Burn close to the basin while ye pray,
For fireworks spark from leaves of bay.
This study guide is designed to get you thinking about purity, purification, and how these ideas relate to you, your life, and your spiritual or religious views. As always, some of these questions may not even be applicable to your worldview. If they are not, simply move on to the next question. Hopefully, you will find some food for thought. For a printer-friendly, PDF version, click here.
In the broadest sense, what does purity mean to you?
How does the idea of purity make you feel? (Examples: anxious, giddy, peaceful, angry, restless, calm, etc.)
What memories come to mind when you think about purity and purification? Is this a pleasant memory? If you are comfortable, describe it.
Is it possible to be in a pure state outside a religious or spiritual context?
How do you define purity on an exterior or mundane level?
How do you define purity on a personal or internal level?
How do you define purity on a religious or spiritual level?
What influences have helped you define purity in these ways?
Have experiences helped to define ideas about purity for you? If so, what are some of the experiences you associate with the concept of purity?
Do you hold all pure ideas, concepts, etc. as being equal? Or is it a more hierarchical system for you? (Examples: the freshness of the air is equal to the purity of Deity; Deity is more pure than human thought.)
How many definitions of purity are there? Do you believe these definitions are absolute or are they flexible? Do you believe there is a universal idea of purity? Why or why not?
What terminology do you associate with purity? Is this terminology related to the process of purification? (Examples: holy, whole, etc.)
How does your cultural heritage influence your understanding of purity?
In what ways does your faith and/or spirituality influence your understanding of purity?
Does the absence or presence of purity affect your connection to Deity? Why or why not?
Does the absence or presence of purity affect your relationship to others? In what ways? Does this only apply to purity of mind or spirit or..?
Are there certain sights which are linked to the concept of purity in your mind?
Do you associate any symbols with purity or being in a pure state? What are they? Why do you associate these symbols with the concept of purity? (Examples: color, shape, icons, etc.)
Do certain sounds call to mind purity more than others? What are they? Why do these represent purity to you?
Do you associate certain words with purity? What are they? Where and when did you learn these words?
Is there a certain action or movement you associate with being pure? Are these motions something you only do during certain times, such as prayer?
When did these kinds of sensory input first represent purity to you? Have they changed over time?
Are there any other types of sensory input which represent purity to you? Tastes or smells or feelings perhaps? What make these special? How do they make you feel?
Do you believe a person needs to be cleansed beyond the demands of hygiene? Why or why not? How would a person go about this?
Can a person avoid becoming impure? If so, how might they go about it?
Is purification something each person must be responsible for? Is this something a person can do for themselves? Or should others be involved? Are there any circumstances which might require special consideration?
If you feel a person can or should be cleansed and you feel yourself existing in an impure state, how do you purify yourself?
Is this method specific to you or could anyone use this technique? How might you teach another to purify themselves? What advice would you give?
Does the process of purification change based on specific circumstances? (Examples: degree to which you feel impure, astrological cycle, life events, etc.)
Have you or would you involve others in the cleansing of self? Why or why not?
Does space need purifying? What contributes to space being pure or impure?
If you feel space needs to be made pure, how do you go about the purifying process? Is this something which can be done quickly or does it require ritual?
Do objects need purifying? Why or why not?
If you feel objects need to be purified, how do you go about it? Do certain kinds of objects require different methods of purification? Why or why not?
How many steps are involved with the purification process? If there is more than one, do the steps need to follow a specific order? Describe or list them.
Do you feel there are certain tools required for the purification process? What are these and why must they be included or utilized? (Examples: the inclusion of elements, meditation, prayer, incense, etc.)
What happens if you lack access to these tools? Are there alternates?
Are there special consideration which need to be addressed during the purification process? (Examples: moon phase, dietary changes, seclusion, etc.)
Where did you learn to purify a person, place, or item? Did you learn from a specific source or are you self-taught, using intuition?
Have your ideas about purity and purification evolved? How so?
Have your ideas about purity and purification been challenged? When? By what event or by whom?
How did you respond to these challenges? How might your respond to these challenges in the future?
While we firmly believe Mr. J. Halstead is a troll and should not be fed, this is an excellent answer to his desire for martyrdom. If you can, please get a beverage and snack before reading.
Here’s My Issue: Addressing Key Questions from “An Open Letter to John Halstead” – http://wp.me/p55qDX-lj
Due to unfortunate circumstances, this blog is on hiatus until further notice.
Come, dwell in the sacred cup and be pleased by my offerings of cream and sugar.
Oh, bitter-sweet, varied one, grant me strength to see this day through.
Ward off the chill of dawn and protect me from idleness.
Praise Caffeinia, the Dark conquering queen!
-Hymn to Caffeinia. To be sung in humble fashion while coffee is made, regardless of how supplicant is preparing the blessed nectar, for all forms of enjoyment are appropriate offerings. Composed by D. R. Moundshroud for The Gate & Key Society.
“We have two ears and one mouth, so we should listen more than we say.”
-Zeno of Citium