Angry In Her Presence

I attended my Tradition’s Festival of Hecaté ritual last night at Seelie Court in Southern Delaware. It is the 23rd time, not counting times we have performed this rite at gatherings and festivals, that we have called upon Her in Her form of Three Faces; Maiden, Mother, Crone. It was not open this year, though it in past it has been, but was for members of our Tradition and our invited guests. Life being what it is, there were about 60 people who were able to attend last night (it has been as high as 150). And yet, as in the past, the number of people who attend is unimportant. Those that were there were those that should be there, no more, no less.

I was struck this year about how little I had to work to get things ready. One thing that contributes to that is the ritual is the same each year. The setup of the ritual space remains the same with only small variations each year. My husband wrote a beautiful set of Elemental invocations used to create sacred space 20+ years ago especially for this ritual and we always use them. There are far more helping hands for toting, laying out candles in jars, setting up the central altar and the thrones for the priestesses who will be embodying the faces of the Goddess, and the general running back and forth that occurs between the houses of Seelie Court to get the Great Circle ready.

So that left me a little more time this year to prepare myself for the ritual. Over the years I have trained myself to be able to switch from the practical aspects of getting things set up to ritual headspace with a very deep breath and a moment of internal stillness. Anyone who has been a part of big public and semi-public rituals knows what I am talking about. One does not bring that frenetic energy into the space with the Divine. As my southern grandmother would say, it just ain’t done.

And in many ways I was very glad of extra time this year. I am one of the ritual leaders, along with several other people. I am one of the three priests who cast the circle and call the quarters to create sacred space. I am one of the heralds whose words guide people through the ritual, helping to invoke within them the purpose of the rite and focus their minds upon the work. I am one of the people who, along with others, help switch chants as needed on the fly and help to hold the energy of the space. And I love every second of it. And not just because I get a wicked sense of satisfaction in using the oratory and public speaking skills I was taught as an evangelical Christian (I have now been Wiccan longer than I was a Jehovah’s Witness. My poor parents). I love the work for the work’s sake. I love being part of providing people magickal, spiritual and religious experiences. I love being part of people’s processes of growth and evolution, of expanding consciousness and self-awareness. I love being in ritual and being in the presence of the Divine. And I look great in black robes.

This year, though, is different. I am angry. I am angry about a lot of things happening in the world though that is the anger that comes from impotency. I cannot stop terrorist attacks, natural disasters, political lunacy, and all of the things that should not be and which I have no power to simply stop. Certainly I do what I can do and that never seems enough. There is always more and more terrible things that need addressing. That anger is always there, a part of me that is known and manageable. A deep breath and a moment of inner stillness and it is laid aside for the moment.

This year, though, is especially different. I am angry at my magickal, pagan, whatever-you-wish-to-label-it community. The anti-transgendered sentiment has once more reared it’s ugly head to spread itself like wildfire across the pagan social media bubble. And I find myself angry with everyone. I am angry with the behavior of those with whom I agree; I am angry with the behavior of those with whom I disagree. I am angry with those outside of my community who would use this moment to damage that community; I am angry with those inside of my community who use this moment to damage their fellows. I am angry in the way that only someone with Moon in Scorpio can be. Yesterday morning, while everyone was out of the house, I put on my microphone and ranted into the computer. I called everybody names, I used profanity in abundance. I felt a little better, at least I could focus on the day and not pace around the house like a madman. And then, of course (Mercury in Capricorn) I edited the document for punctuation, grammar, spelling, etc. Dragon Dictate doesn’t understand profanity very well.

And yet that angry itch is still there, that little bit of poison at the end of the scorpion’s tail. It is not the well-known, manageable anger with which I have learned to live, which can be set aside with breath and stillness. It is a cancer that even now is sitting in my mind and heart.

At the Festival of Hecaté ritual we invoke the Goddess in Her three faces; Maiden, Mother, Crone. Once She is present, embodied in three priestess, each Face speaks to the entire group. The messages are different. Some years She is angry with people and the messages are demanding and harsh. Some years Her messages are of encouragement and hope. Once the Three have spoken then each person in the ritual has an opportunity to seek an audience with one of Her Faces, to ask a boon, blessings, or for council. The chanting that holds the energy of the space is also designed to give people privacy, their audience with Her between that person and Herself alone. People return to the circle after their audience changed. It doesn’t matter whether they are laughing or crying, somber or joyful, they are different. And that, to me, is the mark of a successful ritual.

I usually do not seek an audience with Herself at this ritual. This rite is a service to the community, an opportunity my Tradition has created for others to have this experience. And the ritual can be very long (4 hours is the current record holder) and the work is very draining on the priestesses who are anchoring Her presence and draining on the people holding the space. So, I usually do not seek that audience, letting others have the experience. This year, towards the end of the ritual, I saw the Maiden sat alone while people were still speaking with the Mother and the Crone. And because I had said, while going over the ritual beforehand with people, ‘allow yourself to be moved in the moment’ I went before the Maiden and asked for her council in this matter. And I became angry with myself for my behavior.

I am a religious person, always have been, and though I am worshipful I am not subservient. The few times I have gone to seek audience with one of Her Faces I have had a clear vision of what I want and need. I have had no problem looking directly into the Goddess’s eyes and meeting Her challenge unflinchingly. This time, however, I stumbled and fumbled. I could not meet Her eyes. I did not know what I wanted or needed and yet could not help asking for something. I had a hard time answering Her questions about what I had done and what I have tried. I was ashamed of myself in Her presence and angry that I was ashamed.

I don’t know if Hecaté decided to take pity on me in that moment or simply ran out of patience. She asked me, ‘what do you want?’ And I found that I did not have a good answer within myself. And then She said to me, ‘you lead by example and you know this. Do your work, live as best you can and set as good an example to others as you can. That is what you are called to do, nothing more yet nothing less.’ And that lightened my heart a bit and took some of the sting out of my mind and emotions.

And so ended this year’s Festival of Hecaté ritual. And even though I have a million and one things to do today I had to sit down and write this out. This is a record of my experience in Her presence when I am in a not-so-nice place. And if nothing else it increases the empathy I have for people who are in much worse places than I am, who are faced with struggles and challenges that I do not face. And it is a good reminder to me that everyone, no matter how evolved or advanced or self-aware or whatever-you-will (and I am not that evolved or advanced or self-aware), have their hard moments when they really do not know their own mind and heart. So I will do as She has said, and try to be the best example of what I would like to see in my own community. Not of what to believe or feel or think, but how to be; how to be with oneself, with one’s community large and small, and how to be in the presence of the Great Ones.

Posted in Musings | 8 Comments

I Do Not Trust You, Part II

I was asked to make one of my wall comments into an actual blog post. It has been edited for flow but not for content.

It is not a far leap to keep two opposing things in your head, that is not what my point is in the first post. But then thinking about what Blake Burkhead said about holding two opposing viewpoints in one’s head did give me another insight as to why Christianists / Dominionists who post such statements as I analyzed in I Do Not Trust You cannot be trusted (or see below).

Let us separate the two thoug
hts and see where that leads us. We will begin by setting aside the statements of love, friendship, non-judging, non-condemning and non-bullying and just look at the other thought.

The first statements about being a Christian and believing in the Bible are an assertion of authority over the target of the statement. “God is on my side” would be a clearer statement and is meant to give weight to the non-support, in a way that is exempt from challenge or dissent, of people with an intrinsic quality and the civil right they have just achieved .

Then there is an admonition for the target not to behave in a certain fashion towards the speaker, not doing any name-calling and stereotyping. Notice the weasel phrase ‘those of us who stand for what we believe.’ Those of them who have already asserted their authority over the target now demand respect and obedience from the target based on the fact that God is on their side. There is also a ‘gas-lighting’ of the target, ‘is exactly what you don’t want done to you’ implies that the name-calling and stereotyping has not happened yet but will happen, justifiable so, in the future if the target issues any challenge or dissent to the authority that has been claimed.

Finally the threat. ‘We have a right to speak what we believe, same as you have the right to speak what you believe.’ It tries to sound fair but the speaker’s right is divinely granted by being a Christian and believing in the Bible and the target’s right is based solely on what the speaker is willing to grant. Now the supposed non-support is revealed as active opposition for they will exercise that right of speech from their position of authority.

Now the sentences about love, friendship, non-judging, non-condemning and non-bullying are seen in the correct light as emotional blackmail. The speaker separates the assertion of divine right from the threat of retribution with empty sentimentality. The statement, then, is not the holding of two opposing viewpoints but the logic of an abuser to its victim. 

“I have authority over you, granted by God, and I oppose not only your rights but your very being. You know I love you though if you cross me I will attack you as is my God-given right and it will be your own fault.”

I will never trust an abuser engaged in active threats.

 

  1. Yes, I am a Christian.
  2. I believe the Bible.
  3. I do not support homosexuality or “homosexual marriage.”
  4. Yes, I still love you.
  5. Yes, we are still friends.
  6. No, I am not judging you.
  7. No, I am not condemning you to hell.
  8. No, I will not let anyone bully you.
  9. But realize that name-calling and stereotyping those of us who stand for what we believe is exactly what you don’t want done to you.
  10. We have a right to speak what we believe, same as you have the right to speak what you believe.
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I Do Not Trust You

I have been seeing on my Facebook wall posts from the Christianist/Dominionist friends of friends which are some variation of the following:

  1. Yes, I am a Christian.
  2. I believe the Bible.
  3. I do not support homosexuality or “homosexual marriage.”
  4. Yes, I still love you.
  5. Yes, we are still friends.
  6. No, I am not judging you.
  7. No, I am not condemning you to hell.
  8. No, I will not let anyone bully you.
  9. But realize that name-calling and stereotyping those of us who stand for what we believe is exactly what you don’t want done to you.
  10. We have a right to speak what we believe, same as you have the right to speak what you believe.

I would like now to examine these statements from my particular point of view.

1. Yes, I am a Christian.

2. I believe the Bible.

The first two sentences are fine. I believe that people have a right to religious freedom and while I am not a universal pluralist I believe that all positive, life-affirming religious and spiritual paths are true. I certainly exercise my own religious freedom as a Wiccan, a pagan, and a polytheist. I am a former Christian and I think the Bible is an interesting piece of literature but I don’t believe in what it has to say about itself being the immutable word of the Divine. You are free to believe otherwise though do not try to argue with me based on some scriptural principle. I don’t accept its authority and I probably read and studied it more than you when I was a Christian.

3. I do not support homosexuality or “homosexual marriage.”

The third sentence is a problem when you think your lack of support should mean something to others. Again, support what you wish but when that support leads to the oppression of others it reveals a serious problem. Variations of this sentence coupled with the second sentence has lead the oppression and marginalization of large number of people and there is simply no way for you to pretend that this is not the case. In a secular democratic society you don’t get to exercise the singular belief that allows you to treat whomever you have deemed as ‘the other’ as second-class citizens and force others do so as well by codifying it in law. Otherwise, I am not concerned with your lack of support.

4. Yes, I still love you.

5. Yes, we are still friends.

6. No, I am not judging you.

7. No, I am not condemning you to hell.

Sentences four, five, six and seven are based on a contradiction. You have already said you don’t support homosexuality. Yet you pretend that “homosexuality” is somehow separate from homosexual people. You know, the ‘you’ you keep referring to in these sentences. What kind of cognitive dissonance is required to reconcile sentences four and five with sentence three? In addition I should not have to remind you that divine judgement is fundamental to the biblical principles you claim to espouse. And if you posted such a statement then you more than likely belong to one of the faith traditions that proclaim homosexuals are going to hell. I understand that it is not you personally doing the actual condemning but sentence two indicates you believe that the condemnation is fair and appropriate. You agree with it. That makes sentences four, five, six and seven even harder to swallow.

8. No, I will not let anyone bully you.

Sentence eight is obvious an attempt to make you feel better about yourself and your beliefs. The problem is that most of these memes and statements are shared from sites and pages whose only reason for existence is to bully and dehumanize homosexuals. That gives a lie to sentence eight. No, you have allowed people to be bullied in your name and you are disingenuous to pretend that is not the case even as you repeat such bullying.

9. But realize that name-calling and stereotyping those of us who stand for what we believe is exactly what you don’t want done to you.

10. We have a right to speak what we believe, same as you have the right to speak what you believe.

Sentence nine and ten are a real problem. They both are basically saying ‘now that you have had some small victory in no longer being treated as a second-class citizens by my fellow religionists please do not treat us the same way we have been treated you for decades.’ This kind of hypocrisy simply makes what you were trying to say in sentences four through eight meaningless. You have plainly contradicted yourself. I wish I could say that I have sympathy with your point of view but I do not. I do believe that people of good intent can have differing points of view and that being able to share and discuss them and disagree with others helps to define and refine all points of view. That is not what is being sought here. You wish to continue to be able to demonize and marginalize and name-call and stereotype and lie and slander all you want without being challenged because you believe that sentences one and two give you that right. It is the same thinking that leads to the ‘if you are tolerant you must be tolerant of my intolerance otherwise you are the same as me’ mode of thinking. Or even better, the hypocritical ‘do as I say, not as I do.’

  1. Yes, I am a Christian.
  2. I believe the Bible.
  3. I do not support homosexuality or “homosexual marriage.”
  4. Yes, I still love you.
  5. Yes, we are still friends.
  6. No, I am not judging you.
  7. No, I am not condemning you to hell.
  8. No, I will not let anyone bully you.
  9. But realize that name-calling and stereotyping those of us who stand for what we believe is exactly what you don’t want done to you.
  10. We have a right to speak what we believe, same as you have the right to speak what you believe.

Suddenly all of the fear-mongering that Christianists have allowed their leaders to get a way with, demonizing homosexuals and others who do not believe exactly what they do, seems to be coming true. You have allowed yourself to be driven by fear for so long that fear is now the foundation of all you feel and believe. And in that fear you want to try to have it both ways. You want to pander to those who have made you afraid of ‘the other’ (1, 2, 3) for fear of persecution as ‘an other’ and you want to pander to those who you have been feed the lie that they are going to persecute you by saying you have not acted badly (4, 5, 6, 7, 8) to ‘the other’ and that ‘the other’ should now grant you the consideration which you have denied them up to this point (9, 10), claiming rights that you have enjoyed up to now consequence-free.

There are a lot of other things I might say about this. I certainly recognize that not all Christians and religious people are such hypocrites. But these statements are the worse kind of deception, pretending that you somehow have not done what you have done and that somehow you should not be held accountable for what you have done and should be allowed to keep doing it.

I do not accept this and I do not forget what you have done and what has been done in your name. When a person contradicts themselves as easily as this they cannot be trusted. Statements like the one above simply confirm that. And in the final analysis it boils down to this one simple fact.

I do not trust you.

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An Agent Provocateur In Our Midst

I have seen posted in several places a screen shot of a tweet or post or something recently written by Z Budapest. The particulars of the post are of no importance, it is simply a continuation of Budapest’s particular bias of several decades. I have no interest in examining its content.

I am interested, however, in discussing its dissemination, particularly because of the patently obvious reason for its having been written in the first place. I am concerned that people are falling into a rather clumsily laid trap.

Put simply, she writes and presents in hopes that people will respond rashly to her. She desires that men will engage in ad hominem attacks on her because that will prove that she is right about all men. She hopes that women will engage in similar attacks because it proves that only women who agree with her are holders of correct belief and those who do not are traitors to their kind.

Based on what I have seen, heard, and read by Budapest over the years, I believe there is no desire on her part for honest and open discussion but to do as much as possible to derail any dialogue which might actual work towards a reconciliation and healing. And so I regard Z Budapest as an agent provocateur. Not, of course, of the police, but of her own calcified viewpoint. If she can stimulate individuals who are swept up in their own passionate responses to act rashly, to respond carelessly, or to make imprecise and potentially controversial statements themselves she has done more damage to the reputation and standing of those she considers to be her enemies than she herself could ever accomplish on her own. And that is far more effective in preventing any useful exchange of views than the content of anything she might write.

Of course, it is necessary to call people on their bullshit and there are many effective ways of doing so. However, one does not do that by reposting their words along with personal attacks and angry words of denial. To do that is to fall into the agent provocateur’s trap and inflict a wound on oneself, the very thing the agent provocateur desires.

And do not think this applies only to Z Budapest. Whenever we read something that raises our ire or provokes us to respond it is good to stop and ask ourselves:

  • Why am I reacting this way?
  • Are they trying to get me to react a certain way, and if so, what could their reason be?
  • Where is the true source of my disagreement, my discomfort, my response?
  • If I choose to respond, is this a conscious choice to engage in discussion? Or am I only trying to relieve my feelings?

And ask any other question that examines the motives, conscious or unconscious, of those involved. This will help us to act rather than simply to react.

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The Silvery Path

I slept beneath the moon last night
And walked the paths of silver light
‘Neath shadows of the wakened trees
Through mists that flowed like darkened seas

Off in the distance spoke the owl
Beneath his coppery feathered cowl
Of moving things beneath his eye
Of those that live and those that die

The land was stirred by Spring’s enchant
The Winter’s time of cold and damp
Was giving way to Life Renewed
No longer frost but morning dew

I looked upon the rising green
And felt the stirring pure and keen
Of passion for life’s fleeting bliss
For love and joy and fiery kiss

And then I heard an urgent call
Come to me down the length’ning hall
Of time and space, it touched my heart
And so I went to make a start

My heart then lead me so to wait
Before the mighty Ancient Gate
Of Faery deep within the Land
And there I was to patient stand

And while I stood in silence deep
And all about the world did sleep
I caught my breath as stirring sound
Came to me through the air and ground

And as I watched the Gate swung wide
And power flowed out like the Tide
To Overwhelm my mortal sense
Yet came The Bright One with me hence

And we as one then saw the sight
That freed me from my human fright
And we as one then spoke the word
That let us be so undisturbed

The First of Wild came to us then
His flesh afire, burning skin
His eyes of starlight shining bright
He pierced the darkness with the light

His countenance was fierce, unbound
His singing came forth as a sound
Of myriads of trumpets, flutes
Of violins, of drums and lutes

His stalwart breast burned as a star
Whose ending was seen from afar
As nova light, a million suns
Whose death gave life to future sons

He passed me by as quick he sped
On other errands and he led
A host of others of a kind
Like to him, of savage mind

They tarried not and spoke no word
As lo! Wild pass into the world
And what will come we do not see
Yet I feared not for hope is key

When once the Wild has passed me by
And darkness filled the quiet sky
There came forth from the open Door
A ray of light not like before

And then I saw in silvery glow
The reason for my moonlit stroll
For on a steed of shining white
There sat an Elven Queen of Light

And with her was her Consort tall
Their radiance outshone them all
That passed before and on their heads
Was wisdom when no words were said

They led me to their ancient halls
So strong and mighty are its walls
No foe could ever within peer
There was no darkness, dread nor fear

We sat as one in silent speech
And many place and time in reach
Of seeing eyes and deepest thought
Was palely there as I they taught

Of what was past and is no more
Of what has flowed to every shore
Of what has sank beneath the waves
Of what must see these future days

Of coming change and work to do
Of those now stirring, many, few
Of spirals at the heart of life
Of perils near, the cause of strife

Of need for speed, and patience too
Of aid unlooked for, allies true
Of enemies, and challenges
Of beginnings and needed ends

So many things they put within
My mind and heart there is no end
Of what is needed, when to act
Of things to seek and who to ask

Yet at the end they spoke of hope
Of open doors and gentle folk
Returning to the mortals lands
Of willing arms and helping hands

The mortal winds both clear and keen
Awoke me from my waking dream
And I returned to Mortal Lands
To see the ever shifting sands

For nothing now can be the same
The Wild is now no longer tame
A call to arms from stirring horns
Will move the Wise now from their homes

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Angels & Demons

I heard, second-hand, that two of my friends were having a bit of an argument over the description of an incident that one of them had experienced many years ago. The discussion was not over what had occurred nor its outcome but over a particular word that the speaker had used to describe the particular discarnate entity that had been encountered and with which the listener had issue.

Demon.

Now I was not there when this discourse took place so I was unable to ask the question that I like to ask when such disagreements occur; how do you define the word ‘demon?’ What are it’s qualities and characteristics? How is it different from other types of entities? And though I lack either of the definitions being used, I am fairly certain that there was a fundamental difference in the description that each of the people involved had in mind when using the word ‘demon’ and, ergo, there was a difference of opinion.

This essay is not concerned with the definitions that the people involved were using. It is concerned with how I would define the word ‘demon’ and what use, if any, such a definition would have. And I will start with the universe, which is as good a place as any to start. This, hopefully, will resolve a serious quandary.

One of the first things that came to my mind was how one could separate the negative overlay that the term ‘demon’ carries and what is actually the nature of the entity called demon. I am reminded that the term ‘demon’ arrises from the Greek word daimôn, entities that exist between the deities and humanity and which is a term which holds no such unfavorable connotation. Why and when the term became associated with malicious spirits is beyond the scope of this essay. But it represents a problem which requires a bit of resolving before I can begin. Could I look at the generally accepted polar opposite of ‘demon,’ i.e. ‘angel’ and find some clarity? Yes, though to do so one must first look at the two terms from a different and less emotionally charged perspective, let us call them ‘light’ and ‘dark.’ This may provide the key to understanding the other terms.

And this is where the universe comes in. Let us first posit that, in the universe, there are areas of energy and matter, such as this place called Earth in the Sol system, where I am writing right now and which we will call light, and dark, all of those places in the physical universe where there is neither energy nor matter. Secondly, we look to Physics, which describes to us a fundamental property in the universe, entropy, which is the tendency of all complex, organized ‘things,’ i.e. both matter and energy, to gradually degrade into simpler and simpler forms. This is the force which, if Cosmology’s theory of a ever expanding universe is correct, eventual transmutes the entire universe of order, transforming it from the vast darkness with spots of highly concentrated energy and matter, i.e. stars, planets, nebulae, and all the other ‘structures,’ into a vast uniformity in which all energy and matter is spread as the simplest possible substance uniformly and impossibly thin throughout all of the darkness of space.

In this theoretical model, darkness is not actually the opposite of light, but the entropic neutrality that is the field of action where all of this concentration and dissolution takes place. Light is active and moving through this neutrality, concentrating within it but not changing it. Here we have one pole of our polarity (light) and the ‘neglected’ middle (darkness). Where, then, is the other pole? Well, let’s suppose there is another classification, let’s call it ?-darkness, that has the same class of characteristics as light, i.e. it is active and moving through the neutrality, filling it but not changing it. Thus, we have light, the counteractive to entropy, for it concentrates energy and matter in specific localities within the darkness. And we have ?-darkness, the agent of entropy, actively dissipating and neutralizing light by interactively spreading it throughout the darkness. The final ‘heat death’ or entropic end of the universe comes when each ‘particle’ of light and each ‘particle’ of ?-darkness has found its opposite in the other and the pairs are spread uniformly though out the darkness of space.

This model of classification, then, has two active poles, light and ?-darkness, and the neutrality, darkness. It must be noted that I put no moral or ethical characteristic on these entities. They have no quality of good, evil, or otherwise associated with them, as they are not sentient entities but impersonal forces. It would make no more sense to apply such qualities as it would to say that sunlight is ‘good’ or that a supernova is ‘evil’ from a moral perspective.

What does this have to do with angels and demons? Plenty.

Let’s begin with angels. In many systems of understanding; religious, spiritual, magickal, or otherwise; it is thought that angels are a type of impersonal, specialize but un-individuated entities responsible for the continuation of some part of the overall structure or order of the universe. Angels are generally thought to lack the sentience required to make independent decisions that go against their directives or to operate outside of their specialized purview. This means that they lack the emotional responses required to have needs and desires. This lack also indicates that they experience no sense of pleasure or pain or satisfaction based on the performance of their role. They are like an Artificial Intelligence system: they respond to stimuli in a manner consistent with their programming, and while it appears to the observer that there is a range of ‘feelings’ behind those responses, that is an illusion we project upon them out of our natural tendency to anthropomorphize. Angels are like light, then, in that they can be thought of as concentrating areas of structure and order in the entropic neutrality in contravention of entropy.

What about demons? If we posit that, like ?-darkness, demons are the agents of entropy, then they play a polar opposite role to angels even as light is the counter to ?-darkness. Following our theoretical model, demons can be understood to be a type of impersonal, specialized but un-individuated entity responsible for the execution of the laws of entropy in the universe. They lack the sentience required to make independent decisions or to operate outside of their specialize purview. This means they also lack innate emotional responses required to have needs, desires, pain, pleasure or satisfaction in the performance of their role. Demons, too, are AI system responding to stimuli in a manner consistent with their function, and again it is the human tendency to anthropomorphize and need to impose meaning upon actions outside ourselves that leads to the concept that they are ‘evil’ in the moral sense as an opposite to the angels’ ‘good.’

In the case of both angels and demons, the classification of actions as ‘good’ and ‘evil’ is directly tied to the impact on the human condition. That which we love, appreciate, and touches us directly or indirectly for our benefit we classify as ‘good.’ That which we abhor, detest, and which has a detrimental effect on us, directly or indirectly, we classify as ‘evil.’ Much has been written on the subject of good and evil, their qualities and their manifestations. The simple definitions above must suffice to demonstrate, at least in the classification of ‘good’ and ‘evil,’ that it is our tendency to see things as opposites and to attach some personalized emotion-driven motivation to any occurrence. And because we are physical beings with the self-preservation impulse built in, our emotional nature would classify continuation as ‘good’ and dissolution as ‘evil’ because they impact our very existence.

None of this is to say that there are not intangible entities in the universe that do have their own form of sentience and individuation, and whose interaction with humans give rise to potential mislabeling. Indeed, I do believe there exists sentient beings, some that appear to have our best interest in mind and others that do not. And going back to our simplified qualifications of good and evil, those that do are ‘good’ and those who do not are ‘evil.’ What is important is that we do not project human thoughts, feelings, needs, and desires upon the A.I. agents and counter-agents of an entropic universe, demons and angels. They are simply doing what they were programmed to do, and if we misuse either term it promulgates incorrect concepts of the nature of spiritual beings.

Posted in Essays | 3 Comments