The Pagan Experience’s Monday Musing: Deity and the Divine (Alt Prompt)- What is your relationship with the Divine? Is it Devotional? Collaborative? An agreement of reciprocity? How does this engagement flow into your mundane relationships? or Does it?
I see myself as part of the Divine, as with every being, every thing that exists, and every non-embodied concept we humans keep in our minds and the experience of our emotions. The whole of nature, together, is my concept of the Divine. My pantheism folds easily into my animism, since if I can have an individual consciousness while being part of the whole, I can interact with everything as if it may, as well. Even if it has no consciousness as we know it, it’s still part of what we all are. God/dess, Divinity, the Universe… whatever you want to call it. I even see the Gods as sparks of the Divine, and may also have individual consciousness. So I can interact with them collaboratively, the same as I do with animals, plants, landscapes, stars, spirits, etc.
Take the picture of the lovely, towering pampas grass, above, from the river I live next to… is that one in the center really grass without the other grass it grows among? Would it be pampas grass without the river bank on which to grow… without the mountain from which the river flows, and the rain and snow that feed it? Would it be, if the Sun didn’t create the planet? Would its leaves and stalk be green without the chlorophyll interacting with the photons from the sun, scattering the light until we see only green? What about our human eyes, evolved to catch all this light and these colors? What about our language, which named the grass, and our minds which love to categorize things and said that this is a grass, not a rush nor a sedge? Would it be pampas grass without its ancestors… even though they’re not here, in this time? Would it be a grass without the animal ancestors who co-evolved with the plant kingdom, each nourishing the other, and exhaling the kind of air the other needs for breathing… for life?
Would I be me without everything that is (and was)? What about everything that will be? I have experienced dreaming the future, so perhaps the future can influence the present part of the whole, as well… perhaps even that is interconnected.
There are most likely a great many things and consciousnesses and experiences that we humans aren’t even aware of that affect our existence… that affect the whole… that participate in Divinity. What is the experience of communities of bacteria? What other worlds might be thriving, elsewhere? What dimensions? Do we call that the world of spirit, when we catch glimpses of it, or imagine it?
I am grateful. I collaborate with divinity (I’m completely done with almighty authoritarian gods) but the sheer awe I feel at the greatness of the whole… or even glorious parts like our Sun that creates and sustains worlds and whose glory cannot even be approached physically by humans, as grand as we also are… even parts seen as humble by our culture like the soil bacteria that keep the fecundity of the Earth… so I also feel devotional toward divinity, out of love and awe.
I am grateful. Not to some King in Heaven who deigned to give me life so I could serve him… but to all that is and was and will be, for creating me so I could see and participate in the wild dance of glorious life! No longer does my devotion come out of pathological humility and supposed allegiance owed, as the calcified traditions dictated through the textual (and non-contextual) religion of my recent ancestors… though those traditions shaped me, too, in my family and community culture, my childhood experiences, and my reactions to their effects. Would I be this me, with this fresh perspective, with this strength, without them to struggle against and to seek truth and balance in reaction?
I am grateful.