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Sex and Authority-Conferment

To: alt.pagan,alt.magick.tantra,alt.religion.wicca,alt.traditional.witchcraft
From: eMan 
Subject: Re: Sex and Authority-Conferment (was Is Sex With The High Priest A Legitimate Act Of Initiation?)
Date: Sun, 20 Apr 2003 22:34:55 -0400

hi pip -

yes, you are right, i.e., here are a set of proscribed rules which you
must abide by to be judged a good or bad person.   that get boring
fast.   ethics strikes me as a more dynamic thing than just rules and in
the moment.   looking at ethics in the dictionary it is "discipline" of
"dealing" with right and wrong and with moral obligation and duty.  it
also comes up as a theory or system of moral values.   ethic as they
were taught to me weren't something written stone because life is going
to present things that aren't covered by the law or definition or
regulation.   somehow one ought to have a way to deal with those issue
"consistently" to use your word.

a friend of mine is a lay minister in the unitarian church.  she is a
lesbian.  she noticed that one of the gay sunday school teachers was
"dating" one of his students who had just turned 18 and was still in
high school   the gentleman teaching the sunday school was in his
mid-30's.  this concerned her.  it didn't seem to concern a lot of
people in her church.  she thought it was an odd double standard in that
if the 18 year old had been a girl and a man in his mid-30's, it
probably would have created some uproar.   the membership saw the boy as
what we term "free-white-and-eighteen" and therefore capable of making
his own decisions.   even his parents, she told me, didn't see a
problem.   the ethical problem here is that the older man is an
authority figure at a sunday school teacher and therefore has fiduciary
relationship with the students and congregation.  so the issue there
isn't a matter of rules that one can look up and come to a conclusion
but something beyond them requiring some real soul searching.

that example  is pretty straight up to deal with.  there are a number of
means intellectually to work through the problem.  in new age or occult
groups it gets dicey. i'll answer some of other thoughts.

Aetyr wrote:

> greetings eMan.
> Ethics, unfortunately, is a word that gets a lot of knee jerk
> reactions among people.  Its a word that has become associated
> with specific attitudes.  I find that when people talk about
> ethics, they assume a cluster of acceptable ideas that are
> already taken for granted, rather than just expressing their own.
> They may talk for or against these assumed ideas, but its clear
> that they are working from an established framework.
> And again, I tend to agree with you when you say, that in the new
> age, or occult community, ethics, boundaries if you will, are not
> firmly established in such a way that masses of people can
> address them.
> Thus it is useful to talk about them in this context.  Read on.
> "eMan"  wrote in message
> > pip -
> >
> > thanks but the ethics issues are just not discussed or even thought
> > about.   there are a lot of terms not understood or well defined.
> if we
> > just feel our feelings that would seem to be enough for many.
> Yes.  Its useful to explore these feelings and what may be at the
> root of them.
> however,

> > that is not adequate and the rigor just isn't there.   terms and
> > definitions seem to be missing.
> >
> "seem to be missing"......As well as a supporting common
> cosmology.  I especially liked the way you addressed the notion
> that all is an illusion.  It creates some interesting ethical
> problems.  The best way that i could deal with this idea is to
> think of it as a common illusion, not a strickly personal one.
> Its commonality puts you back in the human arena of dealing with
> other beings, and any ethics that would entail.

that is why aesthetics would seem useful here.  how one treats, act or
looks upon one's illusions, i.e., honoring or dishonoring,  might be the
way of forming ethics.  however, that is painful for me because it so
complicated and counter intuitive.   i believe that whatever we are,
that there is major importance with our physicality.  standing out on
the limb here, but our physical and it interaction with our spiritual
self is important for our being.   infants who do not have touch die.
i've been doing feldenkrais exercises lately and i've noticed that i
have more clarity of mind.  there is for me some kind of connection
between the physical.  but with that said, many people do not see it.

> > a friend who has a couple of degrees in philosophy read what i
> wrote, he
> > said:
> >
> >     "Maybe I'm at an odd tangent, but, historically or currently, in
> > life or in  religion, when one observes use of power, what do the

> adjectives:  sane,    safe, or consensual have to do with the exercise

> >of power?"
> > yes, what do the adjectives sane, safe and consensual have to do
> with
> > power. secondly, what is real power?
> >
> Good questions, but the wrench in the works is Responsible power.
> That puts you back into ethics.  If you are in the position to
> make decisions for others, have that power and behave
> responsibly, safe, sane and consensual have much to do with
> power.
> What is real power?  It varies with the situation.  Even sliding
> back and forth philosophically, and semantically, where real
> power can be like real truth...either grey or absolute in hue, I
> think that one measure of real power is the ability to determine
> your own course.  At its most minimal in definition.

yes, as minimal as it, gets to the crux of the problem here.   there are
people who are self aware and world aware, too, who would have very much
a difficult time to give their power over to a guru or teacher without
having to thinking about it for a long long time.   there are others who
are pretty clueless.  in my early 20's, i involved myself with a
japanese healing group for all the right reasons but the experience
turned out badly.  boy, was i naive.  i didn't have the wisdom or
experience to determine my own course very well.   there was real
spiritual damage done by them.  when i started the business to clear
myself of them about five ago, twenty  years later there were still
hooks involved.  there weren't any warning labels.  i still feel

sexual stuff is the same way.  the fabric of our consciousness is very
much tied into our sexuality.   again it seems self evident to me that
there is something real about the physical reality around us and there
is important interaction between it and our spiritual self or at least
our psyche.

> > even if they are hallucinations  or not.  the other could be the
> ideaof interconnectedness between things, i.e., i harm you i'm
> actually harming myself, etc.   my question  is how do you make that
> real?   do i really care what ishappening new  zealand tonight and if
> i eat a chocolate cookie does it effectsomeone  in paris?   either
> case, life gets muddy without boundaries.

> I do believe that we are interconnected.  How we act upon those
> connections define the ethics we espouse.  Bear in mind though,
> that interconnectedness does not preclude killing, subterfuge or
> other anti social actions.  As long as a valid ethical pattern is
> established, even these acts can be encompassed.  As long as the
> core values remain intact, almost any act could be thought of as
> ethical.  To operate without core values will put one in the
> position of being judged as unethical no matter how harmless the
> action.
> But whatever the ethics espoused, consistency is key.
> regards,
> Pip

YES!!!    i didn't get that far into the idea.   this has nice
resolution.   it says that even if you have a value of
interconnectedness, bad things can still happen yet there is still
ethical ground to work with.  wow!

the sad part that it is just two people talking.   or maybe, the good
part is that two people are finally talking.



P.S.  have to say you are one of my better hallucinations.

speaking of interconnectedness and ethics, earlier in the year i was on
a class in vermont and ran into an old friend.  she married since the
last time i saw her 8 years ago.  but we hit it off and hubby was 2000
miles away.  we could have pursued something that weekend without many
problems.   i would have gone back to my life and she to hers.   the
interconnected part did hit me.   if we did sleep together, how would
that be honoring her husband or their relationship.   that is the view
of someone 45 years old and not 25.   at twenty-five the issue would
have been only that she was free-white-and-eighteen and so was i,
therefore, what we did was okay and consensual (sort of).   part of me
recognizes, too, that if he were to find out (and this wasn't an open
marriage) then there could a lot of damage.  however, would there have
been otherwise?   that i don't know.  there would have been positive
gains had we pursued it, too.  i understood it wasn't just she and i in
this equation.  also, another is possibly real and has the potential of
being hurt by our actions.

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