emberleo: A rabbit with antlers eating blackberries (Default)
[personal profile] emberleo
So, this will not seem terribly significant to many of you, I'm sure, but it's something I've wrestled with, so it counts as a kind of epiphany to finally put a finger on it this way:

Worship is not an expression of subservience. Worship is an expression of Love. More to the point, Worship is any expression of love.

It happens that Service is a major category for expressions of Love. It happens that Gifts are as well. These seem to be the two most commonly cited forms of Worship. But Verbal Affirmation, Physical Affection, and Time Spent are all expressions of love as well. And to me, a Desire to Know is the essence of Love itself - so anything that qualifies as expressing a desire to get to know me better registers as an expression of love.

Love Languages == Forms of Worship.

What's strange is that my human love languages don't seem to be the same as my divine love languages. With the Gods, my primary form of expression seems to be crafting gifts - my desire to know Them is expressed via an increased ability to make gifts that will please Them.

With humans my primary language seems to be Spending Time. Gifts are actually least significant to me by themselves. Or rather, Financial Expense is least significant to me. Gifts that show an understanding of who I am go over quite well, because they qualify as the result of a desire to get to know me.

But you don't really have to know me all that well to find shinies I will like - I'm a crafty pack-rat with overtly expressed tastes. I'm pretty sure I'm trivially easy to shop for, if all you're aiming for is my "Ooh! Shiny!" reaction. And I will never, ever complain about that, because I really do LIKE the Shinies. ;]

I suspect I have a tendancy to make people who do the giving feel loved simply by readily accepting their expressions of love towards me. Shinies make me demonstrably happy, but that's not quite the same as making me feel loved.

And I think I have finally put a finger on why I always feel just a tiny bit guilty when somebody gives me a shiny that I like - because I know they're trying to make me feel loved, and I know they aren't succeeding as directly in that as they probably think they are, because there's a layer of removal for me. So... it feels a little bit like lying, even though I'm not faking my happiness in the slightest.

--Ember--

(no subject)

Date: 2006-09-26 01:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lysana.livejournal.com
Just to datapoint, some people give shinies because the shiny said, "I belong to this person, please get me to my proper home." I've been the giver and recipient on those. It helps if you know and care about the person, but sometimes, it's just a cigar.

And I can parse worship as a form of love to where I don't personally see an inherent contradiction, but that may be because I'm that sort of kinky.

(no subject)

Date: 2006-09-26 06:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] emberleo.livejournal.com
*confused* Maybe it's the phrasing, but I feel like you're sideways to my point.

I don't see a contradiction to the idea of Worship being Expressions of Love. I've just tended to be a bit shy of the word Worship over the years because so many people I know equate it directly to Service, which they then seem to automatically equate with Following Orders. It's possible to serve others according to your own ideas and perceptions as well. It's possible to express love and thus to worship in manners other than acts of service. Where's the contradiction?

And yes, I know gifts are often given for other reasons as well - I never said ALL gifts were expressions of love.

--Ember--

(no subject)

Date: 2006-09-27 02:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lysana.livejournal.com
I've seen too many people parse worship without love, especially in pagan circles, to the point where if I see the words separately in a sentence, I begin to think I'm seeing it that way again. Especially if I'm reading it after only two hours of sleep.

(no subject)

Date: 2006-09-26 04:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] abhasana.livejournal.com
Someone once said that religion should be more of a love affair. One of my primary spiritual influences is bhakti (devotional) Hinduism and even though I've had to leave anything not Northern Tradition behind when I started my current path, I'm still seeing the dynamics of devotion and relationship where I'm at now.

Worship is an expression of love and can take so many forms; like you, I express my love through art and craft. I don't think they care so much what I create so long as it's created; the process my own heart goes through is also important. It's not subserviance except in the way we are completely subserviant to love and the desire to love.

(no subject)

Date: 2006-09-26 05:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lwood.livejournal.com
*points, nods*

Bhakti is something we kick around Our Gang from time to time, because it is simply le mot juste, at least according to our understanding.

I am fairly confident that, were you to, oh, write an essay on the expression of bhakti, both as you had in Hinduism, and as you now have in NT, it would get a favorable reading and probably a request for publication down the road--DLP's publication schedule has a very nice place for just this thing in a few years.

-- Lorrie

(no subject)

Date: 2006-09-26 05:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] abhasana.livejournal.com
Goddammit I should beat you for adding anything else to my writing platter. I'm working to find the devotional path intrinsic to Heathenry and have found. . .some small things. Thing is, it's expressed through practice rather than anything specifically lore-based, and practice is a very personal thing and then people start pointing fingers about how "Heathen" thou is or thou is not. Bhakti as a uniquely Hindu phenomena is dependant on everything else Hindu from social structure to mysticism; while there are a great many paralells in any mystical devotional tradition, with lots of tools and toys being the same, there's enough difference that it'd be impossible to look for "Heathen bhakti" because there won't be any. There is Heathen devotional practice, and that's what I'm after. I suppose I can contrast the two devotional traditions; that'd make interesting reading I think.

(no subject)

Date: 2006-09-26 06:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lwood.livejournal.com
Goddammit I should beat you for adding anything else to my writing platter.

Hey! We've been throwing that term around with no good clue about its cultural context for years and lo, someone hops out of the tall grass who can actually speak to it from both sides so, y'know, "What can the gods offer me?". ;)

Besides, it's not "now", it's "by and by". The book in the trance series that will deal with having gods in is a bit down the road yet; the one that she has the contract for covers "first, learn to breathe" and goes to "running amok in the Otherworld with your posse".

Therefore, hey, you have years. ;)

Thing is, it's expressed through practice rather than anything specifically lore-based,

While that's true, there are citations amongst the sagas, which would obviously have to be waved and thumped for this purpose. Actually, the one that springs fastest to mind is the same one we thump when we talk about possessory stuff...

then people start pointing fingers about how "Heathen" thou is or thou is not.

You know, I used to feel very hurt at accusations like that, and then I realised that you know? My kindred's been in the business for twenty years, so step back, bitch (them, not you!). :>

Bhakti as a uniquely Hindu phenomena is dependant on everything else Hindu from social structure to mysticism; while there are a great many paralells in any mystical devotional tradition, with lots of tools and toys being the same, there's enough difference that it'd be impossible to look for "Heathen bhakti" because there won't be any. There is Heathen devotional practice, and that's what I'm after. I suppose I can contrast the two devotional traditions; that'd make interesting reading I think.

Compare, contrast, using your own personal examples, and it could then be interleaved with other personal examples. Devotional practice has a place in heathenry--it even has a lore-justified place, and I aims to ensure it's claimed properly.

Think, not of the slings and arrows to be cast at you, [livejournal.com profile] emberleo, or I--'cos we'll catch a few--but how someone else coming fresh off "ow fuck Freyr grabbed me NOW WHAT?" in five, ten, or twenty years would see it and know they're not alone.

But, again, you have a lot lead time on this--we're not on the Raven Kaldera Hella-imposed schedule of "write everything and have had it published yesterday and WHY AREN'T YOU DONE?" that I hear about from time to time...

-- Lorrie

(no subject)

Date: 2006-09-26 06:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] abhasana.livejournal.com
Besides, it's not "now", it's "by and by". The book in the trance series that will deal with having gods in is a bit down the road yet; the one that she has the contract for covers "first, learn to breathe" and goes to "running amok in the Otherworld with your posse".

And it's not like I can pretend that I wasn't going to do this anyway and oh dear when will I ever had the time/motivation/gumption to begin and oh here's someone who actually /wants/ this from me so. . .need fills need. So yes, years will be needed because I don't have enough personally built up and there's a lot of people to coax into talking with me about this. It will be added to the "to be thought about" list along with some other things.

While that's true, there are citations amongst the sagas, which would obviously have to be waved and thumped for this purpose. Actually, the one that springs fastest to mind is the same one we thump when we talk about possessory stuff...

Oh, I'm aware of them. I pout because I'm used to countless /volumes/ of work dedicated to this single subject from which to draw concrete information. But in truth, I don't think there needs to be a lot of lore on this because it's not the sort of thing that you should be refering to a book about anyway. It is as personal and as passionate as one's own dreams and, like dreams, cannot be truly interpreted by any except the dreamer themselves. Looking in the Interpret Your Dreams In Ten Minutes Or Less book may give you a pointer or two, but true insight depends on self-knowledge, and that's what the devotional path can give you.

Devotional practice has a place in heathenry--it even has a lore-justified place, and I aims to ensure it's claimed properly.

Cool. Go team.

But, again, you have a lot lead time on this--we're not on the Raven Kaldera Hella-imposed schedule of "write everything and have had it published yesterday and WHY AREN'T YOU DONE?" that I hear about from time to time...

Heh. Well in this single assignment I don't have that, but I'm operating under Hel's Own Pointy Boot about a lot of the rest of my writing so you'll forgive a certain level of brittleness in response to "oh you should write. . ." ;)

(no subject)

Date: 2006-09-26 06:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lwood.livejournal.com
I pout because I'm used to countless /volumes/ of work dedicated to this single subject from which to draw concrete information.

Well, you can cite some of it--have I spoken of my Spackle Theory?--but not too much. Not having a lot gives you the awesome and empty canvas: look! It's empty! I can put on anything I want! duelling handily with OMG! It's empty!.

Cool. Go team.

Always one of my favorite randomly muttered interjections, right up there with "...that's our boy!" Covers a multitude of topics and sins, really...

Heh. Well in this single assignment I don't have that, but I'm operating under Hel's Own Pointy Boot about a lot of the rest of my writing so you'll forgive a certain level of brittleness in response to "oh you should write. . ." ;)

We Do Not Talk about Lorrie's Pending Writing Stack, much as We Do Not Talk about Fight Club. 8-P

-- Lorrie

(no subject)

Date: 2006-09-26 07:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mordantcarnival.livejournal.com
Hello! Are you the same --Ember-- that's on Barbelith? OKay to friend?

(no subject)

Date: 2006-09-26 07:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] emberleo.livejournal.com
Yes, yes I am! Please do!

--Ember--

(no subject)

Date: 2006-09-26 07:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shantak.livejournal.com
Wow, that's cool. I like your way of thinking. Thanks.

-smk

(no subject)

Date: 2006-09-26 07:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rentravler.livejournal.com
I think I know where you are coming from in the gifts vs love thing. While I am, in fact, a shiny slut, and I do, in fact, love gifts, they also make me feel odd, especially if the person giving it is giving it as an expression of love. Love does not equal things, in my book. So, when I get flowers and gifts of the like (as my boyfriend loves to do), and cards from my various relatives (including my sister), I'm happy to receive them, but I don't want them to take the place of actual love. It's too easy, I think, to hide behind "things" instead of deal with the real emotions and feelings of a given situation. Cards (and the giving of cards) in particular are a pet peeve. what's a card but a hyped-up money maker for Hallmark? People loved each other deeply before Hallmark came around, fer Gods' sakes, yet giving cards is seen as equal to spending time, or meeting souls, or giving really meaningful gifts, or meeting a clear need.

Off of the soapbox now.

(no subject)

Date: 2006-09-26 07:29 pm (UTC)
howeird: (Hummer)
From: [personal profile] howeird
The question here I think is how to express love. How to give an outward expression of an inner feeling. I have always been puzzled by the concept of gifts for Gods, because in my universe, a God sees within, and any outward expression of love toward a God is to show other humans how you believe, the Gods already know.

Humans can't see inside other humans, so the outward expression is crucial, be it a hug, a kiss, a shiny or an all-expenses-paid vacation to Maui.

(no subject)

Date: 2006-09-26 07:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] emberleo.livejournal.com
DING!

You just made me admit I knew something I keep acting like I don't know!

Being is inside. Of course the gods see our being. But we are not only creatures of being, we are also creatures of DOING - that is, externalizing our being, making things manifest in the world as action and object. Giving gifts to the gods is not for the benefit of other people, it is for our own benefits, that we have the satisfaction of DOING, and that we can recieve our gods' appreciation of that work.

It's all well and good that the gods see straight into us, but we don't see straight into Them. Their gracious acceptance of our outward expressions of love are what make us feel loved by THEM.

--Ember--

The queen of 'do-ing'...

Date: 2006-09-26 09:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wolfs-daugher.livejournal.com
is awestruck.

"DINGDINGDING"

that just makes sooo much sense to me!

wow.

Sparrow

(no subject)

Date: 2006-09-27 06:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wolfs-daugher.livejournal.com
Being is inside....DOING - that is, externalizing our being, making things manifest in the world as action and object.

I think I got it. I feel just like Eliza Doolittle right now. I have been struggling, all this time, trying to manifest Be-ing externally, where it can be seen. And failing. As you know. Until just now, we didn't have the words to explain that Do-ing is Be-ing on the outside.

Have I got this right finally? Being is the dream, the inspiration, the idea that you wake up with. Doing is turning it into something that others can see. Making that necklace, putting on that Feast. Whatever. Do-ing is the channel that makes what you are visible!

(I'm so excited)
Sparrow

(no subject)

Date: 2006-09-27 06:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] emberleo.livejournal.com
I think you've got it, yes.

But do you see how it correlates that you can't have the DOing define the BEing?

--Ember--

(no subject)

Date: 2006-09-27 07:22 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Isn't it more that Being defines Doing, from this perspective?

"I am, and being what I am this is what I do that makes it visible?"

Sparrow

(no subject)

Date: 2006-09-27 08:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] emberleo.livejournal.com
Exactly.

--Ember--

Some not totally un-related comments

Date: 2006-09-26 08:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lois2037.livejournal.com
Maybe you remember me, Lois, formerly of SF and now up in Portland... Tom and I want to express our sorrow for your loss. Rascal was a great cat! She wouldn't have much to do with me on the couple of times I met her, and I respected that. She was definitely Royalty. I get she'll be looking in to make sure you're doing everything up to her high standards!

I really like your take on the word "worship". I seldom use that word because of the implication of begging subservience attached to it. That is certainly not how I feel. Worship as an expression of love--that's it! Coming from a Catholic tradition meant pleading and begging as worship, and not a little grovelling. And yet all the teachings had to do with how much God loved us--didn't make sense to me, even as a kid. I left early. Now I sort of cringe when I see signs outside churches inviting us all to come and worship. Over time, the word had become very heavy, sticky and threatening: unworthy sinners, you MUST bow in worship to be saved!!! Thank you. I'll see about looking at it a little differently now.

Re: Some not totally un-related comments

Date: 2006-09-26 09:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] emberleo.livejournal.com
Lois, neither you nor Tom are remotely forgettable. I actually speak of you with surprising frequency, considering how little time I found to spend with you before you moved away.

Thank you for the kind words. Pardon me while I friend you ;)

--Ember--

(no subject)

Date: 2006-09-26 10:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lois2037.livejournal.com
I friend you back. Please say "HEY!!!!" to your Mom.

(no subject)

Date: 2006-09-26 10:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] emberleo.livejournal.com
I will indeed! You can ping her yourself via [livejournal.com profile] karyljan.

--Ember--

(no subject)

Date: 2006-09-26 10:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lois2037.livejournal.com
Difficult to ping, since she doesn't actually have journal entries... We do miss her, and you.

(no subject)

Date: 2006-09-26 10:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] emberleo.livejournal.com
*blinks* Yes she... oh, locked, okay. She never had many, really.

--Ember--

Profile

emberleo: A rabbit with antlers eating blackberries (Default)
Ember

September 2013

S M T W T F S
1234567
891011121314
151617181920 21
2223 2425262728
2930     

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags