Wednesday, 23 December 2009

New Year's resolutions & Carbon Footprint

New Year is coming fast, and we usually make some New Year resolutions that most of the time get lost in the mist of time. But what about adding a resolution to help us and help everyone else?

After the Copenhagen summit, I think it's clear that we just can't sit back and wait that our politicians take all the actions, we can't depend on them, we should be the change we want to see.

So, I want to join the initiative of the 10:10 project. It is an ambitious project to unite every sector of British society behind one simple idea: that by working together we can achieve a 10% cut in the UK’s carbon emissions in 2010. However, it's not up to one single country to do this, we all over the globe can try to contribute.

Most people are not aware of their carbon footprint, nor how to contribute to reduce the global emissions, usually we think that is something that governments and industry should address alone, and we are helpless. What a single person can do whatsoever?

Well, a lot, we can make a lot !!

First we need to put measurable targets. There's a very useful tool on-line to measure our carbon footprint with this calculator. According to this my carbon footprint of 2009 was 7.32 tonnes per year, the UK average is 9.8, but still is high.

So my 2010 resolution will be to cut down 10% of my carbon footprint.

But how can we reduce it?

Here some tips that I want to share with you

1) Our biggest carbon footprint comes from our consumption, uwe live in a very consumerist society. Ask yourself before buying something. Do I really need this? Are there better options? for example:
  • Food - Is my food organic, seasonal & local source? Do I eat mainly meat? Do I need to buy fast food which aside of the health generate a lot of waste (packing, etc.)
  • Fashion - Do I buy cloth just to be on the latest fashion or do I really need a new one? Do I really need to throw away that shoes or can I just change the sole? etc.
  • Packing - Do I buy products that have more packing volume than the product itself?
  • Furniture and electricals - Do I buy them just to have the latest technology? Does this technology consume less energy or more than the one I have? Do I use them at least 5 years or until it brake down and there's no way to fix them?
  • Recycling - Do you recycle and compost your waste?
  • Recreation - Does your recreation activities have a big carbon footprint? Can you enjoy recreation activities like walking?
  • Car manufacture - Do you feel the need to have a luxury and big car just for the status? Do you own more than one car even if you don't really need it? or even ask the question, do you need the car at all? Are you planning to buy a new car, why not checking the less emission cars available in Green cars. Why not trying an hybrid or even an electric one like the Citroen C1
2) Household carbon footprint - Do you use rationally your electricity, water and gas? Do you use energy-saving bulbs? Do you unplug the electricals that you are not using, taking into account that transformers consume even when the machine is off? Do you use the heating system or air conditioned all the time? Do you really need a dryer machine? Do you need to wash dishes with hot water, or can you use cold one and rubber gloves? Can you wash your clothes with cold water? Do you need to watch TV all the time or can you read or just have a time talking with your family?

Is there any green electricity company available in your area, like Ecotricity that will switch your carbon footprint for electricity consumption to zero.

3) Transport carbon footprint - We have became very lazy, we use the car for small distances that can be covered even walking. We don't use public transport or bicycle when feasible. Or we use aeroplanes where that distance can be covered by coach or train. Just think about this numbers.

coach 0.0000625 tonnes/mile
train 0.0000965 tonnes/mile
tube 0.0001333 tonnes/mile
car 0.0002953 tonnes/mile
plane 0.0003095 tonnes/mile

So, we all can take action. I encourage you in joining me in this New Year resolution, let's share our numbers, how many tonnes did you use in 2009? what's your target for 2010?

My 2009 consumption was of 7.32 tonnes per year
My 2010 target is 6.59 tonnes per year

Wish me luck!!

PS. Share this with all your friends, if you don't; nothing is going to happen, nothing at all, everything will continue as it is, just think about how you are going to face your grand children when they ask you. "Did you make your part to prevent a unsuitable world for us to live?"

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Internet and the media

Everyday I’m surprised of how much the Internet has change our lives. And how traditional media is little by little displaced by it. Just a few days ago I was able to publish my music album to sell it online, without the need of a contract with a music distributor.

Now, surfing around, I found an interesting project that four regular guys that used their youtube channels to promote a song and use their youtube fans to get it on to the UK charts. I find it utterly amazing, not because the song was particularly good, but because this in a way, is taking away the power of the big media and driving it back to the people.

I wonder how much this can grow and how much the internet can displace the traditional media and business? How effective is or can be the internet activism? In your life, is the traditional media the one with more weight and influence or is it the internet one?

Food for thought I think

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Tuesday, 10 November 2009


Every day I heard more news about the 21st of December 2012. The word is spreading over the internet so fast that I think it has became dangerous really, people are really concern about it, some even on the fringe of being panic. I'm not going to quote every single theory, you can google them easily, what worries me is that according to my perception there's a mass hysteria going on in crescendo, and we still have three years for this to grow to dangerous proportions.

In 2000 there was also a little of hysteria about the end of the world, also a lot of talking about planetary alignments, earthquakes, meteorites falling, etc. The truth is that in 2000 we face a major even for human technology, in our computer-based world, but a lot of money and effort was put to make the transition to Y2k without any significant problem, but no earthquake, solar flare or end of the world happened. The thing is that in 2000 the internet access was not as widespread as today.

Now there's also the thing about money, people are making a lot of money with this, books, videos, "survival kits", all you can think about, now even a hollywood film. Search all the 2012 dedicate websites, they end up selling you something or asking for a donation for the "project", or just want to increase their visits and get more payment from their sponsors. (I don't have any in case you wondered, my blog is sponsor free)

There's little knowledge, specially in the english speaking world about the Mexican ancestors, they know that the mayans were some people who live in Mexico (when their geography lessons are good enough, otherwise they say in southamerica) and that they made human sacrifices like Mel Gibson told them... etc.

But let's talk about the issue.

One common misconception is to say that the maya calendar ends at 21-12-2012, well it doesn't, their calendar was cyclical, that is specially notice in the short count, where cycles of 13, 20, 29 365 day happened. The long count was set up for the purpose of counting astronomic events (eclipses, transit of planets, stars, etc.) that is why is so long, because is not fixed to the earth solar cycle. So it doesn’t mean an end of times, just a beginning of a new era, as the previous ones.

The popol vuh, which collects the old Mayans myths about the creation talks about four attempts to create the human race before the gods succeeded, however the concept of different "suns" was not really developed in detail by them, just mentioned as a concept of four stages.

This was "perfectionated" or better said the myth expanded by the Mexica (Aztec) civilization, even when the Mexica adopted a lot of the Mayan and Teotihuacan lore, they were very different cultures, I like to say that you imagine them as ancient Greece vs Rome, Mayans vs Mexicas, one more focus on philosophy and science the other on war and conquest, it's a good western parallel, with the obvious differences, don't buy Mel Gibson view btw is just bollocks!. According to that we are already on the fifth sun (or even in the sixth).

The first sun was the Nahui-Ocelotl (four jaguar), a world which inhabitants were giants, and this giant creatures were destroyed four times every 52 years by jaguars until there were no more. The jaguars were a totem animal of Tezcatlipoca, a war fire god. The 52 years were the Aztec count of the New fire, a ceremony of renewal of the world.

The second sun was Nahui-Ehécatl (four wind) this sun died after 7 new fires (7 times 52 years) a great hurricane kill a lot of the living things and it was also the rising of the monkeys.

The third sun was, Nahui-Quiahuitl (four volcano or fire rain) it last for 6 new fires, when a great rain of fire that Xiuntecuhtli, god of fire and volcanoes bring to the earth, most of the inhabitants of the world died, and it was the rise of the birds and turkeys.

The fourth sun, Nahui-Atl (four water) end with a terrible flood, after 3 new fires, on this one just men were allowed to survive, and it was the rise of men.

The fifth sun, Nahui-Ollin (four movement) was created by Quetzalcóatl, a wind creation god, who also is the god of wisdom and peace, for example he in the form of kukulcan was the one who stop human sacrifice of the mayans according to their legends. He give to men life with their own blood. This sun is the expansion and grown of human civilization and it started when Teotihuacan the city of gods was founded.

All this is based on the Sun stone, a great stone disk (now at the National Museum of Anthropology and History in Mexico city) of more than 3.5 m of diameter and 25 tons. You could notice that the suns have some resemblance to archaeological and palaeontological evidence, the giants being the dinosaurs and giant mammals, the rise of the monkeys as the first apes, the rise of birds the transformation of dinosaurs into birds after the extinction, the flood and the rise of homo sapiens, and the beginning of civilization.

Now, the Aztecs prophets talk about the end of the fifth sun when Quetzalcóatl returned to them, that was when the solar, lunar and Venus calendar match, and that along another prophecies and omens make them put the end of that sun in the gregorian year of 1519. (I don't remember the name in nahuatl, sorry) So when Moctezuma II take the crown of the Mexica Empire he knew the end of the world and the return of Quetzalcóatl was imminent and there are several accounts that he wanted to stop it, so a lot of sacrifices of animals, plants and humans were done, and their priests were desperate to stop the world end. Unfortunately for them their attempts were in vain since Hernan Cortes arrive in 1519 to the coast of Yucatan, two years later the capital city of Tenochtitlan capitulated in favour of Cortes and his army (btw an army mainly of indigenous people who wanted to defeat the Aztec empire). So the general agreement is that the fifth sun ended with the arrival of the Spanish, and the children of the fifth sun give rise to the new mixed race, see also theories like the cosmic race by Vasconcelos.

Now, back to the Mayans.

The Mayans have a counting system on base 20, (from zero to 19 and back again), the Arabic system that we use is base 10, it seems that the Mayans said, wait a minute, we don't have just 10 fingers, we have 20 with our feet, their mathematical and astronomic knowledge was really great, they marked the solstices and equinoxes. solar and lunar eclipses and other astronomical events from thousands of years with a real great accuracy, one example is the pyramid of kukulcan in Yucatan (one of the winners of the new wonders of the world btw) which in every spring equinox sunrise, its shadow give the impression of a serpent going down of the ladders. Or the calculation of venus cycle in 583.935 days (actual calculations give an erratic movement that goes from 583.92 to 583.94) there are a lot of evidence on that. So, the mayan calendar was not arbitrary or just based on their system of numerology, but in the actual astronomical reality and the relationships between the sun, moon, earth, venus (they put a lot of attention to it), stars, etc.

Any way, they had two systems of counting, the civilian and religious one. The civilian was divided in two, a solar one with 365 days and a lunar one of 29 days, (actually the conversions to our decimal system gives 365.24 and 29.53 which is very much accurate). The religious one was what is called as Long count, it start the 11th of august of 3114 BC. It's not clear what that beginning represents, specially taking into account that in that time there were no Mayans, actually no civilization at all in America, so certainly not the beginning of the world, nor the beginning of THEIR world.

Perhaps if we see the other way around that will be more clear. Life did not start in the 11th of August, 3114 BC; it is however around the times when great cultural and historical events begin, the dawn of civilization. 3000 BC is an accepted date for the end of the neolitic period for many cultures, on that millennia many things happened, the first Egyptian dynasty, the foundation of Troy, the construction of New grange, the construction of Stonhenge, the early dynastic period of Mesopotamia, the expansion of the first Sumerian cities, etc. So we can take that date roughly enough as a good approximation of an important beginning in human civilization. Then, the 21st of December 2012 could be the beginning of a big change in human civilization, and maybe in 5000 years (if we don’t drive us to self-extinction due to environmental issues or wars) historians will be saying that that date roughly enough was a good approximation of an important beginning in human civilization.

There is no one single archaeological evidence, codex, or even oral myth of the mayans, nor the aztecs, that talks about the end of the world on that date.

Now this all 2012 end of the world came when there were attempts to synchronize the mayan stones and calendars with the Aztec calendar, it seems that they could synchronize the year, since both have the same structure, how ever, the day of Nahui-Ollin is the fifth of may, not 12th of December (Btw on 5th of may 1519 its said that Cortes decided to conquer the Great Tenochtitlan, however there's little evidence, but in July he arrived to Veracruz and the formal plans started). So, some theories emerge about this era ending with movement (earthquakes) on 2012. After that and adding a lot of New Age rubbish, the "prophecies of the end of the world" emerge.

So, basically we are talking about a cosmological and astronomical date of great significance, yes. Probably the beginning of a new era on conciousness, very likely, at least some of us would like to see it, but a gradual one, not a change from one day to another.

So, don't worry too much about this, and better start being worried about your life, the impact you have on your surroundings, in the enviroment, in the people around you. Do you want to see a global event that could change human history forever? Yes? really?! well, start for yourself!! Be the change you want to see.

The Truth about 2012 from NASA Lunar Science Institute on Vimeo.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

My music

Part of the studies about paganism and druidry are focused on trying to expand our creative side, the best way to do this is through the arts, and for me there's nothing better than music.

I have found a way to distribute my music online so that others can download it for free, and I still get paid for it, and obviously still keep all the rights to it.

So if anyone fancy it, please check out the music I will be uploading to my artist profile...


As a quick reference, I make a variety of New age/Ambient music

As a bonus, a quantity of the money I make is donated to a charity of my cause. I have chosen World Wildlife Fund (WWF). So if you fancy some free music and wanna help me get paid for doing what I love, and some charity bonus, please check my stuff out

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Pagan Past, Pagan Present, are they conected?

Authenticity and coherence are two words that have been around my mind in the last couple of weeks. Interesting discussions have being held on the Caer Feddwyd forum, as well as in the OBOD one.

Neo Paganism is clearly a religious movement that emerges immerse in the post modern movements. One of the main characteristics of post modern thought is that it cuts out any frame of reference to work in a relativistic way. A lot of the New age religions are happy to work this way, using an eclectic mix-it-all, everything is valid as long as “it feels ok” frame of mind.

Even when the origins of neopaganism are way back the postmodern movement, modern neopaganism has not being immune to it, actually the opposite, has welcome it with open arms.

In the particular scenario of celtic paganism there has been a branch, that emerge in the 1980’s that saw that relativistic point of view as something not worth of following, this branch is known as Celtic Reconstructionism (CR). It was the antithesis, the opposite to the romantic druidry that incorporates celtic themes, Greco-roman, hermetic, masonic, general mystic and esoteric, and oriental concepts into its cauldron to get the result. CR, however quickly found that it doesn’t have a great amount of information from which reconstruct the old religion of the Celts, since the Celts were an illiterate civilization, so, apart of a few Classic accounts as the famous Comentarii de Bello Gallico by Gaius Iulius Caesar, and other texts, very little was known. So CR look into the Irish and Welsh medieval texts as the corpus of celtic lore. The scholars since the XIX century have had the theory that those texts were a very accurate source of how the old pagans view their gods and customs, with a little of “interference” of the Christian themes put in them by the medieval Monks. Now, the actual trend in scholarship go for a new look, saying that it is impossible to separate the pagan themes on the medieval texts, and that actually is hard to tell which ones are pagan or not.

Of course every social discipline has its trends, and most of the time we see that trends emerge as antithesis of the previous one, and it’s not until some time that a synthesis can be found, in the continuous spiral of knowledge. Social sciences are not exact, and they depend a lot in suppositions and interpretations, especially when they deal with the past. There is a current scholar trend that is trying too hard to find a Christian Biblical origin for everything in Irish lore, disregarding the pagan themes, opposite to the nativist view that disregard the Christian elements.

But this trend of the academia put CR in a big trouble, the authenticity they claimed is now doubted, some CRs put so much effort in distance themselves of the romantic druids that began to see the medieval Irish and Welsh texts as their “holy books”, and of course if a holy book is debunked, the building shakes.

This could be seen as a battle win by the romantics, that will say, I told you so, it makes no sense in looking hard into the past since it’s not accessible to us, so let’s just take what inspires us and feels ok. One example is how the book The Druids by Ronald Hutton has being taken by the druid community, Ronal Hutton even when it’s a respected scholar, he also has strong links with OBOD and even run a grove, so it’s clear in reading his text that there’s an agenda behind; in his book he portraits an interesting portrait of Druids as archetypes that had being used in different places and different times by people according to its own agendas. Which of course is true, the problems is that he goes further and say that nothing can be known of ancient celtic religion and it’s philosopher-magician class, and of course that is what some romantic obodies wanted to hear.

But, a synthetic point of view is emerging in the celtic pagan and druidry circles, of which I have to say, I’m happy to share opinions. One that see the truth not in the hard CR theories nor in the Romantic Relativistic ones, but somewhere in the middle.

Megli put in the Caer Feddwyd forum an excellent phrase that illustrates very much the point: The only sound basis for religious speculation is a mixture of feeling (experience, intuition, instinct) and judgement (logic, sense, rationality, a sense of coherence.)

I do think that the truth is a mixture, a synthetic view from the opposites. The medieval texts are clearly not pagan tales with Christian dust to be removed, they are product of a syncretic culture that emerge from Ireland after the conversion, and that even today can be witnessed to some extent in the peculiar Irish Catholicism that is practiced.

So, are the medieval texts really not worth of interest to the Celtic pagans? Of course not!, they are of interest, because they have pagan ideas and characters on them, maybe the sources from which the truths we hold arise may be muddy waters indeed but does not the lotus and lily grow best in the swamp? There are several themes that could reflect a pre-christian frame work, war, battle, kingship, young against old, light against darkness, nature of magic and the elements, otherworldly images, etc. that even when not accessible in a straight forward way, can be reached with some work.
The thing is that we can’t rely only on those text, we need to look at the archaeology findings, to the classic accounts, compare them, trying to see the whole picture, we have to view those texts as a whole, and try to find the truth on that tapestry of images. How? Well, that is where the experience, intuition and instinct came into the game, and if that is not enough, then using freely our inspiration to find our way, but always being honest on what is a modern invention and fiction and when it’s not.

Of course studying those texts, reading the available material is a slow process, and could be hard work, the cost a lot of time and, yes also money since books are usually not for free; but if we are not afraid of that the result is a very satisfactory growing of intellectual and spiritual knowledge that fulfils our paths.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Alone – Edgar Allan Poe

From childhood's hour I have not been
As others were; I have not seen
As others saw; I could not bring
My passions from a common spring.
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow; I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone;
And all I loved, I loved alone.
Then - in my childhood, in the dawn
Of a most stormy life - was drawn
From every depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still:
From the torrent, or the fountain,
From the red cliff of the mountain,
From the sun that round me rolled
In its autumn tint of gold,
From the lightning in the sky
As it passed me flying by,
From the thunder and the storm,
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view.

Monday, 1 June 2009

This story is not true in the sense that most people use the word. It emerges out of the mists of time, rooted deep in the heritage of Britain. It is a weave of mythologies, theologies, and histories. It is the story of two people, and a story of our peoples. It has no beginning and it has no ending.

The Apple and the Thorn is a story, who explore two iconic characters of mythical England. Vivian, the Lady of the Lake and Joseph of Arimathea. It’s a story where two faiths, two worlds coming together, full of passion and love, of inner thoughts and inner experiences, shared by its authors.

It tells the story from two different points of view, the voice of Vivian is Emma, the voice of Eosaidh (Joseph) is Walter, or you can say that it’s the other way around, they are the voice of the characters; that is something that gives an added value to the reading experience. It appeals to both Christians and Pagans alike, and there’s a beautiful love story inside, not only between the main characters, but a love to the traditions, the nature and the land.

It appeals me the most the part told by Walter on the Eosaidh character, since is a character who grow and learn a lot during the book, he learn to love the land and its spirits, to honour them, in parallel to his love for Vivian, who in contrast, didn’t develop or learn very much during the tale, it lacks of the humility and openness of the one who wants to learn, and is portrait as a person who believes has all the answers and the right path, she just don’t get another way that is no hers; however her character also gives a lot of meaningful experiences about the pagan spirituality that enriches the tale.

In general is a good reading, very easy to go through, once you started it’s difficult to put it down, and at the end gives to the reader a feeling of hope and tolerance, as well as invite to have a reflexion on these both faiths, their weakness and strengths, as with the weakness and strengths of the readers’ own path.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Native American Lore

Some thoughts share by native americans that are worth to think about

Monday, 18 May 2009

Mario Benedetti

One of the most extraordinary poets of our modern world has pass away. And even when he is now on the stellar journey, his work will remain for years.

He may not be very well know on the english speaking world. And even when translate a poem is so much complicated and never give the true feeling of the original work, some of you may appreciate his poetry this way:

Much more serious

All the parcels of my life has something yours
And that is in true nothing extraordinary
You know it as objectively as I do
However there is something that I would like to clarify to you
When I say all the parcels,
I don’t refer just to this that we have now,
This of waiting for you and Aleluya find you,
and damn it loosing you,
and find you again,
and I wish that was all.
I’m not meaning that out of the blue you say to me, I’m going to cry
And I, with a discreet lump in my throat, come on, cry.
And that an invisible cute rain protect us
And may be because of that the sun rises.
I neither refer only that day after day,
Our little and decisive complicities stock grow
Or that I can believe that I can transform my defeats into victories,
Or you give me the tender gift of your most recent desperation.

This is much more serious.
When I say all the parcels of my live
I mean that in addition to this sweat cataclysm,
You are also rewriting my childhood,
That age in which one says adult and solemn things
And the solemn adults celebrate it,
Instead you know that that is not worth of it.

I mean you are remaking my teenager years,
That time on which I was an old man full of jealousy,
And you, instead, know how to extract that moor
My joyful germen and to water it just by looking.

I want to say that you are shaking my youth
That pitcher of clay that nobody took in their hands,
That shadow that nobody get together to their own shadow,
And you, instead know how to shake it
Until the dry leaves fall down,
And only the frame of my truth without heroic deeds stand.

I want to say that you are holding my mature days
That mixture of atonishment and experience,
That weird confine of anguish and snow,
This candle that ilumínates death,
This precipice of poor life.

As you can see this is more serious,
much mor serious,
Because with these or other words,
I want to say that you are not only
The dearest girl you are,
But also the esplendid or cautious women
That I loved or I love.

Because thanks to you I found
(and you could say it was about time, and will be right)
That love is a cute and generous bay
That lights up and darkens down
According with how life comes,
A bay where ships come and go,
Come with birds and omens,
And go with mermaids and dark clouds.
A cute and generous bya,
Where ships come and go
But you,
Don’t go

Don´t Save Yourself

Don't Save yourself,
Don´t be immobile
On the edge of the road,
Don't freeze the joy,
Don't love with reluctance,
Don't save yourself now
or ever,
Don't save yourself,
Don't fill with calm,
Don't reserve of the world
Just a calm place,
Don't let fall your lids
Heavy as trials,
Don´t speak without lips,
Don't fall asleep without sleepiness,
Don't think of you without blood,
Don't judge yourself without time.

But if in spite of everything
You cannot avoid it
And you freeze the joy,
And you love with reluctance,
And you save yourself now,
And you full with calm,
And you reserve of the world
Just a calm place,
And you let fall your lids
Heavy as trials,
And you speak without lips,
And you fall asleep without sleepiness,
And you think yourself without blood,
And you judge yourself without time,
And you are immobile
On the edge of the road,
And you save yourself,
Don't stay with me.

Tactic And Strategy

My tactic is
Looking at you,
Learning how you are,
Loving you as you are,
My tactic is
Talking to you
And listening to you
To build with words
An indestructible bridge
My tactic is
Remaining in your memories
I don't know how
Nor with which pretext
But remaining with you.
My tactic is
Being frank,
And knowing that you are frank,
And not selling each other
So that between us
There is no curtain
Nor abyss.
My strategy is,
Deeper and
My strategy is
That one of these days
I don't know how
Nor with which pretext
You finally
Need me.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009


I was writing an entry in my Spanish language blog, about a great fusion group called Salsa Celtica, that by the way, is highly recommended for those who like either salsa or celtic music, or both. But I’m not going to repeat the same that I posted there. However the topic of the syncretism, fusion, cross-over, and many other names came to my mind.

How can we define ourselves? Is definition by itself a way to put boundaries to our experiences or a way to state that you are part of something? Mixing over everything is good?

Well, it’s very complex to answer this questions with a single yes or no, as most of thing in life they are full of colours, and not only black or white. We need some definition, some stability in our lives. For some is the need to know who they friends are, for others, know that the person you love, loves you back and is that there’s a commitment in there. For others is religion, work, sport, etc.

But having a wider spectrum than the majority of people is really to not be defined? For example, I’m following a spiritual path that even when is mainly based on celtic spirituality, it also have something of eclectic paganism and I even incorporate the Christians roots of my childhood. That, I assure you, in not drifting in the limbo between all this, I have very clear what I believe and what I don’t, I have very clear what it’s really rooted in the past and what is a modern interpretation, however, I don’t need to totally reject the ethics and even some of the spirituality that shape me as a boy and a teenager; nor I reject that some modern interpretations of ancient lore has value; I just make a great effort to don’t loose of my sight the main tree of my grove, the one on which I’m centred, the celtic reconstructionism.

But whilst examining my life I saw that pattern repeated in several points of my life: I can write with my right and my left hand. I love music cross-overs and fusions, to explore into different rhythms, melodies, styles. My favourite time of the day are sunrises and sunsets. I fancy both women and men. I’m an engineer who loves spiritual thinking and philosophy. All that elements of my particular life make me think about the concept of liminal spaces in the celtic myths.

The liminal spaces where the most sacred ones, they were the times and places where magic was more powerful; they were entrances to the other world, and sources of wisdom. There was an important colour for them, nglas, which was between our grey, blue and green. It had, or represent at least, the three realms of which this world was made, Samhain and Beltaine were taken as liminal day between the dark and the bright side of the year. etc. There are a lot of references in literature and myths.

The question is why? what are the attributes of those places moments... are they important because they are not defined, because they are open to more possibilities? or are they defined in their own nature but not by our standards?

We live in a world where everything tends to be dualistic, you are with me or against me, you are good or evil. And by those standards, yes people like me, moments like those, places like that, are undefined. But I really thing that they are not, that what we need is a wider spectrum of definitions, a perception that life is not a simple as black and white, and then realise that the beauty, the power of the concept of liminal is that its definition is to itself and not to exterior forces. Just look around you, do you see a static and perfectly defined nature, or do you see a diversity of colours, smells, tastes, shapes and sounds.

Don't be afraid if reality is not simple and flat, that is what it makes it so beautiful, that is not.

The great Argentinean writer, Borges, in a short story, that some could classify as “Magic Realism” (what a lovely literary term, isn’t it?) defined the maximum expression of Liminal that as the Aleph "The only place on earth where all places are -- seen from every angle, each standing clear, without any confusion or blending”.

So it’s not to be undefined, is a definition beyond boundaries.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

What I Have learn...

I’m in my second week in my new work, getting back to the UK after for months, now for a long term staying. How much? I really don’t know but it’s going to be some years. Las year I begun what you could call a “life changing journey” starting with my site assignation at Tampico, Mexico; the first time I was really living by my own, away from friends, family and my home city. Then the big step, go to Britain to begin the MSc. A new country, a new culture.

During that year I was fortunate enough to travel around several countries, so I met different people, weathers architectures, etc. a lot of changes, a lot of new stuff, very difficult to assimilate in that short time.

What I have learned from that year? Well first of all, as you can witness from this blog, it was a very interesting journey from the spiritual point of view, a journey of self discovering, of discovering the ancient lore of this land, and of the nature itself; also a journey to realize that indeed there’s only one truth, but there are many many forms to reach that truth, or at least try to reach it. Many paths, many different beings apart of we humans. It was and still is, since I have a lot to learn from this land, and I mean from Britannia herself; a exciting and extraordinary experience.

On the other hand it was also a journey to know human kind. I was fortunate enough to meet people from across the globe, form Europe, Asia, Africa, America … I think I just missed to knew people from Oceania to say I know people from the five continents. That has being marvelous, so different countries, customs, histories and stories to tell. However to be exposed to that so varieties of cultures, give me the change to know human as a whole, and realize that even when the differences exist, they are minor, and that everybody is just human

On Sussex I was very lucky to know people from so different countries as Vietnam, Germany, India or Kenya. But I could learn that the things that united us were more than the ones that separate us. We all share the same fears, the same dreams, the same happiness and sadness about things. We are all one big culture that has to be called humanity.

But I also learn that we give excessive importance to try to state clearly what make us different. Yes, there are differences, but they are just superficial. That was very evident to me on this first visit to Chile, a country far away, geographically speaking from my Own; but very close in terms of culture, customs, etc. However their inhabitants try hard to make it note that they are so different from their neighbors, even when they are not.

Now, in this work, this new town, I can very easely make a list of the differences from my previous work; you know the quality of life and all that stuff. But still is a country like my own, a country populated by human beings. Some people realize that some time ago, so I’m going to quote Carl Sagan on this:

An extraterrestrial visitor examining the difference among human societies would find those differences trivial compared to the similarities. Our lives, our past and our future are tied to the sun, the moon and the stars…We humans have seen the atoms which constitute all of nature and the forces that sculpted this work…and we, who embody the local eyes and ears and thoughts and feelings of the cosmos, have begun to wonder about our origins…star stuff contemplating the stars, organized collections of ten billion billion billion atoms, contemplating the evolution of nature, tracing that long path by which it arrived at consciousness here on the planet earth…Our loyalties are to the species and the to the planet. Our obligation to survive and flourish is owed now just to ourselves but also to that cosmos ancient and vast from which we spring. We are on Species. We are start stuff harvesting starlight.

We have to look for the common good before selfish interests, but not in the nationalism point of view, but in a planetary one, we must know that we all are one society, and have one planet, and unless we try to work together and stop seeing the other as weird, different and therefore dangerous and frightening, we are going to blow off all this!

I also learn the meaning of a cosmopolitan city, and that doesn’t mean a big and populated city, it means several cultures, religions, sexual preferences, tastes, etc. living together in harmony (or trying to) by tolerance and good living.

That I think was the main learning of this year, of course there was also a big change in the emotional/sentimental point of view, but that is no topic for a public blog LOL

So here I am, in a new adventure, a lot of challenges, a lot of opportunities and of course a lot of fears, but above all that, a lot of dreams to make true.

So, as a citizen of the world, I’m beginning this new journey of life, independence, dreams. Wish me luck!

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