Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Rules of Sitakaliism

Sitakaliism is the spirituality I created for myself when I was fourteen years old. After going through a phase of depression, and a bout of God-hatred, I managed to find myself in a series of young-adult fiction novels called The Last Vampire. I used the main character, Sita, as the main goddess in my eclectic pantheon. Kali is my favourite of all the gods in existing religions, hence the name Sitakaliism.

The main rule of Sitakaliism is as follows:

Nobody but me can be a Sitakaliist. This is simply to prevent others from blindly following someone else's beliefs. If someone's beliefs are similar to my own, that is fine, but they must come up with their own name for their spirituality.

Sitakaliism is split up into a more spiritual aspect, which involves the mystic gods and goddesses of my pantheon, and the more philosophical aspect, which I call Duality. It is not called Duality because I believe that everything in nature is polarized into good and bad; quite the opposite (not to polarize things or anything). Duality is based on the Taoist belief that nothing can exist without its opposite, and everything has a bit of its opposite in it (a visual representation is the yin-yang symbol). So, for example, all men have a feminine aspect to them, and women a masculine aspect. All cruel people have a bit if good in them, and all kind people have a bit of cruelty.

Some of my fundamental beliefs are:

1. "Do as thou wilt and harm none." This is the Golden Rule, different versions of which are found in virtually all of the world's religions. This simply means that you may do as you please, as long as it doesn't hurt anybody. But that's actually not simple at all. You must be careful, to prevent harm to others. This is different from the "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" belief (another version of the Golden Rule), because I do not believe everyone would be okay with the same things being done to them. If that doesn't make sense, here's an example:
Say that Martha is polyamorous by nature, and is in a relationship with Bob, who is monogamous. Martha goes by the "do unto others rule," therefore not seeing any problem with sleeping with another man, since she wouldn't mind if Bob did the same thing to her. But what will hurt Bob is different from what will hurt Martha. Martha needs to be sensitive to the fact that everything is relative, and people are different.

2. A connection with the spiritual involves a connection with the practical; the real. They are not separate. Therefore, you cannot go off into la-la land and be enlightened when you have done nothing for the people or other creatures of this earth. Some say that in order to help the world, first you must know yourself, or help yourself. This may be partially true, but don't take it too far. In order to truly know yourself, you must understand your relationship with the rest of humanity, and the rest of the planet. You must understand that simply looking out for your own interests hurts everyone, including - eventually - yourself. To say that you must help yourself first before helping anyone else, is like saying you must feed yourself before you can drink any water. You actually need both, at the same time.

3. No devils exist except here on Earth. The only hell that exists is the one we create for ourselves (and others). We must stop fearing the unknown when there are plenty of well-known things for us to fear already. Stop trying to save people's souls from some mystical hellfire if their souls are already being shattered by the world around them. Stop dismissing things as "evil," and come to the realization that evil is within human potential, not some abstract demon. Since it is within human potential, evil can be dealt with.

4. Cruelty and violence are not destroyed with cruelty and violence. Justice and revenge are never the same thing. You cannot fight fire with fire and expect to win. This concept angers a lot of people, and rightly so. How dare I suggest that someone who has suffered at the hands of another not seek retribution! However, what many do not understand is that I am not saying that a victim has no right to retaliate. It is possible for someone to have a right to something, and for that something to still not be the best idea. Yes, you can take the eye of the person who has blinded you, but I ask you, what does that really accomplish, besides some kind of shallow, temporary sense of closure? Sometimes it causes the victim psychological harm to retaliate.

Those who are angered by this accuse me of having never experienced true pain at the hands of another. Without fully disclosing my deepest secrets, let me say that that simply is not true, in any sense. Don't even try to dismiss me as someone who hasn't experienced hideous cruelty.

By the same token, war will never stop evil. It may weaken it, or slow it down, but ultimately war creates violence in the psyches of people who have already experienced enough for one lifetime. It perpetuates an ongoing cycle of cruelty that has existed since the Neolithic era.

My point is, don't preach empty things about how you have no right to harm a human being if they've harmed you. The most important thing is to the look at the consequences. This isn't about an individual's rights, it's about what will ultimately stop the perpetuation of violence in society as a whole.

5. Never dismiss your actions, or anyone else's, as "human nature." I have made this point several times before. Humans are naturally adaptive beings. It is in our nature to be able to adapt to a peaceful lifestyle, just has we have adapted over the years to violence. This isn't just something that has been seen throughout history; it is true on a biological and psychological level. Blaming "human nature" for our negative qualities just confirms that we are trapped; we cannot change. And that's simply not true.

If you wish to hold human nature responsible for positive qualities, on the other hand, go right ahead. That does no harm.

That's it for now; tune in for more later :)

Friday, August 10, 2007

Tell it like it is!

The people who will make a positive difference in this world are intuitive, innovative and care about this world. They do not dismiss compassion and optimism as "bleeding-heart idealism." They are aware of their faults; of their prejudices, hypocrisies, and fears. And they try very hard to be less hypocritical and prejudiced, while acknowledging that some of those faults will always exist.

The most important thing is to admit that we're human. Then we must step back and think about what it means to be human. It means we are capable of terrible horrors and great wonders; of infinite stupidity and astonishing brilliance; of hideous distruction and breathtaking beauty. Take into account that we make up the grey areas of every spectrum, and we will understand this: reality is not merely dualism, but also what is in between each pair of extremes. We can no longer simply label each other as "evil," "good," "patriotic," and "terrorists." Or we will lose sense of ourselves, and our kinship with each other.

And one last value, after that bout of incessant babbling: Brevity is the soul of wit.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

A Love Song to Music

The Soul Speaks 2/6/06

I turn you on.
Sound roars in my ears.
You speak to me in waves,
You speak to me in vibrations.
You turn a switch in me
The floodgates open

I am riding on the wings of sound
The wind blows past me, tosses my hair
Moving through years of passion and sorrow
I breathe in memories through the air

You are not of this world
And I am not in this world
When you speak to me
I’m lost in thought, in time
I feel your heartbeat
You haunt me, you free me


You are the language of life (2x)