I’ve been remiss in some of my duties as a rogue priest.
Something to remember about being a rogue is that it is not a desirable position. There’s a certain romantic charm to the word now—we think of Han Solo and we smile. But to be a rogue means to be alone, even to be a loner; to not belong, to have nowhere to call home.
I am very much a rogue priest. I no longer have a spiritual teacher on earth, and my temple is closed. I have a patron deity above me, and a few loyal students who follow my teachings. But my job as a priest does not lie in temples and holiday festivals. It calls to me from somewhere out in the field, somewhere on the road. That is where I have a chance to make my destiny.
It was this calling that led me to start Rogue Priest and begin writing about the Heroic Life. The Heroic Life sums up everything I hope is true: that the best life is one fully lived, that relentless self-development is the surest altruism, that travel and adventure are mighty spiritual practices.
I can get behind that.
If my purpose in being a loner is to test those ideas, I accept.
Then recently, in the last few months I began talking about the idea of making a movement. The idea isn’t new to me. I’m sure there are others who love a life of travel and adventure just as much as I do. Coming together in some way sounds wonderful.
But to start talking about it like I can launch it tomorrow—or like it is anything I, on my own, can launch—is overreaching.
At present I have only the clunkiest outline of what the Heroic Life is. It is an outline hard won through hands-on experience, successes and mistakes, and amazing conversations with many of you. It’s good as far as it goes, but that’s the operative bit. It’s a work in progress.
Trying to recruit an air corps, or even imagine what that is, should generally wait until after the Wright Brothers are in the sky.
And that, ultimately, is one of the hardest but most important things for me to admit. It’s easy for me to say, cheerfully, repeatedly, that I’m not a hero—I’m not. It’s a bit tougher to remind myself I’m on the drawing board stage. I don’t even yet know what the Heroic Life looks like. I’m not a graduate, let alone a professor.
This post is not about pride or self-value. It’s about building the best damn philosophy possible. I believe that happens through practice, not theory. And I have only begun to live the lifestyle that I envision as the Heroic Life. Every day I learn new lessons I never expected. If there was a curriculum, I’d be on Chapter 1.
So, I’m going to chill on the talk about making a movement. If that happens someday, it must be organic. I will meet others along the way who become companions on this journey. Perhaps we will have something worth saying. Perhaps we’ll know how to do this sustainably, purposefully, successfully, not by the seat of one’s priestly pants. If that kind of fellowship arises, it deserves to make its mark on the world.
But that’s not where I’m at. I’m a journeyman priest of a forgotten god. I am learning some things. I am trying not to die. When I finish the Great Adventure, then I might have something to say about movements.
The next few posts will bring this Adventure into a whole new focus. I hope you’ll stick around.
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