Going West: Our Father the Sun and Our Mother the Earth

A couple of miles southwest of Cannich is the Fasnakyle Hydro Power Station. Gravity pulls water down the mountains and the energy wrapped up in this process is harnessed and distributed as electricity. Following the energy back through time we cannot avoid arriving at the sun, which gracefully lifted all those tons of H2O high up into the mountains in the first place.

At that I think of the verse on the church wall, John chapter 1 verse 4, “In him was life, and that life was the light of men”. At which point the thought “pagan sun king repackaged” springs to mind. This is probably because of ideas presented in an excellent book called The Pagan Christ by Tom Harpur. Anyone who has any interest in the notion that the divisive nature of religious extremism is unhealthy but that all the religions contain important messages will find lot’s of useful thinking within Tom Harpur’s excellent composition. One line of thought I found helpful was that the stories our contemporary religions tell us have evolved from older narratives. It’s an idea that has been around for a while and is categorized into the field of study known as comparative religion which Harpur warmly leads us through as he expounds his ideas.

The book ultimately gave me the sense that if we strip back the increasingly complex layers of paint laid down by generation upon generation of religious story-tellers all the way back through time, to a time we might strain our vocal chords referring to as “baaaaaaaaaack in the day”, what we find, at the root of religious mythology, is the simple wonder we feel as children considering the sun and the moon and the stars.

I realize that a story about a highland cycle trip has turned into a book review here in the car park of the power station, where Glen is gaily chasing a stray sheep, laughing and sweating in the blessed warmth of the original god up in heaven above, wellspring of energy available on earth. He that covers the sky in clouds and makes the rain fall and the grass grow.

4 thoughts on “Going West: Our Father the Sun and Our Mother the Earth”

  1. Pig and John are both wonderful bedfellows to pass an evening with, however, the opportune sighting of a vulnerable sheep in a car park will drive any man of a North Eastern persuasion galloping into a deeply engrained frenzy. Bike or no bike.

    1. At the end of it all, pagan mythology rebranded, the sun as the fundamental life-force (at least in this system), it's instructive to note that the most important thing we can reflect on is what motivates a northeastern biology teacher to giggle and chase a sheep in a car-park. Within that image there is a poetry that transcends all language.

      1. Poetry is fluid. Sometimes a pipe breaks and the fluid runs all over the place, leaving a mess. Other times architecture and terrain soak up the poetry and is visible in only the right light.

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