jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

So, I got to thinking about the ways that I try to reverence Inari, and wondered if I could summarize them in a few lines the way they do D&D deities' teachings in the rulebooks.

Here's what I have so far:

  • Never turn away someone who asks you for food.

  • Honour those who bring you your meals. Pray for Inari's blessings on them.

  • Never waste food if you can help it.

jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

People on the exmormon forum were talking about what to do when you're not comfortable praying over communal meals, but the people you have over expect you to.

This is the idea I came up with:

I would like to express my personal thanks to the migrant farm workers and nonhuman animals, who sacrificed to bring us this meal. We will now have a moment of silence, if you'd like to say a prayer for or otherwise remember them.

I try to practice a personal mindfulness ritual before every snack, drink, and meal, and I think this is the closest I've come to translating that into a "saying grace" kind of blessing.

jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

"Honest seekers of truth can know for certain that God lives and has a plan for their lives."

Why it's harmful: Because being preoccupied with getting ultimate answers to unanswerable questions means you find them, one way or another. Whether by having someone else tell you, or making them up for yourself. And because these questions are unanswerable, that means all the answers are wrong.

Read more... )

jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

Reading about Bitcoin, it occurred to me that these people are in many ways the same as the ones who started the financial crisis. Their lives are devoted to making value from nothing, which is really taking value from the rest of society without giving back anything in return. They're "cheating the system," so to speak.

I keep thinking about how I should be focused on doing the same, because that's what so much of the advice I get says. You do what you have to do, they say, in order to make a living. But realizing that this is what they're doing -- and that the system I'm cheating has women, minors, otherkin, and people of colour in it, and they are the ones who will be hurt the most by my cheating -- gives me pause.

I think I want to make sure that I'm giving fair value to them. Not to an employer; international capitalism can kiss my tailfeathers. Not to a deity; Inari asks only that I be myself. To the people (human and nonhuman alike) and environments which are affected by my attempts at making money, "making a living," or simply surviving, none of which are the same thing.

I feel like I do my best work -- and therefore maximize my chances of doing all the above -- if I act as though there's no consideration besides making things that ought to exist, for people who ought to have them. I feel like this isn't the only reason Apple is taking over, but it's one of the big ones, that they're so idealistic about who will be using their products and what they'll be doing with them.


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This is what I tried to explain to my family of origin, years ago, when I said why I wanted to work on the Internet doing things that I cared about instead of frantically applying for jobs, any jobs. And though I ended up writing for a content farm, I feel like I mostly preserved my integrity, by writing about things I felt people ought to know. Even though I now disagree with much of what I wrote, and even though I sometimes wrote paid advertorials for big companies, and even though ads for people I disagreed with often appeared next to my writing, I tried my best to at least be entertaining. To make the world at least a little better and more humane for my having been in it.

Not because of a corporate mandate, or a divine imperative in the traditional sense, but because that's the kind of person I am.

Inari, to me, is all-encompassing love. She hears everyone's prayers which are directed to her, and even many that aren't, like in my case. If she can't answer them all, or answer them all in the way that we'd want her to, she at least does what she can. Not because anyone's making her, but because that's the kind of person she is.

For me as Taryn, as one of Inari's tails / foxes / selves / avatars, being like her isn't an act of self-sacrifice, but one of self-actualization. And if my idealism led me to be blind to how my efforts were just enriching people who didn't deserve it, that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with being idealistic so much as being too credulous, of people who don't deserve it. And putting abstract principles, like "the truthfulness of the Gospel" or "the Free Software movement," over everyone and everything else, including the people that they are supposed to help.

Including myself.

The fact that I was betrayed isn't my fault, and it isn't a flaw with the entire world that makes the whole thing irredeemable. It's because I was raised to lack a self, and to find it only in being subsumed in rich people's interests. Whether they run Google, Red Hat, the Mozilla Corporation, or the Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The answer isn't to become completely selfish and self-serving, as though it were possible for me (or Rei or Claire) to shut off my empathy.

The answer is to make better friends, and call better people my family.

The answer is to get excited about things I like, and not things others tell me to get excited about.

The answer is to trust myself to do what's right, what comes naturally from being passionate about people and things that I love, while listening to them and empathizing with them and respecting them for who and what they are. Instead of constantly having to check my passion with concerns imposed on me by self-serving, powerful people, about money or others' ideals. Which isn't to say those will never come up, but that insofar as is possible I should be living my life, with the people I care about, instead of living the life global capitalism and its religious and pseudo-religious leaders want me to live.

I am, was, and will be a part of a goddess of wealth and abundance. I want everyone to have what they need and long for, and even some of their frivolous wants. And while I've learned that I have to start with myself, I can't end there. I can't even get started at all if I know in advance that I'll be ending there.

EDIT: And while I tie this into my otherkin identity, I don't feel that I'm unique in being like this.

jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

When it stops asking questions, making hypotheses, and pointing out the existing evidence, and starts telling you what you should do and believe based on the evidence. Regardless of what's healthy for you, or what works for you, or what kind of person you are.

It's not offensive to not worship a deity, and to self-identify as an atheist ("without-gods-ist"). Choosing to worship or not worship is a personal choice.

It's extremely offensive to tell someone how they should make that personal choice, and to insist that only you have the right answers to theological questions like "what is god?" and "how should I relate to her?"

Whether your answers to those questions come from a religious or atheistic background, simply having different answers to questions of pure theology is not in and of itself offensive. For instance,

It's not offensive to look at the available evidence, both in neurology and in people's self-reported experiences of divinity, and conclude that gods are probably names people give to feelings and experiences they have and concepts that they revere. But,

It's extremely offensive to tell me that, because this is what you've decided my deity is, you don't believe she exists. Because for me and many others, she does.

My relationship with Inari Okami is one of the most important ones in my life. She literally saved my life at one point, just by talking to me and being there when I needed her. She may not be that important to most of the people in the world, who barely acknowledge the kami of foxes and rice (even if they like both of those things). But to me, she is in some ways closer than family, and has been in my life longer than any of my partners or adopted family members.

I have chosen to be agnostic with regards to the question of how Inari exists. Because whatever the "true" answer to that question is -- assuming there is one -- it doesn't affect my relationship with her.

This isn't a case of "blinding myself to the evidence." I am fascinated by the evidence, and the neuroscience behind theological experiences. I regularly discuss the divine on a purely material level, and even have at least one materialist explanation for how and why I am otherkin.

It's simply a case where the theory doesn't affect the practice, sort of like how the mechanics of why I'm transgender don't affect the fact that I need to transition. For whatever reason, praying to Inari works for me. Focusing on her presence and listening for her (spiritual) voice is an effective meditation, which helps calm me and clear my thoughts of distractions. I am often reminded of things I needed to do, or helped to realize a new way of seeing something, while praying to her. The fact that I subjectively experience this as Inari telling me these things doesn't change that, and if anything means that my current approach to prayer works.

Conflating my experiences with those of movie and TV show characters who "hear voices in their heads," or implying that I am in any way dangerous because I both pray and listen for answers to prayer, is blindingly ignorant and offensive. It negates my personal experiences, replacing them with a Hollywood stereotype that bears no resemblance to my life. And it causes me material harm by diminishing my credibility, my ability to say what I go through and have others believe me, which I already have problems with on account of being female, trans*, and disabled (not to mention a plural system and otherkin).

Atheists know better than most what it's like to be seen as a scary and dangerous person, just because of what goes on in their heads. They don't need to make the world worse for other people who are marginalized because of religion.

jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

The following was originally posted on Mormon Mommy Blogs, by a woman named Adrianne Richards.

Content note: Dead babies. Also, some swearing.

Read more... )

Content note: Personal gnosis about my relationship with Inari. Also swearing.

Read more... )

jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

This essay is part of a series based on Meirya's 30 Days of Otherkin Challenge. These essays describe what it's like for Jewelfox to be otherkin. If you don't know what otherkin are, please read Jewelfox's Otherkin FAQ.

Because [personal profile] jewelfox is a plural system, each member will answer each question for herself.

Read more... )

jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

... who believe in one fewer god.

That's how [personal profile] aliaspseudonym summed up the discussion I had last night with someone from FFXIV, which prompted a friends-locked ragepost right afterwards. Please note that the "Christians" being compared to here are the non-pluralistic ones, who believe there's only one real god and only one right way to relate to him.

Content note: Homophobia, theophobia, being angry, and swears, all behind the cut. Click here to skip if you are reading the entry by itself.

Read more... )

I think that getting angry, then thinking more calmly about it, and continuing to maintain my boundaries and not see myself as the problem, is the healthiest response I've had to being comprehensively invalidated in awhile.

At the same time, though, this whole thing was an unpleasant reminder that I don't get to pretend to be normal. I thought I could, I really hoped that I could, but I'm one of the "monsters" that [personal profile] avia talks about. Who can't be understood or accepted, if anyone sees what she is. Not by society at large; not even by supposedly progressive sectors of society like the LGBT-friendly Free Company I was in, in FFXIV.

(Please note that during the conversation, this person also said stuff that was blindingly offensive and ignorant, about neurodiverse people and plural systems.)

I'm not tying myself to a Free Company, or another club or guild organization, unless it's a small group of friends like the people that I know on Dreamwidth. I'm tired of being triggered every day, and not knowing how to escape except by logging out. I don't think I get to have that experience, of feeling camaraderie and acceptance with large groups of people, and I think I'm okay with that. Because I would rather hold out for people who accept me, than erase "unacceptable" parts of myself to have friends (as opposed to purely professional relationships).

I am going to ****ing platinum that game, and I am going to do it my way.

jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

This essay is part of a series based on Meirya's 30 Days of Otherkin Challenge. These essays describe what it's like for Jewelfox to be otherkin. If you don't know what otherkin are, please read Jewelfox's Otherkin FAQ.

Because [personal profile] jewelfox is a plural system, each member will answer each question for herself.

Read more... )

jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

This essay is part of a series based on Meirya's 30 Days of Otherkin Challenge. These essays describe what it's like for Jewelfox to be otherkin. If you don't know what otherkin are, please read Jewelfox's Otherkin FAQ.

Because [personal profile] jewelfox is a plural system, each member will answer each question for herself.

Read more... )

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~ Fox | Gem | Rei ~

We tell stories, paint minis, collect identity words, and share them all with our readers. If something we write helps you, let us know.

~ She / her ~

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