Saying Yes

You all probably know that I don’t play the self-deprecating game, so popular these days, of saying “it’s not like I’m a special snowflake” every time I talk about what I do and am capable of. I am special, but that shouldn’t be threatening – it doesn’t preclude anyone else being special too, in their own unique way. That’s what makes humans interesting (to me, it’s pretty much all that makes them interesting) – the potential to be special, to do something special.

Today I was thinking – what was it about me, that made me special in the way that attracted my spirits to me? And you know what, it wasn’t anything all that glamorous. I’m smart, but not that smart. I’m artistic, but actually I only came into my own with that under the direct influence and assistance of my spirits. When I was 13 – when They first approached me – I certainly hadn’t done much with my life yet, of course. Sure, I probably had some innate facility with trance states and a sort of natural animistic worldview that helped. I had potential. But what it really comes down to, is that I said “Yes.” I said yes and yes and yes again. Was that smart? Probably not, all things considered. But when the opportunity came, I threw myself into it with wild abandon, and each time the stakes were raised, I said yes again, I went deeper into the labyrinth.

And then – and this is crucial, this I think is why I was not used up and discarded by the spirits long ago, as so many are when they jump in like that – I did the Work. I put in the blood, sweat and tears (all rather literally) to make myself into the most useful tool for Them that I could be. Which is an ongoing process, never done. There is always a next level, always further to go.

I have been asked, more than once, how I do what I do. Usually I answer (and this is true) that I have nothing in my life that is not the Work now, that I have no social life, no hobbies, etc. But also, the answer is that I keep saying yes, to things most people would (smartly) run away from. And I keep putting in the Work. That’s all my special gift really is, in the end. I’m not all that talented, compared to some. But I do not turn away.

I don’t think we should be afraid to identify what is special about us, and to embrace it, and even to intensify it. We should strive to catch and keep the attention of the gods and spirits. And “how can they meet us face to face till we have faces?”

~ by Dver on August 6, 2016.

11 Responses to “Saying Yes”

  1. Hi, Dver! I’ve been lurking here for a while, so first, thank you for so many words of inspiration, both here on the blog and in Dwelling on the Threshold.

    Something you said—twice—in this piece:

    “But what it really comes down to, is that I said “Yes.” I said yes and yes and yes again. Was that smart? Probably not, all things considered.”

    and

    “I keep saying yes, to things most people would (smartly) run away from. And I keep putting in the Work.”

    Given how much this Work seems to have fulfilled you, made you fully alive doing your unique thing in the world, it seems to me that in your case, saying no and running away would *not* have been smart, even though for so many others, it would be. Why? Because every time you say “yes,” you mean it—and this is radically unlike so many of the “special snowflakes.” Saying yes makes sense (it’s the smart thing to do) *if and only if* we really mean it, and we’re not going to back out or change our mind later.

    (I wonder if another part of the problem here isn’t something about our society that strongly discourages us from setting boundaries for ourselves, where we’re not supposed to say “no”, or even “not right now, I’m not ready for that, maybe later”, and so saying “yes” in this false, half-committed way where we don’t really/fully mean it seems like some kind of virtue when it’s not.)

    I certainly don’t want to speak for you, but I wonder if this is at least a piece of what’s behind your remarks here.

    • Thank you, and thanks for commenting!

      As for why… well it’s true, you have to mean it, but not just because of the reasons you state, but because if you mean it, you follow it up with the real, hard work. A lot of people don’t technically back out or change their minds later, but they didn’t expect the follow up work that is required, and the way it totally changes and takes over your life, and so they kind of fizzle out and there can be bad consequences for that.

      Yes, my path has fulfilled me entirely, and running away would not have been the right choice for me in retrospect, but at the time, I didn’t know what I know now. It could have easily gone a different way, and ended badly for me *even if I had done everything right*. I never want to give the impression that dealing with the spirits – even if you want it, even if you try hard – is easy or safe. (I’m talking specifically about spirit-work level stuff, and certain types of spirits – not implying that it’s going to be dangerous just to leave offerings to your local nymphs, although historically even that has some level of peril.)

      But, all great things have some element of risk in them.

      • Thanks, this is helpful!

        Your first point about embracing and following through with all the hard work is what I was trying to get at with “really meaning it,” though you express it much more clearly!

        As to the reminder that this work is never safe: this always bears repeating! Yes.

  2. Indeed. As I read this (then little it simmer and came back to it in my head) I was reminded of part of a story titled ‘The Wake World: a Tale for Babes and Sucklings’ by Aleister Crowley. (You can find it at hermetic.com if you’re so inclined to read the rest of it!) The part of the story is: Then he said: “Come on! This is only the servants’ hall, nearly everybody stays here all their lives.” And I said: “Kiss me!” So he said: “Every step you take is only possible when you say that.” Blessings.

  3. […] See full piece here: Saying Yes […]

  4. Yes.😀

    This ties in with something I interacted with Edward Butler over — a two-part apologia concerning Bhagavān, bhakti, and the perceived “cruelty” and “indifference” of Bhagavān (which are not “cruelty” or “indifference” at all, as it happens). It’s a Hindu series of concepts and explanations, but I do think it has applications beyond various Hinduisms and touches on some “universal” polytheistic themes.

    “Surrender” — that is, saying “yes” adamantly and completely, once and continually — is devotion, and that devotion alone compels deities and other similar superhuman beings to respond to us in like kind. [God] is the epitome of what is special in Creation, what separates meaningful being from simply existing, and by “surrendering” to [God], we partake in [God]’s uniqueness and “specialness.” Those who are indifferent, those who say “no,” [God] respects their wishes and does not respond to them. But in devotion, [God] responds to us: we are made “special,” we are “elevated” in some respect by [God] to Whom we are devoted, no matter how basic, unremarkable, and untalented people we otherwise may be. Everyone who is devoted honestly matters to [God] in their way. I’m not a terribly remarkable human being, except perhaps to some of the people who love me and think more highly of me than they probably ought to, prosaically speaking. But in loving my Gods, in giving Them honest devotion, I am made special to Them, just as I am special to the people I am close to / are close to me.

    (d) Erragal (Nergal / Erra) came to me (aniconically) in a dream very recently. This is a God I have worshiped, albeit not with the most dutiful regularity, for years now. He is one so lofty, so powerful, so terrifying. Consistently, I thought of my efforts and myself as nothing much worth His eyes noticing, though despite that I kept putting in the time when I remembered and when I had the means. But in that dream — without revealing too much or getting mired in the details of it — He loved me, and He told me to “love [Him].” It was incredible. It was perhaps the first real, conscious moment I had where I thought “My God, He sees me and He loves me. I and what I do *matter* to this incredible being. I’m *special* to Him — me, who does barely anything worth remarking and is definitely not as great a devotee as any King that bore His name, or any priest of His that bore a seal.” All because, several years ago, I took the plunge, and on many occasions since, said “yes, I want You. I want this.”

    All this being said, I do think there is a vast difference between “being special” in this sense — in a devotional sense, in the sense of being a spiritual/religious servant who performs particular spiritual/religious services to others who do not or cannot operate in such a capacity themselves, etc. — and “special snowflakery” (which is deliberately and obnoxiously attention-seeking, and unrealistically demanding of undue respect and special treatment from other people).

    • Yes, and these days, think how much more special those who take that plunge must be to the gods, considering how few of us are left (both because polytheism isn’t prevalent, and because even within polytheism, few people truly believe in the reality of the gods and are willing to put aside their egos in awe).

      Yes, it’s not about attention-seeking, not about other people at all in fact. It’s about striving for excellence for the gods, not for humans.

  5. Funny – my inbox got full right after the notification of this post, waiting for me to find it.

    This is the problem I’ve had with my spirits since it truly hit me they were real – terror at never being able to live up to anything they might want from me, and having no idea who they are or what they DO want. Any time I think I have it figured out, it falls apart, and I freak out. Maybe that’s the point. I don’t know.

    Love the quote you used at the end. In something I’m writing, there’s a scene where Athena is reading Out of the Silent Planet and Hermes tells her she should read Til We Have Faces.

    • Well, it can be a long process. For me – I knew exactly what my spirits wanted from me, from the beginning, and yet it took so many years for me to truly understand what that meant and what I needed to do. And even more to start truly doing it. So you may be in a necessary period of discernment and exploration. Remember that the spirits also tend to work on different timelines, due to different experiences of time and length of life, so what seems like forever to you might be a blip to them.

      • That’s a good point, about time. I had a dream this morning that helped. I was going to post it here, but now that I’m typing I feel silly about it. Maybe I’ll do that later.

  6. […] friend recently wrote a great post about saying “yes”, and it got me to thinking about accepting, seeking and knocking. My own form of spirituality is […]

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