We do not know each other, least not on a personal level. But I do believe that we seem to know a little about each other, or better, we have heard many things about each other by sources both reliable and not so much, which feed us both truths and lies, and mostly opinions. This does no good, not for any type of accurate understanding of each other. Neither of us has had much chance, nor made it a choice, to actually converse in some sort of personal manner and actually share individual knowledge, opinions and ideas. And I find myself wondering why. So here is a bit of a profile for you;
I do a lot of research in my studies. I research places, both those I have visited, and those I have yet to personally be. I research cultures, mine, my ancestors, and the many more I am curious about. I research individuals as well, those I have met, those I hear or read about, just about everyone that intrigues me I suppose. You see, as a student of History and one of social psychology, these things are important to me and my studies. As a student of a cultural religion, as a Druid, and as a councilor, these are important things to me. These studies of people, cultures and places all help me in my studies of my own self.
You see, I know a lot about me though all these studies. I am very egocentric, controlling, eccentric, and meticulous as well as organized. These are not faults as some would believe, they are strengths in a way. I use them to place me into a position of individuality, so that I am seen and understood the same by family, friend and foe alike as the same person. My principals have never altered because I am too damn stubborn to alter them, or change them for anybody except for my own self, and then rarely. I also don't accept many others beliefs, I tend to think for myself, and research, study and test beliefs. Many people who do know me will agree that I stand on my principals to a fault.
I teach that before you know a thing, you must come to understand all of it's aspects. To know the truths of a thing, you must also know it's lies. (or what it is not) Once you know these things, you begin to understand it. In Druidic teachings, it is sometimes said; See it not, Hear it not, Touch it not, Smell it not, Taste it not, but Know it and become it. It is a method of shape shifting magic. To better understand myself, I utilize the perception of others of myself. I meditate on their views and opinions of me, and on my views and opinions of them as well. We are so much more than the composite of our own beliefs, our environment, and our culture(s). And no, I have not learned it all, this is a life long journey. So I question a lot.
I also teach that when you question, ask questions from many sources, both to those who know and to those who are skeptic of your study. Truths are not always facts, and facts aren't always as they appear. This way, one can form a more or better informed opinion. This also leads to a stronger belief. In certain ceremonial magic, one will find a passage that conveys this strength of belief. It has even been adopted into the Wiccan teachings of some as well. “There is a Truth, a Truth above all lies. It is that which is above, is also so to that which is below.” Sound familiar? Ask Terry about it. It is a basis of study for many of us, to examine evidence appearing real, to question Facts not supported, and to test theory unfounded by evidence or fact.
As a serious student of history, cultural folklore and archeology are they only tools that science and popular culture accept in evidence of any record. Most times the two walk hand in hand and show support for each other. Some times they are in opposition of fact, evidence, and cultural lore. Sometimes, to add to the confusion, there is only lore, or a piece of evidence or fact that stands alone and cannot be supported harmonious enough to gather popular support. There is where we have supposition, or observed opinion. There is where science, history and religious or cultural belief have issues. Here also is where most of us take issue.
I teach a simple view about history. History, is written by the winners, or those who are in control. It is his-story, and at best, only 70-80% accurate. Myth is an older history that has lost evidence or lacks facts to give it solidity, it is my- if. Myth is based on some truth, but only about 20%. Legend is even older, it has little evidence outside of it's culture and no hard fact save imagined pictures or passages, it is the end of the ledge of history. It has less than 5% truth by the time we learn of it. However, these things are a part of our history, our cultures, and has been deeply ingrained and accepted in our lives and our beliefs. These things make up a core of who we are, and in turn, it helps us develop other beliefs that soon become our principals. From here we develop our 'morals' and 'ethics'.
I am also a bit brash, honestly blunt and brutally opinionated at times. I hold no apologies for this either. Mainly because I am very passionate about my beliefs, as I am passionate about just about everything. It's part of being eccentric I think, at least that is what I am told quite often. But I try to temper it all with honest concern and moderation. It is true, at least for me, that honesty is the best policy, however, discretion should be the rule. Sometimes, I am not so discrete. And sometimes, I am too honest. I would never make it as a politician.
Now, with all this, I am also well educated. Terry accuses me at times of being a walking encyclopedia. I don't agree. But I do have a tendency to study the things that interest me or cross my studies of other things. Often I have three researches going on at once just to get a better over all picture of what I am trying to find out. I even split my majors in college due to diverse interests. I majored in Cultural History of Europe and Social psychology. I then continued into structural maintenance engineering and then into business management. I also studied pharmacology as a first responder (EMT). Wilderness medicine and wilderness survival came later as far as formal training goes, as a registered and licensed wilderness guide. And let us not forget my religious studies at seminary as a Catholic(1980's) and my studentship under various druids (1984-1990) the combined studies with SDCW-ATC (1991-2004), ADF (1996-2006) the OBOD (2002-2008) the RNDA (1994-2008) and my ongoing studies with the Witch School International (2000-) and the Grey School of Wizardry (2008-) and all my other individual mentors, Druids and Wiccans, Witches and Ceremonial Magicians. Thus allowing me to study Druidry, Druidism, Wicca, American Witchcraft Traditions, Voodoo, Tao, Celtic Cultural mythology, Norse Cultural mythology, and the various denominations of Christianity. And yes, I attend just about every 'church' invitation I can regardless of the tradition or denomination. I am proud of this, and take pains to continue to learn everything I can in these.
To top all this off, or round out this personality profile for you, I was a Boy Scout, from a Cub to an Eagle Scout Leader. My family is deep in military history, my father a Marine for 32 years, my step-father a Navy man for 21 years, two brothers in the Army, myself did a stint in the Army, many uncles served as well. I also come from a ranching family, and old ranching and wilderness family here in America., my mothers family from the Missouri tribes ( Cherokee mostly, with some French). I am more at home in the wilderness. This might be why I am considered a bit crass or brash. I am considered a survivalist by many. Not the hard core in the movie crazy kind, but one of those people that seem to have the ability to get through a lot of things as easily as walking down the sidewalk. This is also why I am short on emotional observation, I have emotions, I just don't show them much. I am also not sympathetic, however I am empathetic. I avoid emotional issues, and deal with things internally, a lot. But, I am Passionate!
At my last emotional and mental evaluation, I was diagnosed with an above average IQ and intuitiveness, slightly depressed, showed significant manic tendencies, and considered homicidal in conflict issues. None the less, I adjust and deal with issues as they come and do not carry grudges nor do I tend to cause trouble. Mostly I mediate. I dive into issues, find the causes, look at the interactions, and help to decide appropriate action(s) to take to solve and or dissolve the issues.
Well, that's me, mostly, in a nutshell. If I offend you, then I made you think. I do not do so intentionally to create discord. I have always agreed to disagree with anyone on anything. You cannot change a thing, until you accept it for what it is. I do not guarantee I will change anything about myself, and am not trying to change you. I only have to justify myself to my self, and find myself only answerable to myself.
Again, I do not apologize for being me, just trying to explain myself.