The Death(s) of William is marked on the calendar as unobserved, but you can’t tell me what not to do, Aine! You’re not my dad, Aine! I am going to observe this day so hard.
It’s not doing anything.
Around mid-April last year I renounced the Four+ for the Verzsou, whose s and z I can never keep in order—but, in mystic news, the Dierne Pallis seemed to guide my study of the metaphysical dynamic that I call Evil; the Clarene wouldn’t leave, and recently the Ophelia has taken to interrupting guided and unguided meditations with the insistent message that “It’s time to come home.”
I flunked initiation into Delicacy, probably on purpose. Though, I may have picked up on a clue or two as to why the Dierne Pallis’ presence has been so hostile to me since one dream that I had in the late winter of 2015. Was it because my first post to the primary social circle of the Otherfaith basically went, “Oh but hey Misia who caused the Sundering is actually a sympathetically written character even though the meta was rather strict about that not being the case”? Was it because I had sent out prayers to the Clarene and the Dierne to help me out of unemployment, but had ended up gravitating more towards the Clarene? Was it because of the content of the dream itself?
Nope—or, well maybe, but—my heartcanon Pallis finally coughed up that it’s past life stuff, that I don’t even remember but Pallis does and would apparently take it out on me that ey still feels ill will about whatever happened there or whatever I did.
Message from Pallis to another mystic in the ‘faith, who I had nagged for a reading or chanelled message or something to get a fresh take on what’s going on: “It’s none of your business”—As in none of this other mystic’s business. (Whew! If Pallis can afford for nobody else to know, then it can’t be that bad. In any case, I’m certainly not gonna be arsed to wrack my brain of this life for some past life I might have shared altercationably with some rude, petty faery monarch.)
Speaking of altercations and conflicts, the other Other People started off this year by raking through the details every noteworthy altercation and conflict in the eight-year history of this faith. We now have better-refined structures and disciplinary protcols based on the examination of those cases; I conjecture that all that’s left to do now is some sort of consolidated text of that to which Other People may reference when it comes to moral philosophy and conduct (as well as avenues to reinforce that protocol).
In that line, I had hoped to get my thoughts together about rediscovering and refining a sort of creed that actually does help to navigate the challenges of coexistence—my rights end where yours begin, rights are always negative, evil begins when you think of people as things; and conversely how mutually-respected boundaries are impossible without equal empowerment, that negligence and apathy and silence and even shunning are all within one’s rights to do if we define rights as negative and therefore there may be something wrong there; and what then are we ever to do with anything (or anyone) within our scope of responsibility who meets this definition of evil?—with the myth of William the Human as a springboard for that. This entry isn’t at all what I had hoped.
I might be the only one observing Will’s Deaths Day this year because of the personal significance the story and the spirit has for me. I began researching the Otherfaith around a time of my life that, far more broadly, I was trying to figure out what the everloving what had just happened. My sibling who was practically my guardian had developed a substance abuse addiction, became physically violent, and I had run away from home. There was a bit more to it than that (our sexually and physically abusive parent had passed away and we’d only had the one; I’d lost years of my life to living as—the best word for it remains—hikikomori; with that and my eating disorder and anxiety I was obviously crazy; my sibling tended to advertise my ineptitude such that hardly anyone would believe it was best for me to end a relationship and leave a housing situation where I wasn’t physically safe; sibling tended to cycle between cultivating dependency in me and isolation from anyone who would hear me out, verbal abuse and manufacturing conflict, habitual lying and gaslighting to preserve the image of an essentially loving partnership that had its challenges but that was really a torture chamber of my sibling’s own design)—and, I had been in a lot of pain and…something like confusion, but worse. This would all develop into a despairingly persistent, intense and consuming anger, and everything I would hear to the sentiment even that my sibling was “still a person with a valid perspective that should also be considered if you want to keep the last of your family together instead of selfishly giving up” would come off to me as nothing but the most abhorrent platitude.
At the same time, I did have this idea of how to be a good person despite bad circumstances or emotional distress, and I hadn’t lived up to that and would never be able to undo my not living up to that. (If you’re suspicious about how vague I’m being as to points in my disfavor as opposed to the above ostensibly extenuating circumstances…Good.) My perception was that it was not merely a line crossed, it’s an event horizon over which nobody should bother trying to come back; and if I’m Doomed to always be The Problem after all, then may as well act like it. There’s nothing else to life—
The Clarene says otherwise, to Aletheia 003. In my nascent headcanon this isn’t out of the Clarene’s empathy for the Aletheia’s abuser, it isn’t justice or restoration or forgiveness from any direction—not by itself. It’s life, what life can be beyond existence or blaming the fates and blaming people and feeling helpless and hopeless to do anything but live in continual destruction; it’s agency, sovereignty, creativity that the Clarene imparts with a word.
It remains a challenge to keep that message if not the voice in mind—I’ve even had numinous experiences of getting sat on by the High King of Western Faery to stop me from doing something less than constructive (which I do later anyway because you’re not my dad, Clarene! You can’t tell me what not to do.)
In subtler ways I would say it’s been immensely helpful.
When I have written about what remains of Misia, I have written of flares of frustration and fury that overwhelm those it possesses, only because that is when I have behaved at my worst; or perverse delight at someone else’s misfortune, because that was something I had often witnessed in my sibling at the best of times and it’s taken me too long after to figure out why somebody else suffering would ever be considered good for us. (It…really wasn’t, ever, anything to do with us. But, in some areas that pinned abuse down to a science, there’s a pattern of thought where that seems to become the case and it helps me to now know of it.)
Other mystic experiences of the nature of Misia has been different that I have read: a sense of emptiness, that generates a desperate demand that can never be satisfied, for something Misia can maybe name but would not be able to recognize for all the self-deception. To that, I can’t relate. (Hopelessness was a significant factor when I was at my worst, though I suspect that’s not the same as emptiness.)
To some extent, these aren’t characters to relate to. Misia and William are cautionary tales, of what it takes to be othered by the already-othered: they are the markers before which tolerance becomes a paradox.
But it stands to reason to me that they could caution nothing unless there were an existing risk of anybody else—even people we like, or people we need as much as opposite-need, or ourselves—following them. We can all follow them from any standpoint. Nowhere is safe, I have come to realize, least of all where someone can preen about being so.
Misia’s motives may be sympathetic, but eir methods unacceptable (unless a folklorist takes the position that Arabella or the Clarene had it coming and aren’t worthwhile perspectives to consider, and Western Faery was better under Misia’s reign. What to do or not do with that is for another entry.) William…is not a mythological figure who has gotten much say. My interactions with William by a mystic approach do influence my headcanon to that, in contrast to Misia’s emotionality, William and myself share for one a cold tendency to reduce a humane understanding to mere knowledge—which is why my headcanon William takes a steampunk scientist form—and that can lead to intolerable suffering.
Maybe it doesn’t matter where evil comes from, as long as it doesn’t go anywhere. It would still strike me as missing something to declare that the real manifestation of evil is…extroversion. I wanted to mention Power Distance somewhere but couldn’t think of a sentence or paragraph for it so this links to Wikipedia again.
When I set out to research Evil, because that’s the name I put to what I sensed a presence of, I expected an encounter with spiritual forces—being so confident in my friendship with my Shadow, that it couldn’t simply be that I see outside of myself by transference what I reject within myself. I was ready for an advanced mystic cosmic level, even a dangerously overwhelming one (or thought I was.)
I attribute to the Dierne Pallis’ more serendipitous guidance more incisive (though mundane and really ordinary) findings, but the general sentiment still seemed to be: You can only recognize what is already within you. These are deeper Shadows. Work on yourself.
(But then there’s the Bluebeard-like stain on my fingers from a sheet in an otherworldly room that I suspect to be Arabella’s prison—but that’s for another entry.)