Experiencing the Infinite
This is my first article on my worldview.
I believe there is an infinite, a force, an energy that is beyond words. I believer we will never understand this, be-able to talk to it, be able to describe it, be able to prove it. It is the connection to an infinite that I feel when on top of a mountain, the transcendent experience when lost in dance, the feeling of being watched over, the times when circumstance feels like a force at work - all of those moments when I feel part of something greater.
The belief in an infinite, and the experiences of it, are as old as time. They have been felt, sought after, disputed, found, argued over ad infinitim. The question of if something greater exists is asked and argued over ever generation.
I believe in the infinite and know that I will never truly be able to explain what I experience. I think something of this scale is beyond definition, beyond right and wrong. Its felt deep with in us; in some regularly, in some fleetingly, in some maybe never at all.
I rejected my own belief regularly growing up. Proudly an atheist. Proudly a man of fact and reason. However I knew I was lying to myself. I have always felt lucky, I have always felt there is more, I have always felt something greater.
How the infinite manifests, how people describe it, how they use it varies wildly. Look at religions, spiritual practices, near death experiences, psychedelic trips - pick your translator - they are all as beautiful and limited as each other. This to me is the choice we make if: firstly we want to accept and cultivate the infinite as part of our live, and secondly how we do it.
My journey was first choosing that I accept the infinite, and want to live a life with it as a core part of me. That meant suspending, arguing, conflicting with western world views. I have felt enough in my life, and have enough desire to continue to feel, that my choice is to live with a connection to something greater. It is a choice that will never be validated - all I can go by is my own human experience which I deeply have felt and believe, is better for surrendering to the infinite.
How can you make this part of your life? How do you cultivate a life of connection and experience? We need a guide.
So there is the infinite, there is our guide to help us work, be, connect with the infinite, and then there is us in all of our human condition. This is where your choice comes in. I don't believe there is a right way as much as I don't believe there is a 'right' god or 'correct' practice. We have a whole world, literally, of guides to help us connect with and live with the infinite.
I can accept the feeling a whirling dervish gets can be the same as an ecstatic dancer, or a praying monk, or a meditator, or someone in trance, or someone hugging trees... I think the only thing that matters is if whatever guide you choose helps you reach your experience of the infinite.
I get to side step a huge amount of theological/spiritual debate on the various benefits and proves that one way is the right way. I am comfortable with saying that none of us really know, but it is also not important. My strong oppinion though is that the guide is exactly that, a guide. The guide is not the infitnite. Becoming a shaman does not mean you are part of it. Choosing a religion does not mean you are part of it. Practicing a craft does not mean you are part of it. The value and the importance of all of these guides are to connect you. I am incredibly wary and fearful of any guide that tries to become the infinite - be it dogmatic religion, evangelical new age spirituality, cultish obessions and anything else that seeks to take the place of the infinite. The litmus test for me, is are you plugged in to the infinite or are you slave to your guide? It is a feeling thing.
For me I needed a guide that was flexible, that had space for my to develop my own craft and practice, that led my to tangible experience, that could grow and evolve with me, that actively lacked rules (which I know could lead me down a path of being obsessed with the thing, rather than why it exists), that sparked joy and interest in me - a guide I could walk with.
My guide is Witchcraft.
Withcraft is an ecstatic, shamanistic and animalistic craft. Lots of words, what do they mean to me? It is a based in experience, it is based on an acceptance of multiple forces/gods/energies (what ever you want to call them), it is based an a reverence for the inherent power and purpose in nature. It is not hierarchical, or fixed. The craft is honed and developed between witches and is dynamic, evolving and highly contextual. I will write more on the infinite and witchcraft in other articles but in essence why did I choose it? Because I felt it - because I did some witchy stuff and it blew my universe open.
There are important questions around guides, especially when you bring in ethics, living practices and community which I am planning to write on but overall the key point I am trying to make is this: There is no right guide. If you are seeking your guide just know there is one out there - and when you find it (you will feel it) it does not matter what it is. Grab hold of them and travel as far as you can with them. The infinite is there for you.