Notions of balance and energies are at the root of applied philosophy, gnosticism, and shamanism throughout cultures:
- The world is alive with a spiritual consciousness that can communicate. Hence, we are all connected through this consciousness.
- Everything in the world consists of energy that can be transformed on our path through time faced with myriad parallel universes of possibility.
- The entire universe is sacred and has purpose and meaning.
- Nature provides us with the most direct and immediate experience of spirit. Through nature we can access the love, wisdom, compassion and power of the spirit world in order to receive help for ourselves or to help orders.
In Vodou, all of this has long been—and remains—intimately and powerfully experienced first-hand by practitioners and priests.
Despite the connections explored here with globalized sciences, the goal is not to provide proof nor to reject proof and require belief in magic. Physics has provided theoretical legitimacy to these ideas, though many remain empirically untestable. The advice is to approach with the ethics of Vodou: compassion, tolerance, observant criticality and open-minded humility, along with (above all) love—thus, regardless of the truth, the outcome will be constructive and positive.
Nor is the goal to suggest some amorphous, pan-indigenous or universalist spirituality. However, as with the unity and inclusive adaptability of mathematics and science, Vodou is a living culture and not a fixed, exclusive ethnic identity. Vodou encourages cross-cultural engagement, sharing, and learning as human siblings, all benefiting from our respective rich natural resources when shared, tweaked, and reassembled with integrity of protocols and access restrictions. The most obvious example is meditation, in clinical trials and in neurochemical experiments demonstrated. There are many other examples.
Anyone, anywhere can become a great scientist, mathematician, and philosopher (and musician or healer). Natural capacities make some stand out as gifted in the methods of truth; training and feedback from colleagues in community helps us all. Similarly, anyone, anywhere can be gifted with this gift of Vodou; Houngans and Manbos are people who give our lives to learn and to share the wisdom to better the way of living around each of us and on the Earth in general. People who have this gift in other cultures describe this with different language. and take on roles with different different names. In an African language, it means vaudin, which means spirit. We may have different faiths, we may speak different conceptual and cultural languages, we may have traveled different historical paths and contingencies, we may work in different modalities and with different methodologies to give thanks to the spirits in our world. As such, I greet you under the light of the Infinite Creator.
Our knowledge grows and with it come new questions and landscapes to befriend and engage. The knowledge and terrain are immeasurable, yet this isn’t hopeless or discouraging; the attitude is a willingness to learn more with humility. By opening our hearts and minds with trust and attention, the solutions can come and our knowledge can grow. No matter who you are, you have something to share—positive, with other people. If we sit down and talk, learn from each other, trust each other in our times of need—then we will have a better place to live. Because the places belong to us.