Posting based on an alphabetical theme each week is an interesting challenge. We’ve already come to week 7, the first of two ‘D’ posts. What great possibilities there are for this letter – dreams, Dionysus, dragonsblood, death, deities, divination, devotions, doubt, dumb suppers, demonstrations, Diana, destruction. There are so many terrific options that writing this post should be a piece of cake.
Wrong. I’ve started and promptly abandoned a half-dozen ‘D’ posts this week. My first post began as a commentary on death and its influence on my path, but then that made me begin to ponder the idea of destruction as a part of the natural cycle. This in turn lead to thoughts of Kali and the role of darkness in our spiritual development. Scribbling a few words about darkness reminded me of a dream I had…oh, there’s another idea. What do I write about? Maybe I should pull out my pendulum and … wait, what about divination?
You get the idea. Every time I sit down to write this week’s posts, my attention would leap from one topic to another, each equally interesting. It’s not, at least I hope it isn’t, a case of adult on-set ADD. Rather, it’s a case of having too many options, too many choices and not enough time or energy to explore them all.
Eclectic paths are that way as well sometimes – so many shiny, fascinating things to explore that we fail to fully focus on any of them. Left unchecked, this can lead to a very shallow form of eclecticism, one that skims information from many sources but lacks any true depth or cohesion. While this magpie eclecticism is satisfactory for some seekers, it’s not what I want for myself… or indeed for anyone who is seriously pondering an eclectic path.
There are times, though, when I do feel like a bit of a magpie, because everything I come across is so damn interesting. I want to take it all on for my own and use the shiny bits to decorate my spiritual nest. Being excited about new concepts and ideas is not a bad thing. Not knowing when to give up these ideas and move on can become a problem. A lot of us, myself included, face the challenge of distinguishing between a diversion and something that is fundamentally important to our paths.
I find that it’s much easier to stop before I get too in-depth with a new concept and ask how it fits into the framework I’ve already constructed. If I can’t immediately think of a way that a new idea or practice fits into what I’ve already built, I try to leave it alone for the time being. The concept may be one I revisit later on, but if it’s not relevant to where I am at the moment, I need to let it go and focus on the concepts and practices that are. It requires a certain amount of vigilance on my part to stay on track – whether writing a blog post or exploring spiritual beliefs. With any luck, derailments are kept to a minimum and I don’t get too diverted from my path. Oh look… a chicken… wait, where was I again?