first hand and religion is second hand also relates into this web of ideas.

Thanks for giving me some things to think and focus on!
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From:lupagreenwolf
Date:August 2nd, 2006 04:32 am (UTC)
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Kinda like God. We can't comprehend God in his/her/its/their entirety, so we each get an itty-bitty slice to play with. Then we translate that into things we "get".
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From:epinoid
Date:August 2nd, 2006 11:22 am (UTC)
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Yup that was part of what I was thinking but it seems like it also happens with our "identity", our relationship to others and the environment, our metaselves and so on, but all that can be included in an expansive idea of God.
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From:alephnul
Date:August 2nd, 2006 05:37 am (UTC)
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Well, it is all the same processes, pattern recognition, recognition of independent entities, back construction of coherent experience around fragmentary lived awareness, so yeah, it is all the same thing, just done differently and to different degrees.

Or, like lupabitch just said, kinda like God.

My route to the experience is radically different than yours (and mine doesn't work for you, and yours doesn't work very well for me), but the experience is, I think, much the same.

What we each do with the experience, however, can be very different.
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From:alephnul
Date:August 2nd, 2006 06:08 am (UTC)
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That was more of an impersonal "we" there, rather than "we" in the sense of you and I.

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