Blah blah blah

I've gotten mostly supportive messages, but I've gotten a few people who are not happy with me that say basically one of two things:

1. How could you turn your back on the church if you still believe that mods are spiritual?
Why in the world does one have to belong to the CoBM to feel that there's spirituality in mods? Some people seem to think that the CoBM has a monopoly on spirituality. Not only does it not, but there is not a single person in the CoBM that is qualified to act as a spiritual leader (and no, I don't think I'm qualified either). Body modification and body ritual groups existed long, long, long before the CoBM was ever even considered (and I was involved in these years before the CoBM was even considered). I don't need the CoBM to be a spiritual person, and neither does anyone else — these are by definition personal journeys!

2. Now that you've left, why don't you just butt out?
If I believe that the CoBM not only doesn't add anything to the spiritual landscape, but I believe that it has the potential to actually damage that spiritual journey, if anything it is my ethical duty to say something about it. The only thing that's stopped me from saying far more is that I have many friends in the CoBM. Like I said though, I've been involved in ritual and spirituality separate from the church for far longer than the church existed, and it's been my observation that the involvement of the church has deeply damaged the effectiveness of these rituals.

I'm not telling anyone what to do. As with everything I do, I'm trying to do my best to pass on the few things that I have learned. My hope is that people can absorb that, absorb the same from other people, think about it on their own, and make an intelligent and informed decision.

What's your goal in life? A fancy excuse for the things you do and a bunch of people who will stick up for that excuse? If so, maybe the church is for you. Maybe you're looking for a “title” or some sort of “official justification” for your actions? If so, maybe the church is for you. Maybe you're looking for affiliation with something “bigger”? Go for the church… On the other hand, if you just want to be happy, independant, and personally explore the spiritual landscape using bodmod and ritual, and grow spiritually, then YOU ALREADY HAVE EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO DO THAT. Sure, you need your friends and your community, but ultimately everything you will need to draw on is already inside you.

Just try and be happy and the rest will fall into place.


In any case, if you don't like reading my opinions, don't read my page. I'm not forcing you, and I really don't care if you ignore me.


On a more pleasant note, I am working on a small update right now (the last image update before year's end), and this tattoo caught my eye. It's on a dentistry student in Germany:

Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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