The Hollywood billboard of master comedian Bill Maher saying “Let’s make America sane again”, exemplifies the sense I’m clearly getting wherever I am in the world, that people increasingly feel humanity has come off its hinges and needs re-hinging.
And I relate and empathize but have been wondering for a while now whether in fact humanity is as it’s always been – call it insane if you will, but compared to what? An ideal, I suggest.
I notice it in myself – comparing what I perceive to be happening, for it is all perception isn’t it, to an imaginary ideal of how I think it should be, without questioning the validity of that, assuming all the while this imagined realm is real, or was real in some other more golden age.
But I’m really not sure it is or ever was. I don’t think humanity en mass has ever been any different. All ends of the spectrum of possible behaviors have always been acted out, ranging from extreme kindness to extreme cruelty, and from extreme wisdom to extreme stupidity, and everywhere in between.
Granted there are many more of us than have ever been here, at least as far as we know, and there’s the added factor of ubiquitous news media to exponentially compound the sensational effect of it all, making it all seem far louder, more dangerous, and more unstable than it’s ever been.
But consider this. The vast majority of people on this planet are not acting out destructively, cruelly, or psychotically with each other. The vast majority of people are not killing or hurting each other. The vast majority of people are not living in abject chaos. The vast majority of people are managing at least to eek a living and stay alive.
The vast majority of people value being alive and respect the right of others to be alive with them. The vast majority of the systems we rely on, the global socio-economic infrastructures we depend on for our collective survival, are all functioning fairly efficiently. And the vast majority of people are inclined to help others more than hinder them.
At least that’s how it looks to me with privilege of this here spaceship I commandeered so I could zoom right out and gain a broader view of our situation. I’m not suggesting it’ll last, and know it can’t continue like this much longer anyway, but right now, which is all we really have, it’s looking pretty good.
What is happening for sure is a stretching of the parameters of the story we collectively tell to describe this world to ourselves and each other, and as far as we’re concerned this is unprecedented, even though comparable phases have occurred countless times before..
What’s also happening is the very structure, composition, and balance of the various factors comprising our ecology, are morphing rapidly, and the vital resource reserves dwindling away relatively rapidly, meaning we’re facing or are about to be facing unprecedented challenges.
But once we free ourselves of the habit of comparing all this to the ideal of what we believe should be happening rather than be scary, it’s really rather thrilling. Thrilling to have elected to come to the planet at this time, when we each could have elected to go anywhere at any time in the universe, that we might enjoy this spectacle.
When you let go of the comparisons with the ideal or with your idealized memories of halcyon days gone by that never were, and when you let go of the fear behind that – just for a moment at a time – what’s there in its place is a vast expansiveness of spirit, a beautiful insecurity, and a requirement to let go and surrender to the adventure as you find or perceive it rather than fight with and resist it because you think it should be different.
At the same time, there’s an implicit obligation to exude the qualities you wish to see prevail in your own ambit, and intend for that to radiate via each person you encounter so its sphere of influence expands exponentially and eventually affects, albeit subtly, the collective.
You’ll find that aligns you to your innate courage and nobility and provides you a sense of connectedness to the high-frequency stream.
By that I mean the accelerated frequency of energy and consciousness associated with heaven on earth. Because if each of us experiences that state, once we reach critical mass in numbers, the whole of humanity will experience it too.
Not that this in itself will usher in a utopian idyll, for such idylls are there none.
There’s always the yin to the yang, the dark to the light and so on.
But with that spirit prevalent there’ll certainly be a better rather than worse atmosphere for us all to enjoy the show in, and that’s what counts in the penultimate sense. What counts ultimately is acquiescing to our eventual reabsorption into the more undifferentiated aspects of Tao, once we finally take off these suits we’re wearing and dematerialize.
Meantime the point is to enjoy each and every moment, including the ones you feel out of sorts, scared, off-kilter and so on. Especially these moments, in fact. The greatest growth comes from being perplexed and having to gain clarity.
None of this has been intended as a polemic, none of it posited as absolute truth by any means, more just a view of a post-modern Wayward Taoist, but I suspect it’s a correct one, all things considered. So let us glory in the story of humanity not cringe, and let us trust it still has its hinge, even if it’s not set up as previously, even if the mechanism seems a bit alien.
Let the notion that everything is fundamentally alright and as it’s meant to be rather than an aberration, be your subtext, and let your intention be that everything without exception works to your advantage, and then to share the fruits of that advantage with all humanity, for like that the world will be your oyster for the opening.
With love, Brother Barefoot, Fellow of the Royal Order of Golden Oyster Derived Source/Sauce (GODS) (or that kind of thing)