Per Bastemhet

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Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

– Margaret Atwood, The Year of the Flood


I’ve put religion on the back burner as a I try to sort out what it is I’m supposed to do with it.  I’ve gone through that honeymoon period where you initiate contact with Deity, marvel at the fact that there (quite probably) exists another facet to reality that you were previously unaware of (and continue to be not quite sure of).  My question is, though, what are you supposed to do with it?  And then: Do I have to do anything with it?

Apart from the religious themed dystopian novels I’ve been reading, (e.g. Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood, The Sparrow, Children of God, A Thread of Grace, etc., all quite good by the way) I’ve just started on a book that compares the 4 classes of knowledge: Science, Philosophy, Occultism and Mysticism, in which the author begins by speaking of the history of how scientific positivism has caused the divorce of the seeking of spiritual knowledge from the knowledge of the physical world (in other words, secularism).  I haven’t finished yet, but this does raise some interesting questions. 

I see myself now as the inevitable product of a Western 20th century line of thinking.  My younger self, first getting a taste of spirituality thanks to the forays into my father’s Presbyterian church (and at once being turned off by its tactics; we were asked to let Jesus live in our hearts but he did not deign to knock on my heart’s door), then evolving into an arrogant certainty that the ridiculous philosophical arguments for God were bunk, (but of course, if you set up a straw man just to knock it down, how could you not revel in your own intellectual prowess?) only to continue to seek that spiritual component to life; name it, grasp it, add it to the collection of knowledge already forming in my brain as I constantly adjust my definition of reality.  Yes, Bast “touched” me, but it seems she grew bored and hasn’t since communicated to me as directly.  This tormented me for quite a long time, until I asked myself why it was even necessary.

Sacrilege!  You mean you can have a religious context in which to live but not worship Deity as well?  How dare you?!

Actually, I take an understanding of Ma’at as I have it, informed by ancient texts and modern interpretations, to eck out some kind of proscriptive morality that is so general and wide open that in the end I rely on context to ultimately decide the next appropriate action.  That, along with my suspicion that the silent man (mentioned in the wisdom texts) is kind of a symbol of the introvert and their positive aspects helps me to integrate myself more into society.  Don’t speak if you’re going to blabber.  Consider the feelings of others.  Be fair and wise in your judgments.  Kind of like an ancient “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”

Going back to my inevitableness…I found in my horoscope portrait (don’t laugh!) that Mercury and the Moon are in opposition to each other.  This means I’m doomed to have my intellectual capabilities always in conflict with my inner feelings and intuition.  I guess it’s fate. (btw I don’t know if I believe in fate)  But then again, I think this is more a larger cultural issue than mine own personal one.  Or is it the Human Condition? (uck, now I’m getting pedantic)

I have no definitive answer.  Neither am I trying to look for a One Truth to which all roads ultimately lead.  I’ve long since given that up in favor of the slippery polyvalent logic that allows me to accept as true many conflicting things as long as their spiritual truths coincide at some point.  Neither have I renounced the existence of Other beings, Other reality, Other worlds, even. (I believe in Equal Opportunity)  But I think that’s OK.  That’s part of being human.  I am un-training myself to focus on only the seen and physical (and thus, the quantifiable).  Yet neither am I collecting alternative healing or spiritual modalities like Pokemon.  This is a natural process as I become more myself.

Back to the initial question: What am I supposed to do with this gnosis of the Other?  I dare to posit another question: Do I have to do anything with it?  For now, I’m assimilating.  I don’t have anymore expectations about how Deity is supposed to interact with me, or what they’re supposed to grant me as one of their “chosen.”* (please don’t read more into this word than there really is)  At this point, it’s sort of like, help me if you will, and I’ll appreciate it.  But neither will I go attributing what little successes I have if I didn’t involve the gods in the process in the first place and neither did they make it obvious to me that they had a hand in it.  Do gods need a pat on the back for doing the right thing?  I like to think they’re above that, doing whatever gods do, playing cards wherever they are, maybe.*  In the meantime, I see this process not as a spiritual crisis, but an organic development of a spiritual identity, somewhat blocked by the antics of a near 3 year old and constant lack of sufficient funding for daily life.  I’m the metaphysical chicken running around with no head, if you will.



p.s. Bast, if you read this, it wouldn’t hurt to drop in every once in a while.  You may get some good stuff out of it.  I’m game if you are.  Do ut des, and all that.  I don’t mean to be (too) flippant.  Really, come ‘round.

p.p.s. Seshat, saucy siren of sophia, hope you liked this meandering muddle of words.  Or rather, please forgive the intellectual ego masturbation.

p.p.p.s. Please to forgive the excess of parenthetical asides.  I often annoy myself more than anyone else.


Written by Bastemhet

August 21, 2014 at 10:47 am

Posted in daily life