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Canyon de Chelly, Arizona

❝[I]t was very clear that people saw in their neighbours the thing they did not recognize in themselves.
As a rule, when the collective unconscious becomes really constellated in larger social groups, the result is a public craze, a mental epidemic that may lead to revolution or war or something of the sort. These movements are exceedingly contagious — almost overwhelmingly contagious because, when the collective unconscious is activated, you are no longer the same person. You are not only in the movement — you «are» it.❞
👴🏻: C.G. Jung, The Tavistock Lectures, Lecture II

“We all can have a real mystic experience of breaking through the veil of culture’s duality and experience the Mystery of what life is all about, the Interconnectedness of creation, but we must be willing to sacrifice looking through physical eyes and See with our Inner Eye.

That afternoon, it had been as though an unseen hand had drawn back a curtain and, for the briefest moment, I had seen through such a window. In a flash of “outsight” I had known timelessness and quiet ecstasy, sensed a truth of which mainstream science is merely a small fraction. And I knew that the revelation would be with me for the rest of my life, imperfectly remembered yet always within. A source of strength on which I could draw when life seemed harsh or cruel or desperate.” — Jane Goodall

There is one thing one has to have, either a soul that is cheerful by nature, or a soul made cheerful by work, love, art, and knowledge. — Friedrich Nietzsche

Is a good human being born that way or made good by external influences? That debate has been going on for as long as people could think. We have invented an astonishing array of systems to help us be better humans, but I have less confidence in religious commandments than transformative experience and simple innate goodness

Jane Goodall’s experience came to an already good person, someone with innate care and kindness already installed in her since birth. Precepts and thou-shalt-nots play no part in her mind or modus operandi. Such a person is not likely to be swept up in religious fervor or sectarian struggles. Her message is simple; take care of the world, not just because it sustains your life but because you love it.

The logic of self preservation has less love in it than power. So many of us in our contemporary life are not capable of the kind of love that will save nature and other races of people. Where does love come into business? Has it a place in politics or governance or education? You would think that at least the question could apply to ecology, but the our first consideration is short term self survival. We’re going to have to grow beyond that stage.

The question is, can we?

We live in a social context that elevates the logic of short term self interest and greed above love. Any society that is built on exploitation of others who are considered less-than because of class or race is incapable of even conducting a discussion of love.

Our ability to love has to extend far beyond the personal to all the players in existence, plant, animal and material, as well as the miraculous whole.

Humans of our modern world are far from this kind of love, but unless we can grow into that capability our civilization is fatally flawed. That seemingly insignificant little failing can consign us to oblivion.

Looking at the current state of the human heart and mind, you could be forgiven for having doubts, but the world is full of miraculous surprises. I’ll reserve judgement for now, but my fingers are crossed.

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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