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When I first became a Pagan I thought that we were primarily a new/old religious perspective that would better integrate human beings with the world and feminine values. I still think that, but just what that means has continued to deepen. I have learned, and am continuing to learn, that I did not really understand what that meant.
I have been becoming ever more aware how many dimensions of our
culture, our way of thinking, our awareness of even what can be
thought, have been decisively shaped by 1500 years of monopolistic
masculine monotheism. And how truly transformed the world becomes at
ever deepest levels once we free ourselves from this impoverishing
spell. Experience is an essential part of this process, but we often
try and interpret our experiences in familiar terms. What else can we
Here is where we can benefit from others who have gone before us, or
more deeply than we have. In this culture there are few, and I
treasure those few. Of that few, no author has helped me more, or
opened my mind up to greater insights, than Robert Bringhurst, a
Canadian poet, typographer, author and translator living on an island
off the British Columbia coast. Anyone who wants to deeply immerse
themselves within a Pagan sensibility would give themselves a rare gift
by reading his The Tree of Meaning: Language, Mind, and Ecology. And then more of his stuff on similar themes.
I hold a few authors in awe. They have transformed the way I view the
world, and seem to get wiser each time I read them. Robert Bringhurst
is one such author. I have decided that many small excerpts from his
work are so well written, so thought provoking, and so deeply Pagan,
that I want to provide small excerpts from time to time, to stimulate
discussion and hopefully enlarge his audience. Here is the first:
All of us – animals, plants, bacteria and fungi – need the community we create for one another and the earth that underlies it and the sun that keeps it warm. The community we create for one another is, of course, the ecosystem. That is culture in the larger sense. Culture in the large sense is identical with nature. It is nature seen from the inside. (57)