Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Our way of Life, Our way of Love

Those who live according to our way of life are always at home, wherever they go. When you live a life of conscious awareness of the sacredness of the Land, you are in the presence of divinity at all times. The powers that spiral and grow out of the land as plants and trees are fresh expressions of life and spirit; they are brothers and sisters in a great community of life. We are very much like them, joined to them in an unbreakable bond of kinship.

Those powers that move invisibly on the earth, like the wind, are also kin to us; those powers that exist in the interior spaces of the Land, under hills and mounds and under the verdure of the forest and pasture are our relatives. The Gods themselves are kin, but they are of massive power and awareness. We look to them with respect and we desire their guidance and teachings.

Among their number are many great powers- the teacher of all mystics and sorcerers moves about the world, hunting for spirits and sending his rays of unseen light into the minds of seers, illuminating them to the Truth. His raven-shaped messengers watch us from treetops and circle about, seeing everything that he sees. The hissing of his serpent pervades the dreams of those who come near to awakening. He heals us by healing our perceptions and giving us wisdom. I give worth and honor to the great Lord of mysterious interactions, who lays the fetters of Fate on all beings.

The master of beasts and the natural world protects all of his savage and green, growing subjects; he speaks to us of our deepest, most primal natures. It is by his leave that we are allowed to know ourselves in one of the most authentic ways- as deep, ancient powers that are coeval with every other power in the natural world. I give worth to him, as my father and the father of all life.

The great Goddess Sovereignty is always here, yet beyond all; what can be said of Her? I can say that I feel Her with me now, and in all the forms that my eyes come to rest upon. I see Her and feel Her in the Land and in the love I feel for my wife and child. I know that she is the source of the Truth and the source of the only true authority in the world- the authority that only She who is the wellspring of life can bestow. I give worth to Her and submit to Her, calling no man great or holy unless he does the same, with an open heart.

When we submit to Her and accord Her the honor She is due, She protects us and gives us prosperity and peace. When we do as Cu Chulain did, and refuse to give Her the worth that is Her due, we set ourselves up for certain and fatal doom. Cu Chulain was a great hero, but like all heroes, he had his flaws- and his flaw was the lack of wisdom that led him to turn his face away from the Truth of Her great power, selfishly trying to deny what cannot be denied. This flaw saw him dead, with the sacred Raven of the Mother sitting on his shoulder, that the whole world might know who was the authoress of his demise.

Was She cruel? She was, but the situation demanded it- the sacred story of the Hound of Ulster and his disastrous relationship to Sovereignty would survive to us intact, thousands of years later, to remind us of She to whom we owe our lives and to whom we owe respect. Respecting Her is the same as respecting life, and the mystery behind life. In that sense, She and her victim's relationship teaches us the most important lesson of all.

To rise up and be human, from the womb of a mother to the steady stance of an adult is a sacred statement of intention. It is a statement of the spirit that it is ready to be tested, and that it is ready to take the quest for Truth seriously. Each person must rely not only on their own gifts and talents, but on the wisdom that has come to us from the past, through our parents and elders.

It is the duty of parents and family to teach the young what life is really about- it is about discovering the Truth of our place in the "fitness of things", our place in the community of life. It is about fully being human, experiencing all that being human entails, without fear. As humans, we live and we love, and we enjoy the bonds of kinship, bonds that further define us and give us the power to be many things. The bond of Love is greater than all, for it gives a great strength to us, to overcome any foe that would threaten our loved ones and our mother the Land, and it bestows every minute of our lives with a great strength for living. We face many terrors and challenges, and only love can give us the allegiance with other spirits that we need to face those things and emerge victorious.

Love's activity is the ultimate validation of what we are, for no person is a failure who knows love, who gives it with innocence and honesty, and recieves it the same way. It is the key to lasting peace. The measure of a person's life, at last reckoning, is who (or what) he or she loves, and who loves them back. What they did in the name of that love are the deeds that will make them great in the inner world, as well as the outer.

Love, as a concept, makes many uncomfortable. Many people defame Love and speak ill of it, but all they are doing is defaming their own misunderstandings of this sublime power. They are also digging their own early graves, for without love, without persons or beings to whom we feel the ties of affection and the supreme desire to see live well and thrive, we will find that we begin to diminish inside.

We discover so much ability to give and to help when we find those to whom we can donate our power and efforts, through love. We find an inexhaustible cauldron of plenty inside us that never runs dry, and which keeps us forever young, in the most spiritual sense. Without that, without that devotion, we are cut off from the regenerating waters of the Lady of the Cauldron, and we are simply preparing to meet death empty, having lived and experienced only a tiny measure of what we were capable of.

Many false measures of love have been used to define "love", but we must cut through the sentimental fantasies and see that love simultaneously makes the most demands of us and also gives us the greatest freedom. It removes fear and makes us live our lives not only for ourselves, but for others. Every suffering in the world is caused by people who live only for themselves; every joy and peace experienced by people in our world is a result of people who live as much or more for others as they do for themselves. This is a sacred duty, and it derives from a much deeper allegiance. The more that we are bound to others in love, the more free we find that we are, so long as we are conscious of Love's mystery.

Love, the power that drives us to conscious connection with all other beings and mixture into the elemental realities of life, is also the power that liberates, in its own powerful way. It will not always liberate us with peace and joy; love has a dark side, as well. If we can keep our wits and be brave and trusting of the world and of Fate even in the darkest moments, Truth will be the light that shines on us when we need it the most.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

since I was a boy I have read and reread the Tain legends in various texts. I used to be able to see the flaws of King Conor and Queen Meadb and got an inkling to Cu-Chullains charachter flaw, Warriorly Arrogance but never quite put it together as you have

I will reaeread my Kinsella translation over the next months withthis in mind