Monday, 24 March 2008

Acquiring Knowledge

Often people choosing a pagan path want the information here and now.

For some, knowledge can be acquired via osmosis. Sometimes, just being in a situation with a particular person or group brings enlightenment without any conscious effort of thought or understanding. This occurs but rarely though. Often is it preceded by years of research, experiment and discussion with fellow followers of a particular tradition.

Information cannot be instantly downloaded into the brain, like Neo in The Matrix, and thus a certain amount of dedication and study has to be undertaken, concurrent with undertaking practical work and gaining experience, whether this be ritual or magical.

For my own part, progess has been rather slow on account of my liking short-cuts and an inherent laziness which I find hard to shift. I have never wanted anything handed to me on a plate though. I have always known that to progress on my chosen spiritual path, I have to put in some work.

Up til now, I have spent time on various fora in discussion with folk on similar, and disimilar paths to my own discussing our experiences and the books/texts we have read. Over the years, I have encountered several website and members of said websites and many have fallen away. What is left is a few sites, most having members from various traditions, including the one I am currently studying. I have benefited from the experience of those on other paths and I have a great respect for certain individuals. So, it is unnerving to find myself in the position whereby I feel I may no longer give my time to those fora, or individuals if I am to learn more about the tradition with which I identify.

Its a hard decision because it will mean losing touch with people who have helped me along the way. Its as though I feel I owe them something, but the truth is I don't. So, why am I agonising over this decision? I have the chance to learn and grow, which will require an inordinate amount of work, and dedication on my part. If I am to do this, then some things and people will get left behind. A sacrifice if you will.

In the space of two months I have learned, understood and gained more experience than in all my previous years of religious instruction. What I have ingested has been far more relevant to my life and my chosen path than ever before and, though it is time consuming, I am happy putting in the effort. In the process, I have spent less time in other pagan pursuits - in preparation of letting them go. This almost makes sense. After all, isn't Spring the time for clearing out the old to make way for the new?

I am just loathe to let good things go, but in the pursuit of knowledge, something must fall by the wayside. Everything has price, including the acquisition of knowledge.

I just wish the ogham was easier to comprehend.

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