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by Arethinn
January 2006 post to Elven Realities

> So, I'm looking for a community that has moved beyond the glamour
> bombing phase. I don't have anything against it, but I would like to
> see more discussions with depth. For example, discussions on the
> spiritual nature of elves, the nature of our connection to the natural
> world, in what ways does the purpose of elves differ from man, etc.

Ha... this is amusing to me because from my perspective, "the glamour bombing phase" is not a start, but was what came around after this sort of deeper discussion that you are talking about seemed to break down in many places. In other words, that's what my memory of most otherkin lists is in my own personal Ye Aulden Days (ca. 1999-2000, granted this is hardly "epoch" as far as otherkin is concerned), and to go back to it now would be a welcome full circle.

I think many people perhaps do not know how to start, and there has also been some amount of backlash in a few areas --

1. "Not all X are not the same", aka "You can't speak for all elves because my kind didn't do that". Obviously this is true on the surface, but tends to be a conversation killer. Useful, if done tactfully, in disabusing someone of simple ignorance or naivete (e.g. people who have just awakened and excitedly go about asking questions like "where can I learn the elven language?" when of course there is no such one single thing), but if everyone is on relatively the same footing it probably does not need to be pointed out at every possible opportunity.

2. "Discussing past/other is not helpful to where we are now". I think it is important to continually be "earthing" this stream into the current reality. Obviously that does mean doing things in "the real world" that correspond to what we discuss and not simply getting lost forever in Cloud Cuckoo Land, but I don't think there's anything wrong with an "intensive" for a while now and then. In fact it may even be necessary to "fetch new material" with. "Not all the time" is an overall balance and it doesn't necessarily need to be mirrored in every single day. (This might be a bias because of my own learning style when it comes to new topics - I tend to get obsessed for a while, and try to absorb as much information as possible without much discernment, and then later after it has percolated, distill it back out and determine what I can use or whether to abandon the whole idea.)

3. Not wanting to seem too goofy or fluffy, etc. especially as concerns image projected to the internet or world at large. Internally, as syfo1 mentioned, people who speak in "New Age" terms are often snubbed in many places. Everyone should have a personal bullshit meter for when someone spouts something that is just WAY whacked, but I think the collective community one has gotten dialed a little strict and tends to cast a little too skeptical of an eye on any kind of description of wondrous or magical experience, so people are reluctant to pipe up with these kinds of things lest they get laughed at. Probing/questioning, which is healthy so not every weirded-out thing gets let fly, gets turned into rough challenge, kind of an immune system response gone awry. The idea that every thought, theory or piece of evidence should be beaten to a pulp to see if it can withstand it or crumbles has philoshopical merit, but not every idea may be *ready* to withstand that - would you try to hang a swing on a tree when it is a sapling? Yet it seems the collective tries to do it right away to everyone and everything.


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