Essential Celt: The Purpose Of The Journey Is To…


Having come from the Mystery, we enter this world of mystery and awe, and embark on a voyage of (re-)discovery. Yes, the journey continues, here.

I’m sure we can all remember times when, as a child, things seemed new and bright, and the unknown was alluring. Or, have seen that in other people’s children. Then, our imaginations ran riot, and time itself seemed to move so slowly. Our perception, then, was keyed to see ‘magic’ in all things, or maybe it was the Mystery in all things that was hidden just below the surface, that was our first mission of finding it. A remembrance of ‘home’.

‘….sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.’ Kahlil Gibran

Years passed, and we grew, we grew up, matured, and things that once seemed new and bright, became somewhat familiar and dulled. Routine set in. And our mission of (re-)discovery took second place to more pressing matters. It still is possible to recapture that sense of Mystery in all things, but it seems in our oh-so-busy-and fast society we have to work at it, and it seems to be apparent that it is only sometimes that this Mystery is accessible to us. But, maybe, all this may be part of the plan of encounter: we have to work, earn money, pay the bills, shop, eat etc to live in the world, and so the ‘mundane’ squeezes in, but, such everyday chores are only part of the journey. The journey continues.

There will be times, then, when it seems the Mystery is more accessible and we should cherish those moments, and deliberately put ourselves in the Mystery’s way. And, there will be times when we don’t ‘feel’ the closeness of the Mystery at those ‘mundane’ times, but the Mystery is still there, so take heart, and I’d say were even more evident in those seemingly ‘mundane’ chores. The journey continues.

But, where is this Mystery and what is our purpose on this journey? Perhaps, our purpose is simply to encounter the Mystery, once again, as we once did before birth?

‘You were sent to the earth to become a receiver of the unknown. From ancient times  these gifts were prepared for you; now they come towards you across eternal distances.’  John O’Donohue.

How each one of us encounters the Mystery is many and varied. The Mystery is all around us – we swim through the Mystery. You can encounter the Mystery in religion and various spiritualties eg (Celtic) Christianity, Druidism, Paganism, another religion, and more!

You can encounter the Mystery in dreams, or when you meditate, in ritual (one of my favourite ways), in prayer, or in that period of relaxation when you’re about to fall asleep, in a phrase you might hear on someone’s lips, in a verbal blessing, when listening to an awesome poem or piece of music that sinks deep and touches your heart, in a fleeting numinous thought or feeling of closeness or of being loved,  during a walk through a forest (another favourite way of mine), when you see birds swirling in the sky ready to migrate, in a babies smile, in accomplishing a piece of work or overcoming some hardship or trauma.

You can encounter the Mystery when undertaking a new skill or some form of education or personal or spiritual growth, or in our daily chores of shopping, cleaning, exercising, or working with or assisting others etc. You can encounter the Mystery in a million ways. And, indeed, do!

In that respect, there is no mundane – except for those who are not alert to the Mystery. Alert or not,  The Mystery, for now,  though, seemingly hides. But, take heart.

‘[The Mystery] doesn’t hide Himself from you so that He can’t be found; He  hides Himself from you so that He can be found.’ Tommy Tenney

And, so having come from the Mystery, we enter this world of mystery and awe, and embark on a voyage of (re-)discovery to encounter the Mystery. In that community-orientated prior realm of the Mystery, we journey here, but still we need each other, and still need to be aware of opportunities to work in conjunction with the Mystery. This is made easier in community. Community is important for the journey to continue. We really do need each other.

‘Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?’. Mary Oliver


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