Land of the Spirit Bear

I’ve always been a bit of a dreamer; for as long as I can remember the wind has carried melodies, certain trees protected on the off chance a fairy had made it her home, the night sky a reminder of endless possibilities. Never a Santa Claus or Easter Bunny believer; appalled by the indignity of slapping fairy after tooth – my spirit thrived and grew on the certainty that ancient people accomplished feats beyond explanation because they revered the world around them. Before Christianity and organized religion closed the minds eye, before worshipping the sun or seasons became a sin, and before pondering the stars resulted in  death on a fiery stake – mankind listened as the earth spoke.

I don’t want to debate religion – I want to ponder what mankind seems to have forgotten.

I find it so disheartening that technology, science, and religion have eradicated “wonder”. Wonder as in awe and reverence; not Godly rhetoric but honest to goodness, gob smacking, holy crap our world kicks ass wonder. Few people gaze at the stars – the cosmos practically invisible from artificial light pollution. We Google answers, opinion or solutions to questions without any attempt to solve them ourselves. Divisions insulate us based on religion or politics – both of which have agendas of their own. Media irresponsibly turns fiction into fact under the guise of “opinion”. Technology lulls us into a false state of invisibility, while our connection to the earth collapses under pressure. Instead of opening our eyes to natures signals, we genetically alter perfection – all in the name of the almighty dollar. Mankind is out of control – simply because we’ve forgotten how to slow down and wonder.

Children’s classics like Mary Poppins and Peter Pan capture the essence of my dismay. Children who could talk to the birds while very young, or never grow old in Neverland. Written as fading gasps for an inexplicable longing; sensing something was lost but unable to remember what it might be. Knowing an emptiness simmered just under the surface, yet never being able to put your finger on it.

My life is no different; despite my beliefs I’m caught in a hamster wheel just like everyone else. Sometimes something happens to shake my world back into perspective. If I’m lucky, when I least expect it – my world becomes crystal clear. Two days on Vancouver Island brought me back from the brink. Not 5 paces into the trail at Cathedral Grove, I stopped as the gently swaying giants whispered to me. I had entered the land of the Spirit Bear. My senses trembled,  years fell along the path;  each footstep taking me closer to wonder. My nose filled with the scent of cedar and damp moss, I heard sounds from birds in the canopy to moles deep underground. Nothing escaped me; I was awake and alive in a techno-colour dream. Aboriginal spirits danced in splashes of sunlight; their voices telling the story of how Raven created the Spirit Bear to remind him of a time when the world was covered in ice and snow. I made a silent promise not to forget that moment.

A Pagan World

Stop and ponder for a minute – picture our world if we were all Pagan.

Heathens, infidels, gentiles – pagan thorns in the side of chest pounding, power brokers carving out their niche in the ancient world. Non followers of the emerging religious muscle men, scorned and ridiculed; their beliefs becoming the poster child for debauchery. Painted as simple and inferior for worshiping multiple deities, big religion eradicated and absorbed culture after culture. Indigenous people assimilated – converted into malleable shells; easy to control, easy to milk for the vast fortunes needed to maintain the bloated machine.

If by some magic it were all a bad dream – what would be so wrong with that? Ponder where we might be today if the Aztec and Inca civilizations were left to their own devices. Think of the men of science burned at the stake because they made the church nervous. Picture where medicine could be but for snuffing out Pagan practitioners. Ponder a world built on reverence and respect for natural resources that sustained us. Contemplate a life freed from guilt, oppression, or arbitrary rule changes.

Before “big religion” reared its ugly head people worshiped deities that made their world definable. Fertility, harvests, seasons, success in battle – all handled by separate spiritual departments. The Pagan gods didn’t get bogged down in the details, each one with a specialty; clearly defined and not subject to whims or political hankering. Ancient deities  kept us focused on our planet, they brought rain, food, and sunlight.

Be it ancient heathens or big religion; all were born in creation myth. Since the beginning of time temples and places of worship have been erected, and offerings were made to the “gods”. The difference is, ancient deity worshipers didn’t change the rules as they saw fit.

Once upon a time religion made sense of the unimaginable, structured society and brought people together. Over time it’s become a hideous monster. Oppressive, judgmental, and ignorant – so far removed from its innocent intention at birth – I now fully understand the term “blind faith”

So I ponder a pagan world; for lack of a better description a world where we don’t give a rats ass what deity any body else worships. Worship God, Allah, or a box of cornflakes – pray for a new iphone or world peace, nobodies business but your own. All I ask is that the righteous stop talking about it.If your deity was the one and only, how the hell did the rest of us get here?