I believe that all things possess both life and consciousness whether they are animal, vegetable, mineral, man-made or natural phenomena. So for me animals, trees, rivers, rocks, rain, wind, tools and people are all alive, aware and equal.
I believe that this consciousness is facilitated by an energy field that resides within all things while also being part of a greater energy that permeates the entire cosmos. This energy forms a web linking all things together regardless of location and is itself alive and aware. I see this energy as the Divine Spirit and believe that it comprises the souls of all things and the soul of the universe itself.
I understand that as all things are connected, they are able to interact and as such I believe that the universe is dynamic; that it is in a state of constant change and movement. Only the Divine Spirit remains constant, but even this too is in motion.
I believe that it is possible to commune with the Divine Spirit by achieving a state of altered consciousness. While this can be achieved via use of various chemical means (drugs, alcohol) I feel that the same results can be achieved by meditation and trance work. A benefit of these, non chemical dependent, methods is that you know that what you experience is not just the result of the alien chemicals acting on your brain, but a genuine experience. While those who use chemical methods will defend them to the hilt, I would always find myself plagued with doubt over the source of the experience. Not to mention the dangers inherent in meddling with the natural human brain chemistry.
While I feel it is possible to 'tune in' to the Divine Spirit I feel that it is much too large to be fully interpreted by the feeble human mind. As a result I feel that what we experience is only a small part of the whole and that we experience it only in a form that our minds can accept. As a result the way one person experiences communion would be different to the way another would. While there would likely be some similarities between the experiences of people from the same culture, the more different the cultural mindset, the more different the experience is likely to be.
While the human mind may be incapable of fully understanding Divinity as a whole, there are entities that are more fully integrated with the Spiritual Web and as such can achieve a greater understanding. These entities may take the form of Deities to humans, and it is possible to develop a working relationship with them to aid you in your spiritual growth.
The deities that you work with, and if indeed you work with any deities at all, is dependent on many factors, including your cultural background, your mind's ability to comprehend the Divine, and not least by your belief in the concept of 'Gods'. If for example you do not personally believe in the idea of gods then it is unlikely that you will attract a deity to work with you. Even if you should succeed in this it is likely that you will not perceive the entity as a God at all, but maybe simply as a spirit or even an elemental force.
For those with an inherent acceptance of deity then you may find yourself working one or more beings that, again, you interpret on a personal level. If, for example, your mind is geared to work well with generalisations you may find yourself working with a generic 'God' and/or 'Goddess' that may be, as far as your understanding goes, a multifaceted embodiment of the totality of 'gods' and 'goddesses'. On the other hand if your mind works better with compartmentalised concepts then it is likely that you will find yourself encountering a variety of different, and individual, deities.
Whatever your mind's preference I believe that you are essentially working with the same beings, its just that they are sensitive to the limits of your understanding and as such allow you to perceive them in the way best suited to you. I therefore believe that all interpretations of divinity are valid and equal.
On the subject of gods, I believe that there are many diverse and distinct entities that fulfil this role, however I also feel that though we give them many names, an individual 'god' may be known by more than just one. This makes sense to me as there are many deities in the world that have similar roles, differing only in name, appearance and interpretation. Now to me it seems likely that a god would use a name and appearance in keeping with the culture of its followers, it does not seem particularly wise for a god to demand that people learn a new language to communicate with it, and if its actions are too different from the cultural norm, its advice is likely to go over the heads of the local folk. Of course as these beings are individuals it is also likely that some may decide to make things harder by breaking these 'rules' either as a test of faith or because the local mentality can not accept and easy route. Then again, they might just be stubborn!
Part of my belief is the acceptance of 'magic'. Now the magic that I believe in is not the conjuring tricks of the stage magician, but the 'true magic' of the universe. Magic works for me as I believe that all things are connected no matter where they are located, so the concept of working a change from a remote location is quite acceptable. I will detail more on my understanding of 'magic' elsewhere on this site.
In addition I do not believe in the 'supernatural', while it may seem odd for me to say that, what I mean is that from my point of view everything that occurs within Nature is natural, as such how can I describe anything as being 'beyond' nature? Spirits, gods, and souls they are all linked and part of the Divine Spirit. Even in regard to those things made by man, or caused by man's actions, ultimately they are still a part of Nature. Synthetics, like plastic and nylon, may be man-made and resistant to natural reintegration, but they are still manufactured from natural substances. Likewise, TV and radio transmissions may be generated by man, but they are simply a case of us exploiting and taming natural forces.
So to sum up my beliefs, I believe that Nature I everything and all things are a living and conscious part of Nature, I believe that there are entities and forces that may aid us in our understanding of nature and that these may be perceived as deities. I believe that magic is possible but that it does not exceed the limits of Nature, and I believe that all concepts of the Divine are equally valid.
The Web of Life
All things in Nature are we see,
Linked to one all present whole.
Whether creature, rock, river or tree,
All Joined together Nature's soul
A web, life weaves about this Earth,
Its threads are souls spun fine.
All things are of equal worth,
For Nature is itself, divine.
This spirit lives within mankind,
And if we seek this truth to hear,
Then within ourselves we must find,
Nature's voice and conscience clear.
Seek not a list of rights and wrongs,
Your own decisions you must make.
This task to the Gods does not belong,
Stand or fall by your own mistakes.
For the Gods themselves are Natures voice,
Their stories retold in every year.
So if to honour them is your choice,
Then Nature's rhythms you must hear.
Year by year the great wheel turns,
Moons and seasons come to call.
From Imbolc when life returns,
To Samhain's harvest, and leaf fall.
Listen well with heart and mind,
And journey forth with eyes to see.
Seek the truths and you shall find,
Nature’s answers within thee.
© Cosmic Fool 2004