to genuinely answer such a thing would be complicated.
cat's cradle by kurt vonnegut is the single most spiritually accurate book i have read. does that make me a neo-pagan? an agnostic? i don't know. i maintain the right to play with possibilities and ironies, both the narrative richness and defiance of life, and meaning itself. regarding questions of why are we here, what is our purpose: i don't f*cking know. maybe to grow a tomato and to make the most exquisite apple pie you can. perhaps to flex, whether in absurd or serious ways, the hardest you can in the most glorious fight for dignity in face of this brutal and unhelpful world. my third eye is focused on turning towards the whitepill, which you can only meaningfully take after having swallowed, and contended with, the blackpill.
being absorbed in nature is one of the most spiritually resourceful activities in my tool-belt. the beauty of the natural world pierces through my heart with an undeniable clarity of force. i am thankful for this. there are too many other things i have deconstructed my way out of. politics does not exist in nature. (sure, that's debatable; perhaps it is clear in animal kingdom hierarchies.) (but i do not read anything politically contextual or relevant in the beauty of a canyon whose belly is so deep it can easily swallow the visions of several men who lay their eyes upon it, and this is a rare relief.)
i find it alleviating to exist in motion. i think there is a greater sense of being alive when traveling, for instance. identity is notoriously painful. better to be in a state of "flow," or to be "present."
the single most powerful unit of spiritual salve for pain, anti-stoicism, exists in the space between two individuals who are able to connect with one another. i think groups can facilitate productive behavior through creating environments that function as markets for all sorts of information flow. further, groups can somehow provide ingredients necessary for modulated states of consciousness accessible through certain rituals. (and these rituals and their effects can also be alleviating for spiritual pain.) but in my own life, i am most convinced by the experiential and non-verbal glue that binds with my conversational and cognitive interface with a specific individual. i am most convinced when my best friend and i share an impromptu joke that was timed perfectly to our situation, or when my partner and i experience and overcome a hardship together, when our epistemic frameworks are compatible enough to process such experiences in harmonizing ways. such harmony occurs in conversation but also in small gestures, body language, a near silent transmission of Seeing and Being Seen.
it is hard for me to socially relate to humans in a universal way, as i often feel relatively alienated, except for my understanding that pain is inevitable to everyone. in this way, i think there is a huge task demanded by mankind to simply make life worth living at all. i don't take this for granted, nor do i think insight on others' experiences is presumed. i am controversial in my beliefs here, and i don't have a straightforward or simple relationship to family, nor do i have a morally simple attitude about child-rearing. romantic collaboration and partnership are deeply important to me, because they expand on the 1:1 anti-stoicism referenced earlier, and provide even more bandwidth for generative accomplishments. i think a couple, for instance, can raise much more than a child; a legacy can be found in artistic or entrepreneurial collaboration, for instance.
correspondingly, i value things which are soothing, whole, aesthetically pleasing. i value empathy despite not believing that empathy is something than be communicated en-masse, and is better when cultivated in small-scale doses and more effective when specific. i enjoy the challenge of working on a systems level to have things meaningfully harmonize and interact in somewhat-predictable, yet not limited, ways with one another.
i suppose a lot of my personal ethos stems simply from these aesthetic preferences (i.e. in nature, wilderness, the handmade and organic, which are better fitted to individual experiences and less scary, unlike large-scale production which no longer comfortably maps onto one's dunbar capacity) and as a reaction to pain (a pain-reactionary). and, i am okay with that. my own experiences have taught me that sometimes there are oceans of comprehension, language, between people; the miscommunication is ripe and nearly impossible to truly overcome. you may easily understand this in the example of cultural differences, a particularly trendy issue which makes people quite protective against, e.g., cultural appropriation. thus, freedom of expression and respect of individual agency are important to me.
i want to better understand this phenomenon we're all seemingly experiencing and sharing in, and help make it less psychically painful without being too presumptive or disrespectful.