Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Armchair Pagan...



It's been a while...!

Overwhelmed by the abundance of available 'Teach Yourself Paganism' literature, my ability to tread water in the deep end of 'Earth-centered spirituality' is proving less than successful. Regularly forsaking the mossy log for the comfort of the armchair I have unwittingly cocooned myself in an increasingly suffocating shroud of guidelines and technique served with cold regularity in 250 page plus, paperback form. Like many a member of 'Western' society I have an obsessive craving for 'information', foolishly mistaking this as 'knowledge' however I am beginning to believe that it is my attachment to 'human linguistics' which presents a current stumbling block. An attachment which has driven me to a paralysis of detachment.

Childhood experience with nature was one of awe. A naive fascination of and sharing with all creation, in tandem. Yet with limited language and literacy skills my communication with nature manifested itself with a clarity, despite it existing primarily on a sensory level. A clarity increasingly numbed by adulthood, education and an immersion in a society in which humanity's role is as the 'all conquering parasite'. A society where Gaia is fundamentally our possession, to be leeched of it's resources, these 'resources', (spirited existences, in their own right) are interpreted as having no understanding of ('our') language and thus are denied the opportunity to give permission or otherwise.

Losing touch with nature seemed effortlessly 'progressive'. The formula, 'House to car to school to car to house', became mantra like in it's repetition, furthermore it was with comparative ease that I was able to subsequently substitute 'work' for 'school'. The outdoors was merely a transition between indoor environments, nature, a satellite television channel or a copy of National Geographic in a dentist's waiting room.

With years of climbing, fell running, and mountain biking experiences I have come to understand the principle of 'less is more'. My initial need was possession, with regard both to the means, and the end. The 'shiny object' mentality that took over. Minimalism was not an option, nor was the journey. Targets and goals were my blinkered vision, my reward, whilst specialist (frequently unnecessary) gadgets my requirement. Finance, coupled with the realization that the 'odyssey' should be foremost priority and equipment kept within sensible bounds, I began to linger, observing, savoring, the path, the colours, sounds, smells, tactility, keen to encourage an inner and outward balance of exploration and veneration.

Unfortunately I have become complacent, a creature of habit and decades of conditioning. There is no opportunity for reversal, but by retracing my steps and modifying, or rather simplifying my approach to the journey, I will endeavor to embark with humility, in harmony with the 'web of existence' and with a lighter load to bear.

A Blessing on your days