Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Names, Titles, and Labels

After reading Jason's latest post, I got to thinking about names and such again. Like Jason, as someone who is near painfully eclectic in his spiritual practice, I sometimes wonder if I am doing it wrong, that I can't settle down. I feel, sometimes, like a noncommittal boyfriend, "No, baby, why do we got to put a label on this? Ain't things good just as they is? Let's go back to bed, baby.."

It is then, that I have to take a step back, and realize that I am simply not good at living a monogamous spiritual lifestyle. I take things apart. I break them. I put them back together in new and weird ways. I broadly label myself an Eclectic Pagan Hermeticist. But there are also large doses of Taoism, my own interpretation of Christianity, Qabalah, Huge swaths of Indian thought and practice from Shivite, Shakta, and Buddhist sources, as well as dashes of Japanese Shingon for flavor, saturated in sweet sweet Alchemy.

To say I am just any one of those.. honestly feels like a lie. The Work is typed into the languages of many traditions, and as we go on, as we experience those traditions as living changing things with different flowerings and innovations the differences blur. Sometimes they disappear all together for some of us. Ever since I broke with a fundamentalist upbringing, that is honestly what I wanted. I blinded myself to the essence of the Truth in favor of the written interpretation of that Truth. From then on I wanted the essence, not the package.

Our traditions do not define our essence. They shape our practice. They do not tell us who we are, but allow who we are to accomplish something. In Buddhist thought there are many Yanas, translated usually as "Vehicles". In Japanese thought it is "Do" or way. In many others it is "path". Some of us skirt the boundaries, weaving through different paths, on our own path that isn't a path. For some of us, our path is where ever we put our feet, well worn, or wilderness.

Either way it doesn't matter, because we are all co workers in this. All children of the same earth and sky and what rests beyond them. It is the living spirit that defines us, not the dead letter. 

No comments: