Are you the company you keep?
Believe it or not, that little question can cause more conflict the latest Supreme Court decision and in the Pagan Community it can start the next world war.
I am not a joiner and even less a commenter when thrown into groups. I have to thrown because I like to stay by myself. Somehow I have never found conflict to be an effective growth tool. Actually, I think I proved that in a psychological experiment once. I have also found very few supportive people in my life. If they were supportive, they tended to be on their own ego trip and I was the next pretty bauble in their collection.
All of that would be beside the point if it were not for the group problem. The problem on Facebook is people can thrown you into groups without your permission. It took me a while to figure out the why of this practice. It boosts the group numbers and hence their rating. Unfortunately, it destroys good people.
Just ask a simple question in a pagan (defined as non big three religions group) group and instead of getting a simple answer, you will get attacked for asking and the poor person who is dumb enough to answer will be followed to Hades and back with knives in their back. And then, you will no longer see any attack or counter attack that even resembles the original question. At this point a normal person says, “I'm out of here.” When it happens enough, they withdraw to their private page and shut up.
One cannot help but wonder how much great information, techniques, healing and yes, spells, are lost to the Universe because of this behavior. The answer is probably a staggering amount.
Now there are those who are going to invoke words like privacy, don't give people a loaded gun, only for my coven or whatever and I, at 62, have to ask you; who you are saving them for? I just realized the other day, my good china that came to my marriage, has never been on the table. I wonder who I have been saving it for all these years....42 to be exact. Who are you saving all this knowledge for?
In Magick, not everything works for every person or even at every time. So the wider your knowledge, the better your chances of success in any endeavor. You can be assured, you won't be getting any wider knowledge on Facebook unless it is in ducking. You don't get it on Yahoo Groups. And I suspect you won't get it on Google Circles as you have the same people in play on all of them.
Last year, there was a huge flap over the prejudicial content of a workshop at an annual festival. Someone messaged me and asked a question he was scared (bad commentary on the Pagan Community right there) to ask in a group or even on my page. It was simply; didn't they know this person's beliefs before they booked them as a keynote speaker. The simple answer is; it would have been impossible not to know them if you have been in the Pagan Community for more than 5 minutes. Okay, that may be an exaggeration, but there is no doubt the management was aware. Not only that but you in the audience are unaware that practically all events require an outline of the speech or workshop you are going to give, the needed materials, qualifications for attending, handouts and often, an actual transcript of the speech or workshop. You may have just said: WHAT? Well, stop and think about. The management has to write up the publicity and the brochure for which they need all that information. So, if you think any event is OH MY GODDESS SHOCKED at the content, they probably deserve at least an Oscar for trying.
Are you the company you keep? You bet you are whether you want to admit it or not. No one is stupid, silly or masochistic enough to continually associate with people that hurt them and people who are like them. It goes against the primary directive of all organisms: survival. If you really aren't like them, sooner or later they will discover it and tear into you. The odds are it will be sooner. I really love the justification of you being more liberal, tolerant...fill in the blank...than those people you spend all your time with, married and joined. Sure you are. Got any more fairy tales? Get real. If you don't agree with people, and particularly how they are treating someone else, you are out of there as fast as you can be.
At least be honest with yourself. Birds of a feather flock together.
It is a sad commentary on the Pagan Community at large that there CANNOT be a reasonable discussion of ANYTHING without an attack on the belief or experience of the person involved.
If you ask 5 people what happened during an event they all witnessed, you are going to get 5 different versions of the event. Just ask a cop. People are not trained observers. Hey, Texas has outlawed teaching critical reasoning. Do you think they teach scientific methods of observation anywhere??? Now, when that event is of a subjective, supernatural or spiritual nature, do you really expect to get one version from 5 people???
I had this proven to me one night when teaching class. We were working on dealing the Tarot cards. I was totally guilty of using the words sense, feel and go with the flow, when someone said simply, “What the Hell does that mean?”
Uh.....it meant nothing. Finally, after a few minutes of doing the action over and over, I realized the real sensation I was trying to describe was “sticky”. The right card minutely sticks to your fingers and hopefully not because you were eating candy before the reading. Now I have learned to go over how I describe something happening to make sure I am not using “buzz” words instead of real, defined actions.
Do you know the origin of Buzz Words? It was in advertising. It described a word or phrase you MADE UP to describe something to create a BUZZ as in a bunch of bees communicating the location of pollen to each other. It is a neural map. The word or phrase causes your brain to create an entire picture and draw a certain conclusion with absolutely NO evidence what-so-ever it is truth.
Whoa Farmer, I bet that just put a new spin on a lot of things you have taken for granted.
So Ladies and Gentlemen, keep in mind if your neural map were so very different, you wouldn't be buzzing in that group of people. Bees of a kind only swap pollen with hive members...