I knew the Pagan Experience was going to stretch my brain at some stage. Questions like “how do you define “humanity” and what is your contribution to it” are a little heavy going, even more so when you’re asked to consider how your spiritual path supports this definition and your contributions.
Well it is the “Monday Musings” even if I post it on the Friday.
The word “Humanity” has three definitions. Firstly it describes the collective known as the human race. Secondly it describes the quality of being humane or benevolent with respect to those around you. Thirdly it refers to specific areas of learning concerned with the human culture such as literature, history, art etc.
The first definition that springs into my head is the first, the collective term for the human race. Personally I believe that being a member of the human race supersedes any division of skin colour, sexual orientation, religion, gender identity (ect) and try to live my life in accordance with that belief. The second definition of humanity is very much tied into the first, because when you remove someone’s right to be part of the human race you begin the process of dehumanization and that never ends well. This is the 70th aniversary of the liberation of Auswitz; the death camp so symbolic of the Holocaust and the wide spread dehumanization of anyone that did not fit with the Nazi ideology, so the subject of humanity is bubbling very close to the surface at the moment.
As my Yogi tea bag told me on the morning I started to write this post “live with reverence for yourself and others”.
Yes I have bad days, and in all honestly I am not all about light and universal love, but I do try to live by this and similar principles. It’s something that I strive to impart to my children, who form my main contribution to these definitions of humnaity, as they grow up so that they can live in a better world and help make it even better through their lives and actions. Certainly I don’t want either of them to witness or be party to such a happening as the Holocaust.
I find it very difficult to separate my up-bring and spiritual path with regard to these definitions of humanity. Such things were part of my upbringing and are not incompatible with my spiritual path. What my spiritual path does bring is the belief and understanding that were are made of star stuff (as Carl Sagan so succinctly put it), and that this uniting element of our humanity brings us closer to the divine forces of the Cosmos regardless of the name that you decide to give it.
I am heavily influenced by the Orphic Mysteries, which reinforce Sagan’s scientific fact with their creation myth. The human race was born of the ashes of the Titans destroyed by Zeus after they had consumed the body of Dionysus, who was ultimately a representation of the original spark of creation the Cosmic World Egg. As a result of the mingling of their flesh, the polar opposites of both Good and Evil, humanity retained the capacity for both as well as the divine elements of the Olympian God and elemental Titan’s. The dualistic nature of humans was established and the Mysteries teach that the soul can re-join the divine force by living three virtuous lives which purges them of their Titanic nature.
The Orphic Oath is a statement of this dual nature of humanity stating;
‘I am the child of Gê (Earth) and of starry Ouranos (Heaven); this you yourselves also know. I am dry with thirst and am perishing. Come, give me at once cold water flowing forth from the Lake of Memory.’
My own version makes it slightly clearer
“I am a child of the starry heavens, born uniting stars and stones”
Where am I going with this? Well in my reading of the Orphic Creation and Oath they are a mystery explanation of Sagan’s “Star Stuff”, the thing that ultimately makes us all equal. We are all essentially made of the same elements and structures with individual differences in genetics and upbringing. We all hold the capacity for great good should we choose to utilise it, regardless of the evil that our Titanic nature might bring. By our choices we impact on humanity and contribute to its space.
I’m not entirely sure that I have covered the point of the original prompt but my musings have been interesting all the same. Thanks for taking the time to read my ramble.