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Topic: What’s Your Secret Passion/Guilty Pleasure?
I don’t have one. Honest to god, truth. I don’t keep secrets like this. If I am passionate about something, then the world hears about it. Guilty pleasure? I don’t play guilt. I learned a long time ago that you should embrace who you are. If you think what you’re doing is harmful, then get help. Simple as that. We are adult enough to make choices for ourselves, and, I live in a free country.
That said, I doubt the prompt was meant to dig up something sinister about me. There are a couple things that I enjoy, which I find a lot of people around me do not, and that they sometimes think I’m a little weird for it.
1. Animation Fiend.
Not anime, per se. I love cartoons. I have several cued on my Netflix watch list. I grew up enjoying cartoons and don’t believe that there comes an expiration date on that joy. Growing up doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy things that we did in our youth. In fact, I think a lot of stinky attitudes might be due to losing who you were and what you loved along the way.
That’s kid stuff! Is it? Because I find that a lot of animation deals with life issues. They’re meant to be amusing, colorful and entertaining. They’re entertainment. Purile? Hardly. I will agree that a great many cartoons are geared toward a certain demographic. However, beneath that level of engagement, which is really just surface dressing, the creators put in things they’re of which they both are and are not aware.
Literary theory would have me going on for a real long time about the depths and nuance of animation and the human condition. I’d like to highlight that they are also a form of art. Drawings brought to life. Someone DREW those frames. To me, that’s wicked!
2. Theology Curious
Many who know me also know that I am an agnostic-if not a pagan. I prefer pagan beliefs to modern religions, for the simple fact of culture and ancestry. My family hails from Europe, so the theological interests of Celts, Anglo-Saxxons, Vikings, Greeks and Romans, all hold a familiarity for me and a connection to ancestors. They have drawn my attention and respect more than modern religions, perhaps for their scope of accepting humankind as human and fallible.
I have studied a number of religions. I have studied what atheists deride as space shit (astrology and the like). I was raised Episcopalian, but I will not raise my children under a church I’ve grown to regard as the seat of human evil. I feel this way after looking at both the history and the theology. How did it spread? How do they treat others? What is done in these religions? History has a long damning catalog of Christian violence. Each religion thereafter condemns itself in similar fashion.
Regardless, the theology of a people is an aspect of their culture, deeply tied to their ways of life. Take for instance the varied beliefs of the Native American Tribes throughout the Americas. Many hold a certain strain of similarity, but each is affected by the location in which they were born. In this way, theology has provided people with a way to conceive of their world and the unknown. Unfortunately, it has provided sociopaths with a means to control great numbers of people and wreak vengeance upon the face of the Earth. It is not without it’s merits, that is true.
In fact, theology, in a way, gave rise to scientific discovery. What pagans fondly call Magick is really just prayer and chemistry–sometimes cooking and creativity (recipes and crafts). Out of Magick came Alchemy. Chemistry retains part of the name Alchemy. Alchemy was developed in response to controlling one’s environment with powers unknown–which eventually came to be known and not paranormal in the least–well, for the most part. There is still a lot we don’t know. Religion catalyzed our sense of curiosity, instead of stifling it, as the Dark Ages would have history students believe. While religion didn’t give the answers needed to cure plagues, win wars and stop mass murder–science began to find those answers. The beliefs of those long gone men and women had fanned the spark of the fire of knowledge.
How people dealt with their world and selves when they weren’t capable of using a microscope, or have the leisure of eons of research done for them, is vastly interesting. And–what if? What if there is something beyond this world, which we can know nothing about, not even scratch the surface on? What if the big secret is purposely kept from us, because this world and that world cannot cross paths? What if what we perceive is only a 1/10th of what is there? What does the other 9/10ths look like?
Those questions and more are why I am curious about something that seems to run parallel to many inquiries but never quite crosses tracks. I just like to keep it bay, where it cannot overrun my thoughts and life by ruling them with rigid dogma. Retaining the scientific skepticism helps me to continue studying and learning. For me, that is both a passion and pleasure.
Stephany Tullis‘s life changed dramatically in the fall of 2008. When her oldest son asked, ‘why don’t you just write a book? Do what you love to do?’, after a few weeks of thought, she decided to give it a shot.
Stephany Tullis graduated from Russell Sage College with a Masters in Public Service Administration. She is the recipient of several leadership and career related rewards. She continues to consult for not for profits and lives in Georgia with her family. Check out her books! She’s from Upstate New York too!
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