I Want To Live Where The Churches Still Rise Above The Business Buildings.
…the bowl of warm honey, the island we can all escape to, being bird and plant and human, speaks to me of a quality of belonging, returning to a place of belonging. So much of our world today feels alien, unnatural, as if we are separated from our real home, our natural way of being. This is something both universal and deeply personal, a place we call home, for both our body and our soul. A place where we are closest to what is deepest within us, what gives life real meaning.
Underneath all the complexities of today I believe we all long for a simplicity of self that is full of wonder and magic. It can be tending a piece of ground, growing flowers or vegetables, or playing music, or sitting in silence. It is the lost garden of the soul, a walled garden waiting for its doorway to be found, the scent of roses and honeysuckle beckoning us. Or it can be the heart’s call for love, that seems to take us down strange confusing pathways, into sadness, tears…
Finding the place where we belong is the soul’s quest, a return to love. Sometimes as we walk down life’s pathways it can be good to ask, “Does this path lead to love?” If it does, follow it, because this is the bowl of honey waiting to be tasted, known also as “the sweetness that was before honey or bee.”
The counterbalance to collective forms of terror and destruction is found in individuals awakening to the underlying wholeness of the self and the secret connection of each to the soul of the world.”
— Michael Meade, “Awakening the Soul”
Every age has had its crushing problems. We moderns are crushed by money and its discontents. The logic of profiting from everything is killing the natural world that is our home. Our Western cultures trap us in a dualistic mindset that stifles our spirituality. We are starved for meaning and connection. We feel abandoned because we have abandoned ourselves as we walked away from our role of stewards of nature.
Those recalcitrant people called artists try to look at the world afresh and when they succeed they find that everything is tied to everything else in a stupendous dance. Most of us are too busy to notice that everything in creation is borne out of fierce love and is tied to everything else by that force.
The driving energies of our age fly in the face of the underlying realities of creation, leaving us vulnerable to shocking consequences. Pandemics, wars and social misery will intensify as nature continues to react to our mistreatment.
But how can we heal our myopia of the heart? How can we learn to love and feel implicated in what happens to the world?
After all, we are small. We’re just trying to survive and not suffer too much in our passage through this vale of tears. We’re lucky if we learn to live with a basic kindness, to refrain from doing harm to others or ourselves. The scale of damage to the web of life we inhabit is daunting. What can we do as individuals to contribute to a better way?
I believe in looking at the world with an artist’s eye because that implies looking deeply, with a sense of relationship to everything. That loving attention brings with it a desire to protect and nurture what it sees, because what it sees is a face of God. The many faces of God greet us every day, in fact. We live amidst miracles we hardly notice as we rush through our days.
Artists have decided to love the world, not as an abstract concept, but in a state of intimacy with it. They find a way to reconnect their heart to the world. Reconnecting what the world has disconnected, even in one person, heals the world one person at a time.
We can’t fix everything that is broken in the world but we can repair what is broken in ourselves by the human culture we happen to live in, and in that way re-assume our responsibility as caretakers of the world soul.