Today is 11-22-2012 (or if you are in Europe, it is 22-11-2012.) Either way, it is a powerful number sequence, and a special day for those of us who have grown up knowing that this is the day when we give thanks for all that we have, for the people who love us and whom we love, and for life itself.
Oh but there is much within my heart today, dear Readers. As well as gratitude for my life, my family, and for all of the things I love, I am also feeling deeply the troubles on Earth, the chaos and turmoil, and especially the sense of disconnection from the source of life itself that so many humans walking the planet must be experiencing. I am making this large assumption because it seems so obviously true. I wonder how people can really feel connected to life, to the source of life, how can they know it when they spend the majority of their time using their senses to engage in quite useless activities with electronic devices, or otherwise waste their time involved in mostly empty and useless engagements. I look around and see people becoming ever more stupid and disconnected. What I wonder the most these days is, How can people wake up and become conscious: of themselves, of each other, and of their source, when they are being constantly bombarded with materialism in an ever more streamlined package?
We are now into the darkest days of the year, here in the northern hemisphere. Between now and the end of January we must endure the least daylight and the most darkness. But beyond the seasons, from all ostensible observations, one could argue that we are also in a period of extreme darkness within humanity, if darkness means ignorance, stupidity and unconsciousness. Even though I read blogs and articles nearly every day which speak of the amount of light we are constantly receiving, and that so many people are waking up and isn’t it so wonderful, etc., somehow the obvious signs of this are alluding me. Where are all of these awake, aware and fully connected human beings they are speaking of? Wherever they are must be wonderful, but I have to honestly say, they don’t really live around here.
That sounds pretty harsh, I admit. And yet. Electronic devices seem to be swallowing the soul of humanity bit by bit, along with humans’ capacities to read real (as in the old-fashioned kind with paper and ink) books, write oh, most anything, by using a pen or pencil and their hands, to add and subtract, and to otherwise engage their minds in an activity that used to be known as ‘thinking.’ I am not referring to thoughts on the level of “when will I meet my friends so we can go shopping, out for dinner and drinking?” This is not really thinking. I mean thinking as in, ‘Who am I, and why am I here? What is the meaning of life on Earth? What is love?’ and similar ponderings. Except for a few of us fifty-somethings and older folk, I wonder if anybody walking around the planet gives much time to consider life’s most important questions.
I mourn the loss of the Big Questions. I mourn the loss of knowledge of history. I mourn the loss of Art and Culture and Beauty. I mourn, maybe most of all, the loss of curiosity about life. It seems that young people have lost their ability to ask Why? after about age 7. The loss of these and many other valuable things that humans have wondered about and created over millenia, have combined to make our world so much less: less interesting, less wonderful, less worth living for.
Even so, I remain an idealist to the end. There is a stubborn part of my soul which simply refuses to give into the massive loss of culture and art and meaning, which clings tenaciously to the small hope that somehow, someday, things will change, people will wake up and throw their ipads and phones and screens away; instead they will look around at the world and at one another, not with cynicism and derision, but with openness, with friendliness, with curiosity. Like awakening from a nightmare, people will awaken to what has been here all along and be able to see it with new eyes, clearly.
In my last post, I quoted some song lyrics to an old song by Patti Smith. She wrote that “people have the power to wrestle the earth from fools. Then it is decreed, the People rule.” But these words are making a large assumption: that the People themselves are no longer fools, and that they have the capacity to rule themselves. At this moment in the history of mankind, it is doubtful as to whether We, the People, actually are wise enough to do it. It is not impossible, but in order to overthrow the fools, we need help from beyond our own limited knowledge. This is simply the plain and obvious fact.
For those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving, dear Readers, I wish you a blessed time with your families, friends and in celebration of home and all you hold dear. For the rest of you, and the world of humanity at large, my wish today is for the light of clarity, wisdom, and grace, to bless you and keep you whole.