Why Variety Matters

The core of the last post is simple: spiritualist techniques are flexible and can be modified to alter their intensity or quality. That begs the question as to why you would bother to do any of that. If the core practice does precisely what you need it to, why change things. There are at least two answers to that.

Let’s start with the most important answer. Sometimes the core practices aren’t enough, sometimes they don’t quite provide a person’s spirits the right kind of strength and purification, Spiritualism is not and should never be a one-size fits all practice. The core practice should provide some help for everyone, but it may not provide precisely what they need.

There is, to echo Friedrich Nietzsche, a spiritual health proper to each person and the elements of that health can change over time. So, if you want to be spiritually healthy and be able to help people move toward their own spiritual health, you need to be able to describe and appreciate that diversity. What’s good for the goose isn’t always good for the gander.

The basic working provides a good place to start. Even if it is totally not the thing you need to be doing, it will clarify your spiritual world and that will help you understand what you need. Having access to experienced mediums helps on this point, but in the end it comes down to you and your spiritual work. If you want to rely on a medium, you best be sure that their experience prepares them for helping you with your spiritual world. Otherwise, they can quite good naturedly give you all the wrong advice.

William Stafford’s “A Ritual to Read to Each Other” is my mantra here and it could serve you well, too:

If you don’t know the kind of person I am
and I don’t know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the world
and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.

For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,
a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break
sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood
storming out to play through the broken dyke.

And as elephants parade holding each elephant’s tail,
but if one wanders the circus won’t find the park,
I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty
to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.

And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy,
a remote important region in all who talk:
though we could fool each other, we should consider–
lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark.

For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give–yes or no, or maybe–
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.

It isn’t all serious and heavy. Variation also makes the work interesting and entertaining. Even those who enjoy routines like to break from it while for others spontaneity and variety are the very substance of life. There is nothing wrong with varying your spiritual practice because it is fun. You want to be mindful while doing that since you will likely be moving your practice toward unfamiliar terrain. Still, with risk come opportunity.

You may travel somewhere and get mugged, or you might travel somewhere and meet the love of your life.

Or both. You might lose your wallet and find your life.

Or neither. You might have the most boring time of your life, like six-year-old-stuck-in-Church-on-Easter-knowing-there-is-candy-at-home boring.

Don’t be stupid, keep your wits about you. As with the rest of your life, you’re going to take some knocks in the process of finding your way.

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One thought on “Why Variety Matters

  1. Pingback: [NB] Rite and Record | Disrupt & Repair

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