A Personal Cosmology

Illustration by Brian Bowes

Cosmology is an interesting thing. While I love thinking of different ways that the inner and outer worlds might be organized, I also find myself wondering what is the point of such exercises? I mean, honestly, how much does it affect my daily actions whether we come from God Herself’s first orgasm, or simply exist in the blink of Brahma’s eye? Still, I think it’s important for a human being to have an understanding of her place in the larger Pattern, in whatever part of the smaller patterns we understand.

My understanding of metaphysics has its roots in Norse and Anglo-Saxon mythology, but has since taken on a life of its own based upon my own journeying experiences. The constant landmark on all planes, though, is the Tree, the Axis Mundi that unites all worlds, past, present, parallel, and future. It is through the Great Tree’s branches that I travel when I make my journeys into the so-called Otherworld (which may in fact be any number of different worlds, distinct but connected to our own).

Our universe, and all that we can perceive and understand of it through scientific study, hangs as a shining fruit from the Tree’s branches. The workings within this “Midgard Fruit,” the laws that function to keep our universe running, are the domain of the hard sciences—physics, astronomy, chemistry and such. But once outside the comfort of the Fruit called Midgard, a different set of laws may well come into play. Here the studies of philosophy, psychology, and art are often of more relevance.

And then, there is the Great Law that flows throughout all worlds. None are exempt from It, for to deny It’s Way is to seek un-existence.

The Law (or Way, or Tao, if you prefer an Eastern worldview) is what we in the West most often identify through the sciences. It is perfect in Its conception, and man, beast, and god alike are beholden to It’s flow. But the sciences are not the only path to understanding the Great Law—art, philosophy, and music all give glimpses of how It’s currents move through the waters of Wyrd. The Law is not the tapestry, but the patterns contained therein. It is also the dynamic Web that connects all things, living and non-living alike, for at the most basic level all are made of the same Divine Stuff.

So, all of this is well and good, but then we come back to the question, so what do you do with it? On a practical level, my home-grown cosmology allows me to embrace the most recent theories and discoveries of scientific disciplines, seeing in them the wonder of just how vast and perfect the world can be. I can enjoy works of art and inspiration, and see these, too, as a reflection of the Divine. Most importantly, I feel comfortable with my place in the whole, as a thread in a larger tapestry. It serves as a reminder of humility towards my fellow beings (not that I’m so perfect as to always remember this!), and a knowledge that simply because something is intangible doesn’t make it any less real.

The Divine is immanent, and while it may be harder to see Its spark in a toaster than in a rainbow, it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be looking.

—A.V.

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5 thoughts on “A Personal Cosmology

  1. A thoughtful post. I also have a love of science as well as the mystic/cosmic. I feel that the Universe is a way cooler place than we can yet conceive, and I try to express that in my paintings. You may find them interesting.

    http://www.deathless-art.com/

    While reading this, I was thinking in particular of my picture “The Ant in Amber” on that page. I guess it was the tree references. Anyway, it’s a meditation on the nature of time. Another picture, “Spring,” is my own attempt to show the immanence of the gods in nature.

    If you wanted to use any of my images to illustrate a post, please feel free to do so. My site won’t allow a direct link to an image file, but you can always copy one and post it with a link and attribution for non-commercial purposes under my Creative Commons license.

    I hope you enjoy them, and I’ll be back to read some more. Thanks.

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    • Thanks for your kind words! I just spent the last half hour or so perusing your site and I absolutely love the visions you present in your work. “Swan Mother” and “Anubis Plays the Blues” really struck something in me.

      Thank you also for permission to use your work in other posts. I’ll be sure to credit you and include a link back to the original.

      Like

  2. “I can enjoy works of art and inspiration, and see these, too, as a reflection of the Divine.”

    I think you hit the nail on the head with that one! I love your painting of the snail contemplating the cosmos; I think it’s a perfect illustration for the sentiment you’re trying to express. Would it be possible to purchase a print of this beautiful piece?

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    • I love this painting as well, but sadly, I didn’t create it. It’s by Brian Bowes (click on the painting for a link back to his site) and I don’t know if he offers prints. I’d like one myself, that’s for sure!

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      • Ah! Thanks for the info! It might not be a bad idea to publicly give credit to the illustrator who so lovingly crafted such a fine image in your posts in the future: to avoid any confusion. Unless of course you have some other agreement with Mr. Bowes. Anyway, thanks again!

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