kyrene: (Maenad with thyrsos)
This whole incident with the books and all reminds me of why I nearly left the Hellenic community for good, and I'm once again questioning why I came back and didn't stay gone.

Basically it comes down to this:

1) I had a lot of people who put me up on a pedestal
2) I had a lot of people who resented me being put up on a pedestal
3) I had a lot of people who resented the people who resented me being put on a pedestal
4) I had a lot of people whom I thought were friends that in actuality just got an ego kick from being my friend, and quickly turned into bitter enemies when they couldn't share the pedestal or quickly discovered that I am in fact human and not whatever strange personage they projected upon me.

I never wanted to be up on a pedestal to begin with. All I had wanted to do from the start was find others like myself who worshipped the Greek gods, and start a "church" for ourselves, for the lack of a better term. It all snowballed from there.

None of the original founders of Hellenion or the veterans of the Hellenic community are around anymore. I can't say that I blame them for not being around, and with the bad apples in the bunch that we have, I wouldn't blame anyone right now for quitting and leaving, going solitary, or both. I happen to know of numerous solitaries who have avoided being involved in the Hellenic community all because they have watched how others act towards me.

I don't know why some people desire fame; fame sucks and it makes your life utterly miserable. I like having my life to myself. You may notice I never really post about my personal life on here, and there's a reason for that--I used to get stalked and harassed by members of my religious community who were searching for "dirt" for their latest tabloid. Ask me sometime about how a vampire online RPG based on a book I have coming out (yes, actually published and not self-published, either!) turned into "Kyrene thinks she's a 200 year old vampire, an Avatar of Apollo, and 'the' Pythia," et cetera. I think just from that sentence alone you'll get what I mean.

Somewhere along the way, I met genuine friends in the community who neither put me up on a pedestal nor resented me because others kept putting me up on one. I had the opportunity to get in touch tonight with a former member of this community--namely, Drew--and we did a quick catching up in the midst of my apologizing for him getting in the middle of this bullshit high school drama. It was a good thing, and like I said in the last post, I wish that it had been under better circumstances.

For people like him who have remained in this community, I have stuck around and tried to find corners of this place worth being involved in. Thus far to my knowledge, Hercules Invictus, Spira, and Dadoukhoi are the only non-drama inducing and generally all round good Hellenic orgs online and off that I have been involved with so far. I wish I could say that there were more. I wish we had more leaders and less followers. But truth be told, we are VERY small and of course are not going to have a lot in the way of varieties and flavors of organizations which have not been poisoned thus far by a bunch of tiara-seeking, histrionic sycophants.

I've been begged on and off again to start another org and I can't help but think to myself, "Why would I want to undergo that torture AGAIN?" I put up with enough shit right now; why put myself back into the spotlight? I gave it up for good reasons. I gave up my religious NAME to get away from all of that shit, from everything that people associated with me as Kyrene, and the whole nine yards.

I don't want to change who I am for these drama-seeking irritants, and I don't want to give up who I am for them, either. It always seems to me that one decision after another in regards to my identity in the religious community has been influenced in some way, shape or form by others in the community--and it shouldn't be. It should be influenced by the nudgings of my gods and my Agathos Daimon who sometimes masks himself as my inner voice of wisdom.

Sometimes it's hard to hear that voice over the noise of the drama, and when I can't hear that voice, I can't be who I truly am. I can only be someone who simply reacts to people around her under such circumstances, and I am not that person.

At some point I need to just sit down with myself and realize that yes, I'm hurt and still hurting. I've been hurt by too many people whom I have long realized only liked the person whom they wanted me to be and not who I really am. I have a list of names in my head who have disappointed, hurt, and even verbally abused me and in spite of my repeated attempts to reconcile continued to fire their venom.

I have no one to blame but myself if I continue to hang onto that, and only myself to blame if I wind up in that situation again as their continued enabler for their own personal drama and petty bullshit. It gives them a power they do not deserve, and in the end, I am no one's person but my own.

I think at some point tonight after I go on my eliptical this evening, I will be doing a serious, hardcore invocation to Dionysos tonight. I need to have a nice, good, long chat with him.
kyrene: (Default)
Mindfulness is not a term over which the Buddhists have a monopoly. One of the most disappointing things I have found about much of the Pagan and Hellenic communities is the complete lack of an outlet for people to improve themselves. This is especially frustrating in the Hellenic community where the mindset is often focus on ritual but not on self development. Given how ancient religion emphasized arete or excellence (and not just in sports either) I find this rather strange.

Being a mystic is no guarantee of said self improvement. In many places, ranging from the Hellenic community to the Golden Dawn community, I have found mystics who have in the entire course that I've known them stood at a standstill as far as their personality was concerned. In fact I have found that mystics can often "get in, get high" and never make any efforts towards mindfulness, self improvement, or anything of that nature. They wind up in pursuit of one spiritual experience after another the way people go from book after book, drink after drink in a bar, or relationship after relationship--never really scratching the surface of their own ego or producing any real results except the euphoria that mysticism can produce.

Is it any wonder why non-mystics are often so skeptical towards us?

What does mindfulness mean? It means being self-aware and cognisant of one's aptitude as well as one's flaws. It also means being aware of the world around them and how they relate to that world. In becoming mindful, one can become a better person.

This is usually where people ask, "Well, what is a good person and why would I want to become that?" I can sum up a good person via both modern and ancient standards according to the Delphic Maxims: a good person is someone who is compassionate, has integrity, and is good to others--and hence contributes to their family and/or community in a positive way. I don't think a person can contribute in that positive vein without being a good person.

What is a positive contribution? A positive contribution is someone who is a good role model for others. Writing essays and putting up websites doesn't make one into a good person, but someone who actively assists in charitable causes, helps people in need, and is generally good to others is.

When is someone not a good person? A person who spends their time negatively judging other people, is narcissistic and self-absorbed, and adds more negative contributions than positive. Frequently such people appear to care more about what other people are doing rather than what they are doing; hypocrisy is a trademark of such people.

I sometimes hear, "Well, trying to become a good person detracts from the worship of the gods." Given how a good person can aid their community more effectively and be a force of good in this world, I see this as a rather lame attempt to justify their own behavior. What they REALLY mean is: "I just don't care about being a good person; I only want to get high off of my spiritual practice. Who cares about the real good I can accomplish? It's much easier to throw barley at offerings and libate my drinks and not do any work or effort towards such things. It's too hard anyway."

FYI you don't have to be a mystic in order to improve yourself. And mysticism comes in many forms: contemplation, meditation, philosophy--any sort of personal experience with the divine in whatever form or form you conceive of it to be.

Sometimes I get accused of doing too much navel gazing and second guessing myself. But I'd rather that than not examine myself at all. It is true though that moderation should exist in all things--including moderation. ;)
kyrene: (Red maenad)
It's interesting how you look at the way you behave in one place and behave in another, and I can't help but notice that it's like going back to your high school reunion and fall into old patterns of behavior you haven't had in years. I'm too used to engaging in a certain role in my religious community, and it's not helping the rest of the matters I rant about any. I think it's about time I act the way I do elsewhere.

In all honesty, I think that they're right about one thing: I really do need to lighten up. I've been taking all of this seriously why?

From now on, I resolve not to take any of them seriously.



popcorn and tickets will be provided for at the front of the entrance
kyrene: (Default)
On the whole, I gotta say, I love this conversation for making me think but it'd be great to actually get some thinking responses in return instead of just "nyah! I gotta have the last word!" They never would've made it among the Greek philosophers. Guts, on the ground, and they'd still be blathering.

Why are people so afraid to actually think about what they believe? I do it all of the time. I don't see belief as this static, sacred thing that I must enshrine and put on my shelf.

I agree with the movie Dogma that it's better to have a good idea versus beliefs. People kill over beliefs, shut down their brains over beliefs, turn an intellectual, fascinating and thought-provoking debate into petty squabble over beliefs.

Maybe they're just upset that I'm not a yes-man and hence do not slobber all over them. I've had it done to me so many times that I frankly wouldn't curse my worst enemy with such treatment.

But these are the exact same people who gave me shit for daring to be against animal sacrifice, so I really don't expect thinking behavior from them. I just like to be forced to think. I guess it just goes to show how terribly desperate I am for a thoughtful conversation like this with someone who disagrees with me when I start choosing to have one with people who start personal attacks with you for daring to disagree with them. Things like, oh, accusations of slapping my gods in the face, slapping my religious community in the face, atheism, autism.... I especially love the last one--I don't have a single personality trait that could remotely be linked to autism. Some thought I found it offensive; I found it more offensive to people who are genuinely affected by the disability. Me, I just found it outrageously funny that it was thrown at me. I'm your quintessential extrovert. :)

I think that I take people's opinions of me a lot less seriously than they do of my opinions of their beliefs. Not really sure what to think of that.
kyrene: (Default)
It is interesting to see that the people who think that spiritual advancement as being "self-serving" and "shallow" because it "removes the focus from the gods" are among the most self-centered and self-serving people whom I have ever met.

Interesting more still that those whom I know who genuinely seek to advance themselves spiritually are among the best and finest examples of human beings whom I have ever met.

Lots of people can claim to be into "spiritual advancement" but few walk the talk. You know by the walk, not the talk.

And I am proud to call such people my friends.
more, plus my conclusion...yes it's long and I'm sorry... )

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Kyrene

September 2010

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