|By: Jason Griffit|
|My name is Jason, and I am a former Sergeant of the United States Marine Corps. I was raised attending Southern Baptist Churches. As a little boy I had so many questions for those in charge of the church. So much so that I was labeled as an annoyance for being too curious and then was shunned when I started to question that which was being preached to the members of the church.My mother raised me to choose my own beliefs, to choose my own path and that my relationship with the creator is my business and no one else’s. All my life I tried to find a Christian church that I could feel that I was a part of but without being forced to conform into a “molded” member just to learn about god.But it never truly happened. I even went to Non-Denominational Christian leadership camps as a teen to try to learn what it was to be a youth ministerto the generation after my own…and still everything I heard never quite made sense. It all sounded like some lavish fairly tale of “unicorns” and “pixie dust”.I’ve spent my whole life asking questions only to receive generic answers from individuals that seemed more brainwashed then God-like…religion alone terrified me as the years went on because I had seen more anger, hatred and evilness come from the very church members that preached against it. I heard preachers give sermons about acceptance and then scorn those that chose a different path than the one the church had laid out for them. So much vileness…so much hatred…too much for a young man to handle.
Upon joining the Marines I felt that I had finally found the type of brotherhood that I had been searching for. However a part of me still felt empty. The only thing, I learned, that seemed to lift that dreary feeling was learning about the healing properties of the land around us, the way that other creatures communicate and how to use everything that nature has already provided, to aid us in nearly anyway we needed.
I felt more spiritual, with my hands in the dirt, planting vegetables, outside my barracks room, than I ever did in a church. Then I remembered what my grandmother told me about our heritage.
Although my family’s bloodline comes from many different areas across theglobe, we have always had our roots set in Ireland and Scotland. She told me that our lineage comes from the Celts.
When I described my distrust of the church and the freedom I felt from learning about holistic methods and obtaining enlightenment by “getting some dirt on my pants” she told me that she wasn’t surprised because many of our ancestors followed the path of the Druid.
I was surprised she divulged so much information about our family’s past as she has always been a devout Christian. (The first true Christian I had ever met I might add.)
Flash forward 2 years…I now find myself attached to a special operations unitin the Middle East surrounded by the biggest hypocrisy of all…Christian-hating Muslims, both of which worship the same god!
It was here within these desolate and unforgiving elder lands that my life changed in many ways. One of which was detrimental to the very fiber of my being…I arrived in these lands as a Marine following orders as well as a Christian seeking answers…and returned with a deep hatred of all things religious.
Out of all the lessons I learned during my time spent within a pointless war, the one that has burned itself deepest into my mind is that; ‘It is within human nature to destroy ourselves, as we are incredibly destructive creatures. When presented with a gift that can enrich life and encourage wisdom…we instead use it for chaos. Religion is no different…religion is a man made excuse to fight with one another. To kill the sons and daughters of your neighbor’s house simply because they don’t see the world as you do. Surely, religion is the root of all evil for it is religion that separates people.” Faith, however, brings them together.
So I cast my “religion” to the wind and decided to allow “faith” to guide me on my path. For the longest time, however…I could not find a church of “Faith”. Every time I would look for one all I would find were religious minions that used the word of “faith” to lure in the curious and the innocent only to hide behind it as a means to scare them into staying. “Have faith!!!! Or you will be damned!!!”
So I continued on my path for the search for others of faith…along my travelsI have met many people that I have held dear to my heart and the strangest thing is that nearly every one of these individuals did not follow a path of religion, but a path of a way of life.
As a child going to church I was taught that wicans, pagans, Satanists, atheists, agnostics or anyone non-Christian was evil, perverted, twisted and dangerous. That was “religion” talking…”faith” brought me to these people and I realized that even though we may follow different paths we all will still end up at the same destination. Mecca, Heaven, Paradise, Valhalla, Infinite Enlightenment…it’s all the same. It’s just how you get there that matters.
So I found my faith and have decided to travel the path of my heritage; the solitary path of the Druid. I acknowledge that there is a higher power that governs and creates life. I acknowledge that we live in an existence of duality; every light will cast a shadow, no good deed will go unpunished, heal one person and find a village that has fallen ill, there is that which is given and that which will take away.
My ancestors knew this and still they found good within this world. They found ways to preserve life using only that which was around them. They dedicated themselves to wisdom and found the balance between law, medicine,scripture and even political leadership. They stood their ground against evil and spoke out above the lies with truth no matter the cost. That is why history has associated the word “Druid” to an individual that upholds the delicate balance of nature.
The path of the Druid does not mean that I don’t believe in written history. Mohammad’s message was great and true, Jesus should be praised for his selfless acts and for the sacrifice he made. The teachings of Buddha should be learned by every person.
My path is the path of the Druid. My path is one of wisdom, one of patience, one of acceptance but also one of justice. I still become angry, I still will curse when wronged, I will retaliate when attacked, I will make mistakes and suffer consequences. Then I will rise above them…and continue on my path.
I am human after all…