As often happens the thought that spawned this came from an external catalyst, in this case it came from an episode of Veronica Mars. The episode in question is called ‘Drinking the Kool-aid’ and deals with a boy from Veronica’s school and a-would-be cult (they aren’t really a cult, just a bit naïve and very friendly). The underlying gist of the story is that the boy is a better person while he is with the want-to-be cult and by the end of the episode his parents have brought in a deprogrammer to return the boy to his ‘desirable’ self. There are a few more details involved but you get the idea. One of the things that Veronica herself struggles with in the episode is whether or not to tell her father, who subsequently has a few choices of his own to make, about the things she uncovers that have the potential to end the pseudo-cult.
The choice that both Veronica and her father had to face was whether or not to return a boy to his parents, who they knew wanted to psychologically alter their son in order to benefit from his inherited money, To leave someone ad they found them, subjectively a better person than they were in the past, or maintain their stance of having no moral perspective on the situation and only doing what their client requires of them.
This, for me at least, is a good example of my thoughts on cleansing my runes when they arrive. I could cleanse them, remove any bad luck and/or negative energy attached to them but would this be irrevocably altering something that is in a subjectively better state than it was before. Realistically I have no way of knowing whether the state they are in is subjectively better or not than any other state they might be in, but I do have to make the decision whether I will change them from what they are and what I perceive them to be or leave them as the are and accept all their qualities as is.
The question in both cases comes down to should or should not, a question that is totally subjective unto the person asking should or should not. It is a different question to that of the moral imperative that Pagans and Heathens face, rather it is one that is entirely personal. A person who is a member of a Troth will make moral or ethical decisions based at least in part on the overall persuasion of the Troth as a group. A should or should not question however can only be dealt with on a personal level – which might explain why I only ever get a ‘you should do what you feel is right’ response when I ask for advice about things that are should and should not questions.