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Be A Good Ancestor

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The Pagan Experience’s Monday Musing: Humanity– 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?

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I define “humanity” as broadly as possible… all of the humans (maybe even the proto-humans and someday the post-humans?) who have ever lived and are living and will live. Ancestors, cohort, and descendants, mine and yours, and our shared ones.

My contribution to the collective space of humanity is also broad. I do everything I can to improve the world for humanity. I fight for sustainability, I work to understand and to heal the parts of culture that are harming people, I pay attention to my values and how they actually play out in the world, I contribute to the collective consciousness and try to clarify information and keep a steady signal of compassion and best practices going. I try to teach what I’ve learned and keep learning more. My studies and my writing are mostly dedicated to my commitment to my beloved world, my beloved fellow humans. I want to live a life that is a gift to everyone. I want to help make a world where everyone can live in peace and health and feel loved and have a chance to contribute whatever they were born to express. I love you all, as a whole and individually, even if I’ll never meet or see you. Even if you have done terrible things. You are my family. I owe you my best. I want my best for you, as I want your best for me and everyone.

My spiritual path is pretty much in service to this love. When you get a sense that everything is interconnected, as I gained from Paganism, there is no “other” only parts of the whole. Druidry is calling me not only because of an ancestral pull, but because it is a wisdom tradition and even an archetype. The Druids and Bards of old fulfilled many roles for their society… philosophy, science, arts, healing, law, history, etc. Perhaps the Druids can again learn and guide and reconnect the people to the land. Hedge witchery lets me practice more individual healing and give my family a steady home base and sanctuary, and my community a caring neighbor and friend. This can support them to also go out into the world and do their best living and heal the world.

I was born loving everything and everyone. I figure I’m here to do just that. Moral quandaries melt away in the face of love. Altruism is born of love, and taking love out of the equation makes it unsolvable. I don’t need anything in return when I give out of love. I do it because I love you. Simple as that. I also love those that will come after us. I want to be a good ancestor, but even more, I want them to have what they need for a good life. I’m sure our ancestors wanted that for us, if they ever thought about it. It is a spiral of human love and being we are part of.

“Walking. I am listening to a deeper way. Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. Be still, they say. Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands.”
~Linda Hogan

My first role model was my family’s religious figure, the peacemaker Christ. Though I’m not at all Christian anymore, I still find value in that loving model and continue to love my neighbor as myself. Don’t need a commandment for that, unless you’ve lost your way (or had the way lost for you by bad memes that mislead, like dominionism and nationalism.)

Being the change I wish to see in the world means giving support to humanity until it hurts, and then a little bit longer, before resting and getting up to do more, because too few are supporting each other right now, and don’t even realize how it could be, and that it’s possible to live in a world that doesn’t break people. Imagine if we all committed to supporting each other, and correcting problems gently rather than with condemnation, quick judgment, and punitive attitudes. I’ve seen it done, and I’m trying to do it, too. If everyone joins in, it won’t be so hard for individuals to carry it all. Many hands make light work. Let’s make a human community. It can thrive in balance with the Earth community. After all, we have done it before, for tens of thousands of years… before some bad viral memes made us sick and blind.

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
~Theodore Roosevelt

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