I have decided to join the Pagan Experience blog project. It will be a great way to keep blogging regularly and explore topics I would not have chosen to explore by myself. The theme of this week did not come easy to me though:
‘How do you define “humanity”? What is your contribution to the collective space of humanity? How does your spiritual path support this definition and contributions?’
Hard questions, if you want to truly address them. In short, I think humans live on a fault line. We came from and are still part of the natural world, but also have the means to dream, escape and transcend that world. My guess is our ancestors felt this fault line instinctively, and that is how they came to honour the seasons and practiced sacrifice. They lived in a fragile balance that needed regular adjustment.
Yesterday, I visited the International Film Festival in Rotterdam and saw the film Videophilia by Peruvian director Juan Daniel F. Molero. It was an uncomfortable and disturbing film about non existing barriers between the online and offline world, the real and the surreal. I’m not a regular arthouse cinema visitor. Not being used to films and imagery like this one, I was intrigued by the story. It was a blur of tribal motives in a society quite different from my own. It drew a bleak picture of humanity: completely devoid of value and a sense of community. Of course, it is just a film. Internet is a tool: it can either be a blessing or a curse. But it did make me realize my own generation will likely be the last that still remembers how it was before the internet opened up a world of omnipresent information and communication. I wonder how humanity will evolve under this influence. My personal belief is that a highly technological society will only manage to survive if we find our way back to respecting the earth we came from.
How do my spiritual beliefs align with my definition of what it means to be human? Right now, my primary task is to raise my children as well as I can, and live in peace and modest prosperity with them and my husband. Maybe this is of little consequence to humanity as a whole. But how could I hope to make an impact later in life while neglecting those who are dear to me now? What’s more: a family is a microcosm of society. If things go well within our home, society will in small, but numerous ways benefit as well. Il faut cultiver notre jardin, the saying goes, we must tend our garden. Of course I hope writing, touching other people with my words, will take on a larger part in my life, but I feel that, like a tree, this will only grow if I take it slow.
My path sustains me, and therefore my family. By feeling connected to the spirits of the land, I have the power to give of myself in all those everyday ways. Postmodern life is troubling, but how comforting it is to know we may turn to ageless tradition and human experience, and connect with the earth once again.