I have been thinking lately that it's good to make oneself the disciple of something, be it a specific human or a mere idea. People without religion are largely guided, nevertheless, by many principles of the dominant religion(s) of the society and family in which they are raised; thus you find atheists in America who think lying, gluttony, and adultery abhorrent, yet take little issue with materialism - and even if they do, it is often the influence of political ideas or interest in another religion such as Buddhism. In short, in removing ourselves from specified spirituality, we do not necessarily, or even probably, remove ourselves from a longing to have a guide in life, both in morals and purpose.
And all of this raises the question, what guide? If we don't choose one, then it can be collectively chosen for us by our family and society without our ever pausing to question. It is possible to consider what traits we think the better to strive to possess and hold, picking and choosing without any guide but our own intellect, but that is very difficult and I for one haven't the confidence required.
So I want something to hold on to. I want a symbol, an animal, a face. Something I can envision, even if only in sound. Imagine attempting to lead one's life according to a symphony! I want something that tells me, "this is a good way to be, and it's not just in your own head."
Over my lifetime, my main heroes have been the characters of books. To this day, I sometimes think of Sara Crewe and ways in which I would like to emulate her. I was later quite fond of the Patchwork Girl of Oz. A more recent heroine has been Daenerys Targaryen. Princess Mononoke, Matilda, Atreyu...there have been many. From considering them all, I can draw some kind of concept of what sort of person I intrinsically yearn to be. Traits such as spontaneity, courage, charm, or oddness come to mind.
I still haven't found a permanent guide: something which I can hold onto when uncertain or brought low. But for now, it's Mary from Equilibrium, the emotional, courageous, and intelligent woman who was ultimately incinerated. With her sad eyes and gently moving lips, a face that attempts to hide the torrents beneath, she is a representation of Crowley's Law: "Love is the law, love under will."
For now, that suits me, as does she. When faced with the petty squabbles we enter into with our friends and lovers, or the tests of adherence to our scruples (which occur constantly), I hope to recall the thin view of her wide blue eyes before she is burnt from existence but not memory, a martyr.