Friday, February 1, 2008

Balance, and no this does not involve an gymnastics beam!

Something I think every human should try to achieve is balance. In life, be it physical, mental or spiritual. It’s vital.

Studies have shown that many of our modern “illnesses” are due to an imbalance of lifestyle. Nutrition has suffered, we eat “ready to eat” junk food, and suddenly society in the west is plagued by obesity and malnutrition. We work to hard, and stress (generally mental in nature) causes us to loose years off of what should be a higher life expectancy. We feel disconnected with the world (somewhat a spiritual issue) and society stops being societal, and we become individuals in the worst sense. This leads to people like the Unabomber, serial offenders in violent crime, or just a plethora of sad individuals that make society hard to maintain!

For a Warrior, balance is vitally important. As we deal with conflict as part of our path, we need to be able to “decompress”. Studies during the second world war onwards showed that soldiers (yes I know not always a warrior) who could not take a break, suffered mental “issues” at a higher rate than those who took a break. I think the most startling of this is the residents of Stalingrad (considered the longest siege in history, as it was pretty much 24/7 for months, while Medieval sieges would stop (generally) at sun set) had a life expectancy at least a decade less than those who were not there. The stress was constant, thus they could not ever relax!

So a warrior needs to find something that they have a passion for that is not warrior related. Art, poetry, whatever, but the warrior needs to be able to not be a warrior at times.

So for those of us on this path, even though the idea of “being vigilant” is there, there also has to be the idea of “doing it for yourself’ sometimes, because we are of absolutely no use to our community if we can not function at peak performance when needed. Worse still we may go off the path of the Warrior onto other less acceptable paths, and may never find our way back.

Out side of the community issues, or how to deal with "persistent" missionary nuisances

Perhaps the most serious threat to large Pagan events are the “proactive” Christians. I use the term proactive as to be honest it’s how they see themselves. They are here to stop Satan and save the souls of the poor misguided sinners. Generally they are “Jehovah’s warriors” and thus the enemy for the Neopagan Warrior. They are making war on us, and we need to (a) respect them and (b) be ready for them.

Wait a second, I said respect? Yes indeed. Respect is not accept. Acceptance is admitting defeat, respecting is admitting they exist and can possibly be a treat.

Now some of the more skeptical of you will argue that how can they be a “threat”. I might even get the old rhym “sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me”. But I would like you to consider the following links (part of a very fine Blog FYI).

If you clicked the links you will have seen that a group of overly zealous evangelical, extremists (I am avoiding the T word) picked on a little girl. Well gee how bloody brave of them. They will of course if confronted about the tactic us the time honored get out of jail free card of “saving souls” or “Christ compels them”.

That latter one really should not be a defense for poor behavior as a number of mentally unstable individuals have committed crimes and tried to use “the Devil made me do it” or some such as a defense. However as Christianity (and the other Abrahamic faiths) are widely accepted in the west (yes even Islam was till 9/11), allowing them free reign to be arses!

So what can the “Warrior” do? Well any large event needs security in my humble opinion. The security is there to stop problems from legitimate attendees and interlopers. A small well disciplined, trained and motivated group of individuals can maintain order with out being seen as too authoritarian by the community. There job is not to tell most people how to act, but rather stop a small number of people affecting a large number of people in an adverse way.

So at that pagan pride event if there had been such a group, they could have “quarantined” the group of Christians early on, and waited for the Police to show up and remove them.

Now getting the pagan community to accept that this is a necessary evil is a whole other matter. But the larger we get as a community the worse this can become. So far it’s been minor harassment in the grand scheme of things.

The question is, do we want this to escalate. Because as there are members of our community are willing to “lash back” at perceived injustices, and to be honest, untrained, undisciplined “warriors” (as they see themselves) are vigilantes and terrorists, and no society should accept that from it’s members. Take the high road, you can drop rocks on them better from up there :P