The Definitive Truth?

“He who begins by loving Christianity better than Truth will proceed by loving his own sect or church better than Christianity, and end by loving himself better than all.”

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

1998-solstice

A little while ago, my bilious temperament was temporarily ameliorated when I was sent something that is, apparently, a part of some solemn covenant from an equally solemn Druid council that offered a definition for a modern Druid.

“A Druid is anyone who claims to be so, whom other Druids do not claim is not”.

Leaving aside the undeniable resemblance between this and the way that ISIS seem to conduct their affairs with regard to their fellow Muslims, I had always thought that a Druid was someone who had undergone a training period of up to twenty years, while also being able to speak (among others) the Old Language, being able to write using Greek letters and so forth.

However, it seems that the criteria for being a Druid are far less rigorous these days, but while I couldn’t help but be amused by the above definition and by all that it implies, I’m not a Druid, nor have I ever been, so I will leave these people to conduct their own affairs as they see fit; nonetheless, this matter reminded me of a broadly similar viewpoint that I’d heard expressed as far as archaeology’s concerned.

Some years ago, when I was in the process of publishing a few lengthy essays on Eternal Idol that presented my views on a lost altar stone from Stonehenge, Pytheas of Massilia’s City of Apollo, the ‘Stonehenge Sentinel’ and other subjects, the media chose to report on them fairly extensively. When they did so, they presented me as an archaeologist, something that prompted outraged howls of indignation from certain quarters on the internet, as they’d heard from ‘someone else’ that I was not and had never been an archaeologist.

I hasten to add that I wasn’t concerned by any of this, not least because I still have all the payslips and photos, although not, alas, a beautifully-illustrated scroll declaring that I have A Degree In Archaeology, because I don’t. I was just fascinated that such cretins could exist who were more interested in my perceived status than in what I had to say, because this is not the manner in which I assess information that comes my way. If someone has something new to say about Stonehenge or any broadly related subject, then it either bears close scrutiny or else it doesn’t, regardless of who said it.

In recent times, I’ve read some quite remarkable statements concerning Stonehenge, which made their way into the mainstream media presumably because they’d been uttered by senior archaeologists, but that doesn’t automatically mean that these statements are an accurate reflection of what really went on at Stonehenge at any given point in prehistory. By the same token, when Eternal Idol was online, I actively welcomed any and all contributions from non-archaeologists and I consider myself much the wiser as a direct result.

“I’ve had enough of someone else’s propaganda. I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it’s for or against. I’m a human being first and foremost, and as such I am for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.”

Malcolm X.

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4 Responses to The Definitive Truth?

  1. corvusrouge says:

    Speaking as a Druid myself (and trustee for the Druid Network) I am reminded of the comment of a senior Quantum Physics scientist (the name of whom escapes me) who is quoted as saying “If you think you know Quantum Physics, you don’t! ” which in my experience, is also applicable, to a large extent, to modern Druidry. Unfortunately, at this time, a lot of people waste a lot of time and effort arguing about the “correct methodology” or having personality clashes without realising the outcomes of all the methodologies are all broadly giving us similar outcomes.

    RR

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    • eternalidol says:

      Red Raven,

      I apologise if I came across as mocking all Druids, because that was not my intent, although I can certainly see now that it’s possible to read the post that way. In my experience, some proponents of archaeology are just as bad if not far worse than some Druids when it comes to quantifying or otherwise defining what archaeology is and what constitutes ‘an archaeologist proper’.

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  2. corvusrouge says:

    Dennis,
    I didn’t read it as mocking, it’s a perfectly valid point of view in fact, but I would say the position within the Druid community has moved on and would point you in the direction of this blog post as a good indicator as to the current state of affairs… http://www.paganmusic.co.uk/the-forest-of-druidry/
    Although it is not all sweetness and light as yet!

    RR

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  3. eternalidol says:

    Thanks very much for that, Red Raven; in my opinion, one of the very best ‘pagan’ songs I’ve ever heard is Merlin Am I, so I’m not at all surprised to read such a wonderful piece by the same man. Again, if it’s any consolation, I would say that the ‘sweetness and light’ levels as far as some archaeologists are concerned are pretty dim right now, while I use that particular adjective advisedly 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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