It's my birthday today -- March 15, 2005. Darn it, the server's date has changed already! Happy birthday, lovejoyman.

Reading lovejoyman's node, I'm struck by some of the similarities between his story and my current situation. Coworkers tell me I'm one of the most cheerful people they know, and it always surprises me that the ruse works so damned well. I've troubles, sure; we all do. But you see, I go by the attitude that if I radiate my worries and malcontent, or worse, take it out on others, I'm not doing anyone any favors -- not others, and certainly not myself.

To my shame, I do snap at people once in a long while, and I always feel guilty about it afterwards. After all, I swore an oath to do no harm. That oath is backed up by my religion's requirements, as well. You might quibble about the limits of the oath, but I still don't like it. A mutual gripe fest is a different issue, though, as is verbally smacking the heck out of someone who is being obnoxious or overweeningly idiotic. That last is born out of a childhood of being the little kid who everyone beat on in school; I'm not taking any more of it, thank you very much!

So, there's this pimp guy named Audie who has encouraged me to catbox less and write more. I don't have a very deep knowledge or experience of theatre, so probably the finer points of his writings are lost to me... but at least I do connect with them on a visceral level, and I deeply admire his accomplishments.

Once upon a time, I was very, very involved with some online roleplaying games. I was an owner of some, and builder/programmer/maintainer/author of most of the rest. Keeping games like those up required my extensive presence in roleplaying, filling out assorted parts and generally keeping things moving along, not to mention talking down assorted potential suicides. It's helped to teach me a thing or three about how we all interact.

It's all about perceptions.

One of the things Wicca can teach you is about thoughtforms. Wicca certainly hasn't cornered the market on thoughtforms, of course; they exist in all religions and in non-religions as well, but Wicca has a tendency to call a spade a spade. Wicca uses all the attendant mumbo-jumbo you see in other practices, but experienced Wiccans know it's mumbo-jumbo and why it's used. We use thoughtforms to connect with, or to, perceptions, intent, or knowledge. That connection might change ourselves, or the thoughtform, or both. Said another way, it is possible to, in some ways, change reality by changing your perceptions of that reality.

Method acting is akin to thoughtform magick, although in a much more prosaic and limited sense. I found Wicca after getting involved in that online RPG stuff, and it took me many years for that connection to bubble to the surface of my thoughts to the point where I could actively notice it. My best characters literally had lives of their own, with thoughts and biases that often had nothing to do with my own, and would occasionally surprise me by what they might say or do. A Wiccan might say that I was channeling that character, and that might well be true.

When I act in a certain way, online or not, I can either be feeling the way I really am feeling, or feeling the way I want to be feeling. This is akin to many medical thoughtform issues, by the way. People who natter on about "my cancer" or "my lumbago", et cetera, are in effect owning their disease; talking and (worse) thinking about it that way will actively promote the growth of that thoughtform. It doesn't have to be a medical issue, though. It could be anything. If I go around crying about my problems with debt, family problems, constant physical pain and professional frustration, what is that going to buy me aside from a reputation as a whiner or, at perhaps at best, some well-meaning idle sympathy? True, the squeaky wheel gets the grease, and I have indeed gotten some very welcome help by discussing my issues at the right moment and in the right way. But not by crying about it.

Not crying about it, no, but writing helps, as does roleplaying or acting. You take on a character, a fantasy, or some other creative goal, then pour your sight, memory, and history into a big pot, and give it a good stir. Your perceptions are what matter, and what you do with them. Are you trying to create yourself, or something else? Sometimes, magick emerges... along with a measure of peace.

the challenge: true sight
which realities matter?
in spring, green shoots rise

I create myself anew, each day... and can only hope and pray that my sight be true.

And, Audie: I hope your thoughtforms bring you more greatness. Rock on, man.