No Escape? That’s Fine by Me!

I sometimes feel that spirituality and religion provide a way for people to escape our so-called reality. It can be hard to cope with the pressures that are placed upon us everyday, and sometimes these pressures can become so much that an escape becomes deeply desirable.

Some spiritual paths offer enlightenment, suggesting that at the end of this journey lies a golden carrot that will, after much hard work and dedication, make you something more than human. You will certainly have the tools at your disposal to cope with everyday life. Others offer transcendence suggesting that the Earth, and this life, are somehow secondary to that which lies beyond our normal perception. Others still suggest that we are here to be punished for our sins and the real peace only lies after death.

To me the promise of Druidry lies in ‘wholeness’. Above the Temple of Delphi were written the words Know Thyself – a great motto for life, but along with this also should be And Know Your Place in the World – something equally as challenging. To be a spiritual person, to acknowledge and travel in other realities, to believe in some form of afterlife, and to feel the presence of Nature spirits and the Old Gods are all part of my Druidry, but so is learning to be truly present in this world, here and now, not to escape it, but to live within it, completely, wholly, and as honestly as I can.

By | 2016-10-14T11:01:59+00:00 October 4th, 2010|Categories: druidry, mythology, paganism, religion|Tags: , , , , , , , , |13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. West October 4, 2010 at 1:20 pm - Reply

    “…to be truly present in this world, here and now, not to escape it, but to live within it, completely, wholly, and as honestly as I can. ”

    Beautifully put, my friend!

    • Hennie October 4, 2010 at 2:25 pm - Reply

      If I wasn’t in this world right now, where else could I have typed these words? Nothing wrong with imagining things as long as I know I am imagining things…
      Is that escaping? I would rather look it it as training my creative mind, but I would of course not use this as a way of denying life’s trials.
      So, yes, we have no chance and that is the one we should grab!

  2. John Willmott October 4, 2010 at 2:02 pm - Reply

    I love this post. “feel the presence of nature spirits” I feel sums it all.

    I get groups come to our tree labyrinth and their meditation leader often starts with “close your eyes, imagine …” and I’m observing thinking “what the f***” . I could understand a visit by visually disabled relying on sensory mobility or even sighted people touching a tree and closing eyes to activate other senses, but to imagine being somewhere else ???.

    I think its forgotten that time and distance are devices humans invented, and darn useful they are too. Sadly for many folks I feel these calibrations have become their spiritual guides too but really time and distance are suppressors of love and are thieves of the awareness of presence in the present.

  3. Dawn Moore October 4, 2010 at 3:19 pm - Reply

    Insightful and particularly apt for me right now. No more escapism – but more than that – reaching a point where I don’t need to.

  4. Fionn the Bard October 4, 2010 at 5:39 pm - Reply

    You frequently speak of things which sing through the voice of awen straight to my spirit, Dahm. This is no exception. I will never understand those who wish to escape this world and view Her (Earth) as a negative thing. My Druid path only serves to entrench me ever deeper into my physical existence.

    Yours Under the Existential Oaks,
    Fionn the Bard

  5. Talore October 4, 2010 at 11:28 pm - Reply

    But what is wrong with escapism? What is wrong with envisioning Tolkien’s Middle Earth, or even a fairy ball? What is wrong with dreaming of drinking from the Graile?

  6. Roy Coker October 5, 2010 at 12:43 am - Reply

    “One does not need buildings, money, power, or status to practice the Art of Peace. Heaven is right where you are standing, and that is the place to train.”
    ~ Morihei Ueshiba

  7. Damh the Bard October 5, 2010 at 8:19 am - Reply

    Please don’t get me wrong here. I’m not suggesting that dreaming, envisioning, is wrong. I do it myself and it’s at the root of my inspiration, as with many poets and artists. BUT the Earth as we see it is also beautiful too, and not to be escaped from. Nature is the best artist of them all. Do both!

  8. treegod October 5, 2010 at 10:20 am - Reply

    Brilliant blog Damh. Heartedly agree.

    I think there is definitely a difference between healthy creativity and escapism. One is about living life and “embellishing” it (through art, imagination etc) the other stops you from living life.

    Thanks Damh.

  9. John Willmott October 5, 2010 at 11:07 am - Reply

    I think it was Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull that said awhile back something like “people think nature is a gentle beautiful place when it is really an entire system focused on survival, often in the cruelest possible ways”. I do believe that a blessed part of human survival is our choice of viewing anything as a glass half full or a glass half empty.

    Inspiration I feel can certainly be the half full glass, even a full one. I love the middle eastern word that has manifested itself through old Welsh language, in various spellings, derawydd, darwydd, I’m sure Damh can add more such as the origin of his shortened name, the deravid, vision through the sacred wood.

    The important point in that word I feel is that attention full sensory attention of the wood is needed for the vision, the inspiration, to be released and it should not be escaped from.

    My new reaction to Damh and those wonderful comments so far.

  10. druidcat October 11, 2010 at 6:23 pm - Reply

    I love that people get grumpy when they hear things like this. Means they can’t read their rituals off laminated cards (yes really) or hawk their glittery pagan merchandise any more.

    Wonderful words, Damh – huge thanks for sharing *hugs*

    PS Real World hugs will be reciprocated next time I see you. Just in case you doubted 😉

    xx

  11. Bronzewing October 23, 2010 at 7:36 am - Reply

    Druidcat, pretty much my whole spiritual practice is centred in nature and the now, but I like to have a bit of the ‘glittery stuff’ around too. 🙂 Damh is saying we need both, and he says it very well!

  12. Damh the Bard October 23, 2010 at 10:50 am - Reply

    Yup, both is good. One foot in each 🙂

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