In my previous blog post on my other blog, DruidHeart for SageWoman, I wrote about how we are never born, and how we can never die: we are simply manifest for a while in one form, and then we manifest again in another when the conditions are right. For me, this represents reincarnation, the nitty gritty basics of it and the science behind reincarnation.
Another aspect of manifestation is that we are not separate beings on this planet, or indeed in this universe. We cannot be, for we are all made up of different elements of existence. A human being is made up of non-human elements, such as calcium and magnesium, sunlight and wave, clouds and stars. All manifestation has a shared existence, for we cannot exist without everything else. This is explained beautifully by Zen monk Thich Nhat Hanh in what he called Inter-Being. We cannot exist alone, we can only inter-be with everything else on this planet. It is a wonderfully evocative and holistic way of thinking that sits very well within my vision of Druidry. When we realise that we are not separate from the whole, we immediately act with a different intention, and live our lives filled with compassion and love instead of alienation and fear.
Our ancestors are with us all the time. Though their bodies may have long since physically disappeared to our eyes in the soil, their manifestation has not – it has simply changed its form. Energy cannot be destroyed, it cannot go anywhere. Neither can it be brought forth out of nothing. We are all manifestations of energy, energy that has existed on this planet for 4.54 billion years. This is a shared energy, one that we cannot claim as our own. If we cannot claim this energy as our own, how can we claim anything to be our own?
Ownership requires the belief that we are separate creatures. In our brief manifestation as human beings, we may think we own our house, our pets, our cars, however this is all illusion. We are only borrowing them, using them for however long or short a period of time before we are changed in form upon our so-called “death”. This death is not a singular, separate event, but merely a way to describe the cessation of a certain manifestation. Equally, there is no birth, simply the beginning of a new manifestation. The energy behind the manifestation is always there.
This shared energy is in the heart of the sun, in the rocky surface of the moon, in the wind and in the rain. It is in the bee and in the bear, in the holly bush and in the snow. The icicle is made up of non-icicle elements. The cat is made up of non-cat elements. This is what it means to have a shared existence. Not shared existences, but a singular shared existence.
If we are all a part of each other, we will see that if we fight with another person, we fight with ourselves. If we grieve for another person, we grieve for ourselves. If we act with love and compassion for the world, we also act with love and compassion for our selves.
The plant that has died is still there, in another form. It is still a part of our self as well, for we have breathed in its oxygen; we are in its soil as its soil is within us. There exists a beautiful garden in our compost heap. The sea is held within the sky. I am within a woman grieving in Palestine, and she is within me.
Keeping this thought close to my heart, I can reach out and touch the awen that connects the threads of all existence. That energy where soul touches soul, where boundaries fall way, where we are beautifully inspired by the acknowledgment of another being and seeing that being reflected and existing in our souls – this is at the heart of Druid teaching. Walking awake and aware in the world, seeing the connecting threads, seeing the shared manifestation and shared existence fills our souls with beauty and awe in the wonder that is the world.
May we be the awen.