Every single major religion is a Death Cult at heart. Every single one promises a much better life somewhere else while, at the same time, those who run the popes and the priests make life as difficult for us as possible, just to ram the point home. But it’s a trick … it’s a trial. It’s the first dragon challenge the hero meets when he first sets off on his journey, and it comes to us through all the world’s religions.
The Christians and Jews are indocrinated to long for the Elysian Fields of Heaven, and the Muslim for the beautiful houris who guide the faithful to Paradise.
Only those who follow the rules of their religion are allowed into these fantasy football realms.
The Hindu religion also propagates the idea that “anywhere is better than here”. It is actually anti-human. It is about the pursuit of samadhi, a living death, before finally reaching maha-samadhi, the final death. Even Buddhism wants you to renounce the world and all its fruits, to experience the no-self of nirvana.
None of these Death Cults are extolling the virtues of the present moment on this gloriously beautiful Earth. It’s all about life being better somewhere else, when we have left our bodies. That’s why you only see Beltane – a celebration of life and fertility – in a few places where they are still trying to hold on to the wisdom of our cultural roots, like Glastonbury.
Even when you get “spiritual movements” whose leaders say “be here now”, their reason for doing so is for you to use it as a vehicle to get somewhere else, to pursue a kind of enlightenment that never actually arrives.
The only spiritual practice I’ve found that honours and celebrates the glory and beauty of life on Earth is shamanism.
As a shaman I understand that my ancestors have sacrificed so much to give me this opportunity, to come and take part in this human journey, from where I’ve been able to learn that the body is actually an amazing, multi-dimensional, supersonic rocket which can take us anywhere, to other worlds that exist simultaneously in the present moment, while we remain rooted right in the here and now.
We have, though, to be alive in the human body to experience it.
English is a very magical language, and so it’s no coincidence that the word ‘live’ written backwards is ‘evil’.
As much as I go on my travels into these wyrd and wonderful parallel dimensions, I always want to come back here to Mother Earth, with the fruits of the teachings and guidance I’ve gathered in these Hesperidean orchards. For me, that’s the whole point of the journey.
I’ve realised that life on Earth is the most tremendous gift and privilege, because it is only within the living and breathing human body that our souls can grow in this wisdom.
So dragons begone!
The featured painting is titled The Garden of Hesperides, and it’s by Ricciardo Meacci (1856 – 1900).