Druids and their Heritage

2 Mar

The age we live in is, as we are constantly being told in varied tones of approval or disapproval, an irreligious one. At best, religion is a cultural curiosity. The old fixities, whether of Heaven or Olympus, to which our acts, public or private, are referable, have become irrelevant.

We may well congratulate ourselves on our release from bigotry and superstition, but we ought also to recognize that for practical purposes we have reduced to two the criteria by which we can test our situation: the scientific, or as we might call it, the evolutionary one; and the occult or revelatory one, that of the astrologers, Theosophists, Rosicrucians, Tantrists, modern witches and their like.

Between these poles we are compelled to make a choice, without hope of compromise, for they tend in precisely contrary directions.

The evolutionary view is of a human race moving, however painfully and falteringly, toward greater knowledge and to an ever improved adaptation to environment as a relut. their activity posits the acceptance of something like Teilhard de Chardin’s “Omega Point” towards which all knowledge converges and which will be reached at some time in an infinitely remote and hypothetical evolutionary future.

To the “revelationists” on the other hand, it is not the future but the past which is the key. It is that equally far distant moment at which the repository of knowledge the “Ancient Wisdom” in Geoffrey Ashe’s terminology – was entrusted to mankind. The future is merely taking us further away from it and, in consequence, adding to the losses already incurred. So whereas the evolutionists believe in a progress from “primitive man”, ignorant, superstitious disorganized, in a word poorly adapted, the revelationists see a retrogression from the time when all was known and understood. At best, they would say, what men have been scraping together amid so much anguish is an inadequate substitute for the genuine article. Worse, its very acquisition has tended to darken and sully the fountains of primal instinctual wisdom.

One scarcely need point out the inherent fallacies of their position: why, for example, was so little of this knowledge committed to some transmissible form? It is now sort of argument to claim it was, through, say inscriptions on the walls of Egyptian tombs. On the revelationists’ own tacit admission these are expressed in codes so obscure no two people seem agreed on their decipherment. Neither do any of the interpretations so far offered add anything startling new or likely to offer hopeful alternatives to the human race.

But the scientists cannot have it all their own way either. Their view of man leads all too quickly to a picture of his past existence which is false, misleading and arrogant. ” Primitive man”, like “Proto-man”, is a pure construct with no demonstrable basis in reality. Pre-history totally fails to reveal beings less intelligent than ourselves. it simple shows that they proceeded from different premises and there is little justification for supposing these entirely erroneous as for supposing our own entirely right. As a philosopher friend never tires of telling me, the very concept of evolution is one shot through with logical difficulties.

 

Ward Rutherford; The Druids and their Heritage ; (Gordon & Cremonesi © 1978) p.11-12

 

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