how do you hope to grow as a spiritual being? what direction(s) do you wish to go for the future? (from here)
I hope to become more intuitive, more skilled at energy work and divination, more able to sense people's spirits and intentions, more able to clear my own issues and moderate my energy flow. My morality is separate from my spirituality (I would still have my morals if I wasn't spiritual), but I of course hope to grow as a moral being and usually the lessons I learn there teach me something about spirituality, and/or unlock new spiritual skills. Direction? I think I want to aim for more spiritual interaction -- less one-way or solo stuff and more back-and-forth and group stuff.
how does (and has) your spirituality shape(d) your day-to-day existence?
It shapes my day-to-day existence in that it gives me a reason to live. That bit of positive surprise and hope that happens when I link up with another being accidentally and that feeling of euphoria and meaning that I get when I link up with another being on purpose are the things that make me able to handle all the struggle and effort.
Even though I'd consider it immoral to abandon my responsibility to make the world better, if I didn't feel like there was a possibility of connecting with other beings in a way that is emotionally meaningful to me, I'd likely kill myself. And by beings I don't mean humans; I mean all beings. However, if I could only connect with non-humans, I probably would abandon my responsibility to make the world better and go live away from humans. I don't think this is the moral choice, but it is likely the one I would make in that case.
how does it intersect with your own concepts of identity? how much or little has this fluctuated over the course of your life?
It doesn't interact very much with my concept of identity now. I consider identity to be the way that you define yourself to help others understand you. Even though my spirituality is essential to me living, understanding my spirituality is not necessary to understand the vast majority of me.
People use different words and intellectual concepts for this thing that fuels my life; I don't need them to identify as spiritual to feel the kind of connection with them that fuels me. I feel positive that I could have felt very connected with Carl Sagan, because of the value they placed on recognizing interconnectedness and the wonder they expressed so freely. I don't care what words one uses has as long as one can do the thing where I feel connected.
how do you benefit from your beliefs? on the other hand, are you disadvantaged in any way by them?
I don't think I necessarily benefit or am disadvantaged by my beliefs. My beliefs morph as needed to suit my growth. I do not have spiritual beliefs that I build my selfhood on, which I think is the way to benefit or be disadvantaged by beliefs. I think most people use beliefs as the foundation for their house of self, but for me they're more like a collection of tents, any of which can be taken down without me having to rebuild everything else -- and it is extremely unlikely that all of them would get smashed at once.
what, if any, challenges has religion/spirituality posed to you over the course of your life? is there any aspect of your life that spirituality doesn't enter into? have you ever compartmentalized your spirituality (at any point in your life) for the sake of others, or to otherwise protect yourself?
In the best times, religion/spirituality challenged me to grow. In the worst times they challenged me to resist their pressure to obey, conform, agree. I'd say there isn't any aspect of my life that spirituality is not part of because it is my fuel for life. Yes I have compartmentalized in the sense of hiding, thanks to spiritual people rejecting me for being anti-oppression, and anti-oppression people rejecting me for being spiritual. But I have not compartmentalized in the sense of my spirituality not actually touching other parts of my life.
Have you ever had any "spiritual" experiences that challenged your perceptions of reality?
Yes; I didn't believe in ghosts until I met one.
What are your opinions about otherkin, therians, faeborn and similarly identified people?
I think that they have a slightly higher tendency to be self aggrandizing but there are certainly others who are quite humble and matter of fact about who they are. I find it extremely frustrating that a lot of people who are involved in energy-work-type spirituality like to think of themselves as some kind of highly evolved extra special creature. So I take a wary eye to anyone who says that they are faeborn/starseed/indigo/etc AND are some kind of royalty or prophet or avatar or whatever-- I really doubt that. But I don't doubt that there are people who have experiences other than ones that I have heard of or can currently understand.
In some ways I identify as otherkin or therian? I can't really explain exactly because it is not the same but there are definitely overlapping aspects. There's some aspects of myself that I don't really share with people except in a one-on-one very intimate setting (LJ is included in this, and I have written about these things in various entries).