I am home sick with the flu this week – hoping it isn’t the swine flu. I watched Part 1 of Bill Moyer’s interviews with Joseph Campbell called The Power of Myth. Joseph Campbell is a hero of mine. I would so much liked to have talked with him. The more beautiful the question, the more beautiful the answer – and I think I would have asked some beautiful questions.
One thing that was shown in the video was a photo of a statue of the Buddha with three faces, the serene center one and a male face on the right and a female face on the left. This was the first time that I really understood what is meant by the Middle Path. It isn’t moderation. It is living life without the illusion of separation. The three face are a statement about dualism.
The world is perceived as pairs of opposites, right and left, light and dark negative and positive, male and female, right and wrong, good and evil, God and Satan. The Buddhist maintain this is illusion. That the transcended truth is that all is one. This to me is right in line with the Druid thought of inspiration and the cycle of creativity. Beneath all form is consciousness. All of Nature (i.e. the universe) is made up of the same thing, consciousness. All of Nature is energy coming into form and out of form. Our soul is consciousness having a journey through time. When we reach states of trance, all sense of the self and of separation disappear. Time has no bounds. I have only glimpsed this level of consciousness.
So anyway, inspiration and the cycle of creativity is the very dance of life itself. In Druidry we have no beginning of the world or end of the world (or afterlife) myths. That is because we are concerning ourselves with the moment, with the divine consciousness within us and around us. And this consciousness, the sacredness in all things, does not concern itself with the temporal. It is timeless and it isn’t polarised.
So what is the practical use of achieving a state of being where individuality is revealed as illusion? Acceptance.
Acceptance that all of Nature is in a constant state of coming into being and going out of being is something that allows us to more fully engage in life. We aren’t so horrified at the horrors. Everything is part of the whole. We find acceptance that what we see as evil or bad or sin or negative is really just an illusion. It is simply Nature. We can let go of the label and the preordained reaction to things and focus on the relationship, which means we focus on the whole story, not just the little bit that is easy to see.
This isn’t simply to say, I will behave as a hedonistic nihilist. It is saying that I can escape despair over the “tragedy” of life by realising that everything is part of a greater process. Also I am not saying that this would allow me to just refrain from participating in making change. Life is Change and I want to engage more fully in the process of living life more fully awake as conscious as possible. So while I strive to see the interconnection of everything, to escape simplistic dualist thinking, I haven’t transcended Nature. I am still part of the tribe. I am still a human being with a human life to live and part of that life is trying to create a world that is more honorable. I still vote. I still lend a hand where there is need. Freedom from despair allows us to live more powerfully, to live more engaged not less engage.
So we strive to find the balance between seeking a consciousness that allows us to find interconnection and let go of the sense of self, and having to live a life worth living, one inside the tribe. This isn’t easy, but it is a worthwhile journey. If we can create a more peaceful more equitable world, the currents of dualism won’t be so strong. We will have an easier time finding the center. We can create a world where people will have the luxury of seeking the sacred in peace.
So this flu that I have; I see it as a force of Nature, an aspect of consciousness, of divinity. I am fascinated by it. I am finding inspiration in my sickness. This may sound strange but it is the truth and I am pleased to experience this acceptance and engagement in myself. All creativity is temporal including this body of mine. If I am able to maintain this fascination with the process of living and seeing myself age and get ill, then the process of seeing myself descend into death isn’t something to fear or despair about. It is simply Nature and all Nature is sacred, including death, including this amazing virus in my body. We are dancing the dance of life and death together. I can’t think of a better way to spend the day.