Big Rowan Ackison (greensh) wrote,
Big Rowan Ackison

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Declarations of Integrity

Warning... this is a very philosophical blog entry. It may have little to do with actual realities. You are been WARNED! (smile)

There is a place in human nature that desires to constructs walls and boxes for an easy understanding of the world. This is an incredibly useful thing. As with many things, this desire has a shadow side too. I am seeing humans making sweeping one-sided declarations of integrity and validity. If the topic, human spirituality, was not so important, I would find the use of the 'integrity' boxes comical.

Integrity is defined by as:
  • Steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code.

  • The state of being unimpaired; soundness.

  • The quality or condition of being whole or undivided; completeness.

I believe that integrity is personal. This is one of my mantras of life. I believe that a person will not always agree with the world, and for sure, the world will not always agree with person. A reasonable avenue is to agree to disagree, simultaneously confirming both the disagreement and integrity of each side. Life is not always congruent, but our personal integrity can be. This is one of my "life views".

My life view bumps up against the some of the integrity shadows. Maybe it doesn’t really "bump". People's own views of integrity should not affect my own, especially if I have my own integrity in it (smile). I love these philosophical twinings. Anyway, in a blog about guardianship and integrity I said:
Human nature sets people up to have guardians of things. Some people are good guardians. Other people are improving in their guardianship skills. Still other people will be the target of guardians. My statements of "it is OK" point to all of this being an interplay of human nature, with personal integrity being the true measure of people's "guardian intention" and other's "guilt". If integrity makes a bad call, or people don't have integrity to start with, chalk it up to us being faulting humans.
A commentator said:
So you can go on all you want about the role of mystery schools and guardianship, but it doesn't change that a "fluff bunny" is one who is willfully ignorant, nor does it mean they have any integrity. Even your own redefinition shows they have no integrity - anyone who would deliberately "practice it in ways profane to the original meaning" shows they have no integrity.
Do they, the fluff bunny, have no integrity? The core issue here is the integrity of 'willful ignorance'. While I will say that there is sometimes integrity in willful ignorance, I can not accept there is always integrity or never integrity.

I really love my lovely mate. She is so full of wisdom and smarts. I was off today and we took a ride to another town to do thrift store shopping. Along the way, we talked about the 'integrity' of willful ignorance. I posed the following scenario to my mate:

Let's suppose that a person was raised in a religion that they no longer connect with. This person discovers neopaganism. They buy a book or two. The stuff they learn empowers them in the first steps of learning. Being a busy person, and out of touch with the rest of the pagan world, they are unable to track down a teacher to continue the studies. The newbie neopagan does some spells, has some experiences, and then posts their "understanding" of the world to an internet site. They write about a tornado that almost hit their neighborhood. The newbie shares that they cast a weather spell, causing the tornado to touch down elsewhere. At least, this is what they believe they did, and this is what they communicated to the internet site. At the time they posted the message, the newbie had integrity in their beliefs, no matter how misguided they seemed to be. The newbie is 'willfully ignorant' with personal integrity.

The newbie can get two reactions from the internet site.

The first reaction is of immediate disdain and condemnation. They are called a lazy, willfully ignorant, deceitful fluffy bunny. They are lazy because they did not take the 'time' to learn that what they did is impossible, and deceitful to even suggest that they did. The newbie goes away with the impression that the non-fluffy pagans are mean spirited people who don't want newbies to "succeed" in their walks. The newbie retains their sense of integrity, sure that they were mistreated unfairly. I believe that they do have a portion of integrity still, as the first reaction is destructive and subject to being rejected by the newbie. The newbie's original willful ignorance continues because they have not been told the "right way".

The second reaction is one of gentle chastisement and education. The newbie is called a beginning fluffy bunny. The difficulty of doing weather magick is explained. The newbie is told that it is highly unlikely that they did anything. Additionally, they are told about the karma of working weather. The reaction is one of affirmation, nudging the newbie onto a more correct path. At this point the newbie neopan still has their integrity, with the crucial test to come. The newbie, now officially a fluffy bunny, can either learn from the feedback or reject the information. If the newbie adjusts their beliefs, their spiritual map, based on the feedback, their 'willful ignorance' is decreased and their integrity is intact.

If the newbie rejects the feedback, they pursue a path of ego and self-definition. While this is not inherently wrong in itself, the egoic state removes them from the continued walk on the path. If the information is rejected, the newbie has lost integrity in the face of constructive criticism. Their path is no longer in sync with the other neopagans, and to argue otherwise is to come from a place of willful ignorance and non-integrity to that path.

There are philosophical twists here. I hope I made myself clear enough in my example. I learned a lot from it! My lovely mate is so wise! (smile)
Tags: integrity, philosophy

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