Don’t Get Distracted, We’re Here to Create Beauty
I have a deeply hidden and
Inarticulate desire for something
beyond daily life.
— Virginia Woolf
“We now know that whatever you vibrate, you create and attract to yourself. So, you work on healing yourself in order to create peace around you. You become peace. If there is conflict living within you, you cannot live in a world of peace. The world mirrors back to you perfectly the condition of your love and of your intent. And if the world you are living in is not a world that is at peace and at joy and at grace, then you have to find peace, joy, and grace within you.”
— Alberto Villoldo, PhD
One could be warlike, greedy, racist, selfish, and vain in most of Christian history, and still believe that Jesus is one’s “personal savior “…The world has no time for such silliness anymore. The suffering on Earth is too great.”
— Richard Rohr
“In this time when everyone is separated to one degree or another from each other, in this time when many people are feeling the deep splits within themselves, what is needed is a descent to the interior places of wisdom.”
— Michael Meade
That phrase “interior places of wisdom “ sounds very poetic, doesn’t it? But what does it mean, exactly? How do we “descend?” It seems to me that a lot of our struggles are around what is real and what is not real. Not being in touch with ourselves, meaning not having the grounding in our instincts and heart wisdom, we get easily lost in the offerings of society.
Those offerings are not empty or corrupt in themselves, but we can use them to try to escape from those “interior places” that are calling to us. Creating beauty and peace somehow escapes us because we are purposely ignoring the wars within us. We take sides in those interior conflicts without even understanding what it’s about. We just want to impose a culturally acceptable solution.
The childish people running our world make their decisions on extremely limited self knowledge. This version of humanity is destroying the world. Our societies encourage people interested in power and personal advantage, not people interested in Truth and Beauty. We laugh at the idea that people of wisdom could have any status in the world as we know it.
We expect such people to be marginal. And when we watch the antics of those who idolize someone like Trump, we know that we’re seeing folks who don’t know themselves. Those “interior places of wisdom” have been relegated to interior dungeons.
Well, it’s difficult, facing yourself. We are all struggling with this issue to a more or less degree. We live in a culture that doesn’t want us to do that work. It’s a culture that is set up to avoid the inner world. That’s why we see so many attempts to appropriate the methods of simpler cultures that have evolved wisdom traditions. And, as Hillman has said, we’ve had a hundred years of psychotherapy and the world’s still a mess.
Creating beauty relies no doubt on technical ability to some extent, but the desire to put something beautiful into the world comes from a personal need to do so. I think that’s a common human impulse but part of our struggle is with how we deal with our own inner world and how much we respect it.
If we approach it with fear, judgment or outright repression, if we ignore its messages, we can become unhappy versions of ourselves. Unhappy and conflicted people spread that spirit in the world. A society that creates and maintains human disjunction and outright misery is in serious trouble, as we slip and slide from one gold rush to the next.
I think it behooves us to ask what’s pushing us to live such a meaningless and superficial life. There’s no better time than now to start to make peace within so we can do the same around us. Maybe then we can start to offer our bit of beauty to the world.