Can Druidry be a Path to Enlightenment?
by Robert Kyle
Many people get confused in the west thinking that enlightenment is ‘an eastern thing’ but when we come to take a closer look we realise that this is not the case at all.
The reason it’s considered eastern is because meditation is the main focus of this journey, but what is that journey and where does it lead?
Within the OBOD teachings there is one practice that runs through all three grades, the understanding of the light body. This is fundamentally what is meant by enlightenment, the more we develop this body of light the further we illuminate its radiance. In the east they have understood this for many thousands of years and from then until now they have been practicing and enhancing these techniques to gain understanding and insight into the nature of reality. Druidry in the west is new, it is an emerging body of practices and teachings often inspired by old texts and myths of the land we live upon. It is a rich source of spiritual food for anyone seeking a path towards understanding their place upon the land, but what about their place within creation?
We can’t know for sure if the Druids of old had a full curriculum of training that led students upon a path to enlightenment, but we do know from tales of Irish druids that they were masters of the elements. This one such sign in the east alludes to the fact that a practitioner of these arts has attained mastery and gained full liberation from the elemental forces that create phenomena.
Enlightenment means to wake up to the very source of who we are, not what we think we are, but who we actually are. Druidry has been said that it is not a path towards transcendence but as Plato states, ‘The only one true reality is spiritual; because unlike physical reality, it is eternal and unchanging.’ What Plato is referring to here is the inherent light of our ceaseless eternal nature. When we awake to the knowing of this light, this is simply what is meant by enlightenment. The Druid Triad below alludes to this eternal source, pointing out what the wise should know:
1: The Truth About The Eternal Source
2: The Truth About Themselves
3: The Truth About Worldly Illusion and Glamour (Distraction)
When one realizes through practice the truth of the Eternal Source, one also realizes the truth of the self, when one awakens to this realization one then understands that the world of phenomena is nothing more than a passing illusion that we get distracted and caught within. One does not transcend the world when one becomes enlightened, but awakes to its true nature and knows that everything is but a fleeting illusion that must be lived fully and openly with great joy. When we look at it like this we come to realise that this is not just a path that can be walked by people from the east, but also an eter- nal path that should be walked by every spiritual seeker seeking truth.
I came to my own spiritual path seeking only two things; one was authenticity and the other truth. By allowing myself to be open and follow- ing many spiritual paths, opening myself up to there practices and integrating them with an open mind I found that although we often think that we are divided by cultural barriers. In fact we are all human beings having the same expe- rience of life. Meditation becomes the gateways to the source of light; at first there are techniques that introduce you to the nature of all phenomena and when one becomes stable in this experience, different degrees and practices deepen this experience further and further.
As Druidry has many paths within it I would also say that it too could be a path to enlightenment. As the Buddha is the symbol of the awakened state in the east, so Taliesin is the same symbol of the awakened state here in the west. Taliesin awoke to the Absolute Eternal Source and through direct experience came to know all things, the following Druid triad points out that which he awoke to:
- The Three Absolutes Which Appear Relative in the Physical World -
1: Absolute Time
2: Absolute Space
3: Absolute Truth
Absolute is an unwavering word that refers to something that has a universal flavour on whichever palate it is tasted. This Absolute is no other than the inherent light that illuminates our being and is in fact our eternal face, when Taliesin awoke to this absolute truth all conceptual grasping fell away revealing the non conceptual world of absolute reality, he awoke to Awen and became enlightened. So therefore if we embrace this ancient myth and fully experience it deep within, we could say that as Bards, Ovate’s and Druids we are certainly walking a path towards enlightenment.