beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Before I went I was on the internet looking for different things to do instead, but as usual now I've been I feel better, and I'm glad I went.

We did the Kindness meditate today. This involved stopping and talking about it more than usual. I made whole numbers of sentences out loud. They may even have been coherent. We were supposed to think of kind things we have done and times people were kind to us and it kind of branched out into other kindness times and really, there is a lot of kindness in the world. Even just small baseline stuff is or can be kindness. I personally am not so much with the doing of things, so only small kindness of trying to remember to comment, but there's a lot of other kindness to go around. Which is a good thought.

Also I always start out annoyed at me because I'm full of feelings that are not the correct feeling for the evening. But then I thought about neighbour baby crying. Isn't any point being annoyed about baby crying. I mean I will be, but there's no point. Baby full of feelings, baby going to cry. Can feel kind to loud baby, can feel kind to loud feelings. They're just doing their thing. So then it's easier not to get in a feelings loop, because okay, that's a feeling, but we can feel kindness about it.

So then I spent the evening thinking kind thoughts at the world, and generally feel better.

And I'm getting better at sitting still. I mean I still can't do it, but in much less fiddly ways, so, improvement.

Nice evening.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
So I was thinking about heaven and hell
again
and I think why I'm not sold on them as concepts is a lot of the essential bits are pretty much like now, only more judgey.

Like, heaven is a good place, and hell is outside and full of bad stuff happening.

My flat is pretty much a good place, full of all the eats I choose and entertainment I want etc, and outside is people making such noises I have to guess if police or ambulances are needed, and further away stuff that gets on the news that is Very Bad.

And it's miserable in here.

I mean, no bad is directly happening to me, but knowing there is bad is miserable.

So I am unconvinced that heaven can ever be a thing If there is hell, because how could the kind of people heaven is meant to be for put up with that? I mean I'm a bit of a useless human quite often, but I care enough that all that bad stuff happening to other people feels really bad. So how could heaven be for good people to, like, sit there forever, while anyone else burns?

Can't work that way.

Either it goes all Buffy in Heaven and feeds them fake news and is a basic lie, or there can't be a hell if we're going to build heaven.

So I reckon there's a lot of work to do to figure out how to either get everyone out of hell or make it stop sucking there.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I went to meditate and it was in the middle floor with the interesting big Buddha painting and I did sitting still pretty well and better than usual.

But now I've hurt my hip. Sort of my hip, like over it? And it's fine until I want to move a particular way. And it's annoying because I was plenty comfortable and now I'm emphatically not, if I try and move sideways.

Also we did mindfulness of breathing and what I was mostly aware of was how tight my sports bra is. Probably I need a less bitey bra to meditate in.

so there were a few distractions.

But I like meditation and I'm in a better mind than when I started so is win.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
It bothers me when writers use holy items without regard to the theology of that particular religion.

I mean sometimes it's because different denominations can't agree which way is up, let alone what's the significance of this, that and t'other.

And sometimes it's just being rude.

But it bothers me because it's sloppy storytelling, bringing up all these associations and then just shrugging them off because Our Thing Is Different.

The specific associated theology implies morality implies which actions make our heroes heroes. They can go with or against that, but to have it hanging around ignored is... tacky.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I did a meditating at the meditate place.
Their cushions are dark magic and it is much more comfortable to sit on the floor.
But I maybe possibly sat more still today?
It is tricky.
We did the loving kindness meditation where you think nice thoughts to get in the habit
and there's a bit where you think nice thoughts at a person you like
only that would have been easier if he hadn't specifically said 'not someone you're sexually attracted to', because then it's purple goats
and when he said 'think about the person you like, coming towards you, happy to see you'
well
my mental images are very well trained.

... but I can feel many happy kind thoughts about wentworth miller smiling also, so i feel that almost works...

And then we're supposed to remember a happy and get that feeling of happy towards all other people
only the last time I was happy at plural humans in that full up and sharing kind of way
was when the DJ put on Highway to Hell
so then I got that stuck in my head
in the shrine room.

*sigh*

I do feel a higher level of happy wellbeing type thoughts than when I started though, so it remains useful.


kind of.
I maybe am more incline to feel smug and self important about knowing things, rather than settle down and feel meditative.
it's a bit annoying.

but I shall go at least one more time and hope I get better at it.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
The thing with GURPS is that I think I like it for its versatility and flexibility and diversity
and the way there's a rule for just about everything
and then when I sit down and decide what things to actually use
I simplify.

Read more... )


When inventing religion for the new fantasy world I... first decided that world without Jews would put me in bad company and so clearly Jews got Banestormed there, and then I read a lot of fics about Captain Cold, and then I ended up with a corner of plot about Cold as jew in a fantasy world, but I have absolutely no idea how to write it without just copying that one fic I rad, I don't even know enough to start learning more.

This is how I end up writing nothing, my failure to be omniscient enough to be a narrator.

But.

Fantasy world religion, based on the months of the year, so there's twelve different gods. Except secretly there is a thirteenth, who is god of gates and doors, beginnings and endings, and intercalary days, because I always incite Janus. But if they had Gate magic my plots would work out very different. So.

Twelve gods who grant their priests twelve spells each, except there's secretly thirteen and so each priesthood has a secret spell.

Read more... )



Okay, I didn't get as far as trying to figure out spell sets, and this computer needs recharging. I'll post this and come back to it later.


Pantheons are hard though, you really need to go back and forth with your plot and figure out who you need, and twelve seems too many and too few.

Four are for living things, four for crafts, and four for ways of organising humans. That could work.


Ugh, power plug.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
So a while back, while reading about European history, I decided that I'd never invent a world with no Jews
because many people across millennia have done their best to make a world with no jews and I do not ever want to be on their side.
(This is part of what is creepy about future worlds like a couple of centuries away without religion. How do they think they get that? Did the world wake up with amnesia?)

Which is a grand declaration, especially given my ongoing lack of actually doing writing, but then I have to do, like, work and thinking and stuff.

Read more... )

Church?

Jun. 14th, 2014 03:10 am
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)

There’s a church for sale in Norwich.  I kind of want to win the lottery and buy it.  Not to convert or anything.  Just to be a church.

But the last time I did the census I wrote my religion down as neo-pagan eclectic jedi fortean chaos mage, so, you know, slight change of use implied.

It’s not that I want to nick another religion’s stuff.  … except it’s really shiny stuff and I kind of really do.  But not in a disrespectful way!  … er, this is cultural appropriation even if it’s nearly my culture, isn’t it.  But, church!  So tall, and with the windows, and shiny!

And I keep thinking of all the gorgeous stained glass style fan art I’ve seen.  Iron Man and Captain America in actual church windows.  The whole plot of Lord of the Rings, tens of feet tall.  It would be so very shiny.

We could do readings from key texts.  Terry Pratchett alone could fill a year of Sundays.

And we could have different meeting days for different fandoms, but lo, a place there would be for all fandoms, for this would be the fan church, and all are welcome here.

And in the church hall there could be dancing.  There’s a little church hall with a stage.  Dancing lessons.  Many styles.  … is it weird to teach convention dancing?  On the one hand it seems like an initiatory experience sort of thing, where only those who go know, but on the other, we could have a convention disco whenever we wanted, cause we’d have a hall.

… the rites of my people do not usually have a purpose made building.  Well, a hotel is purpose made, but you know, for fans.

… probably retasking the purpose built and at least previously consecrated to xtians building would be not cool.

… shiiiiiny tall windoooows…

Pretty, but not cool.  (But sort of cool too).

Also I don’t know why that church people left but, being eclectic, I wouldn’t mind them having Sundays if they wanted, there’s plenty of days to do things that aren’t Sundays.

Also also there’s a bunch of not-a-church-now buildings in Norwich and turning it into a fan church would not be less appropriate than turning it into a market or a tea room.  Keeping the meetings with big thinkings theme would suit the building well.

There’s a kitchen.  There could be food.  Like cake and ale, or popcorn for screenings, but also the proper everyone eats together fellowship stuff.

Already there are fan groups doing serious charity work on the regular.  They could be invited to use the hall.

… probably most people don’t daydream of running a church.  But I kind of do.  I daydream of being the chaplain on the Enterprise (yes they have that whole post religion thing going on but I wish to argue about that).  Or I dream of finding the cathedral on Atlantis, which would be super tall and extra shiny.  I guess mostly I dream of having a community that all care about what is best to do and who try and figure it out by thinking deeply about shared texts.  Texts with names that probably start with ‘Star’.  Because that would work too.

beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
So say England was sending a colony on a one way trip to another planet. Say they send some Church of England dude to look after the colony. Would they treat it as a new parish or a new province? It's the difference between being the vicar and being the archbishop.

The colony might start out real small, like a church worth of people, but can a vicar promote himself if there's a country worth later?

... obviously the history of the church says that if the dude in charge wishes to make it so they can decide they're second only to God and just go :-p to... everyone. And marry who they want.

But I was just vaguely wondering what a proper organised Church of England decision would be, if they were thinking they would stay basically in charge. And the decision would be different if the colony was meant to get cut off, and it would all work out different if they went independent. So whatever the decision, it says a lot about how the Church back home views the project.

I've read books about trying to retain tax and mercantile control with a time lag of years between colonies, but how about religious control? You can't exactly turn up at the Synod and vote on things with a light lag between question and answer. Probably things would just fracture and turn into lots of new churches, but it seems unlikely an established church would actually plan on letting that happen. The Anglican Communion is already one answer to the fracturing forces of colonisation, but how much time lag could it handle?

... the have a Primates Meeting. I know what it means in churches, but it's still amusing, that primates are the boss.



I think I'm going to get bored before I come up with any decent answers, but it's still interesting questions.

Religion in space can get lots of interesting. Like, Muslims trying to do the pilgrimage thing, they'd have serious pressure to remain in contact with Earth and stay good at space travel, except it would take years or decades or generations to actually manage it. Or, Buddhists looking for a reincarnation, if that dude was going to go spread the dharma to another planet, they'd send people out on journeys to look for them but it would take so long the traveller might reincarnate while they're out there.

Making handwavey pronouncements about All Religions Ever, like saying they just kind of went away somehow, or having space bishops in charge of space clerics and doing shooting, it's okay for forty minutes at a stretch, but it's not exactly how human history has worked thus far and makes for a very shallow future. Organisation is complicated and mostly tries to not change very much at once, and if it does make a giant change all at once it's still going to try and use concepts familiar to the revolutionaries.



... mostly I've been wondering how to get one character addressed as 'Your Grace', because I like the word, and then there was wiki surfing.

Humans make complex twirly dances out of everything.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I had a very long conversation with my mum on the phone, starting I think around 7pm and then just going on for hours. We wandered around topics a lot and I ended up looking up Bible verses and reading them out in different translations. It's a source of some confusion to me that a lot of people I've met who call themselves Christian and make a bunch of judgements based on their religion don't know their own book as well as I do, when I had a think and decided I'm not Christian because of the whole thing with eternal hell not seeming right. My mum kind of agrees with me about the hell thing because she thinks God is a caring god, but she thinks it'll all work out in the end and she thinks she's Christian. I don't really see how that works but we had a good conversation. Also we talked some about Buddhism, though I only know small bits about that, and a bit of Hinduism that came up in passing, though that was like three sentences that covered everything I know about Hinduism, and some other stuff too. Lots about ethics and morality and what those words actually mean. Long, long, long conversation.

So I was thinking about Buddhism and ethics and compassion and trying to save people, so I watched a martial arts movie. Shaolin. It turned out to be exactly right for this mood. It's about good monks being good people, and a wicked warlord seeing the error of his ways, and lots of noble sacrifice. Read more... )

Still, I like the religion in this one. I'm sure it would seem a bit heavy handed to the wrong mood, but I like the whole story arc the Repentant Warrior lives.



Now I've got to decide if I should get on with something different or watch the many many hours of extras, which probably include a lot of How We Did That Cool Fight bits.
I think maybe I'll save them for later and stick with the fiction story for now. It was a good fiction world and a satisfying ending.

Food

Jul. 20th, 2012 11:54 am
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I have been reading about food banks.
I saw a food bank sign up near my house and it made me think.
There's lots of stuff in the Guardian http://www.delicious.com/redirect?url=http%3A//www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/jul/18/food-banks-on-hand-outs

In theory we have a benefits system that acts as a safety net so people get what they need to survive.
But the practice has always been a bit shakier.
And now it's just had the sticks kicked from under it. No, actually, it's an ongoing process, it has only just begun compared to the plans, the kicking is ongoing. Frankly it scares the hell out of me.

And I don't understand it.
We live among such abundance.
There's a ton of spare food goes in the bins at the end of the day, and there's a lot of hungry people. How does that make sense?

Read more... )


No, I don't have a replacement idea. I can't think of a way to do things that makes everything work. I don't know enough. I don't understand what the problem is. I have no solutions.


So I'm just puzzled and tired and powerless.

It would be nice to be able to vote for someone who knows how to fix it all, but hey, we tried that, and they're great big liars who do this instead.




At this point I'd usually watch superhero movies, but my planned Batman marathon feels a bit off, right now.


News is made of :-(
beccaelizabeth: Hug (Zatanna hug)
I dreamed something kind of like St Trinians vs Zombies
but it was more like a horror convention used StT's as a venue and then turned out to be made of the ranks of the undead. Enough kinds to fill a video game.
So there was running and screaming and corridors full of zombie walking and the most horrifying school bathrooms ever. The usual.

But I defeated them without all the stab smash stuff this time.
I retreated to holy ground, that looking a lot like a lecture theatre that can project videos, and brought all my friends, and got a bit of meditation going. Probably with a dance soundtrack.
And then I started talking about love. Specifically, fan love.

Fan love is generous. Fan love shares. We like best when others love those we love. And when people show us their shiny, we can see how they love it too. And it's not just about the fictional stories. Those of us who follow certain people around the country, or indeed the world, get to know them a little at a time too. And it's not necessarily because they're unique unusual special people. I've seen some people at conventions dozens of times, and the more you know them, the more they're one of us. All the people I'm a fan of have in common is they were, at least once, involved in a story I really liked. Not even that actually, they might just be great con guests who only ever guested in shows I wouldn't watch for money. So they're just these almost random people. So why do I love them? Because I turned up with the attitude that I would love them, and I listened, and I loved them just a little then and just a little more for all the times I got to know them. They tell stories on themselves, they tell their most embarrassing moment, or the coolest thing that ever happened to them, or what it was like when they met the person they'd stand in line for. And we see they're flawed and human and happy and sad and loving just like the rest of us. It shines out of them. And they're just people, not especially beautiful or necessarily very skilled, they're people getting up and showing us they're people and we love them for it. And then we look around, at these other fans who love the people we love, and hey, more love for all of us! I mean, the guests we love best are the ones who are not so secretly One Of Us, fans. So then, we love other fans. And there's millions of us! That's a lot of love to go around.

And between us we can do great things. The charity work inspired by, carried out by, funded by fandom is spectacular. There's individual actors who most of the world have never heard of who have fanclubs that have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity. There's people who spend their weekends in cosplay being jedi or daleks or whatever else caught their attention and they use it to collect for charities. And they keep doing it, for years, decades even. Acts of kindness on many scales are inspired by and done in the name of fan love.

Little by little, our stories, silly or escapist though they may be, inspire discussions, priorities, values, inspire people, and in splashes of light here and there they make the world a brighter place.

So my dream of an undead con was not defeated but was healed by the generous fan love, because we could share the stories, the ones that taught us how to get through or how to hold on or just that we are never, ever alone, and we could share the love. Bad magic hates the world? Meet the good kind that dreams a better one.

So I woke up full of this warm glow of loving kindness for all the world, or at least all the world that loves stories, and isn't that everyone once they find the right story? I woke up hours ago and I'm still full up of this. It's maybe like being high. I think I was meditating in my sleep a lot or something.

And, yeah, loving kindness needs practice, I need a run up to have this kind of mood and not the one inspired by the newspapers, but everyone needs practice, monks practice even, lots of hours of practice. So I'm not very good at it. *shrugs* It's a pretty good feeling once I get the right mind.

So I'm feeling pretty good about the world right now.

All y'all are awesome, you know?
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I have spent the weekend looking at vestments and other clergy type clothes. I'm getting very judgey about their websites. A great many of them seem to not have been updated since the 90s. Where there are pictures they're *tiny tiny tiny* things. Someone needs to work on their lighting, especially for the black on black sections. The descriptions aren't terribly useful. And the ones that explain how they'll do everything custom made to order and please ask are the ones most likely to have very chatty websites not updated this century or with dates all over them in day/month form so you can't even tell when they were writing. With pictures that, if they exist, are probably little line drawings, and pictures of fabric samples that are approximately ten pixels across. They might make the most lovely stuff in the world, but nobody can tell from that!

I realise that sites that basically sell black shirts with an assortment of neckbands might not feel the need to update very often. It's not like they'd want to be all about this season's fashions (though some have yearly new collections, see the little video for Slabbinck 2012, on Youtube, which helpfully directs you to previous years at the end). I'm sure most websites are full of nice, plain, classic design that wears well. In many cases, with matching pullovers and cardigans. Fair enough.

But the sites where the whole women's section is 'coming soon' are lagging just a teensy tiny bit behind.
(Yes, I know why some don't have a women's section at all. The problem there is not one of website design.)

Also, women's shirts are not actually men's shirts only larger. I suppose it's possible all the grinning ladies on the websites really wanted the 'really big tube' look, but I feel perhaps a little more thought could go into the design there.

I quite like the womenspirit.com website. It just makes such a refreshing change.

I have found some very nice things too. As well as the websites selling rainbow stoles I seen before there was one that does interfaith stoles with custom embroidery of all sorts of symbols, like Buddhist wheels and stuff. In shiny gold thread. ... I'm easy for shiny.

I've been looking at pagan sites too, but they mostly seem to have the same half a dozen tie dye and celtic knotwork pattern things, sometimes made into a cloak. I quite liked what this site calls the Universal Lotus pennant banner. It has all the symbols.

I'm not much keen on the way ritual robes = things nobody has worn for a thousand years, only stuck. I quite like stoles, cause they're just long scarfs with patterns on, you can put them on over lots of things. But I think wearing Ye Olde Robes gives a message about beliefs being stuck and unchanging, and, well, no. Still studying. Still figuring things out.


Mostly today was boring because I expected the cleaner for two hours before they arrived so I didn't do anything except attempt to stay awake. Now they've gone and I can do what I like again.
I think I'd like chips and beans.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
So, while finding myself browing religious clothing for the bazillionth time, to go with my collection of pictures of chalices and fonts (of the sort that go in churches, though I collected the sort that go in word processing for ages too), and altars and wall hangings, and church doors and windows, and and and and stuff, I realised, mostly, in fandom, when we dress ourselves up and put ourselves in the story, we do not do so in the capacity of Reverend.

Seriously, self, what up with that?

Read more... )

I think I need to watch different stories. Deciding evil needs to go boom and maybe scream a lot just doesn't seem quite right any more.

So in my head I invent churches.




Maybe it would be of more practical use to go to churches, and do learning, and maybe find out how to be helpful.

At the very least I could then put it in a script.

Just as soon as I figure out how to make it interesting.



I mean they're interesting to me, I spend ages rewriting universes so they (a) fit together and (b) turn into alliances based on everyone being terribly nice to each other, but based on how many stories go out of their way to make sure nobody really communicates and everybody has the emotional stability of the average teenager I suspect that a story based on people coming together and negotiating in good faith would have an aesthetic the world is not quite on board with.

Negotiation can be sexy. The internet has checklists and stuff.

Possibly not so much when it's negotiating for grain shipments though, even if the same principles apply.



I like my intergalactic empire though. One of me does politics with the General and defends the Earth a lot, one of me does politics in the House of Lords and gets to tell everyone off a lot and have tea with the Queen even if I would vote to get rid of her, one of me gets Lord Ba'al to play nice (partly because of my excellent persuasion and partly because of the bit of the story I'm embarrassed about where it's always about the right princess turning the bad guy good), one of me goes to Atlantis as a Reverend and gets cloned again to be a journalist too, and we do time travel and organise everything neatly and make many different colonies that all function brilliantly and trade with each other and get along great.

... I used to just daydream pretty cottages, but a lifetime of chronic insomnia dreams a little bigger.


But I spend most of my daydream time on stuff I wouldn't even vaguely try and put in books.
It's sort of puzzling.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
saw a medal of St. Rita of Cascia, patron of loneliness and impossible dreams, or just patron of the impossible, depending where you read. Looked her up. Found a page on Incorruptibles:

St. Rita of Cascia - Died in 1457. Her body kept a sweet fragrance all of these centuries and is on display in a glass case in the Basilica of St. Rita in Cascia, Italy. It is also publicly known that her body has been seen in different positions in the glass case, as well as eyes having opened and closed unaided.


Okay, arrrgh! Kept in a glass box, still blinking? I read waaaaaay too many horror stories to like this idea. Did nobody try letting her out?

Also on wiki it seems she's known for being stinky. And being teleported into the monastery in the middle of the night when they said she couldn't be a nun.

*blinks*
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
While looking for religious clothes (because there's some really nice fabric arts in some robes, and also because shiny) I found a catholic site full of little saint medals. I thought they'd be like those places that say you can get your name on a t-shirt and then just fill in a name, even though I knew there's lots of saints with conventional signs worked up for centuries of church art, I just thought they'd be cheap, but they've all got their own little pictures so far. Also their own stories.

Saint stories are weird. I can understand saints who built schools or did a lot of studying or even the ones who like lived in a small room and thought things about god (seeing as I live mostly in a room and think things about aliens and ghosts and buddha and gods), but I do not understand the ones who are famous mostly for having bits chopped off or having terrible diseases or just dying horribly. I mean, I can understand telling stories to aspire to, or even to inspire courage in adversity, but... there's so many of them. Dead people everywhere. Er, I know saints have to be dead before they get to be saints, but I mean, I'd have thought people to go in stories would need to do something before that.

... I have always liked the story about St Lawrence though. The one that says he was getting grilled to death so he told them to turn him over, that side was done. Is probably made up, but if you've got to go, may as well leave a good story. I do still reckon it's a very odd story to tell small children though. Like, hi, your school is named after someone getting cooked to death. Bacon for breakfast anyone?

The saint who has the story of never being alone with a woman in his life is a whole different kind of weird.

I think I like how they all get to be patrons of things, and how lots of things have lots of patrons. Seems like an efficient sort of afterlife, having a Thing and getting the hang of it.

So now I'm thinking of making a list of Saints Who Seem Quite Useful And Don't Creep Me Out, but it seems like it would take quite a long time. And maybe be a short list.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Am reading a post where part of it is an argument about reason, the capacity to question and doubt and wonder and think things up. Most people consider this A Good Thing. But someone in a comment says that xtians say it's A Good Thing because it eventually leads you to the Truth, singular, single, only, there can be only one. And once you have the Truth, you no longer need reason. You can, in fact, stop thinking. Because you have thought all the thought you ever need.

I find this concurrently abhorrent and logical. It's disturbing.

Read more... )

I wouldn't want to stop thinking. I might stop asking the question 'how can I help?'
or 'how is this person wonderful?'
and those are things I'd want to notice.

Sanctuary

May. 29th, 2011 02:40 am
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I was thinking about a design for a place of worship on a spaceship.
As you do.
Or possibly on a colony planet.

Either way I found myself starting with (a) Accessability; the teachings must not be withheld, especially not by poorly placed steps or narrow aisles, and (b) Disaster preparedness; because any hall large enough to hold a congregation is large enough to hold them while the world falls down outside.

When church/temple/sanctuary design has its religious purpose come third on the list I'm not sure I'm doing it right. But it's a bit difficult to do religion with people who can't get on or, er, survive.

Read more... )

Okay, if I made a sanctuary that was going far away and not coming back, I would make sure everyone could get in, everyone had the survival basics while they were in there, including toilets and places to wash and some blankets and maybe basic spare clothes, and there would be teachings from lots of different places available in there. There would be an easy clean floor and some mats for kneeling and bowing and stuff. Also cushions. Also chairs, some of them with arms, for people that don't get down and up so easy. There would be someone to listen and talk things over with. There would be times set aside for the kind of altered mind that goes with meditation or prayer, and there would be tea or juice and biscuits afterwards for getting back up to speed and saying hello to each other. The actual religious specifics would be quite variable, but those functions seem to be basic. Probably I am missing a few though, 3D community not being a regular part of my religious life.

There are probably more practical things to do than design temples in my mind. But some of them are very pretty by now.

Also, I may now be able to get to sleep. Win.
beccaelizabeth: Ethan Rayne smiles (Ethan smiles)
So far this weekend I have read the essays for class on Monday and read a whole lot of GURPS Magic rules, then figured out a set of spells for a priest of Janus.

Clearly this is a productive use of time. *nods*

Ethan's spells are hard to model because there's a half a dozen spells that almost but not quite do what he did, and also because he cast a spell on a whole town at once, which has power requirements that are off the scale. Assume the Hellmouth is a Very High Mana area (so absolutely anyone can cast spells, and mages have a lot of bonus), and that Janus did most of the lifting. I still don't even know how to start calculating the costs. Impressive, anyway.

Ethan: very strong indeed.

But we knew that.

The other thing about spells is they all have the same names, but to ally them with specific gods you really have to think about the tone or flavour of things. Like the spell 'Drunkenness' has effects kind of like getting every adult to act like drunk teenagers, but being drunk isn't especially associated with Janus. Getting people to express their repressed sides *is*, in the Buffyverse. So you rephrase it just slightly, and it's a spell with the right theme. Weaken Will works too. Emotion Control and Suggestion don't quite cover it, I think. Madness, being really specific, with a Delusion, is probably enough... but it's really rather thorough. And to incorporate real world knowledge like Xander's soldier did would require a ton of Knowledge spells too. Basically you pretty much have to say 'A God Did It', but it's hard to game that.

Ethan: god likes him. His god, anyway.


Which leaves you to wonder why a god of doors didn't bust him out of prison.

But Planar Visit (Dreamlands) treats the dream worlds as an actual world as real as the demon dimensions, so getting to wander around in there is pretty powerful of itself. And since you leave your body behind it don't much matter where you left it. Unless you're worried about the damage...


I had mostly set out to invent some characters to throw at each other in an original story world. I got a couple of people, but then I thought of Ethan, and, well, it's not like I've any particular reason to focus. Ethan is fun. Storytelling gold.


I should probably sleep at some point.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Had a whole day of sleep, dreamed of many ways to get killed, eventually dreamed one of them worked and I was now in hell.

Hell involves a lot of standing in line.

So first there was the whole terror phase, then I said to myself 'bodhisattva' and started trying to help. Read more... ) One Hellbreak, courtesy of Captain Jack Harkness.

So upon finding myself in hell, what do I do?

Organise a resistance, and a prison break.

Clearly I have been studying the right texts. ;-)



Actually I need to do more studying. I woke up with this urge to email a bunch of religious leaders to ask them what to do next time. Would be a tricky one to phrase though.


On finding yourself in hell, what should you do?
And what texts tell you usefuls?




My list starts with Larry Niven's Inferno.
I suspect the Dalai Lama's would be different.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I read something in the Guardian about a nurse who got suspended for offering to pray for someone, then the enquiry sent her back to work. The Guardian article was by an atheist saying it was inappropriate to offer prayers. The comments threads, er, kicked the idea about vigorously. Most of them seem to think that it's polite to offer and polite to say thanks and ignore the matter.

I can only assume these people aren't of strong religious convictions.

I do not wish to be involved in other people's religions. I have my own. Read more... )
So I'm not going to tell people not to pray for me. That's between them and their religion. But asking gets others involved, and I don't find that appropriate.


ETA: And now I'm not sure I agree with me. Because the ask first points are good points too, just then there's telling other people how to do their own religion, and I try and avoid that.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
... probably yeah. Okay, so, I been having thoughts about the punchline to Secret Six #3. What is the card? Read more... )
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Just finished watching another disc of B5, up to "Passing through Gethsemane". The one that deals with the death of personality, the mindwipe.

Usually I have thoughts about what Angel did to Connor, and the others, connected to bits of this.

But tonight my main thought is all inside B5.

The monk at the center of the story considers the moment in Gethsemane where Christ chose to stay, knowing he would be killed, to be the emotional center of his faith. He believes that that death redeemed everyone else. So it was Christ's sacrifice saving the world, and that moment was when he wondered if he was brave enough to go through with it.

So when the monk finds he's done very bad things, and there are people that want to kill him for it, he stays still and lets them, believing that moment to be his Gethsemane.

Well I very much disagree. Or, if I agree, I have to look at the whole Christ thing in a very different light.

The people hunting the mindwiped monk had done bad things. They were carrying hate around. They had broken laws and done things with intent to harm. But they were not, at the moment he realised who he was, murderers.
Read more... )
But he made the wrong choice here, a whole set of wrong choices, and someone else got to carry them. Very wrong.



I reacting to that quite strongly today.

Letting people do bad things is bad for the one doing them, not just the one done to. So just doing nothing is bad for *everyone*. Wrong thing to do.



I had to mention someone religion to say this point, but I'm not trying to insult peoples religions here. Just trying to say what the story said to me.

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beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
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