Archive for January, 2012

Quantum theory, new jargon for an ancient understanding?

Posted in cerri lee, shamanism, spirituality with tags , , , , , , on January 17, 2012 by cerrilee

This week I watched a program called “What the bleep do we know?” it has poked my “need to chew this over” button. It is full of scientists, psychologists and doctors of this and that working in various fields, but it is basically a new age film about how we all make our own lives and its all down to Quantum physics, as you would imagine it sets one thinking.

On the whole I would not disagree with much of the content as it is based on the one piece of information that has been a consistent part of my belief system for many years, that is that there is nothing solid, everything is vibrating energy. This means that anything, absolutely anything is possible even probable and that everything is connected. But, and for me it is a big but, there was a basic premise threaded through the whole film that rankled with me, that is the idea that our lives are only created moment to moment by the thoughts that we, as individuals, put out into the energetic potential. So if you think bad thoughts it means bad things will happen, i.e. you get ill, you grow old, your life gets messed up….etc it is all down to your way of thinking, they even subtly imply that you could live forever if you get your thoughts right and never, ever have to have a bad thing happen to you, ever.

Now while to a large degree it is true that a good state of mind alters health, mental well being and how you attract things into your life, I don’t see how it  can be stated that the individual is unaffected by all of the other individuals (and for me the individuals include everything that exists from a blade of grass to the cosmos) doing the same thing you are, isn’t that just a bit silly? And the idea that you can go through life and not ever have to deal with anything negative, really?

Surely it is how you deal with the negatives in your life that help you to grow as a person and help make better more informed choices for yourself and the world in which you live? Have they understood cause and effect, the chaos theory…..butterflies and tornados etc… properly?  To imagine that the individual is autonomous, living in a unique and moment by moment existence that they alone create, yet all is connected is a conflicting message to me.

But enough ranting about new age theories mixed with science and a bit of omnipresent being to keep the majority happy, if I truly believe that anything and everything is possible…I have to concede they have a chance of being right somewhere too!

Anyhow the more I hear about quantum theory and many other scientific theories around at the moment, it seems to me that they are just giving a new jargon to what the ancients were saying all along.  For instance the Anglo Saxons had a belief structure that they called the ‘Wyrd’, which put in a very tiny nutshell, is the understanding that all things are connected, past, present and future  all affect each other. The individual is part of the whole and how they behave reflects not only in their own present environment, family and tribe, but also affects their descendants lives and luck. It is like a great multidimensional tapestry being woven from everyone and everything’s threads, each individual part affecting the whole pattern, adding to the diversity and texture. There are aspects of fate within the concept, but not so fixed that our thoughts, actions and intentions can not affect outcomes, therefore we must presume a need for personal responsibility for said intentions, thoughts and actions.

If we look around the ancient texts we can find this is a familiar concept, the multidimensional universe was widely understood,  agreed on and happily accepted in various forms pan-culturally. This all makes perfect sense to me and if I have to fall into any line of  thinking it best suits my experience of the human existence so far, so Mr scientist nothing new to see here move along, next theory to prove the ancients correct again please!

I think that “The Bard’  (for all you ancient Britain scholars out there I mean Shakespeare not Taliesin this time) penned the most appropriate lines for this apparent world that we live in and I take leave to quote him as a finish to my odd and rambling rant……

Prospero:
Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp’d tow’rs, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on; and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

Advertisements

Heritage, Spirituality and the Land

Posted in art, cerri lee, damh the bard, paganism, spirituality with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 7, 2012 by cerrilee

I am about to embark on two new pieces of art this month, one of which is for the Spirit of Albion film that will be coming out in May, which will be hopefully a groovy montage of God and Goddess faces (obviously the actors playing the said Gods and Goddesses in the film) along with appropriate symbolism. The other is  a little more complicated in idea as it is for the cover of a CD to be recorded in Australia by my partner Damh the Bard, specifically for a group of sponsor’s who have generously contributed to our next visit in May, all of this being organised by the amazing band members of  Spiral Dance.

The reason that the second piece will be more complicated is purely from my own point of view, it should in fact, be a simple piece considering it’s purpose (the majority of my friends will know that this is a pretty usual state of affairs with me though). Let me explain, the first time Damh and I went to Australia I was interested to see how Pagan people, with a relatively recent European heritage, worked with the land and how it shaped their spirituality. How different was the language of the land from Britain, Ireland or mainland Europe or any other continent who’s inhabitants moved there to find a different life for themselves? How did the Southern Hemisphere feel when working ritual? Seeing the Sun and Moon wax and wane across the sky in a mirrored fashion, from my point of view, was quite disconcerting and finding any sense of direction for me almost went away completely, generally I had quiet a good sense of direction.

One thing was very clear to me from that first and our subsequent visit was, that the land was undoubtedly in charge, without malice or agenda but definitely in charge. I know that seems an obvious thing to say, but coming from Britain where the land has practically no say in how it is dealt with, I felt the land in Australia has an enormous presence and it was both wonderful and awe inspiring. I wondered if that feeling could possibly have been a small inkling into how our ancient forebears felt about our lands before the ending of nomadic lives and the coming of farming in Europe.

So how then do you communicate with such an entity? The indigenous peoples have their bond by blood and bone, they are part of the land and it is part of them over many thousands of years, their stories, songs and artwork speak of their Dreamtime, their ancient and not so ancient ancestors, the shape of the land that sustained them and how it speaks to them.

But what of the Pagan people of European heritage I have met on the two journeys so far?  Those Pagan people (I can not speak about non-pagans as I didn’t really meet many) who were born there or have recently moved there feel passionate and connected with the land and all it is, they fight to protect its uniqueness from incoming plants and animals that upset the natural balance and they honour the indigenous peoples and their territories at every Pagan gathering. But they still have a wealth of heritage of their own blood and bone built over thousands of years that needs to be honoured also. How do you blend the two seemingly opposite lands, the stellar mirroring and cultures?

In truth they blend quiet successfully and in many diverse ways, for instance working with an ancient idea of tree lore such as the Ogham and finding the correlation within the local trees takes time but can be easily be done and is being done. The animals seem very alien at first and finding any similarity for a  newcomer like myself foxed me. But then I stopped and watch the kangaroos bouncing across the bush, shy and retiring if we got too close and they strongly reminded me of deer in the woodland. Finding a way to relate the European Pagan wheel of the year also can seem at odds with the Southern hemisphere, but again on closer inspection it seemed to me that the effects of  Summer in Australia are pretty similar to winter in Britain. The land, grasses and greens die down in the heat and become brown and crisp looking, whereas in the Winter everything picks up, it is the mirror effect again and maybe that is the root I have need to take with this piece of artwork. It is a case of learning to look in the mirror and see the true reflections.

The magic and wonder of a mirror image and the echos of history that are reflected back through the glass of time……