I have had a longstanding interest in both science and spirituality, and since I don’t even know what these words mean anymore, let’s just call it a longstanding interest in desiring to know and understand the experience you and I have found ourselves within. This process of coming to know has been alive within me since early days, and it has been fueled by my daily encounters with a broken world, with a self whose feelings I can no more control than I can shut off, with sensations of light and buoyancy that have snuck into gaps in my consciousness and beckoned, with friendship, with the magic of discovery, with failures and disappointments, with dreams that have now passed by me and wafted up through the leafless branches of moonlit trees, back to the beyond.
Along the way my thoughts have changed color. I have changed my mind about some things I once believed. Some of the endeavors I dove into with as much passion as I could muster, the ones I thought would bring the greatest good to the world, have come up short, been stymied, or sprung a leak and wilted. My heart has dilated and contracted– then flowered. I have behaved other than I would have desired to behave. I have had reactions leap out from the shadows within me of which I’m not proud. I have sat down with demons and thanked them for their time. I have stood quietly within a sunlit moment, and been flooded with gratitude for it’s finding me and not caring about anything other than the way we, together, collaborated in a spontaneous collage of peace and wholeness.
It’s hard to look at oneself, at one’s fellow human beings, and at the world at large and say there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s nearly impossible. Try it, and you will realize just how clean a break this is with who we’ve been, with the meaning we have assigned to things, with the purpose we have given to our lives. As soon as you work up the gumption to spit that one out, even before the first whisper has passed through the canyon of your larynx, the voices materialize in the air around you, seeping into the very medium of your thoughts, and start yelling in your face. They’re angry. They’re right. They know what’s going on here. Have you looked around? Have you looked within? The furies rush in to be sure this little revolt is suppressed before it even gets going. We shudder to think how close we came to irreconcilable folly, to walking away from our fellow men and women, from all those who shoulder the yoke of the world, who shoulder it’s burdens. Don’t they need our help? Our contribution? I’m just going to walk away…? Abandon them…? Commit the most horrid act of treason imaginable…?
What about the big governments and big corporations? What about the genetically modified food, the atmospheric pollutants, the greed, ignorance and hypocrisy, the failures of our educational systems, the instability of the economy, the magnitude of our indebtedness, or the pains in my body? What about the unbelievers, the wrong believers, the scarcity of natural resources, or the poverty and famine that shreds some entire countries? What about that?
What I’m trying to say here is that today I have realized I am abandoning worldly solutions. I am abandoning the notion that what we need is the right policy, the right education, the right idea or point of view, or the right persons in the right roles– all of the perspectives that come from the accomplished study of the disciplines available to us. I am abandoning the notion that things would be alright if only this group of people didn’t think or act a certain way. I’m tired of turning on the radio or television and hearing someone explain why some other group of people have got it all wrong, or why their latest idea is the one we’ve been missing all along, the one that will set things straight. I’ve come to the conclusion it’s pointless to think any one of us will complete the hero’s quest to bring back what was lost and save all the others. That implies there’s a whole passel of helpless people that need to be saved. That implies we know what needs to be done. That implies our broken views of self and world are correct. And if I do abandon these notions of a solution, I have to look at myself, at the world at large and all those within it, and say, “There’s nothing wrong with this picture.” I have to commit this final act of heresy.
Before you dismiss me as a lunatic, let me just say that the picture one has to be willing to see in order to commit such an inner act is not the picture the world presents. One has to be willing to look at the invisible heart of the world, and recognize its profound and indomitable spirit of goodness, and recognize that nothing is but what is an extension of that Source. To see otherwise, is to insist on a broken perception, to insist that our false beliefs about ourselves and the world and the effects those false beliefs have had upon the drama of the world are accurate, and that the deep and abiding Love at the heart of the world is a lie.
What solution can we offer that is not a stopgap, a temporary measure until the deep awareness of Love has returned? In the context of Love’s return, our ideas and inspirations are no longer attempts to achieve individual greatness, or to fix or correct a broken world, but a means of expressing and sharing the heart of the world, the reality we share together. It is hard to admit in the meanwhile that our stopgaps are postponing the inevitable we have so long desired. It is hard to admit our insistence on the validity and meaning we have assigned the world is creating the very problems we are seeking to solve. It is hard to admit we’ve been mistaken… that the world is not broken, but merely reliving for us the deepest myths we carry inside… the myth that we are broken and alone… the myth that something has gone wrong… the myth that we are guilty of ancient errors for which we cannot atone…
I know I’m not a solution guy but I wonder: what would the world show us if we let these deeply held errors be washed clean? I don’t think this a worldly solution per se. This isn’t something for which we have to lobby or convince, as this only asserts the opposite. This isn’t something we do rightly or wrongly. This is the abandonment of falsehood. This is Love quietly growing within us. This is being who we are. This is simply a new color of thought.