Why “Practiced Ignorance”?
Many years ago, I was standing in an MKP circle that numbered 30-50 men, and we were checking in, saying why we were there. Probably about a third of the circle had checked in, when I had an epiphany, one whose meaning has become increasingly poignant in my life:
The more I acknowledge my cluelessness, the more I seek; the instant I think I know something, I stop being as curious; my awareness of and attention to that thing diminish. And I resolved to ground myself in my ignorance as much as possible from that moment on. This practice has served me well; most of the things you can read here are largely due to practicing ignorance.
Why Another Blog?
Practiced Ignorance is a unique vessel for me. I am open sourcing my life herein. Many of my friends and acquaintances have reflected to me how I have done difficult and surprising things. Largely by accident, I have developed a collection of practices that help me create joy in my life, joy for myself and joy for others.
Since I am a hacker and improviser, my practices tend to be unusual, if not in themselves, in their combinations. And many people have shown interest in them, so Practiced Ignorance is a kind of Github for my life practices. I offer them here in case they may be useful to you in some way.
I also have a selfish reason for writing here. I learn when I write, so codifying my thoughts helps me to crystalize their definition, workings and usefulness.
Okay, What Practices?
This section will change often, but here is what I had in mind at launch:
- Spirituality: I have always had a deep skepticism for any kind of “organized” religion as well as superficial popular facsimiles of spiritual practice. I also recognize and appreciate the importance of those things in the lives of millions of people. I think that every single person must seek and live his/her truth. I only know that these things don’t work for me. I am rolling my own.
- Paleo living: I create profound meaning for myself by living within the context of an allegorical hunter-gatherer. This started when I was a baby and my mother would tell me stories of “cave men” and women. I studied them intensely in elementary school. My family of origin ditched most packaged food in the early 70s, buying organic, cooking with Adele Davis, etc. I’ve always been athletic. When I discovered “paleo/primal” lifestyles on a client research project, I was intensely interested. I happened on Mark Sisson’s blog, Mark’s Daily Apple, and I stopped eating grains and most dairy in 2011. The effect has been transformational for me physically. However, my approach is not only grounded in food and working out; I think of it more as a state of mind. These posts include Paleo plates.
- Astrology: I grew up learning a smattering of pop astrology, and I did friends’ charts (horoscopes) in undergrad, for fun. I could guess people’s Sun signs with surprising frequency. When I found and procured Planets in Aspect and Horoscope Symbols in the early 80s, however, I realized that entire other levels were possible, and I faced a steep learning curve, so I dropped it. In my 50s, as far as I can tell, I may be at life’s midpoint, and I have considerable data on my life. I couldn’t detect a useful pattern or method to approach what could be the second half of my life. My interactions with the universe (“life”) were so unusual and unpredictable. So I got the old books out from the storage locker. Since then, I have been learning to decode one of the universe’s languages, and I use astrology in several ways that I’ll share in these pages.
- Self-sufficiency: For me, [radical] self-sufficiency is difficult to distinguish from spirituality. I have learned to derive immense joy from doing things for myself—because anything can be a spiritual practice. Self-sufficiency for me often involves living lean and frugal. I lived a highly consumptive life for many years, and I ditched it. I discovered that, with very few exceptions, all the products and services I bought were not worth what I paid for them, and they were very wasteful to boot.
- Love: I have learned that, for me, love is the most important and interesting energy I know. I increasingly think of love along the lines of the ancient Greeks, so I’ll approach it that way here: Agape, Eros, Philia and Storge. I have discovered that the more I love, the more I can love; it seems to build on itself. Many of these posts focus on various facets of relationships.
Point of View
This blog is personal. It reflects my point of view. It considers readers and other people, but I make no attempt to be “scientific” or objective. I am releasing myself from that, so I can share more spontaneously.
Who Am I?
I have purposely delayed a section like this because Practiced Ignorance is not about me; rather, it is an expression of me. In my later years, I have increasingly oriented to the strong Neptunian energy in my chart and believe that I as an incarnation do not matter. “I” am only a vehicle for my energy.
At the same time, I recognize that many readers like to read authors’ descriptions of themselves to get a sense of who the author is. I don’t do this to learn who the author is as much as to get a bead on his/her motivations and orientation. These self-expressions can be quite revealing. Only yesterday, I read one of a renowned astrologer that I experienced as quite horrifying.
In lieu of describing myself in the conventional way, I ask you to answer the question “who am I” for yourself. How does the energy in these posts feel to you? Trust your sense of the energy. That is the most important thing, far more important than who I say I am.
These energies in my natal chart can also give you an idea of my overall energy:
- Pluto and Chiron are in opposition and perpendicular to my meridian, forming a grand cross (multiple T-squares). Sun and Moon conjunct Nadir. I experienced this as very painful and baffling and only interpreted it a few years ago, having lived it fifty-some years. It was the key drama of my first two Saturn cycles. I experienced it even more poignantly because virtually every other planet aspects the Pluto–Chiron opposition, which means that each of their energies flows through the other planets.
- My chart has three quintile triangles, and it has several other quintiles and biquintiles outside of the triangles.
- It also has three overlapping septile yods and several other septiles, biseptiles, and triseptiles outside of them. Notably, the yods point to Neptune, so it is the outlet for all their energy.
- My chart also has three novile triangles, which I discovered recently while working with David Hamblin’s excellent book on harmonics.
- Uranus is my chart ruler and Chiron my rising planet.
I hope this gives you some idea of my energy. In case you are wondering (I would ;^), the aspects I have mentioned are within 2° of orb. I have given links to quintiles, septiles, and noviles, if you want to learn more about their energy.
Thanks for your curiosity. It is precious.