Painting by Edgar Maxcense

Our insight and our language are inseparable from the times in which we live. For many years now, the East has followed the West down the path of technological and material development, to the point of neglecting its own spiritual values. In our world, technology is the main force behind economics and politics, but those in the forefront of science have begun to see something similar to what the spiritual disciplines of the East discovered long ago. If we can survive our times, the gap that separates science and spirituality will close, and East and West will meet one another on the path to discover true mind. Those in whom the seeds of this important endeavor have already been sown can start working towards that convergence right now, using their own daily mindful lives.

- Thich Nhat Hanh


Indeed, when you live from your recovered Feminine, directly from your body-wisdom, from inward life of Soul, the feminine instinct and its dreams, vision, and intuitive insights, you will be a loner; you will be ridiculed and even bullied by people who are literally afraid of you. Why? Because you are feared by masculine Nature. Because you are a deviant, you don’t live the way they live, prostrating before admired patriarchal institutions and its personalities. To be a Lamp onto yourself, to follow your Star is forbidden in our patriarchal culture, but remember, it is your ultimate destiny.

— Marie Louise von Franz

Our technology has given us a lot of power, power to control resources and exploit nature. We look at everything through the lens of utility, including people, nature and culture. For people who think this way slavery and genocide are inevitable. Empathy becomes impossible. Everything is a transaction.

Our culture abuses us this way. We suffer as children in this system, but eventually we are inducted into the ranks of the unconscious unless we resist with everything we’ve got.

The unhealed crimes have been stacking up for ever. We are all living on a small part of the energy we were given at birth because we have lost our reason for living. We’ve lost touch with joy.

It’s not a small thing to decide to refuse a culture that insults your soul. If you’ve grown up in the modern world, it has bent you in ways you don’t question. It’s a juggernaut that has invaded your heart and mind without you noticing.

If you’re going to live your own life, especially if you’re going to create art or ideas, you’ll need to entertain a lot of questions. You’ll need to re-examine your culture’s assumptions.

That’s a task that’s never finished. I’m eighty years old and it feels like I’m just getting started on this project. I think I’m making a little progress, but I’ve a lot of sympathy for those who were trapped by some fatal mistake and spent the rest of their life wondering what happened.

Angry adults were a mystery to me when I was young. I didn’t see that they were caught in an invisible trap and couldn’t free themselves. Their reaction was not to ask questions but to find who to blame. We are perplexed by the ongoing explosions of rage on the political stage right now. People are trapped in a cruel system that has stunted their ability to be fully human. They lash out blindly.

Somehow empathy has to come back into our system. Without it we can’t have justice. Somehow we must rediscover the web of life and our part in it. Somehow we need to notice that we have a heart and a soul, that we are spiritual beings. Losing touch with that drains the meaning and vitality out of living.

We’re in a theater of love but we think we’re in a marketplace

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

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