Halleluia to Chris Tacker for this brilliant piece...
| "E-mail order Druid- yourself" is perhaps too
| obscure a pun on the "mail-order do-it-yourself" movement,
But oh so clever!
| that ascribes to the belief that you can learn anything by mail-order reading.
Which is part and parcel of the tenet of modern consumerism -- we can
order anything from the comfort of our plastic homes and "diversify"
ourselves with the commodified tokens of other cultures.
| >From what I understand, Druidic teaching and learning required
| considerable work, especially in the form of rote memorization.
| The mnemonic devices of rhyme, alliteration, rhythm and playing on words
| are obvious precursors to the richness of Celtic Culture that is still extant.
| What is missing in the various neo-mystical movements is the entire cultural
| context. If I may offer an analagous situation, you may convert to
| another religion, say Judaism or Catholicism, but you will not be
| the same as an Israeli Jew or an Irish Catholic that has spent
| their entire lives immersed in that culture. Your assumptions and
| unconcious reactions will not be the same.
Yes, exactly! So much of culture is embedded in language -- language,
it seems to me, is the breath that gives life to culture, and culture is
the embodiment of language.
This is why, for example, linguistic diversity is dying in the world
at the same time as the cultural imperialism of consumerism and capitalism
are running rampant, and why Gaelic is being forced to submit to English
norms and cultural forms to survive.
Culture is a wide matrix which encompasses language, resource management,
sprituality, world view, values, beliefs, myth, etc. Everyone belongs to
some culture, is conditioned by its environment, and thus responds to the
world through the culture's "way of seeing".
| If you overlook the lack of cultural contest, you must also
| deal with the entire lack of human interaction. You are interested in Druidic
| That's nice, maybe they have some insight to offer. I have always been interes
| in the beliefs that are based in a veneration of Nature. Now try to
| resolve the paradox of sucking up that belief system
| from that cold glass teat in front of you now. Rather than
| dealing with the sights, smells and sounds of another human being, and
| learning from the experience, the on-line Druid College offers the coldest,
| sterile and refined form of instant teaching. Do-it-yourself
| and Druid-yourself in the privacy of your own home, in the cold blue light
| of the CRT.
Good observations. These are some of the more glaring, problematic
difficulties of modern culture -- its impersonal nature, which hides as
economy of scale; its ecological indifference, which is disguised as
production of wealth; its moral bankrupcy, which poses as freedom and
The isolation from nature, the loss of social constraints and taboo, the
abstraction and theoretising of the concrete and human from the larger
picture, have indoctrinated us so that we can't see the folly of the false
promises of the short-sighted selfishness of modern society -- we assume
that we're making 'progress' and modernisation, when in fact we are
devolving below the animal kingdom, below the standards of humanity of any
It has struck me as ironic that so many "pagans" are so ill equipped for
actually observing, interacting with and living in Nature, and so
ecologically "un-Green" (and physically unhealthy).
| At worst, it is cybergraffitti, an interactive
| form of TV geared for instant gratification.
| It is geared for instant gratification
| rather than requiring the work and discipline the ancient Druids faced.
| Western culture in general could stand to revere the cycles of Nature a bit
| But I read the various Druidic postings here, and all it says to me
| is "Hoo boy. ANOTHER New Ager that can't spell or control his capital
| letters". Now that recycling is the order of the day, I suppose that
| I should not be surprised to see the various mystical fads of
| the 1960's resurfacing. Sorry. Been there. Done that. Bought the T-shirt.
| Sign me off. It takes too much bush-hogging to find the flowers like Jones'
Of course the age of instant everything, instant dinners, instant information,
instant travel, etc, have left us short of attention span, short on
historical memory, short on patience -- all things which are crucial in
appreciating nature, running a democracy, in running our affairs self-
reliantly, running our lives meaningfully, looking ahead and thinking
cogently about the past and how it relates to the future.
And the massive scale and anonymity of metropolitan life means that people
desparately grab for exotic elements which will enhance their visibility, and
redeem their loss of identity which mass-produced living has destroyed, and
which was so much a part of life in traditional society.
Another diatribe from...