Delphic Maxim 8

October 21, 2009

Delphic Maxim 8: Be Yourself.

In the modern world, it is easy to forget ourselves. Traditional roles–particularly traditional gender roles–blur together; we can be anything we want, especially in the Western world… and yet we’ve forgotten much of who we are.

We know what we want: we want that pair of shoes, that job, this many children, that religion. We know what we need: food, shelter, drink, love, warmth. And yet we don’t know who we are, at the core of everything. We hide ourselves behind material goods and wants, and we try to forget everything else.

Who am I?

I am a daughter. I’m a half-sister, a cousin, a niece and a granddaughter. I’m a friend, a college student, a young woman, a teenager, a girl. I’m a dreamer, an idealist, an introvert and a believer in choice & chance & fate. I’m a consumer in a Capitalist society. I’m working class; English; white. I’m also a human. But what, exactly, does that mean?

I have skin, blood, teeth, hair. Two eyes, a nose, a mouth and two ears. I’m left-handed and able-bodied. I blink. If there’s a loud, unexpected noise, I flinch. If someone hits my leg, it twitches.

I’m part of something bigger than just myself and yet, paradoxically, I’m nothing more than just me. I play roles, and create personae to deal with those roles. I gather props, set the stage – and is that so different from lighting incense, and setting up an altar?

I come to the gods as I come to everything: with my roles mixing together, creating something that is individually me. I don’t approach the gods wearing a conscious ‘mask’, but my roles are there–and, when I approach the gods, I gain a new role, that of servant to the divine kings and queens I have chosen.

But I don’t lose my other roles. I don’t suddenly stop being a student, a young woman or a daughter. I don’t step away from the altar and become a different person. That, in my humble opinion, is what seperates true religion from abstract thought. I approach the gods clean, but wearing my daily clothes; and I wear jewellery for the gods in my day-to-day life that reminds me constantly of their presence. I’ve not invited the gods into a tiny, enclosed part of my life, but right into it. I think of them very regularly, and try to honour them in every action. It brings me closer to them, and them to me, and I prefer it that way.

As the Delphic Maxim says, then; Be yourself. I try–and I think that I, personally, am starting to get the hang of it. I am myself: and my friends and my gods accept me for that.



  1. […] order to respect yourself, you must first know yourself. You must then understand and accept yourself – your limits, your beliefs and your values. […]

  2. terrific post!

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