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Painting by Marney Ward

Between the slightly unequal halves of dark and light, there is an open moment, a subtle little gap in time through which the eternal enters this time-bound world and breathes new life into it. In other words, life was not simply breathed into the world at the beginning and now it simply continues mechanically until it ends in darkness again.

Rather, there is a still point in time through which life renews itself at the level of the cosmos, at the level of the turning of seasons, in the daily rhythm of dark and light, and in the pulsing of our own bodies each time we inhale and exhale. For, the same dynamic rhythm of opposing and alternating pairs repeat itself in the living breath of each person, moment to moment, day after day, night after night.

In the year when the coronavirus has threatened the life breath of everyone and taken the lives of far too many, in the season of protests that began with the anguish of “I can’t breathe,” and in a time when everything seems so divided and opposed, it is important to remember the underlying unity and inner wisdom of life.

In times like this, everyone needs a healing image, a saving grace, a place of refuge. And it turns out that the little gap in time through which life renews itself appears within us each time we breathe. In that sense, each breath is sacred and can be a little touch of the eternal. For, we breathe along with the world which continuously renews itself in the darkness where everything is secretly interconnected and everything breathes together.”

- Michael Meade

Our way of imagining existence is strangely limited. You could even say it’s stunted. There’s a long history to how we managed to remove wonder and sacredness from our vision of life, but we’re left with a giant, indifferent mechanism that runs automatically and is ours to use however we see fit. Being acculturated to not see the miracle we inhabit, the miracle that we embody, we propagate misery and suffering around the globe.

Our culture suffers from a spiritual myopia.

We are not obliged to live this way. We choose it. Some of us are haunted by a feeling that something’s not right, that we can’t continue in this direction, but we are carried along by the tides.

Most of us would be shocked to realize we contribute to the cancer eating the planet we live on. We buy and use the products from the big companies that are destroying the ecological balance of the only home we have. But more than that, we contribute to and maintain our culture’s spiritual blindness. As long as we remain shallow, the whole human aggregate remains shallow.

Our inner world is an energetic force that produces the outer theater we endure. The weight of human blindness outweighs human insight at the moment. Those folks who say that God is still in his heaven, so we don’t need to trouble ourselves over things like the web of life and it’s signs of sickness, are telling us it’s ok not to see the obvious.

What is the obvious? The obvious is that our technical success, wedded to our spiritual blindness, is killing the world and our future along with it. Heartless rationality is lethal.

Reason without spiritual vision has carried us to a false paradise. We have gadgets galore, powered by something called electricity. We are proud of the unimaginable power of our nuclear technology, but we don’t notice that we have become monsters who would use it in the worst ways without a second thought.

Our brave new world is powered by hubris and runaway indifference to the beauty and delicacy of the limitless lifeforms in and around us. Power is our god.

What if, instead of power we worshipped love and empathy, beauty and sensitivity ? How would that change things?

What do you think?

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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