Thursday, October 7, 2010

It’s my right to attack your path

How often do we see this? I’m not talking about asking questions about “why do you do it that way” or “I’d never ever do that”. Those are discussions of Orthopraxy.

No what I am talking about is the very common phenomena of “You are so wrong on that it’s not funny, but don’t worry I will harass you till I get you to recant your evil ways”.

Neopaganism has a nice fallacy that “If my personal code says it’s ok to do this, every one has to agree”. I call it a fallacy, as it holds as long as it does not impact another person. So it holds, up until the point that someone begins to affect someone else. If I were a Wiccan (which I am not) I would talk to the rede with “If it harms done, do as you will”. The point where it harms someone, you just violated that guideline. My own personal path would be the rules of hospitality. One should be a gracious host, and a good guest. When one stops being that, it’s time to go home, and not be at the adults table anymore.

So what sort of behaviors does this entail. Many of us will have seen, heard, or read about rituals that degenerate into nasty arguments over “you are banishing the elements wrong!” Discussions like this should be reserved for after the ritual, yet some one will take it upon themselves to be the Pagan equivalent of a barracks room lawyer.

Recently I was posting on a board, and got accosted by a previous acquaintance . I had been posting that if I was running a ritual, and attached the name ADF to the ritual I would have to be using the COoR, it’s part of the deal with being part of ADF, you use COoR in public rituals if you call it an ADF ritual, end of story.

What proceeded after this was a nasty case of toy throwing, and bad boorish behavior. The poster proceeded to say all organized groups were evil, and that the tribal nature of them meant that outsiders were singled out for abuse. He then degenerated to posting private posts from my Facebook, out of context. Which is technically a crime in New Zealand (viz the Privacy of Information act, this is a boarder line incident, hence I use the term “technically”).

His excuse for this behavior, it is his “great work” to fight against organized pagan groups.

That is nice. If he had been doing it in a constructive manner, he might have made his point, but swearing, insulting, threatening, and posting private information, is basically the equivalent of a small dog on the end of a leash yapping, spinning, and snarling. No one really takes them seriously, and you apply the rubber stamp “wanker” to them.

The point on this is the moment he decided, that “Because Gareth is in an Oragnized group he is a target”, he broke the rule of hospitality. A Warrior can choose not to respond to threats, but he should never turn his back on them. That is blatant stupidity. To politely challenge them is a good first step. Sadly in this case (as of this typing) he’s gone on to attack others who have told him to chill out.

So a warrior gets to “protect” their territory. That is vitally important. It comes back to the concept of the Ape Dance. Young male Apes will gather as a group, and get into the face of those they perceive as “weaker” or “in a precarious” position. The bet response is to act bored, and stare them down. It short circuits their “logic” circuits. Indeed a firm, and definite, but non agitated response, will totally shut them down. I’ve seen bouncers and cops, calmly apply a restraint technique, while talking to colleagues, and the person who required it, is wondering what just hit them.

Now there are some caveats here. Many of these arguments occur online, and with out subtle hints body language and facial expression give humans.

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