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Showing posts from July, 2018

Occultism

Have lived this firsthand. Steiner was an occultist, and occultism was very big in the 19th and earlier 20th century. The term occult and 'cult' are related - occult thinking tends to produce cults, a word that has significant negative connotations in our era, because of what some cults have done, but the occult can be discussed separately to that as well.

The specific meaning of occult is 'knowledge of the hidden', of saying there is a deeper spiritual knowledge going beyond the physical sciences and pure reason. Steiner's Theosophy was just one of several occult movements that emerged in the 19th century. They're all marked by claims to access deep, esoteric truths that are separate to common knowledge - that's what occult actually means, as a word. It's why occult thinking produces cults, groups of people unified by their 'special' knowledge. All occultists have some common characteristics, including belief in ancient knowledge…

Is LGTBTQI a 'community’?

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More we. Often LGBTQI people are said to be a ‘community’. Think I’ve asked here before - are they really a community? Does sexuality define a community? Or is this just another way to marginalise people who are a bit different, by saying they’re ‘all the same’? Patrick White first made me wonder about this, when he criticised the Mardi Gras as not representative of him, as a gay person. Hanna Gadsby makes the same point ironically, calling the LGBTQI community ‘her people’.

There are however groups of people in all walks of life with overlapping desires and interests. That’s something a bit different I think. Similarly as a straight white male, I think it’s important to understand the ways in which that category is real, without necessarily believing that it's a community too. That’s what I suspect irks people most, to be linked to categories or communities to which they don’t feel they belong. But at the same time we need to understand in what ways categories lik…

Holes

Is a hole a thing? It’s nothing, an empty space, but then why give it a name? A hole in a bucket or donut or sock or road - part of the bucket/donut/sock/road, or its own thing? Is the inside edge of a donut part of the donut, or the hole? This stuff actually has serious implications. Another example would be ‘personal space’, it’s just empty space, but it’s ‘personal’?