Yesterday evening while driving home, I was thinking about Perfect Love and Perfect Trust and then I was thinking about the context of said teachings. As a result of that weaving and wandering train of thought, this blog was born.
In addition to the Rede, which I previously spoke about commonly getting misunderstood, the phrase "In perfect love and perfect trust" also gets tossed around outside of the parameters of the traditional lore. Generally when I encounter said deviation, it is someone arguing against it. I am completely fine with someone not accepting it. Tis cool, really. Almost always though, the argument is "how can someone have complete and full unconditional love and trust for people you've never met?" Fair enough; I'm not going to disagree. The thing is though, that's not what Perfect Love (PL) or Perfect Trust (PT) is about from the way I was taught it.
*** Note: No oaths were broken in the following paragraphs. Everything is something I learned as a Seeker in an Outer Court to my first Alexandrian Coven. ***
First off, PL/PT is specifically meant to be used in the private context of a British Traditional Wicca (BTW) Coven. The moment it moves into the realm of the public sphere, such as at a Pagan Pride Day ritual, it is out of the ritual, mythic, and symbolic relevance for which it applies. I'm starting with Perfect Trust because it's easier to explain the relationship between the two when we understand it first. Now onto Perfect Trust.
Perfect Trust is simply the trust that an individual will act in accordance with their strengths and weaknesses. In short, it is the trust that hypothetical Witch Dianaisson, as a general rule of thumb, will continue to behave like Dianaisson. That's it. All Witches have warts, trust that.
Perfect Love then is accepting this fact and loving the person anyway. That does not mean that said love is unconditionally tolerant. It is simply the love of an individual despite their flaws. Again, this is not meant in the context of large public settings. After all, when Dianaisson was Seeking they and the Coven should have gotten to know each other well enough to take this step. It is also part of why BTW Covens tend to be small and don't just take every Seeker that comes to the door. It's about family of choice.
The whole PL/PT line of thinking occurred out of mulling over meditation. You see, one of the things that meditation has drilled into my head, is that people will live up to their nature. For example, my 4 year old is going to act like a 4 year old. It's just the way of it. I accept this. I may not always like the way 4 year olds act, temper tantrums and all that. However, I accept it, even if sometimes it is hard to do so.
In thinking about this acceptance of people acting to their nature and PL/PT, I was asking myself whether or not I personally could extend the idea of PL outside of the BTW Coven context. The short answer is sometimes. With some close friends and family, sure I could. For many many others, nope. Nopity nope. This I feel is because I interact with love in a similar fashion as to how a Feri Initiate once explained it.
So time for a quick story, and a waiver. First off, the waiver. I'm not trained Feri and may be misremembering what may not have been a Feri teaching but a personal opinion that I mistook as a teaching. Anyway, if you are a Feri Initiate, feel free to chime in. Now for story time...
Though I cannot extend PL/PT to all, I can, however, foster compassion towards even some of the vilest. It's compassion for the suffering of a fellow human. Compassion for the pain that has shaped them into what they are. In this compassion though, there is room to stand up for what is right. I can accept that they will live up to their nature, have compassion for their life circumstances, and still hold no quarter and reject their actions. Passionately reject.
There you have it, the gist of the musing I had last evening.
"Lost in a thicket, bare-foot upon a thorn path."