"THE HIDDEN PEOPLE"
the spirit of communication and
By Maireid Sullivan
Recently I was asked what I thought has survived of ancient Celtic tradition
in the same way that Yoga and Ayuravedic medicine have survived in ancient
Indian tradition and Confucian philosophy and Acupuncture have survived
in Chinese tradition?
And the first thing that came into my mind was Free Will/Free Speech!
Egalitarianism, personal sovereignty, free will, free expression through
language, -- laughter, voice and speech -- are fundamental healing principles
in Celtic philosophy.
Any other condition could be called subjection, oppression or slavery.
It's that simple! And we know that when we are seriously unwell we must
take stock of our lives and reclaim our autonomy.
"The CRAIC" (pronounced "crack") is an Irish
expression for good, fun conversation amongst equals -- "the gift of
the gab" -- "the Blarney" -- good story-telling and conversation
with plenty of music and laughter. This is the main focus of Irish social
life today and it has its roots in their most ancient Celtic ancestry and
their continuing determination to maintain "inner" freedom.
Anyone who understands and celebrates the concept of personal sovereignty
as "individual freedom and responsibility for acts of free will"
can become a lively communicator who knows the ecstasy of good communication:
new stories and new experiences to share over and over, renewing the thrill
of original discovery. "The CRAIC."
It is interesting to observe the remnants of a joyous spirit associated
with the Celts -- particularly the Irish -- even with the history of suffering
they have experienced. As the song says "In the lilt of Irish laughter
you can hear the angels sing."
In the ancient Celtic world view, Truth is the supreme power -- the word.
The word is sacred and imbued with real magic power and is not to be profaned.
"Truth is the foundation of speech and all words are founded on truth."
Weaving the truth into mythical stories is considered a high art by the
The spirit of inner freedom is still alive in Celtic people. The oppression
of Celtic culture by various changes in the established order of their society
has not squelched the individual Celt, who was brought up in an environment
where personal responsibility for the definition of reality is an innate
Let me throw a little historical perspective on the subject. In recent
years, rich archeological findings trace the people whom we call the Celts
across Europe before 3000 BC. The name Celt comes from Keltori,
"the hidden people." They were elusive.
But we know from archeological, anthropological and historical research
that they were a rich and sophisticated tribal culture. They didn't have
a centralised government. They were united inter-tribally by their shared
language and world view/philosophy. They were not hierarchal but egalitarian.
The Druids were their intellectual class incorporating all the
Druids were a spiritual people -- not a materialistic people.
Celtic culture successfully upheld social egalitarianism for thousands of
years -- their philosophy promoted the personal sovereignty of each individual
based on free will. This is unique in the history of European societies,
where partriarchal hierarchy ruled from east to west.
The western world today is the successor of an empire-structured cultural
heritage. The Roman Empire-State was hierarchally organised and authoritarian
-- women were just bearers of children and objects of pleasure. Celtic
society was centered on moral order with a mythical world view where men
and women were equal. For the expansion of the Roman Empire, the Celtic
Druids and their world view had to go.
Up until the seventeenth century, unlike the rest of Europe and England,
Ireland's Bardic schools had an educational tradition outside the monastic
and ecclesiastical schools which turned out poets, historians, lawyers,
doctors, etc.. Legends speak of these schools reaching back, before the
1st millenium BC, to ancient Druidic schools throughout the Celtic world.
Their libraries were destroyed during the expansion of the Roman Empire
and, later, by the Christians.
We know from historic documentation that great and heated debate went on
around the Catholic Church's concept of original sin and the Celtic philosophical
concept of free will. The Celtic philosopher, Pelagius (c.AD 354-420),
believed that the Church doctrine of original sin, expounded by Augustine
of Hippo, would lead to personal irresponsibility since it was based on
the theory that everything is preordained and that we are all imperfect
sinners because we have inherited the original sin of Adam. This theory
denied people's capacity to live openly, with courage and with free will.
The concept of sin was foreign to the Celts. Pelagius argued that through
the exercise of free will, where people's choices were their own, people
could be free of sin. For this heresy, St. Augustine initiated long arguments,
condemnations and excommunications of Pelagius and his followers. Pelagius
was excommunicated three times and set free each time. The Church didn't
win the debate and the Celts held their position on this central philosophical
point up until the 12th century. St. Augustine and his followers accused
Pelagius of reviving the "Natural Philosophy of the Druids" which
is, essentially, that when the the will is free there is no sin, and that
we have the power to exercise choice in any moment, no matter what context.
Pelagius wrote about "The ability, the will, the act." Many
writers since his time have presented the same arguments which we now call
A person who learns that all people are equal can exercise free will and
free speech in an environment where centralized government has no controlling
influence over an individual's personal sovereignty -- a free society.
The New World/America offered the first opportunity for the enshrinement
of personal sovereignty -- individual rights -- in a centralised government.
Free speech is protected from government intervention. Even the early
Greeks didn't offer this breadth of personal freedom in their democracy.
Socrates had to take hemlock as the remedy for the free speech of his adventurous
Free speech involves Self-transcendance -- I and thou. It is a primal urge
no matter how that is defined socially. Self-transcendence is a natural
process for the person who has been brought up with a world view which sees
the individual as a sacred conduit for universal energy
Celtic people are all over the globe. Remember that the Celts were originally
a migrating tribal culture unified by language and fundamental egalitarian
philosophy. Celtic people today are the inheritors of a culture foreign
to the prevailing culture, with a foreign language and foreign cultural
concepts. Their story is a true story and a story we can learn from! A
The feeling-need for people today is to create an intimate process of knowing.
Physics has met up with religious philosophy. The superparadigm of Living
Systems Theory helps us recognize the connection between the physical world
as we see it and the mysterious world as we cannot see it. The idea that
we are self-maintaining, self-renewing and self-transcending is becoming
an acceptable concept. It helps us wrestle out of the two major old world
experiences -- the spiritual dictatorship of heirarchal religions and our
physical entrapment in materialism.
We are looking for a conduit -- ways to perceive the process of living so
that we can consciously participate in the creation of a new reality. We
want to transcend our mundane reality and see ourselves as part of the Shapeshifting!
We want to return full circle back to ourselves as creatures of free will
and free expression reclaiming our personal sovereignty enhanced, finally,
by the egalitarian world view -- that we are all created equal and that
great knowledge brings responsibility.
We are ultimately free! We are seeing a timely unveiling of the illusion
of doctrines. Everything is in place to make a shift possible. So what are
we supposed to do to be truly effective for the improvement of our lives?
We must look closely at our ability, acknowledge our will to choose, and
then act. It's the same "old" Pelagian story that mainstream
society chose to ignore and suppress hundreds of years ago when it was highly
refined by the ancient Druids.
Spiritual reality is a place where we can be if we want to -- a parallel
universe -- where our hearts are able to expand with sublime love.
Mature people who know the Truth and still compromise in their lives --
who fluctuate and falter in their ethics -- are holding back love, the most
sublime manifestation of evolution. These people need energy! Creatively
energetic people, especially artists and scientists, have developed the
precision of originality needed to infuse this energy and awe into the sleeping
masses from "waking up" to the knowledge -- the realization --
that every person is truly connected to the energy of the universe and all
Personal sovereignty is based on the truth that no two people can know the
same reality and that time is truly a subjective concept. We only can know
that we are aligned with one another in the daily unfolding of our personal
myth/truth. The memory of meeting one another carries the flow of energy
on to our next meeting.
The pinnacle of consciousness is where everyone is meant to "watch"
-- most of all ourselves: A kind of telepathy. An exchange of energy is
the first principle of our individual commitment to Truth. Love is the
highest energy in Truth. Love is the frontier of energy and the true power
of energy comes with unconditional love. We align with each other for the
courage and the energy to better love each other and ourselves.
Through all this, laughter is the best medicine. Laughter releases healing
harmones. For this we need lots of enthusiastic conversation, good music,
and hearty hugs.
And you have to laugh! Its called "The CRAIC!" (and its pronounced
Maireid Sullivan is a singer/songwriter, poet and student of history. She
was born in County Cork, Ireland. She has lived in the US, Europe, Asia
and Australia and now resides in Los Angeles. Her work is dedicated to
researching and interpreting the gifts of Celtic culture, to pouring her
wisdom and humor into songs about contemporary life and to sharing the evocative
feeling and beauty of ancient Celtic melodies.
Her album, "Dancer", produced by Donal Lunny, is available in
mainstream and alternative music stores under Celtic/Irish in World Music,
New Age or International sections. Maireid is also a featured artist on
Narada Record's "Celtic Voices - Women of Song" and Hearts O'Space
Record's "Celtic Twilight 3 Lullabies. For further information see
Maireid's internet page or contact Lyrebird Music.
Lyrebird Music c/o BOSS DISKS, INC.
1645 North Vine St., Suite 705 Hollywood, CA. 90028
Ph: (213) 462 3500 Fx: (213) 462 1063