Please forgive me for jumping in on the discussion concerning druids, and
recommending the very book being discussed. It would have helped if I
had looked at the header sooner and seen "Ellis". I just joined, and a
bit too eager to tell about that book.
The discussion concerning bloodlines, race, culture, etc., brings up
another, and very applicable book. (God, I hope that _this_ one hasn't
been on the posts already--but I doubt it.) It is called _Race and
Culture_, by Thomas Sowell. Sowell is an extraordinary thinker on the
issue of race--he is a senior fellow of the Hoover Institution at
Stanford University. He has written for the _New York Times_,
_Newsweek_, _The Washington Post_, and has a column in _Forbes_.
His goal is "to demonstrate the reality, persistence, and consequences of
cultural differences." By examining cultures as they spread over the
world, rather than in particular geographical locations, it becomes clear
that much of what we take to be "racial" or "blood" memories are
tenacious cultural habits. The small and unconscious habits of a culture
are transmitted from generation to generation. The ways in which a
people survive in an economy tend to remain remarkably consistent for
hundreds of years, even in a geographical area to which their ancestors
emigrated those hundreds of years before.
Our love of the Celtic, and a desire to reclaim the ways in which our
ancestors worshipped and played, probably says more about the beauty and
the need that the world has for that beauty, and the need that we have to
bind ourselves to such healthy mysteries, than anything else. In terms
of race, we know (as many have pointed out on this list) that there is no
scientific basis for grouping people the way that we do when we talk
about race. In a recent _Newsweek_ article, the writer poinut that
Mandela is genetically closer to Norwegians than he is to an African
tribe other than his own.