Let me tell you, the past few weeks have been a trip.
I’ve been digging further into esoteric stuff than I ever have before. I mean, this time really reading it instead of “reading it” (e.g., consuming, then brain dumping it to make space for other shiny intellectual objects as soon as one passes me by). It’s actually tiring as I read and reread passages to try and squeeze out the essence and slot it into one box to retain or another. My poor Kindle e-books are essentially long paragraphs of highlighted text and notes like: “this is important, bro”, then going back later in the day and reassembling the “important” stuff into something easier for my poor little walnut of a brain to retain. You know, tables, charts, diagrams instead of paragraphs. And then, like tonight forehead slapping myself when I realize I need to redo some of it because, well, there is wishful thinking and there is scholarship and, I’m sorry, footnoted scholarship is going to win the day with me over someone pattern-finding.
That’s not to say that the pattern-finding folk haven’t provided me with value, but I like my knowledge to be source-supported instead of intuitive-supported. Intuition is great and all, and I am apt to use it myself in the place of empty hands grasping for scholarship that doesn’t exist, but I like to see more than simple patterns; I like to see webs of pattern.
I won’t go on a rant here, but I’ve always found myself with a sour or ashen taste in my mouth when I read something that seems more fanciful than accurate. It’s no great secret that my OCD interests of late have been for ecstatic spiritual practices, especially those from the pre-Christian British Isles and Northern Europe. Some people call it “shamanism”, but that sounds “tinny” in my ear. I’ve used it for lack of a better word, but the Old Irish fáith seems a closer approximation to how I envision my path. Depending on the source, the word is defined as a “poet-seer”, which seems much closer to what I embrace as a path, but it still seems a bit off, so I keep looking. The word “shaman” is loaded with baggage, some of it appropriative, some of it falls back into the realm of stuff that even I won’t touch for the reason that it seems a bit on the flakey side. I dislike baggage and easy categorization (I really despise labels, for whatever reason, maybe because they seem so easily subverted and perverted).
But, because there is a lot of bad scholarship out there, not-great scholarship with some value, and “Scholarship? We don’t need no stinkin’ scholarship!” on top of the mix, I’ve gone on some wild goose chases over the past few months, some of them warranting tears and ripping out of chest hair. Luckily, I’m starting to find a rhythm on decent sources (or, at least some, ‘not-great’ sources with value) so that I can hang some flesh on my own cosmological skeleton.
I’m hoping my recent move to writing privately elsewhere and only posting what I feel is quality has helped clean up some of your feeds of garbage. To put it into perspective — you have been spared some ten posts of dubious quality or interest in the past two days (and I’ve been hitting the writing lightly due to my studying). And some of that which you’ve been spared is of epic length, to boot. I still haven’t decided I’ve found a rhythm in how I approach it, so I am going to continue keeping it to my unwholesome self. For instance, I found myself ranting about something that no one but myself needs to read, and it was nice to note have to rush to unpost it, as I would have had to do if I’d posted here. It had some truly mean things to say about people no one here would know and I think I only wrote it because I knew no-one else could see it. I was tired and frustrated by some stupid chapters in a book — it was going good until that book went all woo-woo in a way that the author lost a shittonne of respect from me, and I’ve read many of his earlier books over the years. I now question everything I read in the past that seemed like solid stuff at the time.
Anyway, I’ll head out and get back to my archeological digging. Hope all of you are doing well.