One Path Ends, Another Strays, Another Continues.....And Life Goes On.  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

This is going to be a long post. I am starting it tonight but will have to work on it tomorrow, and maybe even Sunday, to complete it to my satisfaction. I have a few subjects to explore and I want to delve into them deep enough to do them justice, and perhaps, to "give you your moneys worth". So bear with me, 'cause here we go................

First off, I discovered what happened to one of my favorite podcasters, an intelligent young philosopher and academic know in the pagan community as Deo, his podcast titled "Deo's Shadow". Now, Deo was not one of your run-of-the-mill pagans who spouted mysterious bullshit and new age catch phrases. What was fascinating about Deo was his brave examinations of the state of Pagan affairs, never falling into the trap of blind faith, but one who was willing to take on many of the myths we have cherished and blast them to smithereens if he even suspected that there was no factual support of the belief of dogma or no historical proof for the existence of any sort of myth or popular story in pagan tradition. Another words, he would not hesitate to "call bullshit" on anything that painted the Pagan tradition as new-age nonsense. I really respected how he could "have faith" without falling victim to blind versions of it. Read more about it here.

Thus, I was able to enter the craft, with his able assistance, without being so bubble headed as to think of Gods and Goddesses as real entities that commanded our fear and respect the same way the bankrupt and violent God of the Monotheists demanded of us. I knew that they were no more than metaphor of our own expressions of deity and divinity, and that I was actually calling upon that which resided deep within me and those around me rather some fluffy-cloud palace in the sky populated by angry bearded white men surrounded by winged eunuchs. Yes, I did then and still do regard Magic as Paganism's version of prayer, only it is done standing up and on level ground rather than on bent knee and quaking in fear. And even though I well know that I only have anecdotal evidence to support my belief in the power of magic, it is enough for me, as I only care about results and not so much whether or not happy accidents are of equal value or validity.

Another approach I can take in arguing my case for belief is what happens to humans (or maybe even intelligent apes and dolphins) when they find themselves in the middle of some awe-inspiring setting or event. A machine, even the most sophisticated artificially intelligent robot you could imagine, would record something happening, down to every precise and clinical detail, but would it experience the emotion that experience wrought in a human? No, it would not. We, the sentient life-forms that evolved on this planet can experience AWE and there has to be a reason for that. The hive mind of an ant colony is one of the most efficient forms of life we know of, but can a worker ant write poetry? Can a nurse ant be amazed by a Rembrandt? Can a warrior ant appreciate the raw energy of an AC/DC rif or the rush of a song performed by Gaia Consort? Why do WE? What possible reason could there be for a human being to stare at the stars and see anything but points of light, boringly so? A robot rover might get stuck in a hole, and exhaust every subroutine in it's databank in an effort to extricate itself, but a pagan might craft a spell in one last desperate attempt to get out of that same hole and find success. It may be something as simple as spell-craft being a problem-solving tool that gives that one last measure of effort that results in success, but why argue the point if it works? The utter-none-believing atheist is going to give up at about the same point as the robot, as there is nothing beyond the totally rational to draw on. I'll take my chances with magic. If it does not or can not work as an atheist would insist, than how worse off could I possibly be?

Regardless of wether or not the weight of the world weighed to heavy on him to remain on the Pagan Path, I respect his decision and most of all, his honesty as to his motivations, knowing full well he owes no one any justifications for how he lives his life or what he chooses to believe in. I do want to thank him and his wife Mandy for their insights, even if they strengthened my path rather than diverted me from it. At least he had the good taste to not be caught in a compromising position with a Southern Baptist or Evangelical preacher......hehe..........

I have always railed against allowing dogma and ignorance to displace intellect and rationality, but one can also fall prey to the fundamentalism of intellect as easily as so many are led into blind obedience to religion, to the detriment of one's own identity, one's very soul. Yes, relying strictly on present evidence that it might be the case, I can easily agree with the sentiment that once the synapses stop firing in our brains, everything that made one who they were ceases forever, never to be duplicated again in any shape or form, but as a thinking sentient life-form, I have the capacity to imagine that the sum total of human intellect is far in excess of it's parts, and that the imprint imbued upon these oddly shaped globes of grey jelly can survive it's biological matrix. Like the theory, far-fetched as it may sound, that this Earth, both the rocky globe itself and the intricate web of ecology that adheres to it, is in and of itself, a complex organism, to which we humans refer to as Gaia, I have an equally plausible gut feeling that the life-force of each and every separate being in this universe, even existing beyond their biological shells, form an intricate weave of a whole, more powerful, and perhaps more wise mind, to which we as individuals spring and to which we shall return, for reasons, for purposes, and by mechanisms we may very well never be capable of understanding as free, detached individual mental beings. Or not. I am not trapped and held prisoner to any theory, dogma, or belief, even those which I create myself. Wisdom is truly the ability to learn how wrong you have and will be at any given time in your life about anything, and to seek the truth beyond that fact.

I also wished to blog how I was feeling about something that has befallen a close personal friend of mine, but in light of the fact that he has shared his situation with me in confidence, I have decided upon closer introspection to not disclose the details of this very private matter, since I would have to reveal enough details of who and where he is as to make it possible for the wrong people to guess his identify, and that would not be worth the risk. Suffice it to say , if this person is reading this, I want him to know that he is in our thoughts, and he has our love and support.

LIfe at present is quiet and comfortable here at Pendragon Hold on the edge of disaster. This economy has already taken it's toll on many families throughout this country, and indeed the world, and war continues to be our species favorite past time. It HAS to be our favorite or it would not have survived the so-called age of reason. I have come to the conclusion that Homo Sapiens has reached it's evolutionary potential, and that the only advancements into a truly rational era will come with our successors, Homo Superior. Only with genetic mutations that allow for intellect to overcome and control chemical and hormonal instinctive behaviors will a "thinking" ape be able to escape the curse of eternal warfare with itself. The fact that Homo Superior has to branch off from present day humans might very well doom him before he even starts, since we fear difference so much we might very well exterminate any hint of evolutionary advancement, lest it supplant us. I can understand the fear to some extent but I'm afraid we have had our chance and we didn't make the grade. So, yes, we could get off this planet and out into the universe, but it would not be a positive development, since we tend to destroy or sully everything we touch. Yes, our time has come, and all that remains is how we make our exit. If it turns out that many of us are actually raptured before the terrible "end of days", then I hope the God responsible, when he's finally finished with his silly little opera, quits his day job, because frankly, he sucks at it.

So I leave you with yet another sober little study, yet I hope that your day brings you peace, love, prosperity, and balance, and that you will come back in hopes of reading something perhaps a little brighter and better yet, funnier. We ALL could use a good laugh, couldn't we?

This entry was posted on Sunday, January 11, 2009 at Sunday, January 11, 2009 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

4 slick comments

Another great piece! Maybe someday I'll learn to take time with an entry instead of just winging it! Your approach obviously renders better results.

January 11, 2009 at 3:24 PM

Missed everyone of your posts this month. Have the other blog on my reader and in my bookmarks. I will rectify that.

January 11, 2009 at 5:05 PM

OMG Michael... You always make me think. The fact that I cannot offer an opinion on what you have written is proof. Please keep doing that. BTW... this blog design is full of win. It's a keeper.

January 11, 2009 at 11:19 PM

Awesome inquisitive inspection.

You're right about the dangers of thinking that you've got it nailed...that is the pin on my brain grenade. Whenever I think that I have intellectually satisfied myself about spiritual matters I hear that pin clink as it hits the floor.

I keep reminding myself that sapien sapiens (how conceited is that eh?) have more to be shameful of than proud..all this intellect has been retarded and squandered.

WHY are we here is the only question..the rest is just conversation.

Lately I can't shake the fact all vertebrates are Female by default...why then have all these gods been these horrible males...brute force..our Dimorphic lopsidedness has really kept us from advancing. A female oriented world would be so much better for us and other living things.

Keep digging my friend, keep digging.

January 13, 2009 at 10:51 AM

Post a Comment