The Better World We know is Possible

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Painting Summer Twilight, Colorado River by Russell Chatham

“The artist does not simply hold a mirror to society. If the world now is greedy, the artist must be generous. If there is war and hate, he must be peaceful and loving. If the world is insane, he must offer sanity, and if the world is becoming a void, he must fill it with his soul.” — Russell Chatham


[W]e brought this entire pandemic on ourselves. The scientists studying these zoonotic diseases — the ones that jump from an animal to a person — have been telling us for a long time that this pandemic was coming and it won’t be the last, and it’s entirely because of our disrespect for animals and the natural world.”

“The women — particularly the women — take out tiny loans for their own environmentally sustainable projects, like getting a few chickens, selling the eggs, having tree nurseries, sometimes a slightly bigger project like shade-grown coffee plantation or pineapples, or something like that,” Goodall explains. “And because it’s not just a grant given to them, but it’s a loan, when they pay it back — and they do — now it’s theirs. They’ve done it by their own hard work. It started with 12 villages around Gombe. It’s now in 104 throughout the whole of chimp range.”

The program is now active in more than 86 countries and has hundreds of thousands of groups, with members in kindergarten, at university and everything in between. Its success is grounded in the understanding that “much more important than our nationality, our language, our culture, our religion, the color of our skin, our food preferences — more important than all of that — is the fact that we’re one human family. Our blood is the same if we hurt ourselves, our tears are the same, our laughter’s the same and that is something which we need so desperately today.” — Jane Goodall

Those advanced souls who will lead us out of this spiritual desert are those who see how everything is connected. They see beyond the individual beauty to the whole beauty. Art and science meets in the hearts and minds of attentive humans, humans who care, humans who have given themselves to repairing the tears in the fabric of creation.

Some people can see into infinity as they peer into manifest reality. They look with love and deep interest. Perhaps those two things are the same thing, or come from the same source. That kind of sight constitutes a penetrating insight more common among so-called primitives than modern humans. Our modern culture has somehow closed the door to natural perception of the everyday miracle in which we make our lives.

Are we cogs in a machine or are we nascent angels just now waking up to a creation of astounding beauty we are enmeshed in? We have childish stories of being made by a God who is just a bigger and more powerful male human being. Our explanations of existence appeal to our egos but don’t foster wonder, respect for life or care for it.

The world is led now by people who are blind to the world soul. As a consequence, our technology is ripping into the connective spirit of life on the planet. We have become a cancer attacking the organism we are meant to foster and care for.

Unfortunately, the people who have this kind of vision are not in positions of power. They are not the political or business leaders. They can write, though. They can create art. They can show how and why the natural world actually lives and how it protects us if we protect it. There are people who can show us how our small vision is killing us.

But putting the puzzle together rationally is not the whole picture. If we don’t care, if we don’t love the world, knowing that everything is related won’t help us.

The thing that has to evolve in humans is wisdom of the heart. The world will be saved by tenderness, not analysis. The better world will come out of love.

Written by

I occasionally write fiction and also about creativity, loving, language learning and travel. I’m a longtime painter and reader.

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