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January 28, 2012

Sometimes being a “research Pagan” pays big dividends.

One day, for whatever reason, a tiny and seemingly insignificant detail may happen to strike you in a different way than it did last week. Suddenly, noise resolves into signal. No. No way. . . but you go on a hunt for the notes from that completely other research project that hit a wall a few years back anyway. Better to confirm you’re wrong than to hang on to wishful hopes you’re right, yes? You did keep something about that, didn’t you? Where, where, where. . . ah!

Confirmation. No, you weren’t imagining things. But wait, how. . . what are the odds?. . . let’s be real here. If A, then B. . . ? Get a grip. Random Magic 8 Ball validation check: what does Wikipedia say? Uh, Wikipedia not only says B, it goes right on to D that you hadn’t even thought of yet. But it’s Wikipedia, come on. Google for a reputable source for heaven’s sake.  Oh.  Hm. Multiple plausible ones. Yeah, and in particular I can’t think of any way to disqualify THAT one.

So, that connection is arguably valid. Okay. How does that change things? Oooooh, wait. . . vertigo. . . this could explain multiple lingering mysteries that have nothing apparently in common but that my best explanation felt so almost true, but somehow still wrong.

WHOA. *a la Neo in the Matrix*

. . .

Time passes.

. . .

The next day you realize that if you’d pulled your nose out of the books and done the praxis work your instinct told you to try ages ago,  you might have gotten to the same place years sooner. But nooo, you didn’t want to, you were feeling all stubborn because it didn’t fall in line with your theories, so you went looking for a shinier option that didn’t challenge your preconceptions.

Well, here we are now.



The particular discovery in question is really pretty irrelevant – it’s extremely unlikely to make an impact on anyone but me, but for me, it is huge.

I’m posting this for two reasons: to document the timing my “!!!” for my own future reference, and as a wry reminder to self and others that it’s easy and rewarding to be bedazzled by the gleam of our great cleverness. . . and challenging and humbling to remember we maybe wouldn’t have needed to be so very clever if we’d been a little more open-minded in the short term. :p

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 29, 2012 3:06 AM

    I’ve been spending far too much time with my nose in a book, trying to learn about the gods, about culture, about religion. It struck me a little while ago that it’s about time I cut out the middle man for a bit and go experience it all myself. :) A new adventure begins…

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