Thursday, March 27, 2014

When Friends Jump on the Bandwagon

Once upon a time, I was the only pagan in my circle of friends. Though, many of my friends have come and gone, a handful of them stuck around throughout the years. Now, they're pagan, too. What the fuck?

Have all of your friends "gone pagan" after you did?

It would be conceited to think they did it because of me. Instead, they probably did it because of me. Huh?

Let me try and explain what might be going on.

Scenario 1 - Pagan Evangelist

You and me..? We are THAT good. Glue on some Tammy Faye lashes and break out the polyester suit. We're going to make a killing with our astute perspicacity. (If you've got to look up "perspicacity", it's okay. It won't detract from your gift.) Nah. You and I never sought to be preachy with our paganism.

However, your paganism has probably come from many hours' worth of testing and weighing what you've learned, trying to make sense of everything - with your best friend. Indirectly, you've made so much sense out of everything FOR your buddy that they convert. Hallelujah!

Scenario 2 - Group Intelligence

[copied] The term group intelligence describes how, under the best circumstances, large numbers of people simultaneously converge upon the same point(s) of knowledge... group intelligence connotes more rational decision processes: based less upon emotional reactions and more upon knowledge and understanding.[end]

All of your intelligent explanations are born from many nights mulling through the confusion, putting things into some semblance of rational order. You even have back-up: that "best friend" from Scenario 1.

They play a role mentioned in "herd mentality" where only five percent [you and your friend] of any crowd can influence where the crowd will go, and the other ninety-five percent  [the rest of your friend circle] follows along without realizing they're just following. [See Scenario 4]

Scenario 3 - Playgans

They really have nothing better to do than what is currently grabbing their attention, like, a sabbat party. They aren't knowledgeable enough to hold their own in many pagan conversations, and, have no idea of current events; they just know enough vocabulary to skirt by (if they've hung around long enough). Also, they are still your friend. Chameleons, of sorts. Coming and going, because you and I always remind our friends that they don't have to be pagan to be our friends. Still, they feel awkward if they don't fit in, so, they play pagan for a few hours.

Scenario 4 - Followers

Whether "exemplary" or "pragmatic" followers, these people are are necessary to working communities, really. They are willing to learn more than a simple pagan vocabulary, and, unlike playgans they value the social benefit of community which paganism offers. Compared to sitting in front of the TV and losing brain cells, paganism IS a better thing to do.

Most often, they are attracted to the most extreme aspects of paganism: positive, or, negative. Yet, each one adopts a role within the community that balances it out. Who better to help out, than a friend? Which is why..

All of us, friends, are pagan!

And, it all began with me... er... you.

(Ikinde Skreja Ominnsaer, CFTP 2014)

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