As brutally honest and straight to the point an answer as I can manage right now

Posted: December 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

Yesterday I awoke to a great pair of comments from a new reader, Daydreamer, who recounted their own experiences with a good jug of ‘shine and shared their reflections on the use of direct, blunt language. This comment was pursued by the following question:

Daydreamer says:

December 11, 2013 at 3:17:05 AM  

Pardon my asking what I am about to here, though I do not think you will mind if I have understood correctly what I have been reading of your posts on the W&P site. I ask it here because I do not follow nor belong to the site and I doubt that I will begin to.

I am paraphrasing, but when you say that the gods contacted you without, well without consent really, and turned your world upside down. How was this done? And more importantly really, as to what I am asking, how did you figure out who it is making the various types of contact?

Not that I think you will believe so, I am not trying to step on toes, start a debate, or show disrespect in any form. I would just very much like a brutally honest and straight to the point answer and think from what I have been reading you might be the person to ask. If not, I do most sincerely apologize. Thank you.

I began typing my response in the comments section, but realized that it was possibly better suited as a blog post in and of itself. So here goes, the expanded version:

Daydreamer,

This is a good, but more challenging than you may realize (or intend) question. With regard to how my gods contacted me, “How was it done?”, and “how did I figure out who it was?” are complex questions which, for those without the experience (or study of and exposure to the experience) can be challenging to answer “directly”. It is kind of like asking “How did find out who your mother is?”, or “How did oxygen first contact you?”

The second part of this is easier to answer than the first. For some people the “who is it?” is very fucking straight forward; for me it was not. I spent years not knowing Them by names. But I was also not bothered by this. Knowing their names came later, and it was a sacred and powerful and transformative revelatory (in the apocalyptic sense of the word) experience. We rely too heavily, as a culture today, on labels and “names”, as if categorizing things in such a way will make them “more real” or “easier” or “manageable”, as if it is a requirement for something to be considered at all. I didn’t have any fucking names for Them. They were my gods. When I found Their names, I had names– it deepened the relationship, as all learning does, but the relationship was already years-founded by that time, and built upon a foundation of experience and engagement.

When I encountered the name of a particularly important one of my gods for the first time, it was in a book, by accident. I wasn’t searching, wasn’t eagerly pouring through dusty tomes hoping to find it; it came up by accident, while I was attending to something else, in an altogether inconvenient location for such. The moment that I read Her name, which was the first time I’d knowingly done so, I was struck as if by lightning and a cold wind at once, and thrown back from my chair and against a metal radiator mounted to the wall some distance behind. My chair broke. Attention was drawn. My head was bleeding. Profound, life-changing, literal experience of being lifted off of the ground through a wooden chair and set on fire with the sheer power of that sacred knowledge, which was felt, confirmed, known, and embodied all in one painful, glorious, sacred fucking instant.

I once found myself having growing, human-ish questions about my relationship with my god Sabazios. I wasn’t doubting HIM, per se, I was questioning my relationship to him: it was more self-doubt than deity-doubt. I needed confirmation, but I knew better than to ask for it. I got it anyway, by way of damage to my ulnar nerve during a sacred ritual process, which was a complete accident. The damage caused my right hand to paralyze.

Ulnar claw:

Hand of Sabazios:

See? Confirmation.

My hand is functional again after a few months of self-managed physical therapy (I bought text books, as they’re cheaper than going to PT) but at certain points of my devotional year, and in certain ritual contexts, it locks up again, and that is one way that He makes His presence known.

But the problem with your question (sorry if that sounds judgmental, not intended!) is that it assumes there is a “to the point”, “direct” way to answer. There isn’t. Dealing with Deities is a lot like dealing with firearms, in some cases, in the sense that it can be dangerous, it can be deadly, it can be challenging, there can be problems, and so on. But it is not at all like dealing with firearms when it comes to explaining the “how”. There’s no “and the hammer hits the chambered round, and this causes a combustion which propels…” explanation for direct “contact” with deities, as there is no single mechanical process by which this happens. Sometimes it involves all five senses, sometimes it involves no senses at all, other times it happens in entirely other worlds, and still other times it happens right here in this one through very physical means. Sometimes those means are driven by invisible force or circumstance — the Will of the gods, and all that! — while other times it is driven by a god literally possessing a dumb fuck and slamming steel into your forehead to make a point, like this: 

thracian equinox 009

For each person who has direct experience of the gods or spirits, it can be entirely different. Some of us are writers or crafters or makers, and we met our gods through that process; a mystical union wherein our own will is either joined or displaced sideways to the whole thing in order to allow Their Will to come through, as inspired workings. For these it may have been a sudden storm which was unmistakable as deity, clearly differentiated from other creative (or ecstatic) process or consciousness. For others it was gradual. The deities and spirits are capable of both, and everything in between.

My own engagement was not through creative process; I have always known the spirits (and later the gods) around me as real and truly as I know the people around me. I’d known Them, or some of them, for years prior to that, though namelessly. I knew more spirits than gods, and again, I interacted with these as regularly and normally as I would interact with a material person. This was true for my entire life. Often they were visible to me, othertimes I could hear them, sometimes I could smell them, sometimes all of these, and frequently there was the impossible sensation of touch even though they were immaterial in our physics-minded definitions. I KNEW them, however, which is the deepest of all the senses, and the least discussed, and always before that I could FEEL them. The gods are, to begin, as real and practical and far more important as the corporeal; sometimes heard, often seen, always felt and soul-shatteringly known.

When my gods claimed me, They did so through a literal physical death.  I was a corpse. Then I was in a coma. Throughout it all, I was absent from this world;  I was Elsewhere.

My story in this world fucking stops at the time that I died (and I became a hunk of meat and a part of other people’s story; the story of those who found me, the story of those who transported me, the story of those who found a heartbeat, the story of the hospital, the story of whoever gave me sexy coma sponge baths), and a different story began OUTSIDE of this world. A holy Power with a mighty spear opened the way for me to leave this place through the side of a mountain — not a mythical mountain or a figurative mountain, but a literal geographically near topographically noteworthy cartographically discernable *mountain* — and He held the way for me. I later knew His name to be Sabazios, and I knew that He’d been with me a long time before that (though I hadn’t known it to be Him, at the time). From this world I went someplace else, which I later learned the name of: but that telling is a private, sacred telling, and is not for this space.

It wasn’t about “contact” with deities, in the sense that a voice in my head said “Oh hey there human, I am a god, do you want to work with me? I really like you.” My “contact” was always there, as present as breath, and familiar as gravity. My CONTRACT began with a tangible event, with nothing abstract about it.

One of the reasons why people with these experiences (and the requisite years of subsequent responsibilities, and training, and continued discipline-building devotion-testing lives and ordeals) dislike talking about them with people of a more humanistic persuasion is that most of the people “outside” of this realm approach with what they consider to be a “healthy skepticism”. However, even in the fields of social science (psychology, in its non-medical regard, sociology, and especially cultural anthropology), the best and brightest visionaries of these academic pursuits suspend their own skepticism for the sake of understanding the experience of others. A person is not to be described as “believing that they were chosen by spirits“, but rather instead that they “were chosen by the spirits”. This language shift is important because the first one (the “skeptical” wording), implies a condescending under-the-microscope “wrongness” of of the experience. It silently and politely suggests a faux-rational concept of “absolute rightness” (frequently leaned on devout followers of the religion of science) as if there is such a thing. The idea of “belief of experience” is lobbed about as a bubble-wrap for those absent belief of those experiences in order to discuss the realities of other people, without the fucking nagging nuisance of needing to assign reality-level-consideration or any fucking real respect to them. This practice is meant to be similar in the way that the U.S. court of law is supposed to encourage an “innocent until proven guilty” tone (e.g. “the accused” and “the alleged crime”, etc), crafting “neutral” language so as to not imply judgment. However, we all fucking know that judgment is always implied, in one damn direction or another: people are dicks. That’s just the rub of it.

We (mystically engaged, spirit-experiencing polytheists and animist and polytheanimists and so forth) frequently feel not only pathologized by the faux-science faux-netural faux-humanist language levied against us, but also very literally “put on trial“. It is as if we are needing to justify our experiences — “our beliefs in our experiences”, as the Johnny Humanist would say, just to politely remind that he doesn’t fucking believe or respect any damn one of us. We are not sharing our experiences with a grand jury to be decided on as credible or not. We are not standing to give testimony in somebody else’s trial against the heavens or the hells (as that bullshit is between them and the denizens of those realms!).

We share our experiences to inspire those who will be inspired by them, to educate those who will learn from them, to collaborate and connect with those who have similar (though never identical!) experiences, and to give voice to those who (for whatever reason) do not, at least insofar as we can from our own experiences and stances.

We advocate for a place in “this great debate” that respects what we do and uses the right language to discuss it because, outside of the fact that humanistic progressive thought SAYS we have this right, it is of vital importance that we be permitted to do so.

Why?

Because right now there is somebody, somewhere, having an experience like ours, but who has no context for it.

No language. No names. No words. No structures. No colleagues, community, collectives or peers; no elders. No guides. No guardians, to oversee them through their process of transformation or vulnerable ordeal, nobody to protect their incubation period after initiation and nobody to tell them it is okay when they wake up screaming and sweating and pissing in fright in the night or the day or the blessed spaces between.

They will be marginalized not only by their society and by their immediate social world and neighborhood but by their family and friends and — most damning of all — by their own selves, for they are a product of their family and friends and neighborhood and society. The norms attributed to each of those, which come crushing down upon an “experientially deviant” individual, exist also within that person — and so they will encounter reflectively a period of self-rejection, self-denial, and overwhelming self-doubt. The problem is that in the case of these very real encounters with the divine powers, with the spirits, denial and rejection are *dangerous*.  

So back to me-as-a-corpse. Here in this world, the really-real world of material incorporation and all that, I was a cadaver. I don’t have a material story or narrative around all of that, because I wasn’t fucking here anymore. “I” (ain’t that a loaded term?!) was “Elsewhere”. My five senses were replaced with five thousand senses and all of them were jacked the fuck up and I was untethered from this place, and all of the stovepipe limitations it carries with it. A spear-carrying figure opened the way for me through a mountain.  He held the way and down that way I went, passing through that space to another.

Suffice it to say, a whole lot of pretty fucking big shit happened — as in literally, causally took place, again not as an abstract or figurative narrative of a death or near-death experience, but actual sequences of events that took place outside of this world and outside of this fucked up mortal roller-coaster-track — and then I was given a choice. Because the gods are real, spirits are real, and the realms and worlds in which they dwell and drink and stalk and pass are absolutely real and of consequence.

And so, yeah, claimed by spirit, contacted and contracted by deities. Death, returning, humbling pathetic mortal-shuffle ordeals in the wintery woods and so forth. Then I got a job and tried to make sense of everything that had ever fucking happened. I’d already been reading psychology textbooks for nine years at that point, and had already been studying abnormal (and analytical, and Jungian, and noetic) psychology for the better part of a decade, before I got snatched up. Self analysis was no small thing, but it came without much resistance: I had to rule out the crazy. I had to rule out the delusional. And I did. But while that was going on, I had to learn my place, because delusion or reality, I was owned, and everything had changed. I found that cooperating with the spirits went a lot more smoothly than not, and in fact seemed to be beneficial not only for me but for those around me. Dismissing them? The opposite. So I fucking did it. And I godsdamn survived, weeks to months and months to years. Until some crazy fuck with a gun started stalking me and trying to kill and/or marry me, and then there were cops and district attorney offices and whoa awkward, and more guns, and more crazy, and then California seemed like a swell fucking plan.

Daydreamer, I believe you when you say that you are asking this question in a place of good integrity and intent. But it is a challenging thing to be asked, not because the question is a threat to the experience (or the explanation of said experience, as some have suggested), but because the asking is often done from a place of separateness-and-central-Othering, with an implied “normative reality” (e.g. the reality and experience of reality accepted by the person asking the question, or at least the statistical mainstream) as the measuring device employed to accurately perceive the precise level of deviation that the mystic is expressing in their “belief of experience”. In a potentially contrary move, I will begin to conclude with a quote from Philip K. Dick, who is quoting some other thing:

“One long-past innocent day, in my prefolly youth, I came upon a statement in an undistinguished textbook on psychiatry that, as when Kant read Hume, woke me forever from my garden-of-eden slumber. “The psychotic does not merely think he sees four blue bivalves with floppy wings wandering up the wall; he does see them. An hallucination is not, strictly speaking, manufactured in the brain; it is received by the brain, like any ‘real’ sense datum, and the patient act in response to this to-him-very-real perception of reality in as logical a way as we do to our sense data. In any way to suppose he only ‘thinks he sees it’ is to misunderstand totally the experience of psychosis.”

Drugs, Hallucinations, and the Quest for Reality” (1964) quoting an unknown psychiatric text, reprinted in The Shifting Realities of Philip K. Dick (1995) Lawrence Sutin, ed.

This should not be at all to suggest a pathological or psychosis-derived view of mystical, divine, gnostic or otherwise spirit-engagement experience, but rather, to draw a parallel between two different marginalized experiences of reality, which are frequently conflated by the mainstream (and Johnny Humanist!) anyway, with regard to how those outside of them reject them through the destructive lens of pathology. The center must hold, and to do so, it must arm itself against and in trending sequence and cycles make torch-and-pitchfork war against that which marks its edges, and that my friends is, and always has been, the mystics, the psychotics, the deviants, the saints, the oracles, the prophets. These are certainly not suggested as one group, but rather, a collection of those whose differences (and strengths, and values to society!) set them apart from society, and therefore paint targets upon them.

So sometimes we get a little jumpy describing or sharing our experiences, when there’s no very good way for a person to confirm to us that they’re not interested in putting us on trial or asking us to justify the reality of our experiences or our gods or our gnosis; no way to communicate clearly that they’re not gonna be a dick about it.

Because people are dicks. That’s just the rub of it.

 

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Comments
  1. And, unfortunately, “dicks” and “rubs” in that last sentence are not a fortunate combination…at least from the viewpoint of some individuals who possess said anatomy. 😉

    This is well-said and well-expanded from your earlier comments. Not very many experiences I’ve had discussing these things, and none on the internet in the last year, have been of the respectful “I’d like to know more” variety that Daydreamer expressed; they’ve been by “pagan humanists” who have wanted to point out to me they’ve had “the same” sorts of experience, but that doesn’t mean “polytheism,” and therefore there is the implied “you’re wrong.”

    (And forget experience–I’m getting shit from people at this very moment on a recent blog post who are basically saying that my view on polytheism is new, unexplained, and therefore not worthy of taking into consideration in the “majority” view of polytheism as being monistic and panentheistic. For fuck’s sake, not again…!?!)

  2. Holy shit yes. Couple things that I want to re-emphasize.
    “The idea of “belief of experience” is lobbed about as a bubble-wrap for those **absent belief of those experiences** in order to discuss the realities of other people…” (emphasis mine). In my mind it is likened to man telling a woman giving birth, “Oh c’mon now, it is REALLY that bad?”

    Their lack of experience gives them no ground whatsoever to dictate mine.

    “Because the gods are real, spirits are real, and the realms and worlds in which they dwell and drink and stalk and pass are absolutely real and of consequence.”

    I feel bad for folks who haven’t experienced the intensity of it, *but* at the same time I completely understand the am-I-batshit-crazy feeling too. So we talk. “Really, you heard/felt/saw that too?” Whew. Once you’re aware it seems that door is hard to impossible to shut again.

  3. Daydreamer says:

    Thank you for the additions. I didn’t think you were lubbing me into the group. Could I have figured out a way to not ask in public I would have. But it is the candor of your wording in this journal combined with what I saw on the p&w I had looked up after instinct told me. Your response to comments on the few entries I had read told me that you wouldn’t belittle me if approached honestly. I am grateful that you replied as you replied because had you done so more…what’s the word? Sanitized maybe? I would have likely just said “thank you”, but as awful as it sounds, I would have been less likely to believe. I know that’s not fair. And really who cares what I think? You know your truth. But it is because you so bluntly shared the very things that one could only know if experienced (generalizing there), that made my breath catch.

    I really appreciate the generosity of your sharing, and the words of others who chimed in with their words. I’ve known people who try to believe me, as well as a very few who believe, though understanding is another story. But yes, to have someone whose reality is the same as mine (you know what I mean), well that’s a pinch myself happy moment that I would normally follow up with a conversation I’ve had more times I care to admit that went something like this:

    “Earlier today did this, this, and this happen? So I didn’t say..? We didn’t go…? Did this person…No? Ok. Thanks.” Followed up with the concerned but accepting look in my direction, a joke or two about said mishaps, and me wandering off trying to adjust my reality with everyone else’s.

    Whether I were ever to “speak” with you again, I now know just from what I’ve read of your own words and experiences that while not absolutely identical there is someone out there in the world who gets it. Isn’t trying to get it. Isn’t pretending to get it because they care and don’t want to hurt my feelings. Who out and out gets it and that I could likely carry on a conversation about a number of things that would leave others in an uncomfortable place. I’d say you just don’t know how priceless that is, but I’m betting you know exactly how priceless it is. I’d love to see that on the credit card commercial!

    Also I am glad that you pointed out that a hallucination is real to the clinically diagnosed or undiagnosed person. While it isn’t fun to be judged or called “crazy” by someone who doesn’t understand. It’s no more fun for those diagnosed with an illness. And dare I say, in spite of what I’ve experienced, I think it would be much more difficult to be told that it’s all in my head, this is why, and yes you really are batshit crazy but we can help you with that. Having seen, spoken to, smelled, felt etc things my entire life that others around me do not, I feel a strong sense of compassion for those whose brains fuck with them, to put it crudely. Humans aren’t kind to those different than the herd.

    Being someone who doesn’t have others around like myself, even when I lived somewhere that I had friends who were pagan. It’s still not the same if their experiences in life are just like everyone else’s. You’re still separate in a way that might not be said aloud, but it exists. What you have wrote is special. Even were I to never read another word you write, I will always remember your response. And I will always be grateful that you didn’t allow the negative experiences you’ve had from similar questions keep you from responding. Because you made a difference. With that, I will to remember to do the same when I find myself in such a situation, where normally cynicism would color my view. I hope that anyone with similar experiences who reads what you have written takes at least that much away.

    Hell, you know what? I’m sitting here realizing just how much the disbelief and questioning of others as well as my own has clothed me in cynicism. I think it’s a positive thing to question, but perhaps I take it too far. Because I’m pretty damnable cynical. I think I’m going to work on that. There are many interesting thought swirling around in my “noggin soup” right now. Gotta go scratch a few down for further focus. Who knew?

  4. […] mic differently than he has been – and in a manner that should be familiar to you if you read my Thracian Adversary’s […]

  5. I never doubt the reality of someone’s experiences. They may not explain them correctly or well or at all, and they may not turn out to be exactly as described, but they are not any less real. Never forget that whatever you feel and experience is real, even if your conclusions about why you have felt it or experienced it change over time.

    • The whole question around, and attempts at asserting objective control over, what “is real” (e.g. the nature of reality itself) is such a waste of effort. Reality is literally defined as our sense-perception of it, shared or otherwise: absent experience (and the consideration of experience), reality is literally non-existent.

      • thisica says:

        But then what is reality? Is it human-centred, as implied implicitly in “our sense-perception of it”, or is it something else? In my opinion, I don’t see reality as human-centred, but as beyond all human language, all human understanding. We can only get a small part of it, as we exist as finite creatures on a finite planet in the universe. This is profound to me.

      • thisica says:

        I think, for clarity’s sake, to think of the concept of ‘reality’ to be a human invention, rather than reality. There’s a use-mention confusion that matters.

  6. Mate, this is brilliantly raw, brutally beautiful.
    Despite generally being rather open with my experiences, I realize, while reading this, that I haven’t really been. That’s coming soon now.
    Fuck. Thanks a thousand times over.
    Also. Johnny Humanist? I’m still laughing over that.

  7. winter.skadi says:

    I saved this blog to come back to it when I had a moment to read. This part:
    “Why?

    Because right now there is somebody, somewhere, having an experience like ours, but who has no context for it.

    No language. No names. No words. No structures. No colleagues, community, collectives or peers; no elders. No guides. No guardians, to oversee them through their process of transformation or vulnerable ordeal, nobody to protect their incubation period after initiation and nobody to tell them it is okay when they wake up screaming and sweating and pissing in fright in the night or the day or the blessed spaces between.”

    Out of everything for me…
    now, I am a sap, I get that. My emotions run close to the surface at times, and very NOT at others, but I actually choked up and got emotional at this.

    I was 8. I met the embodiment of terror hanging from a tree, Elsewhere, when I found myself there, somehow. I “woke up” vomiting on the side of the road and was near catatonic for 2 days. I spent a long time, many, years, running from anything that even hinted at that moment in time.

    I was raised Christian, and joined an even “more” Christian church trying to escape. I had no context, no one to help me. Just the clear understanding that if I kept talking about it, I was going to be in trouble with my mom. So I learned to hide the fear. I learned to scream silently. Most of all I learned to defend myself. (little did I know at the time all of the reasons I was doing all of this and why it was done this way. Many of those puzzle pieces I have now, but I am sure there are more.)

    When I finally met someone who I did speak to, who was open about their experiences, and I spoke to him… I got a vocabulary. It was like an entire universe opened up. I cried. I cried so hard because I had no idea that anyone ever was plagued by these things. I had no idea. I did learn many things from the Lord of Terror… and over time (we’re talking 30 years) I saw different sides, and learned different names. I was 20 years in, roughly, before I really had a name for Him that others would know. I trusted Him, and I had deep feelings for Him, which only continued. (and yes I know that sounds like the biggest case of Stockholm syndrome ever, and maybe it is, but I wouldn’t change it) And the One I referred to as Grandmother Winter, for as long as I could remember, I got Her name too.

    It seems that it is always a delicate balance to figure out what to say, and when because people who have experiences like this often get medicated out of the “issue.” Society want everything to be neat, sanitized and happy. It isn’t always. Sometimes it is scary as hell, and sometimes you feel all alone in this issue with Whoever you are dealing with, because you are. But somewhere there is an 8 year old (or 28!) with no concept, and no one to help explain things. Somewhere someone needs to hear that there are others too who know this experience in one of the many forms it comes.

    Thank you for sharing, bluntly, and being a voice and a name that others can hear/see/find

    • Thank YOU, for such an important share, such an honest and courageous shout-out of authentic emotion, resonance and experience. This– this is exactly what I am talking about, what so many of us are writing for. Sometimes all it takes for “that person who has nobody, lost in an experience that they lack even the words to contextualize to THEMSELVES” to come out OK (or at least more OK) is to be validated, to have their experience validated, by ONE other person. By a blog, by a book, by even a fictional character’s exploits or a narrative voice in a great novel.

      I didn’t have other people, so I know the weight of that vacuum. I figured it out, as many have had to, absent that validating grace, absent permission from another to accept my own experiences. And, much as nobody wants to admit it, “permission from another” is a much bigger thing in our lives than is commonly realized: we’re socially configured creatures, with our own inner voices and inner self-judgments and self-assessments and boundaries and values informed primarily by those modeled at us by others. When we receive permission from another (outside of us!) we find the amazing gift of our own voice to give permission to our own experiences.

      Absent that? Fuck. It’s a hard, long, bloody fucked up road.

      Thank you for reading, and thank you again for sharing. Blessings to you!

  8. […] this is why it’s difficult to talk about how some of us have met our gods.   No amount of bright-shiny we’re-all-one […]

  9. Reblogged this on Sacred Liminality and commented:
    If you’ve ever wondered why and how someone can be contacted by gods or spirits, this is a great post that should explain a few things. And if you don’t have the time or inclination to read it, probably the biggest point I can reiterate here is this: when talking to someone who has experiences you do not have a context for, don’t belittle them by saying that they *think* that they have these experiences. Whether the experiences can be considered true or real according to your worldview is irrelevant – they are true and real according to the individual in question and should be discussed as such. This is the single biggest issue I have with the kind of person Theanos refers to as “Johnny Humanist”.

    The second point, one that others have stated and that this post briefly alludes to, is that most of us have been sceptical about our experiences (especially the bigger ones) and have tried to find alternate explanations that could explain them fully, including mental issues, to no avail. Asking whether we’ve considered x or y option (mental issues generally being the go-to option when spiritual experiences are discussed) is insulting and hurtful as it implies that we lack the capability to reason or perceive reality the “right” way.

  10. Beth says:

    Thank you for writing this; it is an absolutely brilliant explanation of why this kind of question can never be answered to the satisfaction of people who have not had the experience. In my own case, I have very good reason to believe Odin had watched over me from birth, but my first actual encounter with Him was at the age of eight, when I had a vision of Him leading the Wild Hunt, and at the moment I saw Him, I also saw Him see me. This would have been a terrifying experience for many adults, and I was a child and had no one I could talk to or ask about such an experience, Of course, I had no name for Him for years that anyone else would have recognized (not until my mid-thirties), but He was always present in my life in some guise and He guided and shaped me through all of those years. When I finally realized who He was, it was as a result of a series of clues (dreams, crows, odd things said by my teachers and even by strangers, things I found, books I discovered as though they had been placed there for me, and finally a statue and a death); it was a shock and yet not, because by then He was so familiar to me. I had called Him by many names through the years, and knowing this name was just the final piece of the puzzle that made everything come together and make sense. It was very much not a neat little “Hello, I’m Odin and you’re Mine” sort of thing; it was a process that has encompassed my entire life. Someone may as well ask me how I know I’m female.

  11. beanalreasa says:

    This, yes, this! Every single word of this post.

    Thank you for posting this.

  12. Ladyhawker says:

    Scientific evidence has indicated there are those among us whose biological makeup renders them incapable of having such an experience. They are generally the naysayers because they truly cannot wrap their brain around such a concept. Try not to take it personally.

  13. thisica says:

    As a person who has to straddle both the empirical (I’m a researcher-in-training in materials science) and the nonempirical worlds, I would say along the lines of “my personal experiences are non-systematic and non-replicable, so you don’t have to abuse your tools of reason on me. You may agree or disagree with my interpretation, but the fact stands that I have had these experiences.”

    I have had a mixed bag with different people when I first told them of my experiences. One of them took a Christian spin on it, saying that it’s the Holy Spirit…whilst another thought I was going mad. But all of them accepted what I have said, despite their varying interpretations. I let people come to their own conclusions about my experiences.

    There is a limit to the use of explanations and reason, after all, and I honour that by effectively practicing Keats’ Negative Capacity. There are things we can show to others…but there are secrets we have to keep, to keep our integrity and honesty intact.

  14. […] things, including some conversations I had on the way back home last night, got me thinking about this post by Anomalous Thracian from several months ago. I’d highly advise going to read the latter before reading what comes […]

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