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(I can't get to DreamWidth from work, but can get here... grrr.)… - Mirror of Shadows
September 30th, 2010
11:15 am
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(I can't get to DreamWidth from work, but can get here... grrr.)

Sent to a list currently discussing the latest Feri Drama:

The way I look at it is that PEOPLE are bound by oaths, not material. Different lines have different boundaries. Different lines have different ways of interpreting oaths and obligations. To my way of thinking, it doesn't matter whether anyone else talks or writes about something that I consider either private or oathbound, I am still bound by _MY_ obligations and honor.

If at some point one becomes aware that particular aspects of material are considered private by some, then it is only polite to refrain from those discussions in public situations, or at least to tread VERY carefully in those areas - the boundaries of those we respect deserve respect, even if those are not our own boundaries.

I belong to a Trad/line related to Feri that has oathbound material that certainly won't fit on a postcard -- although the greatest amount of "stuff" isn't considered oathbound so much as... private. Family stuff. It's not shared because it's *secret*, but because, like a personal diary, it can't be shared without sharing a bit of your own heart and soul - parts that are deep and dear and not for general consumption.

The "oathbound" lore and material I inherited from my training coven is what is handed down as (the 'writable' part of) the core material of our Family. I consider some of the notes, associated material and reference bits that came with that core of material to be Very Important in its own way, and I treat it with the same respect.

I also have journals, diaries, reference notebooks, files of loose papers, photocopies of workshop notes, and tons of other material. Some of that is also Very Important to me - in particular my own journals and commentaries that are strongly influenced by material and lore that various folks have shared with me. (I'm a packrat, and I tend to go off on research 'projects' for months or years at a time. I've also been following this pattern for a couple of decades. Ergo, I have shelves and filing cabinets and boxes full of random, useful and odd Stuph.)

General stuff I don't have a problem with sharing. Material that others I respect consider private or oathbound, I won't knowingly share outside of the circumstances given by the person who shared it with me. Nothing beyond that small core of inherited material do I really consider "oathbound". However *I* am oathbound to honor what I have been given, to respect and honor the work and lore of my Kin, and to follow particular guidelines when dealing with not-Kin (or not-yet-Kin).

A related bit is material that can be / is shared as part of ritual, but isn't shared outside a ritual context. There is a big difference between first encountering a bit of lore or liturgy as part of an immersive ritual experience, and first seeing those same words as simply ink on a page or pixels on a screen. If something is first experienced as a living, breathing element of a Working Circle, every time those elements are seen - even as "mere" words on a page - a portion of that first encounter will always be a part of them, they will always have that direct connection to their full context, with juicy layers and depths open to be plumbed. This isn't often the case if those same elements are first experienced outside of their context. If I respect and value those I work with (and I shouldn't be working with anyone I don't!), I want them to have a full, juicy first experience of this lore. And an important part of creating that optimum experience is HOW things are shared as much as WHAT is shared and WHEN.

Another reason for being careful about how and with who particular things are shared is that we work with real critters that have a history of making chewtoys out of folks that catch their eye that they have no obligations for or to. If I bring someone to their attention (or give out information that enables someone to put the equivalent of a "lunch here" sign over their head) and that someone doesn't deal well with the results of having caught the curiosity of these critters, then I am at least partially responsible for any damage that comes to them.

To me, being cautious and careful with lore and other material isn't hiding "the Mysteries" (and there's a rant in those scare quotes somewhere...) or keeping secrets of the universe locked up tight. Universal Mysteries are out there for folks who go looking, no particular lore-set required.

I keep much lore and other material close because I value honor and trust. Because I honor and respect those who have walked this path before me, and because I honor and respect those who walk this path with me now. I am in awe of what has been shared with me, and cherish the trust that I have been gifted with, as I know the bits of my own heart and soul that have been shared are treasured. It's part of the bond we share, the intimacy of close, deep Work, and it's part of what makes us Family.


(8 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:September 30th, 2010 04:01 pm (UTC)
A friend of mine recently defined "drama" as "a word people use to describe circumstances in which they don't give a shit about other people's feelings, and are trying to make a virtue of it."

And..I agree with you. I was there for some of that, and I think it's relevant that some of the people involved are breaking agreements they made by even discussing it outside of the original venue. I don't think I'm doing the same if I say that for me personally, the largest part of the issue is about copyright, not secrecy. Actually publishing someone else's WORDS without their permission. I address this at some length in this post. The lore/secrecy part is a separate but somewhat related issue, and I agree with you entirely.

I will also say that in general, the way some people are describing what is happening is wildly inaccurate, mainly because they are in control of the venues where it is being discussed and also know that the people they are most in conflict with are not inclined to discuss the subject in public. So they are free to spin it however they wish.
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Date:September 30th, 2010 04:02 pm (UTC)
Ack, sorry about the link. I can't edit it without deleting and reposting.
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Date:October 1st, 2010 04:04 am (UTC)
As someone has noted elsewhere in connection with this same tempest, it's basically about having respect for one's peers. One obtains permission before making use of another's work, and includes appropriate credits or attributions to make it clear whose work it actually is. One respects the obligation to keep something in confidence. And that specifically includes such an obligation on the part of another.

And you do all this in this way because it is part of Right Practice.
[User Picture]
Date:October 1st, 2010 06:15 am (UTC)
There are times I'm glad that about 70% of the time there is some sort of Feri Community Ur Doin It Rong drama going on I have no idea what's going on.

It's nice to be a student.
[User Picture]
Date:October 1st, 2010 07:11 pm (UTC)
Why is it that I suspect that the major issue here is not whether one rubs the blue mud into one's navel using a clockwise or anti-clockwise motion, but rather the exact shade of the mud that must be used? (Having a Pantone color-chip for one's blue mud is carrying things a bit too far, dont you think?)

Edited at 2010-10-01 08:12 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
Date:October 1st, 2010 03:52 pm (UTC)
Someday, I need to sit down and actually write something about My Thots On Lore-Sharing, rather than just hinting around them by posting about copyright and such.

Also need to post some kind of Copy-Share Policy relating to my writing.
Date:October 1st, 2010 06:39 pm (UTC)
Okay, this is just a touch weird...I've not been on LJ in a while, but I dreamed about this Feri stuff last night. You, Elf (whose comments on it I read earlier at DW), Eldri and a few others I know were all in it, along with a few folk that I consider "Important Personages" - i.e. when they show up in my dreams, it's Something Really Important to Pay Attention.

So, whatever these issues are, they are a lot more important than some may realize. Feel free to pass this back to those involved, maybe they aren't paying enough attention.
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Date:October 2nd, 2010 10:48 pm (UTC)
heh, I wish that it was only a dream *important personages* showed up in.
IT is, THEY are.
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