By Apuleius Charlton
Special guest blogger
When I was younger and thus different than I am now (and thus beknighted and ignorant according to my current self) I vowed and swore and declared that I would not purposefully manipulate my daughter’s religious viewpoints. I take religion/spirituality/the lack thereof rather seriously and at the time compared raising a child in a religious ideology as a spiritual violation of autonomy. It wasn’t until recently I realized how gravely I had forsook my noble vow and broke my promise time and again. My daughter was playing with a wand.
Indeed, as I looked over it I had manipulated, corralled and exposed my daughter to everything that I love, my gods, my universe and magic from the youngest age. When she was an infant I surrounded her with fairies and read her The 1001 Nights. I conducted Enochian investigations in the room across from her where she’d come and visit as a toddler. When she was older I took her for long walks telling her stories about The Great God Pan and grey-eyed Athene. I filled her head with ideas about magic and hinted at possibilities outside the realm of the everyday. We made a game/exercise of her grabbing statues or items off my various altars and her asking what they were, as if learning a catechism. I immersed her in my beliefs and she is well on the way to making them her own and eventually something new.
I can’t say that I regret reworking the terms of my vow- after all, I never blatantly told her what to believe and now she is old enough to debate and consider ideas I bring up on her own. I’m pleased by what she is and might be. Did he smile his work to see?
Yesterday, at a rare family gathering one of my relatives remarked that my daughter acted “exactly” like me and was my “mini-Me.” I could only respond “that’s why I am so fond of her, I like things that resemble myself.” Did he who made the Lamb make thee?
I have lived most of my adult life in spaces that were consciously designed to suffuse me in my own bullshit. Consequently, I am nigh-neurotic in my preference for meeting with others in my own spaces. It is the same at school; I will always choose to stay in my room and insist that I teach in my room during classes outside the regular day.
Reading the material in this chapter is imminently familiar as I know it by rote, it is one of the things I digested easily when first reading Wilson, and it made me feel awfully smug about being on the right track as an adolescent. (He even refers to Blake as "The Poet," which tremendously warms the cockles of my heart.) In many ways it is the satisfaction of what one must feel when they hear the letter of their version of Natural Law. I guess I’m still awfully smug, although I am aware that I have become somewhat addicted to my exteriorized world to the point where being in another’s is decently uncomfortable after a short span of time.
I intend to do the exercises concerning mapping others on the four terrestrial circuits. I believe this is one I have done before and I hope I can find my notes as it would be interesting to see how my impressions have changed. While not listed as an exercise, I will give a brief example by notationally dissecting myself:
1st Circuit: Strongly oral characteristics with a deep aversion to adversity or pain
2nd Circuit: Primary “I’m not okay, you’re not okay” script coupled with “I’m okay, you’re not okay” paranoiac-leaning subscript
3rd Circuit: Deeply devoted to their own sense of logic and semantics, very dismissive of contradictory “logics”
4th Circuit: Strong currents of moralism and “ethics” obsession coupled with recalcitrant attitude toward many societal structures and norms
:( With that going for me, I should be able to write a pretty good fundamentalist Christian critique. All in good fun, one hopes!