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Occasionally I wandered in where I was not wanted and gave truthful answers.
Sometimes I even did it deliberately. A little disruption now can prevent disaster later.

Blessings and ethics

This is a page from the third version of Technopagan Yearnings. There are some formatting differences. Originally published at www.neowayland.com/C1325529963/E20060808235504

When things are messy, actions and answers aren't clear cut. That is when you need faith in yourself.

I think I started using a Bless List when I went to seminary. I already used a Day-Timer, and it was easy enough to stick a blank looseleaf page in the current day, and then move it as needed.

These days it is all on my Palm, one simple category that I use to track my concerns and remind myself of things I want to keep in mind.

I have guidelines I try to stick to for my Bless List. Get permission first. Question human action, but trust in the wisdom of the gods and the universe. Make sure it is deserved. Carefully weigh the options, recognizing that sometimes a blessing for one can be a curse for someone else. Try to make it what is NEEDED rather than what is WANTED. Make it specific. Make it private. Better to build on what is already there than to slap a new structure down. And if you do have to put in a new structure, make sure the foundation is strong and won't be rejected.

And then sometimes the universe proves again that it has a sense of humor.

We sometimes forget that life is a series of tradeoffs. Vegetables are available at your corner market on demand, but you can grow better ones that nourish the body and spirit. The tradeoff here is time, effort and availability. You could go to another store and get clothes, or you could make your own. You could bicycle that ten miles to work, or you could use public transit. Which tradeoffs are you willing to make?

What is the price you are willing to pay?

That got brought home to me recently. Under what circumstances would I be willing to forgo my Bless List guidelines? Which ones could I keep? What was the honorable thing to do?

That is why the universe has a sense of humor. When you think you have the rules for honor and ethics and blessing all figured out, something comes along that you didn't think of and makes you look at it all again. Because the rules don't always work.

The only answer I have been able to come up with is that those guidelines are personal, and while they may cover most situations, they aren't going to cover everything. Sometimes I am going to have to take a deep breath, make a good guess, and trust that the gods have given me what I need to deal with things. In this case that meant breaking some of my Bless List guidelines. "Honoring the spirit rather than the letter."

It's not the first time I faced a choice like this. And obsessive paranoid that I am, I keep wondering if I made the "right" choice. In my darker moments, I'll probably keep wondering for years. Fortunately, I don't have to live in my darker moments all the time, or even most of the time.

Good thing too. I have it on good authority that I am irritating and offensive when I am in my darker moments.

I'm responsible for my actions. If this particular one takes, then my Patrons deserve the credit. If this one doesn't take, I am the one who goofed and I am the one who will owe restitution.

That is the price I am willing to pay.

Posted: Tue - August 8, 2006 at 08:55 PM

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A narrow slice of life, but now and again pondering American neopaganism, modern adult pagans & the World.

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