How to cope with beauty
and at the same time
with the mathematical cruelty
of the universe.
a new paradigm unfolds through radical self-awareness….then it moves out through an amazing encounter with the heart…..like opening up the doors to a high-rise city condo and finding yellow daisy fields…..as wide and soft as the soul…..
Your cold mornings are filled with the heartache about the fact that although we are not at ease in this world, it is all we have, that it is ours but that it is full of strife, so that all we can call our own is strife; but even that is better than nothing at all, isn’t it? And as you split frost-laced wood with numb hands, rejoice that your uncertainty is God’s will and His grace toward you and that ‘that’ is beautiful, and part of a greater certainty, as your own father always said in his sermons and to you at home. And as the ax bites into the wood, be comforted in the fact that the ache in your heart and the confusion in your soul means that you are still alive, still human, and still open to the beauty of the world, even though you have done nothing to deserve it…..Paul Harding
The Wheel of Life helps us appreciate the inseparability of personal development and cultural vitality. A society is mature only when- and because it includes a sufficient proportion of mature members. Lack of personal meaning and fulfillment is endemic to contemporary Western and westernized societies. Why are depression, anxiety, and suicide increasingly common? Social analysts point to the stresses and strains inherent in modern life. But I believe the cause has more to do with what we bring- or don’t bring- to life than with what we encounter in it. My observations of human nature, suggest that, other than socioeconomic oppression, the primary cause of individual distress is pervasive failure in human development as found in, and caused by contemporary egocentric society. The good news is that, once we understand this, we can begin to make the changes that lead to a positive future. Humanity as a whole has an innate vulnerability, a ‘sacred wound,’ and this vulnerability arises from our uniquely human mode of consciousness. This wound predisposes us to getting lost, both individually and collectively and failing to flower. Our human mode of consciousness is self-reflexive, which is to say that we know that we know. In other words, there’s a small part of our consciousness, the ego, that is aware of itself as being aware. This confers a tremendous behavioral advantage but also a potentially fatal liability. Although the ego knows that it knows, there is a whole universe of things that it does not know (especially before maturity), things that the larger, non-egoic portion of the human psyche does know and that are necessary for its own survival. These are things like how to keep a heart beating and how to be a healthy member of the more-than-human community- how to make ‘a home on this jeweled planet of water and stone.’ Yet, just as is the case with our individual wounds, there is also an inestimable benefit that comes with our species’ collective wound, a boon made possible by our distinctive human mode of consciousness. Coupled with our opposable thumbs and our uniquely human symbolic language, our forward-seeing imagination grants us the capability to create a viable future, not only for ourselves, but also for all Earthly creatures. In the 21st century, this capacity has become a necessity for survival. By recovering and reclaiming the power of our human deep imagination and our capacity to celebrate the universe, we render sacred our species’ wound. We become ‘Homo imaginens.’…..Bill Plotkin