In the world of information that we now inhabit, sometimes that information volume can result in overload. This overload can take the form of stress, engagement or indifference in people. I would go so far as to suggest that in no time in human history has such a volume of information assaulted the senses of the everyday person (leastways here in the west).
I think that one reason for the downturn in the numbers of people associating themselves with some form of organized religion ( as demonstrated in this article for England & Wales ) is that the relevency of these religions has and is, being questioned with each and every discovery at such a pace, that the OR is not able to keep pace or relevence by providing the answers demanded of them due to the sheer scale and amounts of information available.
For every new discovery, the media go in search of “an expert” to translate for us, the inherent meaning of this new information. These mostly take the shape of media savvy scientists, which has led me to the conclusion that they are the new “priests” of the information religion. The media would have us believe that their use of these “experts” is to allow us to better “understand” the meaning and consequences of each and every new discovery.
There is a point of view, however, that would also suggest that it is more to do with getting people to use the right “mindset” when engaging with these things ( as in a corporate led mindset) and it is a mindset that keeps people “informed” without them having to do any serious thinking for themselves. Most people have neither the time, or inclination, to assess these things for themselves as the distractions of the materialistic consumer led culture we now live in has the majority of people concentrating more upon the next gadget / car / house ( or even tweet ) etc which promises to grant more life satisfaction based on the marketing ploy of perfection gained upon purchase of said item (because we are worth it, after all).
One thing I have come to really appreciate about Druidry recently is an aspect that, for many years, I considered to be one of its weakness’s. And that is the lack of prescribed frameworks. I recently described trying to define an all encompassing definition of Druidry as being akin to trying to nail a jelly to a table. I don’t think it is possible to give a specific definition that would be acceptable (certainly in its entireity) to the majority of people who profess to walk a Druid path. But there is a lesson in that in itself if we choose to look. For me, that lesson is that the notion (and therefore the practice) of Druidry is not static. Just like the understandings we arrive at through changes in information and circumstances throughout our lives, these can then force, coerce or engage with us leading to changes in our positions. We learn (if we are fortunate) to ride the wave of life. For me, interacting with and through Druidry is most definately demonstrating a form of engaging with a wave of life.
Over the last couple of years, there have been some discoveries made by science that, upon first glance, are interesting but are not immediately obvious in their subtle messages about our lives. The discovery of Dark energy is one such discovery. According to the linked article, less than 5% of the universe is made up of visible matter. That means that around 95 to 96% of the universe is made up of stuff that until a few years ago, we had no means of knowing was there.
Now, turning this around, when we consider that science maintains that there are billions of galaxies in our universe, with billions more stars and their associated planets in these galaxies and that there are more galactic bodies present in the visible universe than there are grains of sand on the earth, then our share of the visible universe must represent a figure of say (this is a figure plucked out of my head at this time though I suspect I may be underestimating it and this piece would appear to confirm that underestimation) 0.1 x -10 of the visible universe (that would be 0.0000000001%). So our planets presence in the visible universe is tantamount to a speck of dust on a desert. However, when we consider that we need to times that figure by a factor of around 19 (using the percentage of dark matter revealed in that article) to attain a true figure of the total amount our physical presence actually represents in the universe, then that realization can have a somewhat humbling affect.
However, because we are told that dark energy permiates everything in our visible universe, this opens up a means by which seemingly isolated objects in the visible universe (people, places, planets) connect to each other. It is the web of life spoken about by earlier generations. The difficulty we as humans face when presented with this information, can, is and always will be, incorporating it into our culturally defined lives. The revelation of new information always creates movement, both physically and mentally. To use this information to create the conditions for change in our lives is tantamount to riding a wave of life, a skill that we all, to some degree or another, must achieve if we arbour any sort of ambition to make a positive impact on the planet through our thoughts or actions.
This realization has led me to the conclusion that the example Druidry has been setting throughout history, that of being present but not static due to the lack of its historical validity, does indeed make its relevence to me, all the more stronger. And I, for one, choose to ride that wave using the power of my own reasoning, using Druidry as an example as to how I approach this wave, rather than reverting to the corporate or economic model used and promoted by the information religion as the ultimate definition of our culture at this time.