A thoughtful commenter asked the following in response to my previous post:
“Can we become that which is truly authentic, with grace? In other words, what if it is WE who are in the act of *becoming*? How can that evolutionary journey be understood as something sacred?”
This is a perfectly poignant question that speaks to the crux living a spiritual life. I love the phrasing “become that which is truly authentic, with grace?” Grace in the dynamism of life is a real challenge, but that is certainly the goal. We are human and the process of becoming authentic is one of figuring out who we are on a soul level. Since we always live in the field of time, this always involves dualities. Duality implicitly implies relationship. And relationships (especially human to human) are almost always sticky :>)
That said, from my experience Druidry gives us the tools to address relationship and live in the real world with a sense of grace. It teaches us how to walk the path with honor, to walk in beauty, picking ourselves up when we stumble. Life inevitably throws us off kilter. We are all stumblers, but with consciousness we needn’t stagger.
“In other words, what if it is WE who are in the act of *becoming*? How can that evolutionary journey be understood as something sacred?”
Perfectly poignant again; we are indeed in the act of becoming. One of my favorite quotes of all time is from Bob Dylan, “He not busy being born is busy dying”. All the universe (the height of arrogance has to be a human thinking they really know and understand the universe! – so just reaching here) is in a continual act of creativity, an endless swirl of dynamic merciless creation. And creativity being temporal, all things come into being and then decay, the elements then moving into new creativity. Our own soul’s journey is no different.
So how can the journey be understood as sacred? It takes consciousness. It takes perspective. It takes choice and effort. It takes stopping and dedicating the time to reach for that understanding. Most of all it takes conscious relationship – what I refer to as sacred relationship, relationship experienced on a soul level. This is where the flow of awen, divine inspiration, happens. So how do we cultivate that?
It is often easier to see the sacred in others, in Nature, than to see it in ourselves. We start with opening up our senses so that we see the sacred in Nature, in the beautiful easy places, the sunsets, the light shimmering on the lake, grace of the heron over the marsh, beauty of blueberries in rich full ripeness, the beauty of a newborn kitten. Then we work to see it in the “dark” places; in death and decay, in the merciless cycle of life feeding on life, in the our own human frailties. We explore our own boundaries in relationship to these things, starting with those where it takes little effort to approach and touch. Then we move onto to the more difficult, the dark places in life, for the potential for finding inspiration is inherent in all relationships.
In order to find that flow of divine inspiration, we first have to learn to feel our own soul and to know its boundaries. Then we learn to open it fully to another soul, letting the boundaries and edges fall away. In Druidry we call this opening our nemeton, our own intimate space. This takes awareness and it takes courage. With work, we can all do this though. It isn’t unnatural. From this place, we bring that awareness into relationship with another soul, and we experience these interactions as holy acts. Relationship soul to soul erases the separation between the mundane and the holy. We feel the flow of awen, and that flow can not be understand as anything other than sacred. This takes a lot of work and it is a life-long process.
The “act of *becoming*”, the “evolutionary journey… understood as something sacred” is at the very core of Druidry. So finding the sacred requires that we find the consciousness and courage to open our soul to others amidst the ever-changing, ever-shifting dynamic of relationship, in a world where nothing is ever fixed or static. As my teacher Bobcat put it so eloquently,
“Engagement, through the ever-changing dynamic of constant change …
What can we trust, but a moment’s intention?
What do we know? We experience how change touches us.”