I’m tired of theory

(Today’s post brought to you by humanity in general… :| )

I’m tired of -ity’s and ism’s; I’m tired of people going to the mat over particular ideas of things that none of us can possibly fully comprehend; I’m tired of people who have to take every opportunity to point out that other people are wrong. (In regard to the last, this rant was partly triggered by trying to read this article about CS Lewis. The author makes some points that I think are probably quite valid regarding Lewis’ mental and emotional landscape – but the repeated, smarmy and gratuitous slams against all things non-Christian pissed me off so much that I now have a hard time taking in anything she says.)

All our dogmas, creeds, teachings, schools of thought, religions – they’re all theory. If one of them makes sense of your experiences, then it seems reasonable to me to explore it, and to align yourself with it if it speaks truth to your heart; but without forgetting that in regard to What Is, all our truths are incomplete at best.

I experience the Divine in the world, and I experience it multiply. My heart puts names to some of these experiences – Hestia, Athena, Hera, Hermes, Quan Yin – but I have no way to know, other than this: when I call on those names, I am sometimes answered.

I believe I have also glimpsed what I take to be an underlying Something, a boundless Presence of – not love, I don’t think, but perhaps compassion… or, even better, what Camus called “la tendre indifférence du monde“.** You’ve likely had different experiences. I would love to hear about them, and tell you about mine if you’re interested (well, OK, I already *have* told you about mine, several times… :) ). I love apologetics, too, for anyone interested in civil dialogue/discussion/debate.

In the meantime, I and mine will continue with our favorite theory, and give honor to our Gods, our Ancestors, and the spirits of our Land. May you be blessed on your path as we have been on ours!

** Interestingly, the English translation of The Stranger gives this phrase as “the benign indifference of the universe” – but according to my French dictionary and thesaurus, “tendre” doesn’t translate to “benign” – it translates to “tender”. “Benign” translates to “bénin“, and the difference in meaning seems to be approximately the same as in English. What a difference one word can make!


8 thoughts on “I’m tired of theory

  1. Angela

    I like that “the tender indifference of the universe.”

    Thank you for this post. Every once in a while, it is good to recognize and express that, at root, we really don’t know anything completely.

  2. executivepagan Post author

    Hi Angela,
    I like Camus. In fact, I like the Existentialists in general. Existentialism has somewhat of a bad rap as being overly fatalistic, if not nihilistic, but IMO it’s actually the opposite… In recognizing that life does not have inherent meaning, that it’s not telling a grand story with a predetermined ending, we are freed and forced to discover our own meaning, to make our lives in the image of our own highest aspirations.

    Thanks for commenting!

  3. Ali

    “La tendre indifférence”! There’s a phrase for that? Goodness, I was just trying to describe that to someone the other day. Nice to know I’m not the only one with that experience.

    It’s funny that, just after I finished my latest blog post, I started the rough draft of my next one, which begins with a quote from a friend describing some of her advanced classes in creative writing: “I feel as though we’ve reached a point where we’re not really learning how to write better anymore, we’re just learning how to talk better about what we’ve written.” Then not a day later, first Anne Johnson of “The Gods Are Bored” posts about “what’s the point of blogging,” and now you write about being sick of theory. Maybe we’re all feeling the same thing… I felt extremely exhausted after my last post, which I wasn’t entirely satisfied with, anyway–sometimes, theory and debate just wear me out and I want to go out into the woods and watch it snow for a while. One reason I love Druidry is that it embraces the intellectual and the experiential. It’s so obvious, now, but for a long time, I thought trying to perfect my thinking was all there was. Ha! :)

  4. Cat Chapin-Bishop

    Friend, thou speakest to my condition.

    Let’s go out in the snow, look up at the stars, and _be_ with the gods, and leave the little souls who want to debate about them inside, parked in front of the flickering light of their cathode ray tubes. ;)

  5. executivepagan Post author

    One reason I love Druidry is that it embraces the intellectual and the experiential.


  6. executivepagan Post author

    OK, everybody outside – hot cocoa and snow creme at Cat’s place! Woohoo! :)

    BYOL (bring your own libations)

    Sadly, we rarely get snow here in my part of NC…

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