B is for Building a Mystery

Now that I’ve gotten the Sarah McLachlan song stuck in your head…

I was chatting with Juni the other day about the positives and negatives of sharing personal beliefs, UPG, and other such Project Protagonist topics. I still have some trepidation about what I’m doing. I don’t have a lot of readers, but I worry what you’ll think. Am I being trite? Do I sound crazy? Am I assuming too much or too little?

One of the fears we discussed was what happens once you put it out there. I’ve shared in small groups over the years, though, and I can’t imagine what’s left – people have taken things I said and done everything I can imagine finding hurtful with them short of starting a holy war.

(Well, there was that one time… Nevermind.)

Sharing in bits and pieces doesn’t work for me. I’m too tempted to couch my descriptions in the vocabulary of the person I’m talking to, instead of using my own descriptions. I’m hoping that by working through the whole shebang here, I’ll be able to tweak, strengthen, and make improvements in my beliefs and work.

There are things I’m not going to share here, because they’re too personal. Mostly what I mean by that is that they wouldn’t make sense to people who are not me. I think most people who believe in an immediate deity have had moments like that, moments which carry a majesty that you couldn’t explain without talking about visiting your grandmother when you were eight and the way the creek by your house smelled or something. Spiritual experience is not transitive.

I guess you could say I’m simultaneously building a philosophy and a mystery. The mystery is my own experience. The philosophy is what I can find the words to share. 

0 thoughts on “B is for Building a Mystery

  1. My biggest worry about sharing bits of practice is what people will think if I don’t keep the practice up. I worry about things like craziness too, but for whatever reason I mostly concerned with looking like someone with spiritual ADD. Maybe because I am.

  2. First off: I read the title, got the song in my head, read the title and broke rule 1 of the (extended) Cauldron. Thank you for that XD

    I can very mch relate to what you are saying; I think every single blogger out there struggles with what they can and can not write, or with what they do not want to write. It’s easy to start a war on the internet, even if that was never your intention.

    All I can say is go with your gut; it might not always work, bit at least you’re true to yourself.

  3. It is okay that you got the song stuck in my head – I totally debated the past couple of weeks switching my “B” to “Building a Mystery”, so yeah.

    I have said it before, but I really, really admire you, and what you are doing, and putting things out there like this. I can sympathize with a lot of the feelings you express here as well. Sharing in bits and pieces also does not work for me. And I could go on and on about the other ways I relate to what you have said here, but I am pretty sure you already know most of that. <3

    1. Considering you’re one of the reasons I’m doing it, both as a reflection of your bravery and your interest, I’m glad you’re enjoying it. I’m realizing that this is one of those things where it’s not going to stop being scary, I just need to get used to it.

      1. Yeah, I do not think it will stop getting scary. I liked Z’s description of the PBP and think it is relevant to this topic overall: “52 weeks of stage fright”. But here is to getting used to it! Hopefully it will get a tiny bit easier, each time. (And I am flattered and a bit taken aback, just for the record <3).

  4. “[…] moments which carry a majesty that you couldn’t explain without talking about visiting your grandmother when you were eight and the way the creek by your house smelled or something. Spiritual experience is not transitive.”

    This. So this. Or meeting people or symbols from stories that no one else you share with knows, things you can just remember pieces of, but not enough to explain to someone else. Those slivers of silver you carry that to you are a mirror, but to everyone else is scrap.

    The way you talk about the mystery and philosophy almost remind me of how we build realism in science. Our empirical observations, no matter how objective, are deeply dependent on the interpretation of results by the experimenter to have an relevancy for our collective knowledge base. There is a lot of information we end up considering extraneous that, while important to the experiment, isn’t part of explaining whatever is the objective of it. So it’s a lot of generating slightly differing but repeatable experiments until we come up with a large enough common pool of information to make a commitment to an answer for whatever metaphysical question was posed to us. Until then, each individual result is a subjective experience that could have a multitude of explanations, and carries little utility for any but the experimenter.

    Along that vein, we know scientific explanation is in adequate for coming to the “truth” of reality: it’s always asymptotic to whatever principle of nature it’s addressing, always leaving a new horizon to discover. I feel like it’s the same for any branch of metaphysics, as well as spirituality. All we can ever hope to understand fully is our own subjective truth as a quantized observer: being able to yield some more general principle that holds fast in an expanded space is just lovely gravy.

    So carry on cooking. I’m always happy to peek in the pot you have boiling.

    1. I’ll tell you a secret – I’m frequently not sure I have the words until I sit down and try to explain something in a post. And sometimes I still don’t have them. XD

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