Soil, Soul, Society

I have been working on a paper for about six months, I knew that at some point I would have to write the beginning, but have not as yet until this morning found the right words.
Soil, Soul, Society. Alastair McIntosh describes this as the “Tripartite understanding of community”

(For those who are concerned about such things, it matters not, I think, where you begin, with either soul or society or soil.  The important thing is to begin where you are.)

This is the perfect beginning as it draws together all the strands which are at the moment hanging by the threads of an idea yet to be born.  In this simple framework it all comes together so well.

So we must (re)connect with the earth, realise our interdependence with all life on the planet and learn to tread lightly.

Connect with society, our life and our death is with our [global] neighbours.

Re-congnise the Soul, that which is connected to the source of all life, in the Christian context – God.

With these three in harmony, Soil, Soul, Society it might just be possible to move beyond our current obsessions and live a more balanced and far simpler life.

to recover the celtic

I have avoided that word for a long time, it has almost become a nothing word to some, speaking of fanciful longings and notions without any depth or heart or soul. ‘Celtic Christianity never really existed’ some say, and to an extent I would agree. The trouble is, it goes deeper than this. “And Celtic Spirituality is only the heart ruling the head” They might go on to say. When I hear some poetry and music quoted as being ‘celtic’ or of celtic influence I always wonder who was the influence to these quaint ditties, some long forgotten saint speaking from beyond the grave perhaps?

Reading Alastair’s book Soil and Soul is illuminating because for once he usurps the general convention of, is there, isn’t there, celtic arguments and says this:

“The issue, I think, is not whether Celtic spirituality ever existed, but the fact that a living spirituality connecting soil, soul and society manifestly can and does exist. This is community in that word’s most holistic sense. … Celticity therefore takes on a meaning that can be bigger than ethnographic and linguistic definitions alone: it becomes code for reconnection with human community, with the natural world and with God. It expresses what I call a ‘metaculture’: a connection at a level of the soul that goes deeper than superficial cultural differences; a connection simply by virtue of our underlying humanity. Such a bedrock of commonality is desperately needed in today’s fragmented world. It arises not from globalisation as a business concept, but from the fact of being ‘one world’ “