Monday, May 18, 2009

Rethinking what I'm doing here

When I started this blog, I intended to update at least biweekly. Clearly, that has not happened.

I had much that I wanted to talk about. I've primarily wanted to focus on some philosophical issues dealing with Paganism, starting from the ground up. I do not believe philosophical concerns are ancillary to my spiritual growth; they are instead essential to how I approach religion (and indeed, almost everything). Hence, I laid out the bare bones of a philosophical approach to religion in general, and intended to hone in on Paganism, working out guidelines to help direct my personal practice.

Perils abound. Dozens of times, I've had an idea for a post. Half a dozen times, I've sat down and started writing one out. Every single time, I realized that there was something else I had to work out first--some book I needed to read, whether explicitly philosophical or not. Didn't Plato say something along those lines in the Timaeus? I should get around to finishing it. And I should re-read the Republic. Say, shouldn't I read Virgil before making this post? But heck, while I'm at it, why don't I brush up on my Latin and read the original at the same time as a good translation? And that's not to mention my desire to finish re-reading Martin Heidegger's monumental Being and Time, or to get a grasp on A. N. Whitehead's esoteric Process and Reality.

I feel like I don't know enough or understand deeply enough, and that's something to be rectified before I procede in my writing.

It's paralyzing, not least because others have started to tackle the philosophical issues in Paganism with far more depth than I'm likely to muster anytime soon. The man who chases two hares loses both, and I've had about thirteen dashing around.

Very soon, necessity will prevent me from devoting nearly as much time to these pursuits, as I go back to school to learn accounting. I think this is not a bad thing. It will force me to better manage my time--to slow down and focus on what is most important at each moment. It'll point me to a tighter focus on daily meditation and contemplation, rather than a frenzy of books.

And just maybe I'll manage to get some blog posts up along the way.

1 comment:

  1. One thing that might help is if you think of this blog as a kind of online hypomnenata. A hypomnenata is a kind of notebook or journal kept by a philosopher or theologian, somewhat like a diary or personal journal but focusing specifically on intellectual inquiries. This website gives a pretty good description:

    "The hypomnemata constituted a material memory of things read, heard, or thought, thus offering these as an accumulated treasure for rereading and later meditation. They also formed a raw material for the writing of more systematic treatises in which were given arguments and means by which to struggle against some defect (such as anger, envy, gossip, flattery) or to overcome some difficult circumstance (a mourning, an exile, downfall, disgrace)."If you think of your blog as an on-going record of all the things you're reading and contemplating, then perhaps some of the pressure of perfected thoughts or completed essays will be relieved. Instead, you might mention that, just the other day while reading book X, you discovered that in order to learn more you'll also need to read books Y and Z (and the reasons for this need). That way you'll still be writing. You'll just be writing about the hunt itself, instead of about the dead carcasses of those thirteen rabbits, so to speak. ;)