Re: Signing Off For the Most Part

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Posted by Anthony (other posts) on March 16, 2018 at 02:41:07 Previous Next

In Reply to: Signing Off For the Most Part posted by Native Carolinian on March 15, 2018 at 03:08:20:

It isn't easy to grasp the reasoning in this explanation, but there seems to be a problem with individuality in relation to cultural identity. You seem to be of Native American origin and an Orthodox Christian. You seem to have experienced some kind of pressure to conform to a norm that involves having short hair - which seems little different from contemporary western fashions and corporate dress codes. At the same time, you express the opposite idea.

I am a priest of a conservative Church of Anglican tradition, and nearly all our clergy have short hair. In that, I seem to be "counter-cultural" but it is not a major matter for my Bishop and fellow clergy. I am seen as odd, but the way I am with my long mid-back hair. This explanation certainly provokes us to ask ourselves why we prefer to have our hair long and in relation to what cultural references. I was a child in the 1960's and suffered some influence from the rebel culture against modern authoritarianism, but my real "reference" is much older. Long hair on men was much more usual until the early 19th century. I find myself identifying with early Romanticism as it reacted from the extreme rationalism and materialism of the 17th and 18th centuries. My hair was already long before I finally homed in to what really inspired my philosophy of life. I am modern western, but I identify with pre-modernism and post-modernism.

Religious people in America seem to be a lot more rigid about matters like long hair on men than here in Europe. People here in Europe generally don't care about anything, which is the opposite extreme from polarisation caused by conflicting ideologies. In the end of the day, we just seem to need to be ourselves when we are not causing any harm to other people, and live our lives with conviction and courage. I was criticised quite a lot when I was in my awkward stage because my hair looked scruffy, but now it is long, people are curious and sometimes surprised, but generally don't say anything out of courtesy and respect.

I can't judge you or say you are wrong, but I find it sad that some feel prisoners of some system. Perhaps for you, short hair is a mark of being truly yourself as long hair is for me. Then, you must be true to yourself and live as you feel and think best. I don't know about others on this board, but I would say that you ought to stay in the group. You are the same person and your experience of life is valuable to us all, both your ethnic origins and Orthodox Christianity that you have embraced. I am sure that Native Americans have a highly developed philosophy as well as a sense of tradition, certainly that in-tuneness with nature that is found in western Romanticism and modern Environmentalism.

As a "Romantic Idealist" (like the Jena Circle in the 1790's) I am more cosmopolitan than nationalistic or "parochial". I love to discover other philosophies and traditions and compare them with my own experience of life and thought. We all have so much to learn.

Please stay with us and keep sharing your experience and thought with us. This board isn't just about hair length (mine is "short" compared with the Rapunzels among us), but a philosophy of life and the sacredness of the human person.


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