Yes, back when I was a lad, before the New Age “we’re all special, we’re all artists we’re all singers, we’re all Gods” approach to spirituality took over, there was this little thing called ‘shame’. When we did something wrong, we felt bad about it. More than that, when we would contemplate doing something wrong, we’d feel bad and shame, that bugbear of an emotion, could actually STOP us doing something daft.
When I look around at the magical and Pagan communities these days, I see little shame, which I think is a…er…shame 🙂
I’m not talking about the abusive, ‘don’t touch yourself down there‘ type of shame. I’m talking about the kind of shame that makes us embarrassed and feel awful for being pricks kinda shame.
I mean, I am sure that if the lying, cheating ‘magician’ that took people’s money and pretended to astrally initiate them (as described here) felt shame he would not have done so.
And the other day I am wandering across the blogosphere and come across a page talking about good books on magic and what us poor GD folk did before them. And then, well would you believe it, the blog recommends only one book, that by the author himself. I am sure if he had felt shame, knowing full well the existence of dozens of good books, he would have been a little more truthful.
And what about those magicians and Pagans who lie – about lineage, skills, grades, ownership of powerful thing-a-ma-jiggies – the ones that prompt folk like me collect binders full of their lies? Would they continue to lie if they felt a little bit of shame? I think not.
And don’t get me started on those magicy folk who take all the info they can get from an Order, use all the resources and bugger off to use them in their own malformed group based on ‘inner directions’. Would they use their teachers and tradition so shabbily if they felt a little shamefaced while shaving in the morning?
Modern magic, and certainly modern Paganism, is getting so focused on making sure we feel good, we forget the significance of not feeling good; the importance of deeply experiencing negative emotions such as shame, guilt, repentance and remorse. It fairly gorms me out that so many modern folk have no shame about anything these days. And, of course one big unwritten rule in New Age circles is never, ever shame anyone. Bugger that for a lark – now rack off, get off my blog and be ashamed! 🙂