Saturday, October 16, 2004

The unclimber

I came across some notes I must have written down a few months ago, I don't remember any of it, but thought I'd post it here.

The name unclimber came from a comment I once made to my DH that those I labelled as social climbers could network all they wanted but I was happy "hanging out at basecamp." Various forms of basecamp were already claimed on blogspot, so I blended my interest in unschooling with my disdain for social climbers and came up with unclimber.

However, now I find myself a bit embarrassed by the name I chose out of a snarky social commentary. Strangely, though, unclimber is coming to mean something else to me. It speaks of being in the here and now (meditation and awareness) and not spending too much time, energy and thought on the future (vs. fundamentalist religion/salvation).

--sitting with contradictions
--fissure of personality
--need for unity in self [I have no idea why I wrote this list.]

Intersection/dovetailing of spirituality and unschooling. I could not be liberal about education and conservative about religion -- it lead to a psychically painful fissure, highlighted by my experiences in BSF vs. DOCC -- arrogance, frustration, impatience. I had a hard time with DOCC, not because DOCC failed me, but I think I failed DOCC.

Compulsion -- we can't make anyone eat, sleep, use the potty, learn or believe.

'Believing,' it makes me think of a post on Ken's blog, where he wrote:

"Evangelism is the easy work. Most have a canned message that takes a
salesman’s attitude and the memory of a few simple verses. Evangelists don’t
have the burden of nurturing people after they’ve scared the hell out of them
and left them with a rudimentary system of faith. They drive to the next
“revival” and all but forget about the new converts they’ve left at the altar.
Fundamentalist evangelists are particularly annoying because they think that
everything revolves around their beliefs. They are usually so ignorant
to everything but the subject of salvation that they are able to spread as
much damage as they do the “gospel.”"

To me, this was aptly illustrated this summer while walking along the Mall in Washington, D.C. when I was handed a small pamphlet by a nice-looking young man. It was a tract from a Baptist church in New Hampshire. In it there is an exhortation "Believe today!" and a prayer. I just question the utility of telling someone to believe -- like you can just will belief. If this doesn't make sense (and I think it probably doesn't), all I can say is that perhaps the connection between these two things lies only in my head.


Larry said...

Right on, Sparky (and Ken, too). At lots of places they scare more people away from Christianity than to it. However somehow they never bother me like they do so many people, maybe because I grew up in that environment, and always above it (thanks to my sainted father, God rest his soul).

Lately I've been exposing myself to people at the other end of the theological spectrum, and I find that it helps me to understand and define my own faith.

Incidentally that happened with Michael. It was kind of rash to propose our little mailing list with him. He is at the opposite end of my (our?) spectrum. A very good friend turned me on to him, probably hoping I could be of some help to him, and I'm trying.

However if you read my last post, you may recognize some influence of his thought in the mailing list.

We're all growing together, and will get there in the end; and I mean everybody!!

david said...

Hello Sparky!

Glad to check out yer blog. I kinda like your unclimber notion. Stick with it. It will likely turn into one of those zen koan things creating all sorts of interesting resonances as you find yourself repeating it in new and wonderful places.

My wife and I are infertile sao I can't speak to your home schooling experiences. Although, three years of substitute teaching in the public system has convinced me there has got to be a better way.

We home school our two cats. Does that count?

Marjorie said...

I'm a cat person, too, and my guess is that the cats are homeschooling you. I hope its going well.