The ideas and images and words of these pieces have played themselves out and over, again and again in my mind and heart. I can remember watching some of the episodes of Cosmos with my family as a child back in the nearly forgotten days when there were 3 networks and television stations would go off the air. I listen to the musical pieces inspired, in part, by that series and by the scientific wonders and vast possibilities of the world around us; I find myself wondering how and when the once widely popular veneer of hip cynicism became a bone deep cynical nihilism?
Why do so many people choose rage and fear and bitterness and fanaticism?
It seems sometimes that folks think that joy and hope and happiness are either simple minded pursuits; or that people have the idea that these things are achieved only by venting their anger and running away from their fears. Nothing could be further from the truth. In my experience, happiness and joy and hope are complicated and difficult. More often than not they seem to come from doing the hard work of facing our fears and working through them, from harvesting the energy of our anger and using it for something more productive to make a positive difference in our lives and the lives of others.
So much of what we hear from popular culture and society is weighted down with despair and predictions of doom and collapse… Do the authors of such things not realize that the future of humanity is a self-fulfilling prophecy?
We must stand up for the future.
Not only for ourselves and our future generations, but to honor our ancestors and thank them for the gift of our lives and the precious gifts they have given or passed down to us, to honor and be in right relationship with the spirits of the world around us – whatever we concieve them to be, to serve and honor our loving relationships with The Holy Powers ~ whatever our experience or understanding of them; for all of these reasons I believe we have a holy duty to stand up for the future.
We must not be afraid to discuss the values and virtues and ethics we have discovered in our contemporary Pagan faiths. There are enough books on rituals and spells and prayers to last us a few generations… lets start writing works on confronting poverty and hunger from Pagan perspectives. Let us set aside the fear of prejudice, and the once glamorous but now tattered and worn mantle of the outsider and the rebel, and take pride in ourselves and our faiths, in our works and lives and worship and in our Pagan communities and our larger communities.
This I believe, is the challenge and the duty the Gods have set before us.