commentary, philosophy, and outright rants

Time best spent?

A comment was made on another blog that:

"I’m hardly going to blame Reclaiming for the slide from Reagan to W."

This was in response to a comment of mine that, in regard to Reclaiming:

"as a political force, I believe that it has had little effect – possibly even a negative effect. Twenty-five years ago, Reagan had just taken office; but I don’t really see GWB as any sort of improvement."

Although the only people who can be "blamed"for Bush being in office are the people who voted for him, there are two very real ways in which Reclaiming may have contributed to that happening.

First, purely on the level that even non-Witches can deal with: substitution of causes. People have a limited amount of time to spend on causes. How much time this is differs from person to person: self-support issues, family-support issues, child care, family, and so forth, but in any case, once sleep is subtracted as well, there is a very limited amount of those 168 weekly hours left to do other things. If people spent those hours on Reclaiming, when they could have been spent helping the Gore campaign – especially in Florida – these are the hours of work that could have made a difference. When an organization seeks to link magic (or its own particular form of spiritual / prayer activity) with political action, it behooves the participants in that organization to take a serious look if – in linking their spirituality with their political views through the medium of a particular organization – their time is better spent in such an organization, or somewhere else. If the organization is so constructed that it can easily move to help link those views and activities together without spending a lot of time on running the organization itself, then it may be a good avenue. If, on the other hand, the people in the organization cannot even agree on the meaning of basic terminology in the group – such as "Principles", "Unity", and "non-violence", then efforts made through that organization may be diffused to the point where there is no political effectiveness.

Secondly, there is the problem of like efforts affecting like – the belief espoused by most Witches in the "as above, so below" effect; that what happens between the worlds affects all the worlds; and the belief that I have often heard espoused in Reclaiming that things we do present a model to the multiverse of what we would like to see happen. As I’ve written above, Reclaiming as an assemblage does not even agree on the meaning of terms such as "Principles", "Unity", and "non-violence". Reclaiming models this disagreement to the multiverse; is it any wonder that the American President can speak of his principles and of the way he’s unified the country in ways that make no sense to some people – but if you can redefine "principle" or "unity" to mean whatever you want, he’s not exactly lying. I have heard some Reclaiming Initiates state that "non-violence" does not exclude the use of violence for "self-defense"; and "self-defense" is the precise excuse for the apparently non-violent minor altercation of late in Israel and Lebanon. (If you can call the killing of thousands of people by rockets and other weapons of war "non-violent"; and I guess you can if it’s "self-defense".

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