Theatre of self
Maybe you’ve felt the same way. We profess to believe but living it is a very different story. The world is beset by problems that seem insurmountable: poverty, lack of opportunity for the poor that represents 80% of us, contamination, lack of drinking water and so on. How can we as a society allow people to sleep on the streets? I walk the streets of the world and I think, is this possible? If you will not fix the poverty problem, how will we combat climate change? The poor do not think about conservation, population control, the plastic problem, or contamination in its many forms. They can’t. They want to eat and have everything that everyone else has. Yet we all know that the powers that be and the huge corporations would just like to give them free hamburgers like in Venezuela under Chavez. God, we don’t care and we are doing nothing. Six billion people are screaming for help, the earth is crying out, can we do anything else but change and speak up?
We are all teachers, and what we teach is what we need to learn, and so we teach it over and over again until we learn it.
A Course in Miracles
I have strong feelings, we all do. Sometimes they make my blood run quicker and other times I’m not even thinking about them. I wonder what is it that makes me forget? Isn’t consciousness about remembering all the time? Belief in the self, belief in myself must be at the forefront of what consciousness is all about. So I ask myself why am I so lazy in staying close to my beliefs?
It must hurt, I know it does me, that when I’m walking on a pristine mountain path and I look over the edge and see plastic left there or other garbage, I can’t believe that’s what we do. In India it is all too common and you want to scream out, “Why can’t people be aware and think differently?” You might be at any beach in the world and wonder at the unconsciousness of some who leave their cigarette butts stabbed into the sand or the plastic from their food or drink. Some of their garbage might even have just escaped from a bag unintentionally, but still, it’s not an excuse.
We fill the fuel tanks of our cars every day and pretend that we are not contaminating, but just doing what we have to do. Are we waiting for the day when we won’t be able to do that because the hydrocarbons found in the gas and diesel we use are no longer permitted? Maybe we say to ourselves, “I believe in that future, but I will wait until that day.” We have become a culture of constant movement and that has its price. All of us grew up in families that lived their lives in a certain way, ate what they wanted to, and probably believed that the world was forever abundant and therefore everything in it was for them. Conditions in our societies have changed. The world is a much bigger place – 5 billion people more in the last 60 years. According to data from 2010, Los Angeles has approximately 6,500,000 cars in an urban population of nearly 12,000,000. We can only imagine the impact on the environment. Mother Earth is trying to deal with it, but failing. Our reality is changing but we are slow to react. The crisis we are witnessing is asking us to return to harmony.
In order to understand what being in harmony with the Planet Earth means – its cycles and its cries for help; we must try to find the source of harmony within us. If you could feel your breath, perhaps, you could feel the Earth breathing. Meditation is the art of returning to balance. Maybe, just maybe, if you could find peace and balance inside of you, you would be more committed to preserving it outside of you. I know we are lacking, and don’t always find the thoughts necessary to not fall into the same unconsciousness we see all around us. What can then be the answer?
It has to become love. Everything we do has to convert itself in an expression of love. Obligation or even us acting responsibly, won’t be enough. When it becomes too difficult and too painful to live outside of the confines of love, then maybe we will preserve love in thought and deed.
The question becomes, do I love you as much as I love myself? Ridiculous! Because if I loved myself I would love you, and since I don’t know what self-love is, how would I know about what it means to love you? You would be at the forefront because love is at the forefront of everything I am. If I did, I would love the earth and all of its beauty and be committed to preserve it. This kind of love generates a feeling that is inalienable, just part of you and no one can take it away from you. It must create a resurgence towards living in a certain way, an overwhelming energy inside of you that you can’t stop. Love is working through all of the things in our life that tend to take us away from its embrace. We work through our anger, resentment, emptiness, fear, abandonment and a whole host of other feelings that have not let us flourish as human beings. We become empowered and the view we see changes.
The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.
Then let my thoughts rise up from their slumber and feel the glow of a new day. Let my actions reflect a commitment to my heart and the feelings it produces in me. Let me not be timid in saying who I am but just the opposite: forceful and loving and kind all at the same time. Let my ideas be your ideas because they come from the same place inside of you and inside of me. I promise your concerns will be mine because consciousness implies “like minds,” and like minds must think together. We are all intricately linked together and living together has never been more important than it is now. Our families can change, the world can change if we take a chance and find in the deepest part of us why we are here.
We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.
Martin Luther King, Jr.