Philosophies - A Caveat

Please bear with me while I clean up this blog and figure out how to separate the installments of Stan’s Travels from other posts and make it all seamless, uncluttered and beautiful...
I feel the need this morning to convey a point!  Too much coffee, I suppose.  I recently wrote a book, Renting the Veil, about a rather linear-thinking ordinary businessman who suddenly lost his young wife and spiraled into uncontained grief.  He became inadvertently caught in the net of New Age thinkers who tried to help him through.  The ill-fit of this philosophy afforded much opportunity for comedy.  During the course of the novel, many beliefs foreign to readers were presented and I was asked to explain them.  Having many diverse interests competing for my attention and not much patience or unfortunately follow-through (which would be a great help to market my endeavors), I managed to whip out a post explaining Power Animals.  Well, of course what naturally followed from nonbelievers was criticism that this was a good deal of nonsense.  A year later I feel compelled to clarify.

Well, in my belief system (to which I am not asking anyone to ascribe) nothing is nonsense and everything is nonsense at the same time. 

I recently watched a Ted Talk featuring a successful writer whose topic was “what to do now?”  She had published a best seller and her friends were questioning what she could do now, as the chance that she could “top” that was statistically slim.  This seemed to have spiraled her into a questioning of self-worth, a notorious malaise in the emotional world of artists.  Her exposition evolved around a discovery through research that this questioning had only surfaced since the Age of Reason when people no longer believed in multiple gods governing the chance events of their fortunes and began to individually assume the responsibility.  This eventually evolved from positive thinking into the almost-extreme version in New Age philosophy and modern physics that purports one’s belief creates one’s reality.  The downside is that when things go sub-par, there is self-blame and frustration heaped upon disappointment.  From this abyss, it is pretty hard to pull up your bootstraps and trip merrily along.

The writer’s conclusion was that it is much healthier to believe in a multitude of gods governing her fate, some being wily and temperamental.  Whatever one’s chosen philosophy, at its root is the proposition that it is just a psychological tool for understanding and accepting the world around us and attaining the goals we feel are important for our own happiness or equilibrium.  This is no less true with the Native American philosophy that I have been expounding upon.  It is simply a tool to better understand our own psyches and help us to interact with our environment in a rewarding way.
For example, if one draws a card in a Medicine Pathway spread laid out to represent her immediate past and the card is a wild boar, to the reader it may be quite clear that this represents the conflict she had with her boss the day before and gives her a level set that the spread is accurate and she can proceed confidently to analyze the card representing the current lesson moving through her life.  The current card may be a deer, the medicine for gentleness.  The reader will take that into account in her actions and call on the attributes of deer to help her through today’s actions and interactions and feel confident that it is a positive way to approach the situations before her.  This helps to remove insecurities and other emotional dross which might otherwise impede her joy of simply living.  Hence, like any philosophy or religion, it calms and guides. (In the extreme one hears the Marxist criticism that religion is the opiate of the masses, but it it may be helpful to recognize that there is still a good deal of active internal questioning and analysis going on... and lighten up on the self-criticism.)
Another person may draw wild boar and in his mental application to his personal journey, it represents his confrontation with fear, that fear being a financial insecurity.  It is only as literal as the interpreter wants it to be. I have a friend who has been drawn to owls her entire life.  When she came to visit, two owls came to my gate posts and did not leave the property for the week that she stayed.  Crows tried to drive them off, but they steadfastly returned and remained throughout her visit.  She is a person who needs miracles, who must visually see magic at work and she does.  She is the person most likely to witness a statue of the Virgin Mary crying, even though her chosen religion is the Islamic.  Others could never allow themselves this latitude without immediately checking into an asylum.  Your philosophy is all about what works best for you.  The more attuned one becomes to his own thought process and beliefs, the more clues will be perceived and the more it will be substantiated.
Please understand that I present the information here as a choice, not an imposition of reality.

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