Another topic that I was really going to try to avoid, mainly because I don’t want to seem like a total negative Nelly all the time. However based on some recent conversations, it became clear that I was going to need an outlet to vent some frustrations. Lucky you!!
Many people will use the term “fluffy” or “fluffy bunny” in connection with any sort of “love and light” Neo-Pagan/New Age beliefs or practices, that tend to focus entirely on the “positive” aspects of Paganism, rather than actually looking at the whole picture and accepting that there is a need for the “positive” and “negative” to maintain the general balance of things. While this isn’t always the most ideal view of things, it’s not really what I think of directly when I think of the term “fluffy”.
It is also often used to describe people who are misinformed, and while this is closer to my own definition (and the definition by which many others that I know tend to go by), there is a distinction that needs to be made. Just being misinformed about something, does not make one “fluffy”. There is a ton of misinformation out there, on a variety of Pagan topics, and realistically one could say that there is more misinformation, than actual good information. So just because someone thought they knew something and it turns out not to be true, shouldn’t be an immediate reason to call them “fluffy”.
The core of what makes one “fluffy”, is the act of being “willfully ignorant“. Which means that someone has pointed out that they are misinformed about something, has presented them with facts/details (often along with supporting documentation), and instead of looking over the information, doing their own research on it, and coming to their own conclusions – they automatically dismiss all of it out of hand, continuing to cling, almost without reason, to their original beliefs. Even when all evidence presented, is in complete contradiction to what they thought they knew.
No one expects anyone to take anything at face value, especially in regards to a long held belief. However it should be expected that one will take what has been said, and at least look into it. It’s true that one could probably prove almost anything using “stuff I found on the internet”, however that’s when one has to look to the type of resources that are being presented, and by what authority, or expertise that person has that is relevant to the topic they are writing on. Personal experiences are fine as well, however they should be presented as personal experiences (UPG), rather than outright fact.
Everyone is misinformed about something at one point or another, but it’s when one won’t even consider the fact that they could be wrong, that issues arise. It’s OK not to know something, however it’s not OK to completely ignore potential truths when they are staring us in the face.
edit – it’s probably worth noting that this is not a word that I use all that often, nor do I think it should be used often – which is also a bit of a pet peeve of mine, because I do think that some people use it too freely. I really am (in most cases) willing to discuss something for as long as necessary to help someone get whatever information they need about a particular subject. If I’ve hit a point where I start to consider someone to be “fluffy”, it means that I’ve given up hope, which thankfully doesn’t happen all that often. 🙂