All Posts By: ferox

Radical Heresy Part 2

I wrote last time about modern heresy in lived experiences outside “the norm” and the methods of torture utilized to enforce conformity in the Middle Ages. Now I’d like to speak on U.S. culture but more specifically on my experience in religious-heavy Utah. I have lived on the fringes of this community for most of my adult life. I am currently planning my escape for places that feel more like home but, even while the time draws nigh, I can’t let go just yet.

I’ve often thought about what it would look like for me to simply return to “the fold” of the Mormon church. Perhaps I could blend in, stop speaking up, and just exist. Maybe I’d have time for hobbies or a more illustrious career. I could have a guaranteed family, an extended default support network, and I would be accepted and safe nearly everywhere. But I would be denying who I was. I would be lying to everyone around me, and most importantly to myself.

Many of us have found our own societies, our own safe spaces, throughout our lives. Some of us have built them. I prefer building communities because it offers the opportunity to incorporate multiple viewpoints and methodologies. I believe through diversity we build more solid foundations to better sustain our futures. With diversity, we learn how to address differences of opinion, de-escalate conflict, and work together. I also believe we can better articulate what values mean the most to us and defend our communities from intentionally malicious characters.

I want to pause here and ask you to reflect on your behaviors, opinions, and principles. Write them all down and, if you would, do it again from time to time – not just once. What do you believe? Do you stand up for those beliefs? How? What would you do tomorrow if you were accused of heresy and expelled from your community?

Missdansie wrote about the recognition of belonging within oneself in order to actualize belonging to external communities (extended and chosen family). I want to expand on that, to explore the tools I might need to facilitate the creation of a community that welcomes the heretics. If missdansie had to overcome some trauma to feel belonging, I want to figure out how to make room for others to do so, for myself to do so. It’s one part opening up, and many more parts keeping the door open to build trust with folks I might not be comfortable with. Heretics of different flavors who might enrich our lives and our communities.

Now I’m not advocating that we wholeheartedly accept and welcome those who might be malicious, deranged, or dangerous, as we need to maintain our own personal boundaries and communal safety. But how might we open ourselves up to viewing heretics as people to be honored and respected, as folx who might have something to teach us that we would never encounter in our everyday lives? Can they join us, build with us, help us adapt?

The more experiences we have, the more secure in ourselves we can become. The more we can belong. The more heresy we can ingest and incorporate into our worldview, the more we become dynamic and adaptable. We grow tools to implement healthy criticism on what’s being offered to us in media and pop culture. We develop the ability to forge our own reality. We let ourselves be changed.

So, before you call up the Inquisition (or retreat into your default, potentially homogenous communities), consider something new. A new group, a new club, a new dogma. Welcome people into your circles that you would not otherwise. Seek out new places and people you’d normally avoid. Allow them to contribute to you in a way that is meaningful. Look at the power of diversity in biology, the strength we build by adapting and growing. We are curious and inventive creatures, and we enrich ourselves and our communities by coming up with and sharing new ideas. If you are uncomfortable, keep going! You may very well be doing it right.

Radical Heresy Part 1

In the Middle Ages, it was considered appropriate and absolutely necessary to physically torture heresy out of individuals who did not conform to the local divine standards. The eternal well-being of these individuals was considered to be at risk. Heresy, these Inquisitors thought, was like a virus spreading through populations – akin perhaps to what athene referred to in their last post. The world has updated the torture standard…

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Listen to Lucenti Live Episode 2

We’re still making a podcast! Find the transcript of the episode here. In this episode, we discussed Burning Man and its 11 Principles, with a focus on the newest one: Consent! Footnotes: What is Burning Man? Their yearly timeline. The Ten Principles of Burning Man. The background for “get my goat.” A really cool organization studying drugs. Far out, man. Burning Man org bought Fly Ranch property. More on…

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Home is in the Desert

I am excited to go back home. I want to listen to music as dust sands down my every follicle and sweat drips from my pores. I want to hold her hand while we skip to our next adventure. I want to find that boy and offer him a kiss. I want to see the lights move around me. I want to meet up with friends new and old…

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Introducing Lucenti for Listening! Episode 1: Community

We made a podcast! Find the transcript of our conversation here. In this episode, we discussed who we are, mutual aid, communities of our past (quasi-monastic, y’all), their evolution, building community for the sake of community, medicating and self-medicating, survival/homesteading skills, cynicism, crafting change in our world, connecting/socializing while sober, disconnecting from ego. So..just a few things! Footnotes: – What is informed consent? – More on Mutual Aid Societies. Also some…

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Fire and Ice, Ice, Baby – Part One

The fire alarm was going off, but its shrill cry had been relegated to the background of my senses. Thick smoke had filled the room, making it impossible to see or breathe, so I had to crouch down. The lights in the apartment had failed, and I was scrounging around in the dark of the bedroom trying desperately to find my phone. As I brought it up and opened…

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What a Leader Do

I’m the type of person who likes to “do.” I volunteer and get my hands dirty, and I speak up when I think there’s indecisive silence. I’ve had a penchant in the past for sharing lots of material with my peers, hopeful they would read the same things and arrive at similar conclusions. I’ve become intentionally selfish for myself of late. I retired from all leadership positions – largely…

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Toxic Masc4Masc

I was recently directed by a friend to a post in an online poly group where a stranger made transphobic comments. I may write more on that, but the original post warrants exploration first. An admin of the group shared his thoughts on “Toxic Masculinity,” He is a massage therapist who happens to be a bit “woo-woo” for my taste, but has generally been a reserved and polite association…

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Peach Scones

All extremes of feeling are allied with madness. ― Virginia Woolf, Orlando Have you ever gone crazy for another person? Not head-over-heels smitten twitterpated starstruck young love. No, something… deranged. A passion so strong you’d kill your lover before kissing them. Consumed with mind and heart and soul, no thoughts for anyone else, or anything else. Always imagining being next to them, looking at them, smelling them, listening to…

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