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Dragons, sleeping.

A thought that came to my mind:

That anyone would believe themselves to be a dragon is, the more I think about it, hardly surprising. What is surprising is that anyone ever believes themselves to be human.

For what is this form but a transitionary one?; what are we all but beings caught between falling angel and rising ape, not a thing in our own right but full of the characteristics of both? (It seems no coincidence that human, in games, is usually the race with no particular outstanding traits. Because we are not an endpoint, a species in our own right, but a step on the road, not beginning or end but intermediate. Homo erectus and his ilk came closely before us. Spiritual evolutions will closely succeed us.)

Are we not all, as philosophers have said, spiritual wonders of unfathomable complexity living human lives? And in that spiritual realm which birthed us forth, in that spiritual realm towards which we gravitate invariably, are things not so curious and diverse that it would be quite ludicrous to say we are bound by our human forms; bound to this ape-evolved body alone with its particular instincts and quirks, rather than able to sample from and enter into the vast palette of wonders that is all of animal life and more? Are we not ludicrous to say that the forms of angels, gods and Buddhas are humanlike alone: that we will not someday perhaps be dragons, or unicorns, these mythic images that our consciousnesses seem to repeat?

They say dragon myths are based on dinosaurs. But why then, instinctively, do we still ascribe a certain set of characteristics to the dragon that we cannot to the lumbering land animal from which it was supposedly derived?: nobility, magic, power backed by keen insight and intelligence, a status of near-godliness in our mythologies. The "illusion" has been "revealed", yet we can't get away from the idea that dragons are special. How much more contrived the unicorn: just a horse with a horn, a clearly artificial amalgam, in truth perhaps a goat or broken-horned ibex glimpsed from a particular angle, perhaps a narwhal looking like a horse on the waves. A child could see through it. Yet though the trick has been exposed, that holds no power over us. Our hearts know that whatever inspired the unicorn is real, realer than the sad fiction of a broken-horned antelope.

How do we know? How do we know anything but that with which we are directly in contact? Maybe our hearts are telling us that we will be these powers someday; that we will walk with the grace of unicorns, fly with the wings of dragons. These Otherkin experiences seem like no past lives to me, but future visions; for she who imagines herself to be Cleopatra rarely wishes to be so again, but the one trait these experiences invariably have in common is a longing to transcend beyond the human. It is a looking forward, not a looking back.

In that vein, it would seem only sensible to me, from a spiritual perspective, to long to be dragon (or whatever else; and it would make sense of the fact that over the course of an Otherkin individual's life, there are often a lot of "whatever else"s identified with). It's hardly arrogance; it's a simple admission of the truth of all people, that we are at a point on a continuum whose endpoint will blossom out into something much greater, much vaster, than we can possibly imagine right now, but of which dragons are just a taste. --And when you think about it, that makes all the debating in Otherkin circles over who's a "real" dragon, fairy, etc. and who's not quite ridiculous. Would you deny any living creature its truth: that it is a life designed to transcend someday into magnificent, magical form? There are those who understand themselves poorly, and feel themselves poorly, and exhibit none of the characteristics of a magical being; but that does not mean they are not dragons. They are merely dragons, sleeping.

Even the cruellest of humanity will someday ride the skies of a grander world, majestic and lovely, unburdened by their previous pettiness. And they'll laugh at this idea now; and they'll laugh at it then, too, in a different way, but they cannot deny they dream of it. They cannot deny this magic is made for them, too.

Comments

( 41hp damage — Attack! )
nightbluesprite
Dec. 1st, 2009 11:32 pm (UTC)
First, how much do you know about/ascribe to Jung's theory of the collective unconscious? Because that might go a way toward explaining the shared mythos.

Second, who let you leave? All of my friend posts should mix philosophy, spirituality, and game references. In fact, I'm making this a requirement of my flist.

For what is this form but a transitionary one?; what are we all but beings caught between falling angel and rising ape, not a thing in our own right but full of the characteristics of both?

This has to be my new favorite quote. It encapsulates humanity as a whole so well. ♥!
eclective
Dec. 2nd, 2009 01:31 am (UTC)
I do know about it, yes. I think I don't so much ascribe to it as ascribe beyond it; I think it says some interesting things, but it's not developed enough. I think the idea of a collective unconscious is not so much a theory that stands on its own as an obvious component arising from an interconnected universe; once you believe in an intricate world where all things are fractal reflections of the greater pattern, the collective unconscious isn't a novel idea, it's just self-evident.

I slipped my collar while no one was looking. Glad I could provide. ^_^ As for falling angel/rising ape, it's not actually my line: I think the original is "[To be human is to] be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape.", and it's from Terry Pratchett, but I like the concept a lot.
Sans Subjectum, Peon - frameacloud - Dec. 2nd, 2009 11:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sans Subjectum, Peon - eclective - Dec. 3rd, 2009 08:21 am (UTC) - Expand
frameacloud
Dec. 2nd, 2009 01:49 am (UTC)
Beautiful. Thank you so much for writing this. This is the kind of prose I've been longing for lately.

A few months ago, I created a folder on my desktop, and I started filling it with my favorite essays and artwork about otherkin, the ones that I'd like to print out and bind so that I can have a book to keep. Something a little less ephemeral than a web page. This post goes in that folder. :)

Now that I think of it, many of your writings have come to gradually change how I think of otherkin and related spiritual concepts. I should probably go back through your journal's archives and find them.
eclective
Dec. 2nd, 2009 04:24 am (UTC)
Thank you. Your comments are a great honour. :)

I'd like to see the kind of stuff that would go into such a book, if you'd be willing to share at some point. I love inspirational essays, and I'm particularly fascinated by collections of what other people consider personally inspirational to them. Helps you know about a person, you know?

I'd also be interested in knowing, should you go through my journal again, which of my writings you found particularly useful-- it'd be nice to know how I'm affecting people, in general. We all have our own small impacts on the collective landscape, and I'd like to be aware of mine-- so I can use it for good, and so I can avoid using it for ill unknowingly.
Sans Subjectum, Peon - frameacloud - Dec. 2nd, 2009 11:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sans Subjectum, Peon - eclective - Dec. 3rd, 2009 06:49 am (UTC) - Expand
dogemperor
Dec. 2nd, 2009 03:21 am (UTC)
Well put. Well put and beautifully so. :3
eclective
Dec. 2nd, 2009 04:21 am (UTC)
Thank you so much!
strivinghigher
Dec. 2nd, 2009 03:32 am (UTC)
I slipped my collar while no one was looking.

*raises an eyebrow*
eclective
Dec. 2nd, 2009 04:21 am (UTC)
Don't worry, this has nothing to do with your kitty. His is perfectly intact. ^_^
prophetic
Dec. 2nd, 2009 05:04 am (UTC)
This is beautiful. I envy your personal sense of growing toward something majestic, and the longing you ascribe to one seeing one's future being makes perfect sense.

I've noticed I really like things that seem not of my world--things like the Higgs boson particle and giant ocean squid. They are creepy but good because they are undeniably different from the way the world usually looks to me. I wish I had more awareness of that "whole rest of the world" in my day to day life; I would be happier.
eclective
Dec. 2nd, 2009 06:56 am (UTC)
and the longing you ascribe to one seeing one's future being makes perfect sense.

*nods* I think the longing we all feel for something-- a far-off paradise land, a transformation, being or living as something else, magic, wonder, God/gods and deities-- I think it's all part of the same phenomenon. We will not be this forever, and some part of us knows it, and longs for what we will become.

I'm fortunate to have a personal sense of it, I think. I sincerely feel it to be true, on an intuitive level.
kumpania
Dec. 2nd, 2009 05:47 am (UTC)
Basically, all I can do is nod agreeingly in response.... although I do have to admit that the idea of people everywhere experiencing an almost... instinctive sensation of awareness at the transitional reality of human existence is something I've mentally touched upon from time to time. Lately, though, I think I've turned more away from pondering on ideas of what lies far ahead in the development of general physical and spiritual forms.... and more taking on a brazen attitude of "let's all be whatever it is we all are now, unreserved and from the deepest depths of ourselves, aim for whatever present ceiling hangs over us, and go as far as we possibly can".

I think it's an attitude that's been moving about here and there inside me for quite a while.... but I probably have to point the finger at Gurren Lagann's music as being the catalyst that drew it out of me more. x^^
eclective
Dec. 2nd, 2009 06:53 am (UTC)
Ahhh, so you're into TTGL too? An increasing number of my friends seem to be really into it; I really should just break down and watch it at some point. But I'm bad at watching new stuff. ^^;

And yeah, instinctive is a good word for it. Deeply intuited, I'd say. I don't think it's incompatible with aiming for your own current ceiling and utilising your own current nature to burn through that, though. In a sense they can be companion beliefs/desires: for example, we can argue that that progress towards that inevitable perfection is best enjoyed by getting the most juice out of whatever stage of it you happen to be at at the time.
Sans Subjectum, Peon - kumpania - Dec. 2nd, 2009 07:18 am (UTC) - Expand
Sans Subjectum, Peon - eclective - Dec. 2nd, 2009 08:30 am (UTC) - Expand
Sans Subjectum, Peon - kumpania - Dec. 11th, 2009 04:50 am (UTC) - Expand
Sans Subjectum, Peon - eclective - Dec. 11th, 2009 06:06 am (UTC) - Expand
heron61
Dec. 2nd, 2009 06:16 am (UTC)
I'm reminded both of this interesting theory of otherkin, and my own theory of otherkin & transhumanism.

In any case, I'm in complete agreement and mostly wish to express how impressed I am with your ideas. On a related note, should you ever venture to the US West Coast, I'm once again struck by how nifty it would be to meet you.
eclective
Dec. 2nd, 2009 06:59 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm very flattered, and both of the posts you linked are quite curiously fascinating.

I seem to be on the West Coast pretty often, but I'm always pretty booked up. I really need to take a slice of time to actually fly out to you at some point.
Sans Subjectum, Peon - heron61 - Dec. 2nd, 2009 07:59 am (UTC) - Expand
Sans Subjectum, Peon - eclective - Dec. 2nd, 2009 08:27 am (UTC) - Expand
Sans Subjectum, Peon - heron61 - Dec. 3rd, 2009 05:32 am (UTC) - Expand
Sans Subjectum, Peon - eclective - Dec. 3rd, 2009 06:47 am (UTC) - Expand
teh_dip
Dec. 2nd, 2009 04:54 pm (UTC)
I think the issue is that you're applying only negative ideals to humanity, and you're shrugging off human advancement.

Mankind has already flown, and beyond that, we're doing things that dragons in mythology never did. We've gone into space and seen the world from the outside; found the lowest part of the world and went there; found the highest mountain and climbed it. I think the joy of being human is in doing things we wouldn't have been able to in a state of pure nature. And we've done it not through magic or through deus ex machina, but through the strength of our hands and the creativity of our minds. We've done what was considered supernatural, and we've done it without using the supernatural.

Part of the fun in doing things is when you do something you're told you can't. If humanity is the underdog, then never forget that everyone who goes to see the movie roots for that underdog.
eclective
Dec. 3rd, 2009 05:49 am (UTC)
We've done what was considered supernatural, and we've done it without using the supernatural.

But for some people, using the supernatural is the very joy of the thing. We want magic flowing through our veins, we want the pulsations of a greater Force working within us, we want the ecstasy of spiritual connection.

I'm not denying there are unique joys to being human, but I'm coming at it from a different perspective. I don't really want to argue whether or not being human is better... I just want to pour out my personal emotions on the matter, really. I won't deny anyone who wants to embrace and love their humanity... I guess I just want to gush about this particular perspective?
krinndnz
Dec. 3rd, 2009 03:18 am (UTC)
This is worth thinking about. Thank you.
eclective
Dec. 3rd, 2009 06:48 am (UTC)
Insights are always free of charge; my payment is comments like this. You're welcome. :)
nicked_metal
Dec. 3rd, 2009 09:48 am (UTC)
Lovely post.

A good book that I read says that we are genetically programmed to fear creatures with a great wingspan. We are also genetically programmed to fear anything scaly. And we fear fire, and teeth and horns.

By that reasoning, a dragon is fear itself. To identify oneself as the archetype of fear is to align with something powerful and mysterious.

Go us :D
eclective
Dec. 4th, 2009 09:12 am (UTC)
I'd go a little further than that, even, and say that to identify oneself as the archetype of fear marks you as someone who has begun to conquer fear of a certain kind. Not all fear, certainly; but biologically-based fear with primitive roots that tells us that things are to be Othered because they share characteristics with things that can harm us. In being able to love the dragon, nay, to be the dragon, we become something grander than the scared little shrews who were our ancestors: instead of distancing the enemy, we take the enemy into ourselves and find harmony. Through our reasoning and higher intuitions, as opposed to our basic instincts, we take two historically oppositional things and create a glorious union between them. It's a decisive step beyond our animal beginnings and into a more perceptive way of living-- a fitting set of correlations for the adoption of a mythical mantle.
Sans Subjectum, Peon - nicked_metal - Dec. 4th, 2009 07:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sans Subjectum, Peon - eclective - Dec. 5th, 2009 03:22 am (UTC) - Expand
tarathene
Dec. 4th, 2009 12:48 pm (UTC)
Thank you so very much for sharing this.
eclective
Dec. 5th, 2009 03:20 am (UTC)
You're most welcome!
redivivus_fate
Dec. 8th, 2009 10:43 am (UTC)
Wow. You certainly make the best case for dragons I've ever seen. I can't say I disagree with any of your points. I especially like, "There are those who understand themselves poorly, and feel themselves poorly, and exhibit none of the characteristics of a magical being; but that does not mean they are not dragons. They are merely dragons, sleeping."... That is an incredibly insightful statement. I am glad that I stumbled onto your journal. You seem to be a very refreshingly interesting person, and I'd be honored to make your e-acquaintance. You may not see many things in common on our set of interests, but what my profile doesn't say is that I spent a rather massive chunk of my life being a devout video game nerd. The kind of love I had for gaming never really dies... but like the dragons, it sleeps.
eclective
Dec. 8th, 2009 02:39 pm (UTC)
Thank you muchly for your thoughts; I found them quite beautiful, and it's always really touching to know that you've reached out to and influenced someone you never knew before. Might I ask how you found me?

I've been thinking about this topic for years, I guess; and I really do think I'm getting somewhere these days, rather than just rehashing the standard viewpoint. Which is a nice feeling. I'm glad it touched you as insightful.

I'm going to browse through your journal. Already I'm liking what you said about non-attachment; it's a conclusion I've come to, myself, though I had the help of Buddhist writings. I'll maybe say more when I'm not exhausted; I can certainly elaborate on this subject, but right now I'm kind of in need of some sleep. It would be nice to keep in touch. I admire anyone who can embrace powerful concepts so openly, boldly, rather than turning their face from the light.
Sans Subjectum, Peon - redivivus_fate - Dec. 8th, 2009 06:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
1/2, because this got long, eheh - eclective - Dec. 9th, 2009 04:40 am (UTC) - Expand
Sans Subjectum, Peon - eclective - Dec. 9th, 2009 04:41 am (UTC) - Expand
( 41hp damage — Attack! )

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