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Archive for December 3rd, 2010

Questioning Everything

So here we are in the middle of the Samhain tide. It has been a profound one for me, questioning everything in my life and daring to dream of possibilities. I look around me and all the things I have gathered in life seem like burdens and chains (even the nice stuff!). This time of year, I just want to empty my life of complexity. My wife and I have been purging our home of all the things we really don’t need. If it isn’t beautiful, valuable or useful, it is going away.

As I approach 45 years of age, I am reassessing my priorities (I don’t recommend waiting that long for those of you younger than that). Samhain offers us a great opportunity to just be in the dark dreaming of possibilities, without putting limits on them. It is a time to clear out the clutter that prevents our having the space and time to dream. Through this tide, it has become apparent to me just how little freedom I actually have. I am not talking about freedom to roam the land or to do whatever I want. I am talking about attitudes, thoughts, emotions, assumptions and the like, basically the realm of consciousness.

While we can control our thoughts, the environment of our day to day living does have a profound influence. And it is both realms I am reassessing. And this has a profound affect on the physical reality around me as it is my consciousness that determines the relationships I have and how I work within those relationships. So the TV, the car, the zip-lock sandwich bag all, come into my life because of my consciousness (or lack there of). And because I feel like I am drowning in this stuff, I am questioning everything in my life and reassessing all of my relationships.

I feel a bit like Neo in the Matrix, awakening to the reality of the real world. All the “necessities” of modern life are influencing my consciousness, cars, bills, faucets, electricity, computers, cell phones, email, marketing blitzes, movies, TV, the World Wide Web, and on and on. So I have to limit the effects and remove the hooks these things have on me as this complexity and clutter is preventing me from keeping my consciousness reaching for and touching the sacred, from being in a spiritual state of mind.

I just drove from Maine to Lancaster, Pennsylvania to visit my parents – two days of driving with one day of actually visiting and sharing. Driving 500 miles in a day, stopping at gas stations, seeing the endless chain stores of Corporate America, the urban sprawl and endless competition of traffic on the highways, I think would unsettle even the Buddha. The operative word I am working with now is “simplify”.

While in PA, it was eye-opening to me to be in Amish country. While I am sure there are huge differences in theology between the Amish and myself, I can’t help but admire the conviction they live by and the day to day life they have built for their community. They have managed to create a life living in intimate relationship with the land. They have a heighten sense of community and a living tradition of working together to help each other live well. They have deep religious traditions that carry the community. Basically they have everything I aspire to be a part of, a real community and a life that fits into my sense of ethics, one that is a living expression of my religions tradition of Druidry.

As I look at all the “stuff” I have (although little compared to the average American), much of it doesn’t support the goal mentioned above. What I really want in life is to live in a community that works closely with and honors the land, one that honors people as vital and valuable, and one that carries a sense of the sacred and acknowledges and honors the gods. I want a life where I don’t have to schedule time for meditation, reflection and connecting to the sacred.

Where to find this community? The truth is, it doesn’t exist for most of us. It has to be created – a conscious pagan community that is filled with people dedicated to true equality, the greater good of the community and to living in a sustainable sacred manner. I want, need, hope for and am working for a fundamental shift in the paradigm by which I live by. I need to be part of creating this type of community. It is the only thing that seems sane in the face of peak oil, a broken government, the corporate exploitation and destruction of our land and planet and the insanity of complexity and disconnection that is modern America. While I do recognize that I need to find the sacred everywhere and in every moment, I also think it is okay to say the emperor has no clothing. This modern world isn’t sustainable and is counterproductive to having healthy communities and healthy individuals that create them. It is time to ring some changes.

Thoughts? Suggestions?

Blessings of Samhain,
Letting go into Cauldron of Possibilities,
Snowhawke /|\

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