Silence is essential. We need silence, just as much as we need air, just as much as plants need light.
— Thich Nhat Hahn
“The essential quality of the infinite is its subtlety, its intangibility. This quality is conveyed in the word spirit, whose root meaning is ‘wind or breath.’ That which is truly alive is the energy of spirit, and this is never born and never dies.”
-– David Bohm
“Life is short and we never have enough time for the hearts of those who travel the way with us. O, be swift to love! Make haste to be kind.”
— Henri-Frederic Amiel — Amiel’s Journal.
The world is not a problem to be solved; it is a living being to which we belong. The world is part of our own self and we are a part of its suffering wholeness. Until we go to the root of our image of separateness, there can be no healing. And the deepest part of our separateness from creation lies in our forgetfulness of its sacred nature, which is also our own sacred nature.
— Thich Nhat Hanh, in ”Spiritual Ecology: The Cry of the Earth”
I killed a spider
Not a murderous brown recluse
Not even a black widow
And if the truth were told this
Was only a small
Sort of papery spider
Who should have run
When I picked up the book
But she didn’t
And she’s scared me
And I smashed her
I don’t think
To kill something
Because I am
— Nikki Giovani
Thinking in terms of separateness has real world consequences. First to go is compassion. Nature trembles, sensing our divorce-ment from the world and how wedded we are to power over living beings. As a species, we have a streak of blind cruelty that no other species has. The only thing that controls that tendency is a common commitment to a vision of “inter-being.” Few cultures love and feel enmeshed in nature now.
Our vaunted way of life, with all its energy and inventions has not given us peace or even basic sustainability. America has been at war on some level since its founding. No matter how many patriots fly the national flag in yards across the land, we hide our real history from our children. Slavery, racial injustice and the worst genocide the world has ever known will have to be faced before we can know ourselves. Until then our patriotism is just a childish dream.
Can Americans grow up? No one knows. We hope.
We fight each other on the mechanics of governance, policing, taxing, education and economic justice, but we need to examine our hearts, we need to look in the mirror if things are going to change where they must change if this planet is to continue to support life.
We have created havoc in the American countries south of us. We have upended any election we don’t like if it doesn’t favor our vision of how to use resources. Our corporations are always on the prowl for things to exploit. Our military and covert forces prefer foreign governments they can buy.
A government the people actually want is evil, socialist. We are entirely within our rights to undermine and overthrow them. Might makes right. The left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.
That karma has now come home to bite us. The coup attempt we recently experienced was unimaginable just a few years ago. Yes, people need education. Yes, we need equity and health and a dependable infrastructure, but most of all we need a vision of how we belong to the earth and how the earth belongs to us.
Inter-being based on love is the real revolution.