Journal of the Whills

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5 years 5 months ago - 5 years 5 months ago #323899 by
Replied by on topic Journal of the Whills

Streen wrote: Instead of wearing some kind of special robes, I'd rather wander the Earth in regular clothes, "hiding" in plain sight. How does the saying go? "Clothes do not make the man"?

There is an old Rosicrucian teaching which has influenced me a lot, which is the admonition that members were not to be constrained to wear a particular habit (like their contemporary monastic orders or societies, who adopted an identifying uniform). This was for two purposes - to allow the members of the fraternity to do their healing work without drawing attention to themselves, and to subtly protect them from turning their membership in the fraternity into a self-serving badge of pride/belonging rather than a purpose for their work (which such things easily tend to become). So I think it's definitely good to have a sense of why it can beneficial to *not* separate oneself from the general populace by wearing something that attracts attention. But there's also a balance to it. Quite often - at least in my experience - spiritual people may dress to invite outside attention (be it positive or negative) to affirm something to themselves, or else dress as a sort of conscious removal from the "ordinary" person - for example, clergy who wear the collar to remind themselves and signal others that they are always "on duty". Either track can be something very powerful and useful, or become something that traps you in superficiality.

Personally, I go for the middle road - when possible, I try to reflect a timeless aesthetic that helps remind me in the hectic day-to-day that I've chosen to live intentionally and without "following the herd", so to speak, but doesn't invite questions. It is, for me, a conscious rejection of the "fashion" mentality that tries to make us be too concerned with what others think of us based on our physical appearance, or buy new wardrobes based on what is "in" that year. That mindset does so much harm, to the people whose labor is treated as disposable, the environment which has to supply the demand, and those who will do extreme things to themselves to be able to participate. Conscious dressing - having fewer items of clothing that are treated as meaningful and part of your entire spiritual expression - can be a vital way of resisting that. I do like to recycle fabrics or clothing items into new creations when possible, but it's also nice to have something that is really precious, specific for the spiritual work you do, and stays with you for a long time, even if no one ever sees them or you only break them out for special events. I live in my "training clothes" these days when I'm not required to wear work-specific things. It saves a lot of wear on my business clothes, and helps encourage me to do small sets of training throughout the day or evening.

Even before I was going for a specific look (however subtle), I would really pay attention to what I wore in public for self-defense reasons - can I move in it? Run? Does it bind anywhere? Distract me with needing to fuss with it? Weapon-friendly, if needed? Purse- can it be used as a weapon? That has pretty much reduced my wardrobe to a specific look these days.

I look forward to seeing the pictures - Imwe's robes are some of my favorites ones.
Last edit: 5 years 5 months ago by .

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