The Bed of Leaves - An Analogy
This morning, just prior to going to work, as I walked through the rain drenched woods; one thing that I started to notice was the thick bed of leaves that carpeted the floor of this quiet woodland.
Such a thick layer of leaves, that took years to form.
Immediately an analogy sprang to my mind.
As I walked along one could only see the surface of this glistening bed of leaves. And I realized that this was just a one dimensional view. For beneath the surface, unseen to the eye a whole different world existed. Colonies of various life forms were being born, living and dying. Each species was interacting as a community, each one unique to their particular life forms, just below the bed of leaves.
And yet with a one dimensional view their very existence would go un- noticed by those who tread above, totally unaware of such a microcosm just below their feet.
And then I began to think of how society often travels through the woodlands of life with a one dimensional view.
I began to think of how so many folks make judgment of others with such one dimensional views. Many folks will look at others of their own kind and see only the color of one's skin, or how they wear their hair, or of their nationality, or of how they dress or what religious/spiritual beliefs they follow. And based upon such a one dimensional view, such folks will make a superficial judgment of others. They never bother to look beneath the bed of leaves.
And then I began to think of how this analogy extends itself to the pagan community. And as I pondered these thoughts I began to think of all of the folks who proclaim themselves as masters.
At this point I began to quietly laugh, startling a young doe that was walking up the trail. For by claiming to be a master one is saying that they have such a deep knowledge of the mystical arts, that searching and learning about the mysteries of life is behind them. And yet such folks have barely scratched the surface of what life which extends beyond just this one realm has to offer.
In short they are simply expressing their insecurities at having barely looked beneath the leaves covering the woodlands of life.
I also thought of the one dimensional view which some individuals and groups use when they express themselves as being the only one with the correct answers to the mysteries of life.
Quite frankly, the bed of leaves which covers the woodlands of life is far too vast for any one person or group to make such superficial claims with any sense of validity.
And yet the one dimensional claims continue.
As a simple witch, I am content to dig beneath the bed of leaves that are within my reach and learning about the mysteries that are actually within my sphere of experience and understanding. I realize that there are so many mysteries just out of reach that will not be discovered within just one lifetime. And as such I am content to continue my quest for knowledge as a student of the Great mysteries of life that await each of us. To claim to know what lies beneath the entire floor of the woodlands of life is simply to maintain a one dimensional and thus a superficial view of what could be so much more.
There is nothing wrong in acknowledging that we don't have all of the answers. But having a one dimensional view just seems to be so "human" like.
As a pagan I expect more from my experiences in this life.
And so as I return to the realities of being at work on this gray and overcast day, I have but two questions.
Have you turned over any leaves recently in order to see what lies below?
Or are you content to just view the surface of the bed of leaves that cover the woodlands of life?