The Big Spirits

One of the advantages of my quirky monotheism is that I don’t tend to be bothered over-much by the tendency of spirits to blend into each other. To my way of thinking, the blurring that occurs between spirits is a necessary aspect of creation itself, of existing in dispersal but having an indelible root in God as an aboslute source of unity. Since we aren’t God, we only ever appreciate that unity in a limited fashion.

That way of thinking also makes it easier to describe the relations between spirits and the relationship between material things in an analogous fashion. The sorts of permeability that characterizes material life should inform our understanding of spiritual life. If you look at yourself as an organism, it doesn’t take long to see that your unity is only relative and overlaps with the world around you. This applies not only in a brute fashion (shared air, shared bacteria, shared viruses, the many intimate exchanges between organisms from the sexual to the nourishing), but also on a psychic level (words, concepts, energetic exchanges, etc,).

What gives us our unity is that we have a sense of ourselves as a locus of agency within this network that defines us. We respond more intensely. Follow this out on the spiritual plane and what coms to define a spirit is less this or that concrete thing, but that they seem to be a locus that responds more intensely. Now, just as we are a locus of responsiveness that contains other locuses within ourselves, so too do spirits.

Keep following the analogy. We can’t even draw a firm boundary between our inside and outside, so on some levels of action we find locuses of reponse that straddle ‘ours’ and the ‘external’ world. Our senses are a great example of this–they are both in and outside of us. As we think of ourselves as the interpenetration of ecologies, it can get to be mind-blowing, folds within folds of agencies, only some of which are our own.

The second part of that quirky monotheism is that the material stuff isn’t alien to the spirit stuff, but provides opportunities through which it is able to acquire a body, even when it may be entirely different than what we would recognize as a body. These bodies interact with our own and through that can fold into our spirit, too. The spirit of a place, our spirit, and the spirit of a time end up being more similar than different. They operate at different scales but in the same basic fashion. They, too, are temporal and have a peculiar relationship to the eternal and the divine–they have a kind of history and mortality, as well as a kind of immortality.

They can also  become ecologies of ‘smaller’ spirits which they share with other spirits and so become joined to those other spirits through them. This happens primarily by smaller spirits being caught up in the events and places that give form to the larger spirits.

Finally, consider that these spirits may have afterlives (or, if you prefer the Yeatses lunar conception, between lives) during which the sort of influence they will have changes and leads to situations in which arcons are born, albeit arcons of a configuration alien to our own.

That way of thinking leads to some wild and woolly conceptions of the spiritual world, one that I think more closely resembles the one we actually experience. Not bad for a model that sailed into its early fame on the toes of clever girls?

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