Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Emotional Void: Selfishness

Am I selfish?

It is a question that has to naturally arise for me as I explore Apollo, because Apollo forces you to look at yourself as if through his eyes, and looking at yourself through the objective eyes of a God is not a pleasant thing. We are, all of us, selfish and rude and obnoxious at some levels of our being. Our inner child demands lots of attention, is self centered, and it wants, incessantly. It is our job as people to help balance the needs of that inner child with the reality of what is available, wise, and not hurtful to others.

But am I selfish on more than just a core instinctive level?

The answer I got was yes, and that is really bothering me. What do I give back, to the world around me, to pagans, to my fellow Hellenistoi, to my city and nation?

On some levels, I have made of myself a sacrifice, and have been belittled for it, laughed at, because I have always chosen a life that was rather spartan (in the modern sense of the word) by not driving, riding a bike, trying to use as little paper as possible, etc. I feel that I give back to our divine mother by doing as little as I can to damage the world she gave us as a trust, not a gift.

But do I give back to the Gods and my communities in other ways?

I have tried, of course, and money to several organizations has in the past been a source of pride, but as it has become harder and harder to make a living out here I have had to stop doing that, and part of me really regrets that.

I have kept myself rather distant from the Pagan community, part of it is the fact that I am a little agoraphobic, but a lot of it has to do with a sense of apathy toward the whole neo-pagan movement. It's too bad I feel that way, because some of the nicest people I have met have been these same neo-pagans.

But aside from those things which mark me more as anti-social or maybe even a little neurotic, at what other levels am I selfish?

Am I selfish with my feelings? Am I selfish with regard to my friends? Am I selfish in my dealings with my family, which prompted this exploration in the first place, because I expect them to somehow bring out something in me that may not be there to begin with, or which I keep hidden?

Questions, questions, and more friggin questions.

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