Spiritual victim blaming

Jul. 22nd, 2017 12:52 am
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[personal profile] fayanora
"What To Do When The Power of Positive Thinking Fails,
And How To Avoid Blaming Yourself When It Does"
By = Tempest Alexandria Arts

If you're at all involved in the New Age or pagan movements, you probably know that there are a lot of books out there about the power of positive thinking. There's no shortage of gurus ready to teach you all about how the universe really loves you and wants you to get what you want, and for a price they will teach you how to think in order to tap into this power. Because, as they quickly inform you, if you're confused about what you want or need, the universe will be too, which tidily explains why you aren't already rich and happy.

The power of positive thinking is real, of course, insofar as it can do amazing things because the human Will can do amazing things, but there are a major problems with this philosophy, and there are limits to what it can do that most of these gurus fail to address. First, the assumption behind why positive thinking works (that the universe loves you) works as a great excuse for why you need to be taught how to think positively (by buying their books or taking their expensive classes), but ultimately sets you up for failure. Secondly, it's a lot more difficult than the gurus try to make it seem, because the money is in providing a seemingly simple yet ultimately difficult and complex solution, so that you keep buying their books for more insight, more help. Third, it is far too easy to fall into the trap of victim blaming (especially victim blaming yourself) when it fails, which can become a vicious cycle. And fourth, the process can be made more difficult if you have conditions like clinical depression, PTSD, or bipolar disorder, and is not an easy process even without conditions like that. Hopefully, though, you will have a fair idea how to go about the process in a meaningful and realistic way, and be able to help yourself without expensive books or classes, after reading this article.

The central assumption behind the "power of positive thinking" in most New Age philosophy is that God/the universe/the Goddess loves you, and wants you to be happy, but that it can't do that if your thoughts are confused, or you aren't thinking the right way. The idea is that if you don't know what you want, the universe doesn't know what you want either. On the surface, it sounds reasonable and so innocuous, but there are real problems with it that don't really come to light until you've tried it for a decade or more and failed at it, and even then only if you realize there's a problem and stop to analyze it. Because ultimately, the philosophy as it is usually taught is doomed to failure, since the even deeper assumption is that the power of positive thinking can be learned by everyone, it just takes vigilance, and also because the way it is taught is full of flaws; flaws often left in on purpose or added in to begin with, since it makes selling more books easier.

The problem with that assumption that everyone can learn to wield the power of positive thinking is that it isn't true. Getting positive thinking to work for you as it should is one of those things that you can either figure out how to do or you can't, to various degrees. Take lucid dreaming as an example; some people can learn how to do it, and do it easily, others never figure out how to do it at all, still others only manage to lucid dream by accident, and reading books or taking classes doesn't really help much. Similarly, some people can learn to activate the full potential of positive thinking, others never manage it at all, and still others only ever do it by accident, or somewhere else along that spectrum. Books can help, at least in getting the process started, but they can only do so much, and most books on the subject are deeply flawed.

Furthermore, even if you do manage to change your thinking to be positive all the time, that alone may not be enough. The power of positive thinking is a kind of magick, and magick can only influence the odds of something happening, it is still up to other people to have opportunities available for you, and up to you to take said opportunities. After all, you can think as positively as you like in the middle of the Sahara desert, but that's not going to miraculously make water appear out of nowhere. And even if you find an oasis, you still have to walk towards it and drink from its waters; those waters will not come to you.

Now that's not to say the power of positive thinking isn't real, and can't do wonders. It can in fact work, but my stress here is on the can. It can work for you. But not because the universe loves you and wants you to be happy. That belief defies all the evidence. If the universe truly loved us and wanted us to be happy, we would all be immortal, eternally youthful, and eternally healthy, with either no need to eat, or with plenty of food readily available without the need for hard labor. There would be no more menstruation, and people would only be able to have kids if they really wanted to, and the planet would never get overcrowded.
Continues )

LGBT book

Jul. 20th, 2017 08:09 pm
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[personal profile] fayanora
I don't want to spoil anything, but for anyone looking for books with LGBT characters, one of the two primary protagonists of "Down Among The Sticks And Bones" by Seanan McGuire is a lesbian by chapter 9.

On a somewhat related note, the first four or five chapters of that book are an absolutely amazing and frankly horrifying depiction of how to royally mess up children. Without being malicious, the parents of Jacqueline and Jillian are worse than the Dursleys from Harry Potter!

Gender in Comics

Jul. 20th, 2017 12:23 am
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[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
I found this analysis of gender in comics to be fascinating.  In many categories, I've written against the mainstream pattern, such as having females with super-strength and males with psychic powers.  In a few areas I may have replicated the pattern; with pheromone control and prehensile hair, I could only think of female characters, although I'm sure there are males with pheromones.

Hard Things

Jul. 19th, 2017 11:32 am
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Life is full of things which are hard or tedious or otherwise unpleasant that need doing anyhow. They help make the world go 'round, they improve skills, and they boost your sense of self-respect. But doing them still kinda sucks. It's all the more difficult to do those things when nobody appreciates it. Happily, blogging allows us to share our accomplishments and pat each other on the back.

What are some of the hard things you've done recently? What are some hard things you haven't gotten to yet, but need to do?

July 2017 Poetry Fishbowl, Session 2

Jul. 18th, 2017 12:43 pm
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The July 2017 Poetry Fishbowl is once again open.  We're reusing the original post with its donation button and ticker. However, please place new prompts below THIS post, because the other one is already so full that comments are collapsing, which makes them harder to read or search.  You may prompt in this session IF 1) you did not prompt in the July 4 session OR 2) you donated to the July 4 session.

I will do the best I can to fill new prompts and pick up some from the previous session.  I have no idea how long it'll take.  My body is being kind of cranky after last week's adventures, and the internet is a bit iffy although nowhere near as bad as it was earlier this month.  Witch me luck, eh?

Recent Trip

Jul. 17th, 2017 11:41 pm
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[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
In case you're wondering what I did last week, my partner Doug went to the IBM/SAM magic convention in Louisville, Kentucky. We met up with friends, and I spent several days exploring the tourist attractions ...

Read more... )
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This poem is spillover from the July 4, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] kengr, [personal profile] antisocialite_forum, [personal profile] curiosity, [personal profile] redsixwing, [personal profile] alatefeline, [personal profile] sweet_sparrow, [personal profile] technoshaman, [personal profile] mdlbear, [personal profile] chanter_greenie, and [personal profile] callibr8. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] ng_moonmoth, [personal profile] across_space_and_time, [personal profile] technoshaman, and [personal profile] alatefeline. This poem belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics. It directly follows "We Are All Related," so read that first or this will make no sense.

WARNING: This poem contains some intense and controversial topics. Highlight to read the more detailed warnings, some of which are spoilers. You-all wanted to see the gaybashers who attacked Kenzie curbstomped by the Iron Horses, so here it is. Watch out for conspiracy to commit assault, religious issues, conflicting obligations, bloody souvenirs, desire for vengeance, magical/spiritual stalking of culpable parties, Thunderbird is fucking scary and so is his follower, rude language, using superpowers against ordinary opponents, gaybashers stalking around a gay bar, oblique references to pony play, references to poaching and hazardous equipment, graphic violence, vigilante justice, use of barbed wire as a rumble weapon, probable permanent injury, brutal application of inconvenient truth, temporary hearing impairment, explanation of internalized oppression and repression of identity, complicated transgender issues, and other mayhem. This is a major plot development, so skipping it would leave a big gap, but the main thing you need to know is simply that the Iron Horses hunt down the gaybashers and beat the shit out of them. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

Read more... )

Monday Yardening

Jul. 17th, 2017 12:11 pm
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[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Today I walked around the yard.  It's getting warm and moist.

There are bees everywhere.  In the wildflower garden, I saw a big bumblebee visiting every flower on this plant.  I saw a small black bee and a tiny metallic green one on the echinacea.  These are probably native species, some of which are rarely seen. All had large panniers of yellow pollen collected from the flowers.  :D  Beeeeeees!

EDIT 7/17/17: Round 2, I picked a few blackberries.

EDIT 7/17/17: Round 3, I planted some morning glories and watered plants.

EDIT 7/17/17: Round 4, I weeded about half of the septic garden.

Monday Update 7-17-17

Jul. 17th, 2017 11:13 am
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[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
These are some posts from the later part of last week in case you missed them:
Garden Photos 7-16-17 (pots)
Garden Photos 7-16-17 (prairie garden)
Rainbow!
Sunday Yardening
Badger Engineering


I'm back at the keyboard now after a busy week.

The second session of the July Poetry Fishbowl will open on Tuesday, July 18.


Poetry in Microfunding:
"A Hope and a Promise" belongs to Polychrome Heroics.  Aidan and Mrs. Ozenne talk more about Saraphina as she interacts with another toddler.  "The Inner Transition" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Berettaflies.  Valor's Widow finds out what Stylet has in his backpack.  

Weather has been steamy here.  It rained a little yesterday.  Currently blooming: dandelions, marigolds, petunias, lantana, million bells, snapdragons, zinnias, firecracker plant, white and red clover, morning glories, spiderwort, echinacea, blackberry lilies, yellow coneflowers, Queen Anne's lace, frost asters, and some yellow thing in the wildflower garden.  Corn is tasseling.  I need to pick more blackberries.  I think there are two jalapeno plants with tiny peppers on them, and more cayenne too.  \o/  Evidently peppers grow better in pots than my efforts with tomatoes.

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