Its “interesting” to watch the gyrations of the Pagan blogosphere, particularly over the recent debates on Polytheism and Anthropocentrism. People who have normally discussed topics in other veins, suddenly became agitated and enraged over these two areas…simply because their opinions did not match up. Words – and in a few cases hand-drawn cartoons – were flung back and forth like salvos of arrows launched prior to the meetings of two grand hosts on a battlefield. And all over a few simple words.
I have my own personal stance on the issues – or a somewhat stance, as I documented in a few posts a while back. I have a very distinct way of seeing the Gods, but I actually dislike the usage of terms like “Hard-Polytheist” or “Soft-Polytheist”…seriously, what’s the freaking point? I’m a Polytheist…plain and simple. Then comes the back and forth over who is or isn’t using the correct terminology and definitions of Animism and who is further away from having an anthropocentric perspective. Again, who really cares?? If you can understand that you are looking at life through the jaded eyes of a human being – then you tend to understand that your perspective is a little geared towards an anthropocentric position. I try my best not to put that tint into how I perceive the world around me…but I am, after all, a human being. Sort of difficult to remove that from my thinking….
But really…what is the primary point here? Debating over the differences in a manner that suggests “winners” and “losers” as the primary point – that’s not going to be useful, in my opinion. There is a difference between knowing the path, and walking the path – as Morpheus reminds Neo in the movie “The Matrix”. There is also a difference between debate and discussion. Drawing that distinction by etching it in the sand with a stick is one manner of distinction…blurring it by rubbing the sand until the line disappears does not remove it…it just makes it more difficult to discern where the distinction is.
We communicate everyday. We use the anonymous distinction of the internet to allow for that distinct between discourse and debate to be blurred, and utilize our words as weapons of blunt force. And to be completely honest, I am doing just that here with my commentary on this. I am not a well known blogger. Fuck, I am not even a well known podcaster – and I have been podcasting for quite some time. In the reality of things, I am more on the edges of the Pagan blogosphere and podosphere (to borrow from the other descriptive term). I am comfortable out here on the edges. But perhaps life is not meant for me to be comfortable anymore.
I grow weary of the bickering, fighting, finger-pointing, and hurled descriptives within the Pagan blogo- and podospheres. It has nothing to do with the topical positions, but rather the manner in which everyone moves forward with their positions. I know the Pagan community can get along, respect one another, and have uncomfortable discussions in a respectful manner. It happened here in the DFW area in early October of last year – Pagan Pride Day. I came away from that day with a feeling of immense pride – people of very divergent perspectives within the Pagan community came together – learned about one another – respected one another – and left at the end of the day with smiles on their faces. But that was face-to-face….
Do internet communications really mean that we cannot bring that same respect online? Does the measure of anonymity really empower us to say things to one another that we would most likely not say in face-to-face communications? Is there really same measure of online “face” that we lose if we cannot “win” an online debate? Do we really have to win an online debate?
In the words of Rage Against the Machine….”How long? Not long. Because what you reap, is what you sow.”