“Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.” — Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
“A poet is someone who can pour light into a spoon and then raise it to nourish your beautiful, parched holy mouth.” — Hafitz
“In the course of my lifetime I have lived in two distinct cultures. I was born into a culture that lived in communal houses. My grandfather’s house was eighty feet long. It was called a smoke house, and it stood down by the beach along the inlet. All my grandfather’s sons and their families lived in this dwelling. Their sleeping apartments were separated by blankets made of bull rush weeds, but one open fire in the middle served the cooking needs of all.
In houses like these, throughout the tribe, people learned to live with one another; learned to respect the rights of one another. And children shared the thoughts of the adult world and found themselves surrounded by aunts and uncles and cousins who loved them and did not threaten them. My father was born in such a house and learned from infancy how to love people and be at home with them.
And beyond this acceptance of one another there was a deep respect for everything in nature that surrounded them. My father loved the earth and all its creatures. The earth was his second mother. The earth and everything it contained was a gift from See-see-am…and the way to thank this great spirit was to use his gifts with respect.” — Chief Dan George
Some cultures nurture our humanity better than others. If you belong to a culture that lays waste to the world rather than stewards its abundance, you can’t avoid a sense of loss, a sense of grieving, even if you don’t recognize or understand it. Your culture limits your humanity in that case.
You live your life with a persistent feeling of something having been amputated. You want to restore your wholeness but you don’t know how or even why.
You suffer a kind of phantom limb syndrome, but it’s your heart, your sense of connection that has been excised. You are presented with the conundrum of how to live as yourself, given all the invisible impediments. Your culture itself has presented you with this knotty problem. It’s up to you to unshackle yourself.
Any individual’s roots go into the soil of long dead ancestors. We inherit unsolved traumas and compromises that exert pressures on us. Unbeknownst to us, we have a smaller playing field than we know in our short time on the planet. We live on the surface of ourselves, unaware of deeper currents at play from the day we’re born.
And yet, if we don’t just accept all the received wisdom of our conditioning, we stand a chance of contributing to what has been called “the great turning.” As imperfect as we are, with our pockets of blindness, we can still lend our hands to remaking a better world.
The fools, criminals and bandits in charge of things at the moment will need to give way to visionaries, poets and avatars of an integrated consciousness capable of birthing a thriving planet.
Kindness and love, generosity and care can easily keep this good earth from dying an unnecessary death, but humans will have to evolve. Everybody knows that humans resist becoming more humane, but ready or not, the next stage is upon us.
The potential is there. We can look at other, more “primitive” cultures and see that it’s possible. We are the toad in the road. It’s up to us to become the essential catalyst for what the world needs. It’s calling to us.
- Anima Fire is my pub