What I Believe (Tof, writer and scholar)


Tof is a writer and scholar who lives with zir wife, toddler, and geriatric cat in Florida, USA.

1. What are your spiritual beliefs?

I believe in a lot of things, none of them absolutely. It might be easier to start with what I don’t believe in. I have no faith or trust in certainty, in purity, in ultimate ends (teleology), or in the value of coercive power.

I am a skeptic, but the deepest and most powerful part of my skepticism is auto-skepticism: I am skeptical of my own skepticism and try never to let it get in the way of investing things with meaning.

I am a practicing occultist, but do not ascribe to any particular school of occult philosophy. Any model can be used to create meaning – but no model is “true.” What matters is what a model, theory, or principle can be used for, what assumptions, implications, and general baggage it brings with it, and how it interconnects with other things one values.

I believe in meaning, and in my belief, meaning and magic are functionally interchangeable. Magic is the creation (alteration, et al.) of meaning, and anything that creates or alters meaning can be understood through a magical lens: these things are all attempts to change what the world is because they change how we understand it. Continue reading

What I Believe (J.T., cartoonist)


J.T. is a cartoonist who lives in eastern Kentucky.

1. What are your spiritual beliefs?

In 2013, the only “gods” I believe in are concepts of endless mystery, endless questions, and guiding precepts of love, compassion and forgiveness along that trek of mystery and questioning.

2. How sure are you that those beliefs are true?

The capacity for some small bits of knowing encompassed with an infinite capacity for unknowing I am relatively certain. I find the unknowing to be somewhat (and somewhat/sometimes hugely) frustrating, but the human brain appears to me as such a minuscule cog in the mechanics of the universal structures, accepting some humility without consciously limiting one’s own potential: that makes sense to me.

3. How did you come to have these beliefs?

It seems appropriate to provide a brief bit of autobiographical background. I was born in 1976 and raised in rural eastern Kentucky. The religious, Protestant, agricultural Appalachian region settled by Scottish and Irish immigrants I was born into had as much in common with early 20th century rural American life as it did with post-World War II suburban/urban culture. Continue reading