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"The Shallow Engagement in the Occult and the Esoteric" -

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Post  Khephra on Thu Sep 17, 2009 9:42 am

See John Crow at the Treasure-House of Pearls for the complete article:

The Shallow Engagement in the Occult and the Esoteric

This label, shallow, applied to someone’s religious practice is not new. I have used it in regard to esoteric practitioners before and others have used it too. In fact, many people in occultism and other esoteric movements have been described as shallow in their engagement of religion. This label is also applied to people who practice mainstream or normative religions. But what does it mean to have a shallow religious or spiritual engagement? What do I mean when I label someone’s spirituality as shallow?

After thinking about it, I have been able to articulate, to some degree, what I mean by calling someone shallow in regards to their engagement. It has four components. The first is intellectual; the second is historical; the third is emotional and the forth, experiential. Those who are shallow are generally not interested in many of the expansive thoughts and ideas related to their professed religion or spirituality. Each religion or ‘path’ has a large number of ideas intrinsically associated with it. These ideas are often in conflict with other ideas, or they have major and minor implications. Those who are shallow don’t care about these ideas or their implications. They are not interested in reading about them, writing about them, or exploring the implications of the intellectual foundation of their religion. They just accept it as it, no questions asked and are frequently befuddled or upset when other people make probing inquires about their religion in ways they cannot answer. Even more disappointing is that their frustration does not motivate them to find the answers to the questions people ask. Instead they just want the people to stop asking.

Similar to the first, the second component, historical or the history of the religion or movement, is something shallow practitioners are uninterested in knowing. They have little or no curiosity as to how what they believe and the groups they join came about. At times they become very hostile to those who are interested in the history of the movement too. This hostility is frequently because knowing the true history of the movement would shatter the myths or illusions on to which the believer holds. This also becomes apparent when certain facts emerge and the believer denies them, regardless of the amount of supporting evidence. Simply stated and combined with the first component, they are content to deal with superficial knowledge of what they believe, where the groups they are members of originated, and they resist any efforts of people around them who are interested in these aspects of the religion.

The third component is emotional. All religions engage people emotionally whether they are aware of it or not. Those who are shallow in their religious engagement wish to experience only a subset of the wide range of emotions presented by a religion. Generally this is a protection mechanism to defer so-called ‘bad’ or ‘negative’ emotions. This leads to the last component, experiential. Instead of wanting to experience the full range of emotions, they protect themselves by limiting their practices so the only possible experiences are the ‘good’ ones. They are not interested in the experiences that could lead to negative feelings or experiential outcomes. Moreover, they are not interested in the balance that comes from experiencing good and bad; they just want the good.

_________________
"Sacred Activism is the fusion of the mystic's passion for God with the activist's passion for justice, creating a third fire, which is the burning sacred heart that longs to help, preserve, and nurture every living thing." - Andrew Harvey
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"The Shallow Engagement in the Occult and the Esoteric" - Empty Re: "The Shallow Engagement in the Occult and the Esoteric" -

Post  amandachen on Thu Sep 17, 2009 1:50 pm

A mini essay on the meaning of the word 'shallow'. What a waste of time.
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