| by Danielle Vincent

Ask Me Anything: Are you Wiccan?

Joe from Facebook asked, "Ok, not very Western or soapy and I hope it's not too personal but I have a question for you, Danielle. If it's none of my beeswax, I understand but I want to ask, are you Wiccan? It's a Natural question."

First and foremost, a HUGE DISCLAIMER: Because we, as a company, have made a commitment to supporting a diversity of beliefs, by definition, my views do not represent the views of Outlaw as a company, or the views of our employees.

And this goes especially for religious conversations, because my beliefs are 100% of the Outlaw sort: I made up my own belief structure, and it's admittedly really weird.

Secondly, I believe that any religious beliefs require faith, and faith means that, while we believe we know, there's no way for anyone to say for 100% sure what is true. I believe what I believe. I have faith that what I believe is true. But IS IT TRUE? I'm afraid that no one alive is qualified to answer that.

So in addition to the disclaimer about our company and employees, I can't even really represent reality outside of my own faith.

And thirdly, I personally believe that the organic structure of our brain and body limits our awareness of reality. All our concepts (of everything) are limited by the functions of truly insufficient hardware... Just working on a concept of reality is like trying to run Adobe Photoshop, Red Dead Redemption Online, and a pirated version of Final Cut Pro (as well as a half dozen CPU-sucking background apps) on a iPhone 11 (because I'm smart, but I'm not as smart as the most advanced iPhone). My mass of goo, cells, and electricity that we call my "brain," is just never going to be able to process reality all that well.

So, those three disclaimers can be summarized as:

  1. Don't hate the employees for anything I say, because it isn't their fault
  2. I can't even claim to really know the things I believe
  3. My brain isn't capable of even conceptualizing my own reality, let alone the reality of the greater world

And now... my beliefs!

Have you seen The Stuff (1985)? It was a strangely impactful movie to me. I saw it on TV when I was about 11 years old and it formed what would later become the basis of my beliefs about ... water.

I believe that water is a sentient force made of all souls, which circulates through every living thing in a closed system of our planet's ecosystem.

This is why we get our best ideas in the shower.
This is why our bodies can go for weeks without food, but die within days without water.
This is why people lose 7 oz when they die... It's water leaving their body and returning to the source (the closed system of water). I discussed this with an undertaker and he conceded that bodies lose a lot of water after they stop holding a spirit.
This is why polluting water is such a grave and perilous sin.
This is why, whenever I need a fresh idea, I have a glass of water (and hope for Benjamin Franklin's insights).
This is why you GOTTA DRINK CLEAN WATER. All the time. All day. Plain. 💧Fricken'. 💧 Water.

I believe that we can't conceive of this as God because it's too close to us. Water is everywhere, both in us and outside of us. It connects all living things, but it is not life itself. It's something beyond life itself, which is beyond our comprehension.

AND in addition to believing that water is basically God (as best as we can understand it), I'm also Christian.

Jesus was / is SO FRICKEN AMAZING. The fact that people are still discussing his ideas two thousand years later is a testament (pun intended!) to how impactful and insightful he was. And similar to my views on water, I also believe we're painfully stunted in our ability to process or understand what Jesus was talking about.

All of Jesus's teachings were transcribed from his parables, which were intended to illustrate the gist of his beliefs to a bunch of morons (which includes myself, for sure)... so basically, we're playing a game of two-thousand-year-telephone from God's son, translated through insufficient carbon creatures (the apostles, bless them for their efforts) trying to dumb-down already dumbed-down teaching.

And then people are so solid in their beliefs about this one text (and Islam, too), which means the whole issue is clouded by interpersonal conflicts and interpretations, control of cultures and societies, and multiple translations that have significantly different meanings.

Side note: I have a copy of the very controversial "The Message" Bible version, which is very refreshing in parts, and very disturbing in other parts, and so I'm just going to insert here as a data point that I have even studied multiple versions and translations of The Bible. That's how interesting I find this whole thing.

Side note to the side note: Oh yeah, and if you really want to break your brain on the whole thing, pick up a copy of Christopher Moore's book Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal.

While we're on the topic of The Bible, I want to talk about Job.

(Pronounced "Johb" like "robe," not "Jahb" like "rob").

I think Job is the patron saint of all entrepreneurs... Everything that could go wrong, did. And sometimes that's how it feels to be a small business owner.

And yes, The Bible says that it was God and Satan playing a little betting game on God's favorite dude, but I think that's just a dramatic frame for what is essentially a story about a guy who kept his faith when everything went wrong.

Because let's face it: God has nothin' to prove to no one.

So if you're ever having a really rough day, just go read about Job. That poor son-of-a-gun kept on keepin' on, even when his life turned into a weepy Western song... his wife left, his friends left, his kids left, his business went south... he even got covered in weeping sores... I can't even remember all the shit that happened to this poor guy.

Through it all, he kept his faith in God.

If Job can keep his faith through all that, how hard can it be to keep faith when we're having a tough go of things?

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