Sorry I know I am really late to this and a newcomer to OBOD but I am interested in the power of words and why particular phrases are picked to represent a belief or philosophy and this first line has raised two questions for me. I mean no disrespect to the tradition, about which I know relatively little yet - I'm just exploring the landscape and asking questions from a place of unfamiliarity and curiosity.
First, the format does seem very similar to a Christian prayer, Grant o God is such a classic start that it offers a huge trigger to people from that tradition who choose to look outwith their upbringing. Would it have been a conscious inclusion to make the majority Christian background folk at the time of writing feel more comfortable in their step away from the church, and be less useful now that the majority are no longer former practising churchgoers? A sense of "how praying is done" inherited from our cultural history in the UK?
Second, the issue of protection seems to rear its head across so many belief systems and I've lost count of the various methods that I've been told about to "make myself safe" whether from bad vibes, negative entities, psychic attack or just the low emotional states of clients/passing members of the public. I'm not sure whether it is an appropriate first point for all that follows in the Prayer. I know Maslow etc support such a belief that you start from ensuring safety before moving on to higher levels of needs, but surely reaching for protection (whether you believe it is already a given or something you are asking for) is a sign of its lack - ie of faith, of power, of self esteem, of love? I would assume a place of disbelief or at least uncertainty (having something to prove in the way of faith - to the divine or to self)if praying for what is already supposed to be there..?
One of my shamanic teachers tells a story that includes something like the following (apologies if I've misquoted).. Does a candle seek or require protection from the darkness? No, it burns bright as is its nature, and the light shines. Seeking to shine brighter is our nature, why then fear the dark is trying to stop our glowing? Its nature is not ours but it is not negative, shamans have always worked in the darkness? Or to paraphrase, why use energy and effort seeking to create or bring to us a protective boundary which we do not need, and which only blocks our radiance with our fear or need to be assured that (the divine) really is present and watching out for us, and diverts energy we could be using in service. There is no dark energy or, as I've heard it said, the only devils are the ones who live in our minds. In praying for or claiming protection, are we not buying into the illusion that there is "bad stuff" out there and thus giving power to said "badness" which is what creates it in our mind? Taking our attention from our work and our growth and putting it on our sense of weakness and vulnerability to some enemy somewhere, however we draw that monster in our child minds. And in sharing the fear with others, we spread it. Sooner or later won't we manifest what we focus attention on? And feel attacked, weak, scared. What use is that to our shining of light?
I do like the version May I seek.. I will look at that a few times and maybe adopt something similar so thanks for the idea.
The magic of words to create our reality makes it so important to find the right words to manifest our intention - I may even remove the May and just say I seek or I follow a path of or something. I also love the reverse, taking it from the most important outcome we seek and working out how we get there or what follows from having achieved that place..
Thanks and I hope nobody minds my musings.