The Letter “D”

Posted: July 12, 2015 in Uncategorized

This season is brought to you by the letter “D”.

  • Discipline: have it, or learn it and hone it.
  • Disciplines: identify what is or is not a discipline, respect those persons who have them, and respect the time and training put into those specializations.
  • Discernment: One discipline is “discernment”. Discernment is not a catch-phrase platitude to be whispered intently in New Age drum circles, glossy-eyed and meaningless. Discernment is a discipline.
    • Discernment is made up of a combination of factors, which I break down as the “Three Ds”: Distinctions, Differentiations, and Definitions.
      • Discernment requires the ability to recognize distinctions, which call for the active differentiation between some things from other things, which in turn relies on the knowledge or ability to seek the knowledge of the specific definitions related to those and other things.

Discernment — the application of the above process for the purposes of things like decision making, leadership, and learning, as well as more complex things like “making sense of experiences with the deities in one’s life” — is a discipline. It comes with time, training, and work.

Work? That takes, usually, some level of dedication.

Oh hey, there’s another “D”.

You know what else is a D-word? “Devotion”. So is Deity”.

So is duty”.

So is “depth” (thanks, John Beckett, for drawing this one to the surface. Ha. See what I did there?).

All of these are unpopular words. All of these are inconvenient concepts, in application. Every single one of these is more comfortably considered as an empty superficiality, a trivial catch-phrase to identify one’s abstract faux-ideological leanings.

None of these words is an abstract.

Fuck the rest of the alphabet. Let’s just spend the next 90 days or so focusing on the letter “D”, before the douchemuffin Atheopathic humanists have emptied our brains of all meaning and knowledge.

  1. Yes to all of this…

    “Duh” ought to be in there, too, I suspect, but it might be too complex a thought for some people to understand.

  2. Rose says:

    I always enjoy your rants – try this particular one trading The Suffix “-ist” for the Letter “D”, and some May begin to increase all the feels of certain ordeals. I feel the need to go read a post by some blackbird about informed consent.

  3. Reblogged this on Moon In Libra and commented:
    This challenge intrigues me. I might try to work with “discernment,” but I don’t know where I’ll go with it.

    John Beckett (Under the Ancient Oaks at Patheos) has written about “discipline.” Like all his posts, it’s a worthwhile read.

    • John is a dear friend and colleague, and I value his words on this as highly as I value nearly everything he writes 😉

      I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the discussions coming from my “challenge” — which admittedly began as a dick-joke reference on Facebook, but then became a for-serious declarative. So many of the essential foundations in our traditions, and in our Polytheistic paradigms, happen to fall into the “D” section of the dictionary. (Hey, there’s another..!)

  4. Virginia carper says:

    I am curious as to how said douche muffins will wring out the meanings of these words.

    As someone with a brain injury, it is easy for me to cop out and say well I have a disability. I can’t possibly do that. I have seen people in my therapy do just that. Yeah, there are stuff I can’t do like drive a car. But the goal of anyone with a disability is independence. That requires discipline to find out what you can do, and work around that what you can’t.

    As a Roman polytheist, I regard piety I.e. devotion of primary importance. All my relations flow from the one I have with the Lars and Gods. So I developed a devotional calendar using day timer system complete with check boxes and stickers, etc. So I am constantly reminded of what devotion to do in the morning, afternoon, daily, monthly, etc. So even for me, devotion is not hard. As the saying goes, just do it.

  5. amoran773 says:

    I wrote about Death. It’s not on your list, but it’s a “D” word.

  6. […] The Thracian has been talking about a lot of “d”-words in much of his writing online rec…, and his excellent presentation at MGW was no exception. People got to speaking about the topic of discernment in particular, and it was mentioned that too many people think of discernment–and the related concept (which I’ve seen used as a synonym in many cases for it, particularly in translations of the works of Meister Eckhart and others) of discrimination (and not in the negative and oppressive sense that is wielded to disempower and deprive certain people of privilege)–as being a very judgmental and therefore distasteful topic to consider. […]

  7. […] with various disciplines is harder still. One such tricksy discipline is that of discernment, which as I have written before requires certain combinations of things recognized in their relational sequence: (1) *distinctions* […]

  8. […] It is not a burden on me (or, I think, anyone) to decide (in an authoritative sense) what is or is not a god, a deity, a divinity; but rather to hold within our polytheistic frameworks and paradigms and theologies — and our own individual cults, organized and formal or loose, household, and informal — that these are different measurements which may exist exclusive or entwined with one another. Further, we hold the dual responsibility to recognize that the frameworks we hold to internal to our own practices and cults are not necessarily going to be true and accurate if applied in other cult traditions elsewhere (e.g. Roman Polytheism probably isn’t the best lens for understanding Yoruba theology!) and so, again, there are inner and outer frameworks of meaning to draw distinctions between. (All of which I’ve written about in a few other places, regarding definitions, differentiation, distinction, discernment, aka “the Ds”.) […]

  9. […] The Fucking Complexi… on The Letter “D” […]

  10. […] philosophy behind writings on discernment, distinctions, differentiations, definitions – “The Ds” – and on hashing out elementary ideas for “101” primers, and on building living tradition […]

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