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Occasionally I wandered in where I was not wanted and gave truthful answers.
Sometimes I even did it deliberately. A little disruption now can prevent disaster later.


This is a page from the third version of Technopagan Yearnings. There are some formatting differences. Originally published at www.neowayland.com/C550866538/E20091110140808

I want to choose my own

Ah, now I can be serious.

I've been reading one of those Boomer self-congratulatory books about how the events of the 1960s changed everything. So it's time for me to pull out my amateur historian headband.

See, the real pivot points in history are rare. As in maybe once a century. And while the 20th was a pretty amazing century, most of the groundwork had been laid in the previous two. Jonbar hinges just aren't as common as people think. Because what you really have to understand is that while our cultural perception of time is linear moving from point to point, that's not how reality works.

History is one of those convenient fictions we humans reach for. We say that this event is important because it makes a difference in our lives right now, but that may not always be true. "History is written by the winners," but it goes deeper than that. Our choice of what historical events we think are important is governed by our expectations of future events. If we cherish democracy, then of course we'll pay more attention to the bits about freedom and choice. If we cherish religious choice, then of course we'll overlook all the stuff about established religion and concentrate on the new emerging movements.

History is really an interwoven web of dynamic tensions. Gee, where do you suppose you've heard that phrase before?

The "Sixties" were a mindblowing experience for those who came of age then. But those times weren't isolated. You can't look at the Sixties without considering what happened in the Fifties. And a lot of that grew out of the social turmoil of the Forties.

"Ah," you think, "Neo, you're contradicting yourself. You just said history isn't linear." Not really, because it wasn't just those events that led together. There were events from across times and cultures that didn't influence each other. Timothy Leary is one example. If he hadn't gone to Mexico, recreational drug use wouldn't have gone mainstream and the Tibetan Book of the Dead would have stayed on musty library shelves. Yet Leary's influence pretty much confined itself to a few cultures and a few places, dying out within a generation or so and NEVER touching the cultures that he borrowed from.


The 1960s were terribly important to the people at the time, but the culture moved on. There were a few new threads in the weave, but the overall flow in 1013 directions continued. We adapted. There were new pulls to the fabric, and some of the old threads weren't under the same tension.

We create our own mythology. We draw our history through that myth. We anchor our dreams in that history.

But so do all the people around us…

Posted: Tue - November 10, 2009 at 02:08 PM

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A narrow slice of life, but now and again pondering American neopaganism, modern adult pagans & the World.

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