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Category Archives: FK Journal

Responses to FK journaling prompts.

FK Journal: Over the Cliff

I love this metaphor. Because I love this metaphor, I love this FK post. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told people to jump off the cliff. Some of you reading this have probably heard me tell you to do the same. To quit wasting your time and just jump already. That you’re making it harder on yourself by humming and hawwing at the top. Eventually, you’re going to have to jump (or get pushed off) so just go.

I love this metaphor.

Everything I do in life relates to this somehow. I originally came up with the idea of the cliff in high school. I was suffered from depression and was trying to sort it out myself without any help. At that time, I felt that I was standing on the edge of the cliff, and depression was taunting me to jump off (more or less relating to suicide). As time has gone on, I’ve begun to relate the cliff to difficult decisions. You need to do something- you can’t sit there and wait for a decision to be made for you. So you need to make your decision and own it (aka jump off the cliff). The more I began to work with the idea of the cliff, the more I began to really embrace the idea of letting go and jumping off (for better or worse). Working with Set has only increased this feeling- because if I don’t jump off myself, he’s sure to push me off shortly after.

A quote from the article:

When we’re looking at transforming, we tend to pace back and forth across that cliff edge, looking for an easy way down. We want to find the shortcut, the way to go forward without risk, without fear. There is never a real shortcut, however. We sometimes think we’ve found an easy way, but it tends to be either ineffectual or worse than just jumping.

The saying of ‘don’t cut corners’ comes to mind. There have been times when I’ve seen people try to skate down the edge of the cliff, only to get shelved half way down the mountain. Once again, you have to own your decision. Jumping from the top, to me, means you own what you are doing. You are all for it for better or worse. This is the person I try to be. I don’t always succeed at it, but dammit I try. Anymore, when I see a cliff coming my way, I don’t wait for it to come to me. Instead, I run at it headlong. Because it always seems to me that whatever is at the bottom is where I need to be.

Questions:

What transformation fears you? What are your cliffs?

I don’t know which transformations I fear. Usually, I like change. And I am always trying to change for the better. Of course, I fear sometimes that my changes will change who I think I am, and therefore the people around me. As I go through my therapy, I sometimes am sad to see my assy self leave, and I suppose on some levels there is fear in that. However, because I know this is something I need to do, I am always telling myself to just go with it. Whoever I become, I become. There is nothing wrong with that. My current cliff would probably be therapy, the task of making my halves whole. Sorting out that whole mess takes a lot of time and effort, and there have been times where I really wondered what I got myself into.

What would you use as a parachute? Where will you get it?

I guess you could say that I don’t use a parachute. I fly by the seat of my pants. Usually, I am careful in all that I do- to ensure that things go smoothly. I plan ahead, I watch my finances, I always keep my portfolio up to date… everything I can to prep. However, there are always cases where a cliff comes out of nowhere. A nasty surprise you weren’t expecting. All I can do at that point is do the best I can. That’s really the only parachute I allow myself.

What do these cliffs and transformations mean to you? What do you expect to find on the other side?

They usually mean hard work, but something better. I’m about to be run through the ringer, however I always feel that it’s for the better in long run. I think it is this sense of progress that removes my fear of cliffs. It’s a challenge, yes. But I always come out with more than I went in with. Even though part way through the trial, I might not feel like I made the wrong decision, it always pans out.

 

Can you jump off the cliff? Will you?

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2012 in FK Journal, Flame Keeping

 

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FK Journal: Letting Go

This week’s FK article can be read here.

I needed this entry. I really did. I could go so far to say that I need to reread this entry every day for many many years so that it sinks into my thick skull. This article really could permeate all aspects of my life. I really need to let go. To quit looking at what everyone else is doing and to quit comparing notes. You can’t save everyone. You can’t be everything to everyone. I don’t have enough spoons for all of that. This article nicely sums all of that up.

It’s very easy to get caught up into a comparison game. Who is more spiritual? Who’s getting the most out of this? Am I getting what I “should be” out of this? The truth, though, is that all of that is completely irrelevant. You get what you give out of your spiritual life. It’s personal, and it’s your own work that matters. You can’t do another person’s work, and they can’t do yours.

Wait, what kind of bone does he have?

How many times in the Kemetic forums have many of us told each other that we are ‘doing it wrong’? I know I’m guilty of it. Even now, despite my best efforts to ‘let go’, I look at what others are doing and seriously question what they are thinking. This has to stop. What they are doing is irrelevant to me. Their practice doesn’t affect mine. And just because I think what  they are doing is stupid, dumb, or whatever other judgmental crap I can come up with doesn’t mean that I need to step in. I can suggest other ideas, but as Helms tells me, after two responses, if things aren’t clearing up or progressing, I need to stop.

Stop it, Devo. Stop it. Drop it. Put it down.Walk away.

My therapist tells me that in order to help with letting go, I should take a deep breath, and visualize the bad stuff leaving my body. That I can tap or massage my muscles to force myself to physically let things go. That as I do this more, I will get better at it. God knows I need to get better at it. Many times in my life I am too busy comparing my bone to someone else’s bone (which is always larger and better, or completely malformed and I wonder what they are thinking wanting that bone). In the end this behavior is destructive and counter productive. It often makes me angry and frustrated and ends up bogging my brain down with negative thoughts. This in turn worms it’s way into my working and personal relationships and makes people irritated with me (I will be proactive in finding solutions to things that irritate me…). If anything, this is one of the biggest things I’d like to work on this year. Letting go.

Questions:

What do you put into your spirituality? What do you get out of it?

I put quite a bit into my spirituality (I think). I feel like it permeates all that I do. Even when I’m not actively practicing ritual every day, I feel like it seeps into everything. I try to always keep the Kemetic, Shinto and FK mindset in mind as I go about the day. I try to always stay grateful, respectful and compassionate (despite the fact that I often fail at it). Even my therapy serves a purpose in my spiritual life.

I think that I become a better person for my spiritual life. I feel like everything I put into it comes back to me as the ability to better manage my moods, my mind, my life. It makes me calmer. It makes me happier.

What do you think of people that treat spirituality as one more weekly meeting? Do you do that? Do people you care for?

It bugs me. I really get irritated by people who sign onto a religion, and then only treat it as a social gathering or something they ‘have’ to do. And then you have the groups of people who don’t know anything about the supposed religion they are following. That bothers me, too. You’d think that people would really want to do more with their religion. It’s their religion after all. You’d think they’d take it more seriously. But I know that not all of us do. Not all of us have The Itch. I need to learn to ignore this stuff, to let it go.

Why are you a FlameKeeper? What do you bring to it? What does it bring to you?

I am a FlameKeeper because it calls to me. It lines up with my mindset and worldview and gives me a more active and applicable structure to work off of. FK lines up with my therapy. It lines up with my Shinto practice. It lines up with my Kemetic practice. And at my core (When I’m not bogged down with this extra, stupid mental crap) it lines up with me. I’m hoping that by following this path, it will help me be more true to my core. To myself. And to help me better myself. To make my halves whole. I have no clue what I bring to FK. I have offered to do art, but I’d like to do more than that. I think in time I will figure out what I can bring to the table that might be of value. Currently, I’m considering writing a post on UCL and FK. Because the two are similar.

So what about you guys? Do you get caught up in looking at what others are doing? Do you have issues letting go?

 
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Posted by on January 24, 2012 in FK Journal, Flame Keeping

 

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FK Journal: Sparking the Potential

I missed a set of questions for FK at the turning of the year, so you get a two-fer 🙂

The first article can be found here. This article makes me think almost entirely of Unconditional Love. Here is a quote from it:

To help spark other people’s Flames, we must live honestly with our own. We must truly respect the Divinity of those around us, and we must respect our own. We can’t try to let other people live off our Flames. That’s no possible. Instead, we have to help people realize that they already have their own Flames, and are already Divine. There is nothing to aspire to in that. It is what already exists. What matters is what you do with it then.

Unconditional love relates to loving everyone… and loving yourself. Part of that love is respect. Respecting yourself. Respecting everyone else. And that respect, that love, much like Divinity already exists. It’s already there (and was always there). All we need to do is realize it, pay attention to it and actually put it into practice. And that is how unconditional love is, too. It was always there, it’s just that many of us choose not to use it, or have sorta lost the ability to. This article didn’t mean nearly as much to me until I was handed the task of Unconditional Love. Which really opens up whole new levels of meaning for me now.

Questions:

How do you share your Flames?

I have issues sharing my Flames. I have issues with not withdrawing from people. However, I do try very hard to be a resource to people. I try to provide information to people, answer questions, share ideas, and spark thoughts. All of this brings me happiness and fulfillment- thereby stoking my flames – and others.

I also try to stoke mine and others flames with my behavior. Pushing both myself and others to grow and become prosperous. I also have a… code of ethics, for a lack of a better word. And I stick to my guns, even if it doesn’t always make me happy. I consider this a form of respect to myself and others- which goes back to that unconditional love, and therefore this.

What does it mean that everyone is already Divine and already has their own Flames? Do you let people live off their own Flames, or try to feed them off yours?

For me, it means exactly that- we’re all Divine, whether we know it or not. It also means that everyone (that means everyone) deserves respect, because they are divine. While it can be hard to do this, it is necessary- as it is the name of the game. I don’t let others live off my flames. I can’t afford it anymore. I try to help people find their own flames. To varying degrees of success.

How do you live as a FlameKeeper? How do you integrate the Flames into your everyday life?

I am mainly focusing on the whole love/respect thing. Learning to take care of myself better has been a big deal as well. If I let myself fall into disrepair, it does nobody any good. So right now, it’s about stoking and balancing my flames. And helping others to understand my flames better (while trying to understand their’s better). Hopefully this will help me in the future to be a better practicer of unconditional love and to be more balanced overall (and therefore a better FlameKeeper).

The second article can be found here. This whole article is about potential. Really, I think the questions are the most important part of this article, so I’ll jump straight to those.

What are your goals?  What are you doing to reach them?

Simply put? I don’t really know. My current short term goals are to better my health (mental and physical) and to help my SO start his therapy (preferably before the year is out). Long term, I’m not sure. I think I need to contend with the short term before I attempt the long term.

To reach them, I am going to a doctor/seeking therapy/treatment for my health. I am actively working on bettering my health and creating a time and place where I can heal. For my SO, I’m working on saving money and planning steps to follow once that starts to get under way. I don’t feel like I’m doing enough right now- but it is what it is.

What do you think you should be doing?  Are you?

I don’t know what I think I should be doing. Probably conquering the world at this point. I always feel I’m not doing enough. Currently, I think less is more. Healing takes time. If I constantly over work myself, I’ll never get better. And right now, that takes top priority. In pretty much all aspects of my life. If I can’t fix this, I will never get to the ‘next step’. For the second part, I should be saving more. I’d love to save more… but I’m less than stellar at it. All I can really do is attempt to get better at spending less money. That just takes time and practice.

What does the Divine want of you?  Do you know?  Is it what you want from yourself, or different?

Something. I’m not sure what that something is- but something. I feel like the gods are preparing me for something. Beyond that, I haven’t a clue. I personally want to help others learn. I want to be a resource for people. Hence why I started this place. I have a feeling our goals overlap.

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2012 in FK Journal, Flame Keeping

 

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FK Journal: The Shadow

The article for this post can be found here.

We all have a shadow-self, a part of ourselves that we push away and pretend doesn’t exist. What we put there, of course, depends on the person. To some, anger is something to be ashamed of and placed there. To others, anger is acceptable, but any form of vulnurablity must be squelched. Whatever it is that we perceive of as dangerous goes to the shadow.

I have a shadow. In a previous post, I called it my dark flame inside of my light flame. The stuff which should be let out- but I don’t. Now I’ve found we have a term for this. The shadow.

The goal here isn’t to destroy the shadow. It is a part of us. It also isn’t to ignore the shadow, because it’s there. What needs to happen is integration. Everything the shadow holds can be valuable when used correctly. But when it’s used by our shadow-self, it can’t be used well, because it’s being used as a club to regain safety. Anger, when brought out by a shadow, can only destroy. It can’t see a way through the destruction to a constructive answer.

I’ve done a little bit of work with this in regards to Set. He took me and showed me some traits I wasn’t being completely honest with. My emotions. Anger. Frustration. Things that upset me- I was hiding them. After working with him, after being shown this ‘black hole’ inside of me and exploring it thoroughly, I feel I am better at understanding these emotions, expressing them, and not letting them get the best of me (usually).

But now, I need to work on the opposite spectrum. I need to work on the lighter things. And that is where O comes in. He is helping me to come to terms with my happy side. My lighter attributes. My softer qualities. This is proving to be far more challenging.

Questions:

What is in your shadow? Who are you when you don’t like yourself?

My shadow is full of happy stuff. Being nice. Letting my walls down. Letting people in. Allowing myself to join groups of people, enjoy their company and in return have my company enjoyed. Anything to do with people probably fits into this category. I’ve lived so long on the outskirts of humanity- I don’t really know how to work with people and not let my insecurities get in the way. So I hide my nicer side behind a rougher exterior- because it’s easier that way.

I can’t say that I don’t like these attributes, per say. When I’m in my element and I know I’m in the company of people who I can trust and who don’t treat me like crap, I’m a completely different person. I’m nicer. Softer. More considerate. More breakable. I’m O, not S.

What advantage do you have with keeping these behaviors in the shadow? What would happen if you integrated them?

The advantage is I don’t hurt as much. People make me uncomfortable. Most people treat me like crap. And it’s a lot easier to keep people away for my health. That’s not to say that I’m not trying to let people in- but it’s really hard, because I keep meeting jerks.

If I integrated them, the ‘two halves would become whole’, I imagine. I’d be able to function better in society. I’d be able to make friends, have a social life, etc.

What do you see in other people that makes you react negatively the most? Why? Is it related to your shadow?

People that annoy me the most are those who are wishy-washy. Make a decision and go with it. It is entirely unrelated to my shadow as are most of the traits that annoy me 😛 People who are able to function in society and have friends- I envy them on some levels. But many of them have other traits that I’d rather not have, so it all balances out, as far as I’m concerned.

 
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Posted by on November 28, 2011 in FK Journal, Flame Keeping

 

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FK Journal: Dancing with the Universe

You can find the article that this journal is for here.

When there is something we need, we can petition the Divine, for we are only petitioning ourselves. Everything is part of one thing, and one piece can affect another. This is not to say that you will be answered, of course. There are many parts, and sometimes what they want conflicts with each other. But as part of the Divine we have the right to ask and be answered.

This is a touchy topic for me. Asking for things. Requests. Prayer. There was a time when I refused to ask the gods for anything. I felt that if they felt I needed it, they would send it my way. And that anything that I truly wanted, I needed to get off of my own ass and do it. This mentality also fueled my lack of magic workings. When I started into Wicca, most of the books out there talked about magic. Circle casting. Herbs. Stones. Whatever you needed to create spells to make stuff happen for you. However, any time that I worked on getting things to happen for me, it seemed that nothing ever happened. Life moved as it should. Things came to me when they were supposed to come to me- and that my magic had no effect on the gears of life. Because of this, I fell out of the practice of magic, and I never really caught on to praying or asking the gods/powers that be for the same reasons.

I felt that my ‘magic’ was me doing things my own way. Working hard to make stuff happen, and letting my mental ‘can do’ attitude be what makes things happen for me. And overall, this has worked for me. I need something- I go out and make it happen. I’ve only really asked for help when I was seriously at the end of my rope (and my version of at the end of my rope and Set’s version of at the end of my rope don’t always line up). All in all, this is still the system that I use.

Questions:

What is worth asking for? Why?

As stated above, I only ask for things that I really feel I need. I don’t waste the gods’ or my time asking for trivial stuff. I feel it belittles my abilities and the gods’ good graces. So I only ask for what is really really important. Or when I seriously feel I can’t take anymore.

What does it mean to petition the Divine for aid?

There are many methods. You could sit down and chat with the Divine and hope that if you drop hints, the universe will respond. You could directly ask. Magic is another method. Getting up and doing mundane things to help your crisis is another method. Any of these could apply as a definition for petitioning the Divine for aid.

In short, doing whatever you feel is best to reach your end goals. Whether it’s relying upon yourself, or others to reach those goals.

How does interconnectedness apply to requests for aid? What does it mean here to be all one thing as well as individuals?

I think it means that we can rely on others. And that responses to requests for aid can come from any portion of  ‘the whole’. You might ask one portion for help, and receive that help from a totally different ‘section’ of the divine. There are no hard set rules. It also can mean that everything is connected, and requesting for help can affect other areas of the divine in ways that you didn’t anticipate. So that you should ask for help with caution.

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2011 in FK Journal, Flame Keeping

 

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FK Journal: Mystery

This is a journal entry relating to an FK article which can be found here.

This article was really short. Like, crazy short. So it doesn’t leave a lot for me to write on, I’m afraid. Out of the article, this paragraph stands out the most:

We have stripped the mystical out of our world, leaving everything just the physical. We see the trees, but we don’t see them with spirits anymore. And while populating the world with many spirits all out to hurt us (a common view in old mythology) isn’t necessarily a bad thing to leave behind, removing all the spirit from our lives isn’t good either.

I would agree that the mystical has been stripped out of our world. To mirror a video I saw recently, all of our right brain has been stripped out. Leaving an empty hollow shell. It’s sad. I think that’s part of why Shinto brings me such joy- it still has life in it. There are spirits around us. There is still mystery in our world.

Questions: 

How do you see the mystery in life around you?

Mystery is everywhere. There is so much power in the world around us. So much we can’t explain- it’s crazy. And it can really boggle the mind when you sit and think about it. We like to think that we are awesome. That we are like gods- yet with all of our modern marvels, there is so much that we can’t recreate or explain. It’s very humbling.

What in your life is mystery? Do you celebrate it or try to avoid it?

Everything has mystery. I may not always acknowledge it or see it- but I know there is mystery in all that I am, do and experience. I try to celebrate it. It’s part of what makes life interesting and awesome. Life is like some gigantic riddle that we’re all stuck in.

Imagine life without mystery. Is it better or worse than life with it?

It would be boring. It would be simpler (a lot less pondering, a lot less “what if”), but I think it would be boring. I’m not sure if that is better or worse. I imagine it depends on what you like in life. When I’m beat down and frustrated, it probably would be easier to have no mystery. But I’m not really one for ‘easier’.

 
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Posted by on November 14, 2011 in FK Journal, Flame Keeping

 

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FK Journal: Words meets Darkness

I’m a little behind on my FK journal entries (so.much. going. on.) so this week I’m going to combine both entries into one- as I figure most of you don’t want more clutter on your feeds. The first entry relates to speech and FK and the original article can be found here. The second entry relates to (my favorite) the Dark Flame and can be found here.

 

I Speak the Universe:

I like this entry. I like it because I need to be reminded that words are in fact powerful. This should be easy for me, as both Shinto and Kemetic practices teach the importance of the utterance. The words need to be said *just so* and our speech (in both religions) is a gift to us from the gods. In both practices, well done speech in ritual helps to pacify and please the gods. So it would make sense that speech is important to me, right?

Wrong. I have a hard time loving English. It’s an ugly language, in  my opinion. And it doesn’t help that I live in a country where words are slung out without any sort of forethought or tact. Words are a tool for Americans and nothing more. So I tend to forget that there is life in words. There is life in all that I say. And that all that I say can be very creative or very destructive (which I do note the destructive part- a working with Set that taught me that I don’t need to kill everything dead with my speech, even if I am capable of it).

I think my favorite part of this article was this right here:

We need to be aware of how we speak and what we intend when we speak. Because our words recreate the Universe.

And I need to remember that.

Questions:

What does it mean to speak? What does speech mean to you?

I suppose the most literal definition is to make noises come out of your body that helps others to understand what you want/need/etc. However, it’s technically more than that. It’s a means to bridge (or create) gaps. It defines culture, ideas, can bring things together in many ways. But speech is also destructive, hurtful, and can cause rifts that will never be fixed. It is the ultimate tool.

What would it mean to be unable to communicate with language? What does communication mean to you?

I don’t know what I would do. I have had times where I am just too beat to use my words to express what I need to others. There have been times when my voice is gone, and using ASL with people isn’t an option- it’s frustrating and hard to get what you mean across. And it can wear you out. So I imagine it would suck (in short). Communication is key for me. I see misunderstandings that happen all the time because people aren’t communicating well and it frustrates me. I also get upset when people purposely try to obscure what they mean and interrupt communication- it’s totally counterproductive. I am all about communication. We need more of it.

When is speech sacred? What does sacred speech mean compared to regular speech? Is there a difference?

All speech is sacred. Both of my paths have taught me this. While I sometimes forget it, at it’s core, I believe that all speech is sacred (because everything is sacred in FK) and that all words should be treated as such.

 

Perceiving the Dark Flame:

We heard you like flames, so we put flames inside your flames.

The bright flame, the normal flame, is a flame we share with others. It is visible in how we act and what we do, shining into dark corners and creating boundaries, showing who we are and aren’t. It burns from within to without and shows in our lives.

Most people break up their Flame into Bright and Dark. And that’s it. I feel like my 2 Flames also have Bright and Dark parts- there are parts of my Bright Flame that you can see, and then there are parts that you should be able to see, but I keep hidden. And that also goes with my Dark Flame. Perhaps I’m missing the concept, but I feel like I am not completely accepting the whole entirety of my two Flames. And while I’m in the process of working on that, they each have their own Bright and Dark qualities.

The dark flame is different. It is hidden, quiet, cool. It burns for ourselves. It revitalizes and refuels us. In the darkness, we find ourselves again. We connect with our inner Divine spark through quiet as well as action. The dark flame gives us a point to connect that Divinity to.

I love Dark Stuff as it were. I thrive in the dark. I hate the light (comes from living in a desert). And ironically, I have had an easier time working on my Setian issues than I have my Osirian issues. I can accept my negative attributes without a problem. I can look at my dark pit and say “wow, there are a lot of BAD emotions in there. Lot’s of baggage. Lot’s of damage that I need to figure out” and not bat an eyelash. But O comes and tells me “You need to go be sociable. You need to love yourself. You need to show people the whole you, not just the Set version of you” and I flip out. My Bright Flame is my bane. Because I have a hard time keeping the dark half from completely swallowing up the bright half.

But I suppose I am getting off track. The point of all of this is I love the Dark Flame work. Sometimes, I wish it was all about the Dark Flame.

Questions:

Are you in balance? Are you even aware of your inward dark flame?

I believe so. As I said above, I have flames in my flames lol. I think I am more in tune with my dark flame. I often have to retreat into myself to work on how to project myself to the world. I go inwards to work on my Bright Flame- as weird as that may be. However, I don’t think I’m completely balanced. Set wants me to be whole- which means I’m currently not whole. I’m two halves fighting with one another trying to figure out how to keep an equilibrium. So while I understand the halves are there- they aren’t in perfect balance yet.

Is the darkness in you nurtured as well as the light? Why or why not? Does this imagery make you uncomfortable?

I suck at the Light stuff. I would argue that my Dark is more nurtured. I love the coolness that it brings me. The Light work just wears me out. The imagery doesn’t bother me. It’s hard to keep it in line, though. I consider dark to be yin and light to be yang- which is some of the opposite of how other people look at light and dark (good and evil). So I have to be careful with how I do my wording. Otherwise, it doesn’t bother me.

Can you feel the Divine connection to the dark flame? The lit one? both?

Both. The Divine is in everything, and I can feel the divine touch in all aspects of myself.

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2011 in FK Journal, Flame Keeping

 

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FK Journal: Faith

This week’s FK discussion is about Faith, specifically Faith in humanity. It can be read here. 

This post was a relatively short one. There are a few things that I relate to that are within the post.

It is easy, really, to have faith in a separate God that things are going to work out for the best. It requires faith, but not in the people you live with every day. FlameKeeping requires faith in humanity.

I see this a lot in people I meet or read. Of varying religious affiliation. People who are always waiting for the Gods or something other than themselves to magic them out of a bad situation. I think this is part of why I fell out of using magic and I don’t really pray. I don’t feel like it’s up to the gods to make my life better- it’s up to me. And so, instead of sitting in shrine begging X or Y god to change something, or spending my time finding the perfect stones, herbs and candles to make Z happen for me, I just get off my ass and go do it myself. I use the mundane to get things done. I guess to me, that requires a faith in humanity by having faith in myself to get the job done.

This doesn’t mean to close your eyes and jump, assuming someone will catch you. FlameKeeping is very much about pragmatism: if it’s not going to work, it’s a bad idea. But it does mean that we need to both have a basic faith in humanity’s decentness (for we are the Divine) and to be people that one can have that faith in, as well. We are of the Divine, and we must take that seriously. Be someone others can take faith in, and find others to take faith in.

This was interesting to me as well. I like that it’s not blind faith. That there is some common sense to it. But even more than that, I like that we are each held accountable for faith in ourselves. You can swap that with self esteem and value, in my opinion. And I think it’s something each of us could use a little more of. It’s the Set in life- the things that make you stronger, make you capable and give you faith in your abilities. Anything that has to do with Set, I like XD

Questions:

Do you have faith in other people? What does that mean to you?

My faith in people comes and goes. I know that deep down we are capable of so much more and when I see how we are squandering our potential, it makes me sad and I lose faith. But then I catch a glimpse of our possibility, of someone doing something right and I’m back for another round. I suppose this means that I must keep trying to keep faith, and to help others have faith in humanity as well. Because if we don’t fix it, who will?

Are you someone other people can have faith in? Why or why not?

I believe so. I am reliable. I am faithful. I am a rock. I think steadiness and predictability can lead to faith- you can have faith that I will follow through, for example. I do what I say I’m going to do. Because of these traits, I lean towards yes.

What does believing in humanity mean to you? Is it meaningful? Scary? Empowering?

I’m not really sure. I mean, I’m going to do what I’m going to do (save the world) regardless of what my fellow human beings are doing. However, when I look at the world beyond, sometimes believing in humanity is empowering (look as us all kicking ass!) or it’s depressing (look at you all sucking ass!). I know it’s something that I need to keep in mind, though it can be hard some days.

 

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2011 in FK Journal, Flame Keeping

 

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FK Journal: Morality

This weeks Flamekeeping discussion is about morality and it’s place within Flamekeeping. You can read the original article here.

I want to start off with the first line of this article:

What is the point of a religion? Is it to dictate morality, or to define and aid in connection with the Divine?

I want to answer this, because I think that it would be helpful for anyone reading this blog to understand that I do not think that religion’s purpose is to define or dictate morality. At all. Not even close. I personally believe that culture dictates morality. Not religion. And while religion tends to go hand in hand with culture- they technically are different. And for myself personally, religion is there to help me connect with the divine- and the world around me.While it is possible for the religion to have a sort of method to help with this (Ma’at, Kannagara, etc), I do not believe that these concepts can really be considered hard and fast rules for morality.

The article then goes on to list two ‘rules’ for morality, which I think are well written.

1. We are all Divine, and must be loved and respected as such. By this I mean that we need to treat ourselves and other humans with as much respect and love as we can. Every time we treat another person as a means, every time we denigrate someone because they are not what we wish they are, we are going against our own nature and against the Divine. We are ALL holy, not just the people we like, not just the people like us. Everyone. Even the people we hate. And we need to respect them as such.

I think this is something that many people should take some time to learn- that we need to be nice to everyone. Even the people we can’t stand. I know that I am not always successful in this, but I do try- despite what people might think or see. I’ll get more into this when I answer the questions for this entry.

The second rule:

2. We must improve the Divine as we can. The Universe is not already perfect, it moves towards perfection, and we are a part of that. When we see something we think is wrong, we should act to fix it as we can. And we should also be aware of what lies behind the problems we see whenever possible: it is easy to say poverty is bad and to place a few dollars in a fund drive once a year. It is much harder to look at the systems that benefit us but encourage poverty, and to try and find ways to change the system to keep poverty from happening. (In the meantime, of course, we should also continue to give those dollars. There is no virtue in working for the long term and letting the short term suffer needlessly).

I completely understand about improving the Divine. I want to improve it. I wish I had more resources so that I could do more to improve it. Right now, I am focusing on the small, little things. And with any luck, I’ll be able to work my way outwards to bigger, better things.

The questions for this entry:

What does morality mean to you? Do you judge it in positive terms (you should) or negative (you should not)?

Morality is a word I don’t like to use, honestly. It’s a loaded word and it usually brings up the wrong types of imagery to be useful. For me, I like to think that I’m held to a code of honor, as it were. It seems like it’s something that Set has driven me towards/goaded me into. It’s basically about honoring you words and your beliefs. Putting your money where your mouth is.

For example: I see someone totally beating down on someone (whether in real life or on the forums) when that someone hasn’t really done anything wrong. Set or I goes “So, I see someone is totally being a jerk. Shame that no mods are coming around to fix it.” And then it sits there in my head. I can’t let that stand. And while it’s possible I could just ignore it, or leave it for someone else to do- that’s not putting my money where my mouth is. I can’t leave things for other people to do when I’m perfectly capable of doing it myself- and what if no one ever comes to help set things straight? What if, then, that person really gets upset over it, or gets the wrong idea.. or or or…. it just doesn’t sit well with me. And so I have to jump in the fray. Otherwise I feel like I’m not living up to my standard of ethics. And I can’t even imagine what Set would do to me if I made that a normal practice of mine (not putting my money where my mouth is).

So my ‘morality’ my ‘code of ethics’ is defined by putting my money where my mouth is. When I see something that should or could be fixed, I fix it. At least, to the best of my ability. I define it with positive terms- you should try to be this, you should try to do that, you should try to be this or that way.

And above all, when the heat turns up and your ethics are put to the test, you should try to stick to your guns.

What does it mean to see everyone as Divine? Is this hard for you? What moral strictures does that rule impose on you?

I’m not sure what it means to see everyone as Divine. We’re Divine. It’s as simple as that. Everything is Divine and for me, there is nothing hard to wrap my brain around. It is what it is. The only moral restrictions or caveats this places on me is that I need to not be a complete ass all the time. I need to show restraint and tact. I need to not bitch slap anyone that does something ‘wrong’ or that hurts me. Which is pretty often (for the latter). I turn a blind eye to the things that I feel aren’t worth it and I reinforce my Money Mouth rule on the things that I feel are important enough to step in on.

What does it mean to improve the Divine? Is this one difficult? Again, what strictures does this impose on you?

I want to improve the Divine. I have a burning fire to do a lot of things with my time here, but not nearly enough resources to get those things done. So for now, I’m starting small. I’m starting local and working my way out. Starting with getting me okay. Making sure that I am in a good position to help other parts of the Divine. While doing this, I’m also helping my s.o. to become okay so that he is better equipped to help other parts of the Divine. From there, it’s working with more people that are nearby. And eventually branching out. This doesn’t impose any limits on me, really. If anything it drives me literally crazy because I feel I’m not moving fast enough. I want too much too quickly. I want it all now. The world can’t wait ten years for me to get financially stable. I can’t wait that long either. But alas, those things are out of my hands and out of my control. So again, no limits. It really doesn’t even factor into my morality, it’s just something I’m hardwired to want to do. Nothing more. Nothing less.

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2011 in FK Journal, Flame Keeping

 

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FK Journal: Divine Relations

The next topic we are covering in FK is Divine Relations.

Our relationship with the Divine is complex. All that we are is of the Divine, as the Divine is the entire Universe. However, our own ego and masks block us from the Divine, leaving it a thread that runs through us but not our entire personality.

I would agree with most of this. I agree that the divine is complex, and that it’s all around us. I personally believe that both Shinto and Kemeticism teach this- Shinto being more obvious in it’s methods. Everything comes from that initial spark. Whatever it is that caused all of this to come into being- it’s in all of us. In everything around us. So we’re all divine.

We put faces on the Divine to separate ourselves from it, to relieve ourselves of the responsibility of recognizing that we are faces of the Universe. And we relate with those other faces as though they are separate beings, not a part of ourselves. While there is nothing wrong with relating with the Divine in this way, it is a fallacy and it does need to be recognized as such. We are the Divine, we are the Universe, and we cannot neglect this reality for the comfort of distance.

I think this depends on the person, and their opinion on the nature of divinity, and the gods. I personally believe that there are entities that are outside of me that are also divine. So I am removed from them- yes. But I’m not relying upon them to do all of the work, either. I’m not relieving myself of anything. If anything, I’m taking on as much responsibility as I can to help make the world a better place, or at least my corner of the world better. I think one can see the divine within and without all at the same time.

As for the rest of the article, I agree with what has been said. There are no good ways to describe the divine. There are no ways to box it. It is in everything, and ultimately, there is no way to completely know it in it’s entirety. It’s too big. You can’t know everything about everyone that has ever been. You just can’t.

Questions:

How do you see the Divine? Do you feel words are accurate, or do they fall short?

I see the divine as being within and without. Divinity includes ourselves, everything in our house, the earth, the animals, the trash in your garbage. Everything. I think it also includes a set of entities that do not exist primarily in this plane that most people would call “gods”. With that, I would say that it encompasses any and all entities that might exist in planes that are not our own. I’m sure there are other things I’m forgetting. Basically, it’s everything. And of course, the words fall short.

What do you wish you could hide from the Divine? What does it mean that you can’t?

I personally don’t understand why you would want to hide from the Divine, or why you would think that you could. It makes no sense to me. No, instead I would rather reach out towards it, and try to become more in alignment with it (both within and without). I think that this could help me make my halves whole, and help to fill the hole that I have been experiencing all these years. And with the can’t, I believe that has to do with the divine already being in everything. It already knows all that you know. There is no way to hide from yourself.

What do you think is an appropriate relationship between yourself and the Divine? Why?

It depends on what form of divinity you’re referring to. I think the best way to approach anything of divine nature is to be balanced and whole- which means knowing yourself. Often times other outside divine forces have to step in to help make you whole, complete, and therefore balanced. Being open to these changes, to growth and learning all can help you to approach the divine and form a relationship with it. Why? Because you’re simply open to the idea, open to the change that the divine requires of you to reach your potential.

What does it mean to mess that relationship up?

I personally don’t think there is a way to entirely mess up a relationship with the divine. I think there is always a way to go back to the beginning, and start anew with yourself or the gods. That there isn’t anything so horrible that you could do to completely screw yourself out of it. However, if you did get very very close to that point, I imagine it would mean that there is a lot of hard hard work ahead of you. It’s a case of digging yourself out of a hole that is of your own creation. That is not easy and it’s also humiliating (imo).

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2011 in FK Journal, Flame Keeping

 

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