“A human being is a part of the whole, called by us, “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires, and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion, to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.”
Because of the time change, I am waking up an hour earlier than my already ridiculous time—about 4:30 now. It gives me an hour to lie in bed and think about what is shifting in the human world. As an introverted, intuitive type, that's what I do—try to make sense of things. I'm glad we have all sorts of humans, aren't you? Watching the young people take to the streets to protest the election results warms my heart. It's feels like watching the future emerging right before our eyes. Other folks are discussing and analyzing—trying to discern when and why this world took a left turn? Why are we moving—after the falling of the Berlin wall, the Arab Spring, the opening of the lines of communication throughout the world by way of social media—back to the “strong-arm” mentality of the dark past?
It reminds me of a psychological experiment I read about long ago involving a tiger who's lived in an enclosure at the zoo all its life. Every day, it paces the perimeter fence to the point that there's a deep rut in the ground. The tiger stops occasionally, and gazes wistfully out into the world beyond its fence. Then, one day, the fence is moved back twenty feet, the space that the tiger has to live in is more than doubled—in fact, the fence is now an invisible one. The tiger takes one long look at it, and then goes back to walking the path it's worn into the ground. It doesn't trust its own eyes, and is maybe even afraid to venture out. It doesn't know what to do with all that space and freedom, so it keeps to the path it knows.
What happens if we take a position outside our present moment and view human life on Planet Earth historically? We would see cycles; stages of relative growth and prosperity, times of famine and insecurity, times of overwhelming destruction and disease. All the difficult times, while miserable in the moment, have spurred innovation and resourcefulness, have forced us to push ahead consciously in order to survive. Human consciousness expands when we have to strive, when hardship forces us to push forward. And, after all, that's what we're here for—not to get rich, not to gain territory, or celebrity, or power—but to grow in consciousness. Our job in this universe is to grow in compassion and relatedness for all of creation. Sometimes, we need a kick in the butt to spur us on. We're getting that right now.
In the Spirit,