In You We Trust: hope you had a happy USIndependence Day! Change. We’re being bombarded with opportunities to so do because global millennial environments are proving to be utterly VUCA. But what’s happening with the much vaunted “new-normal?”
OK sure, things aren’t the same as yesterday (the passing river &c.), we’re still zoom-ing, part-working from home, hearing about/living the “Great Resignation,” thinking more often/seriously about electric transport+home improvement investment, &c.. But I’m sensing that our advanced western civilisation is quietly sinking back into pre-pandemic behaviours, eg. given recurring new infection waves. Results-wise, the near future could prove to be simply the result of more “business as usual”! Lest we forget, “The first revolution begins when you change your mind about how you look at things and realise that there is another way to look at them that you have not been shown.” – Gil Scott-Heron
Which give me more than fleeting peace&joy?
Previously we looked at: the value of more purposeful, intentional living; following our hearts & principles more than just our minds & rigid or comfortable schools of thought; doing that bit of discomforting behavioural engineering to drastically reduce our personal environmental footprints; incorporating truly life-giving spiritualities into our material lives by standing up — verbally if not actually on the barricades — against the inexorable advance of a “worldiness” disadvantaging ever more beings, Nature and our planetary ecosystem as a whole.[mfn]Dangerous times favour dangerous men. — Albus Dumbledore (Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore)[/mfn]
A theme, one about the barriers[mfn]here’s an interesting contemporary manifesto I learned about mid-June: https://parkecovillagetrust.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/The-Fourteen-Precepts-of-Engaged-Buddhism_tnh.pdf [/mfn] possibly holding back intelligent beings from “being=doing the right thing,” had been circling with my thoughts for some time when I found HBO’s brilliant 2012 tv series “The Newsroom.” It treats topics such as: idealism vs fear of reality&for survival; heart&soul vs calculating ratio&profit; Spiral Dynamics’ teal vs orange&green; Maslow 5 vs Maslow 2.
Will McAvoy : Charlie Skinner was crazy. He identified with Don Quixote – an old man with dementia who thought he could save the world from an epidemic of incivility simply by acting like a knight. His [Charlie’s] religion was decency. He spent a lifetime fighting its enemies. I wish he could be here … …this fight is just getting started because he taught the rest of us to be crazy too… You were a man, Charlie… A great, big, man. — s3e6 [vertical-spacer]
Barrier#1 Mild scopophobia?
Nobody in their right mind wants to seem crazy — statistically or otherwise — in front of other people.[mfn]Scopophobia is an excessive fear of being stared at. While it is not unusual to feel anxious or uncomfortable in situations where you’re likely to be the center of attention — like performing or speaking publicly — scopophobia is more severe. It can feel as though you’re being scrutinised.[/mfn] However when we finally do allow ourselves a step backwards, to take a deep breath and introspect for a while, we can find ourselves being reminded that “the world knows only two kinds of people: those who think they’re normal and those who know that there’s no such thing…” — s2e4. And let’s also take (much needed?) courage from Marianne Williamson’s incisive observation here.
Barrier#2 Existential fears
A quick search for the term “Quixotic” tells us that it means “impractical idealist,” originating from the title of Miguel De Cervantes’ 1605CE novel. It tells the tale of a knight who, after reading chivalric romance stories, embarks on adventures with his squire Sancho Panza, a horse and a donkey. Honest, dignified, proud, and idealistic, DQ wants to save the world. Critical consensus would have him as intelligent as he is mad: Don starts out as an absurd and isolated figure and ends up as a pitiable and lovable old person whose strength and wisdom have failed him. Although a heroic figure to many people today too — a dreamer who fights against odds and remains faithful to his noble goals — his death is “normally” evaluated as being the cruelly tragic end of the idealist crushed under the weight of reality.[mfn]Introspecting upon this topic IS time well spent: what is YOUR REALITY?[/mfn] Such scary existential s**t is the Ego’s ultimate argument. Yet, we momentarily forget that that argument is itself ultimately flawed&futile because we all physically die in our bodily=ego form.
So why not after all mull on the possible value for “advanced western, civilised” people like us of becoming:
Barrier#3 Stage fright
A big hurdle for, among others, procrastinating perfectionists fearing failure and censure! What to do?
Charlie: For a long time now, I badly wanted to watch the news on my TV at night. Then it occurred to me– I run a news division.
Will: [Mac]’s indifferent to ratings, competition, corporate concerns, and, generally speaking, consequences...
Charlie: Good, ’cause you just described my job. I’m Don Quixote, you can be Sancho, she’ll be Dulcinea, and everyone out there is the horse.
Will: Donkey. How did you know about that conversation?
Charlie: I know everything. Anchors having an opinion isn’t a new phenomenon. Murrow had one and that was the end of McCarthy. Cronkite had one and that was the end of Vietnam.
Will: I’m not those guys.
Charlie: I’m betting all my money that you’re wrong. You know what, kiddo? In the old days of about 10 minutes ago, we did the news well. You know how? We just decided to. –s1e1
Barrier#4 (guilty) Fatalism
Will McAvoy : There’s a hole in the side of your boat… That hole is never going to be fixed, it’s never going away, and you can’t get a new boat. What you have to do is bail water out faster than it’s coming in. –s3e6
Yup, that’s a pretty good description of many people’s lives! And doesn’t this realisation often come after it would have been really useful? I heard an intriguing explanation of the term “Finity:” it being the only way the “divine architect” could get your average human to the final decision point to face, accept and reverse his/her negative karma — those unique and recurring s**tty themes in life/lives…
There is one possible process to resolve karma (surely out of many) which I myself have — if only momentarily — experienced a few times. If one
- simply allows those first, so-called “intuitive”[mfn] a term often hijacked by a highly calculating, s**t scared Ego…[/mfn] perceptions of the solution to float on by without grabbing hold of it;*
- expects the Miracle, ie. accepts that Life includes a magical gift of Grace available to everyone&-thing, and,
- while waiting expectantly*[mfn]a useful definition of prayer and/or meditation during our material lives — work really is LOVE in action![/mfn] for Grace to be disbursed, one simultaneously continues to give unconditionally to others: by being really and truly creative at doing the right stuff right well, in the right place, at the right time, for the right reason(s);
then one can really experience the truly incomprehensible, deep, healing peace+joy of creating one’s own right personal harmony/balance! The “control test” is one’s own degree of unconditional tolerance towards others, afterwards. And it also becomes obvious that only by repetition and “practice will get you to the Royal Albert Hall…” ie. heaven on earth!
What makes us the greatest?
What makes us “the greatest” community/ family/ team/ person?
Albert Einstein famously said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting to get different results. It would be arrogant for any “spiritually aware” person not to take this sentiment into account. Hence I publicly admit here to being arrogant and unaware …
Will: First Step In Solving Any Problem Is Recognizing There Is One. America Is Not The Greatest Country In The World Anymore. — s1e1
I became slightly more “aware” in terms of the implications of: my corporate work&life choices leading up to 1999; my food+drink+fitness choices since 2005; and my own travel choices since 2010. For example re. the last: from deadly floods to extreme heatwaves, the effects of fossil fuels adding excessively to the (cyclical?) warming of the planet are obvious, as is the fact of the finiteness of “fossil fuel” ingredients and their importance (ie. just like that of global bio-diversity) to the planetary matrix. I decided therefore (i) to get rid of my car and motorbike, (ii) to travel alone by public transport only, or in other people’s vehicles ( of which estimated carbon kilometers I immediately offse£ and invite my co-passenger(s) also to do), and (iii) not to take aeroplanes for short or medium haul distances and to permanently cut out all long distance flying for holidays and business. For me the time for “eco-blahctivism” was over in 2010: the legalistic, ego-engineered spin that sounds ok and looks acceptable on paper. That realisation was where my own conversion journey started. As a result of all these work&body&travel choices, my consumption and life slowed down considerably and very uncomfortably while I was becoming re-acclimated to living&tasting&perceiving more deeply than ever before into what I now take the time to experience.[mfn]If you think these words are smug and/or sanctimonious, no problem! I do care that I have conquered more deep seated fear-hurdles and have uncovered some unexpected and brilliant qualitative knock-ons for myself![/mfn]
The fear thou art in, Sancho,” said Don Quixote, “prevents thee from seeing or hearing correctly, for one of the effects of fear is to derange the senses and make things appear different from what they are; if thou art in such fear, withdraw to one side and leave me to myself, for alone I suffice to bring victory to that side to which I shall give my aid;” and so saying he gave Rocinante the spur, and putting the lance in rest, shot down the slope like a thunderbolt. — Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
[vertical-spacer]Might there be important positive advantages for groups/communities of “butterflies,” here&now, becoming a bit more QUIXOTIC in action
Spirituality, at the heart of the Findhorn Ecovillage Community.