January 1, 2010
Storynight in the storyhut – a mythic structure and transporter all by itself – bundled around the fire, full moon blue shadows on the canvas walls dancing with the yellow-orange flame flickers inside, singing home our ancestors and honoring the elements which nurture all life. . . intergenerational. . .listening raptly, wrapped intently by drum beat carrying the river of images into bone, into belly. . .feeding the story with our insights, epiphanies, ponderings. . .oh my. . .what is better than that for the human soul? Creation myths from around the world, oh my. . .Making something from nothing and the sacrifice of that which we hold dear to create a broader, deeper, more integral order of being.
Can we embrace the sacrifices we are being asked to make as humans today . . .to co-evolve a more meaningful human wholeness and to support continued life on the planet?
Sacrifice in our modern urban world tends to be rejected as something with which we don’t want to associate, as if it’s bad. . . too painful, too messy, destroying happiness, beauty and youth. No wonder we avoid sacrifice with definitions like this one from Websters’: to suffer loss of, give up, renounce, injure, or destroy especially for an ideal, belief or end.
Yet haven’t we been taught the end justifies the means? What if the end was the ideal of an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, socially just world? . . .the belief that humans might actually love living with and for each other, that they might participate fully, not just spectate, in the creative juice coursing through life itself. What if we humans remembered that there is nothing like ecstasy to revivify our love of living? What if the ego could relax its stranglehold on our psyches and find its role as a helpmate to spirit and side-by for the soul? What if we remembered that happiness is feeling embodied and in touch with the constant flow of this energy called living, a process not a product?
What do we need to sacrifice in order to experience living like that?. . .
2010/01/03 at 3:21pm
I like the thoughts on sacrifice in the first entry. Yes, the sense of sacrifice is often deceptive in our modern world.
Consider the following story:
I’m going across town to a friends house. i could easily drive…. its effortless, safe, warm, comfortable…. and QUICK!
Today I decide not to drive. …..
I’m walking now…. and feeling the weight, as gravity tugs me into the Earth, pulling me down pressing my feet into the alternating hard and soft surfaces of this urban setting. I feel cool air against my face. I hear twittering in the bushes, and a flash of movement. I see the movement also of the clouds, and the irregular slowly-changing shapes of blue; there a face, there a dragon! A crow now (for ‘real’) flying across in front of the dragon.
I feel my body begin to warm as I walk….. and I notice the contrast of the warmth and the chill breeze against my face. Coming over a rise, I have a view out over the strait, and I stop for a moment looking into the distance. WHITE CAPS! Its really blowing out there today! … as it often is in the winter months.
Its been 20 minutes now, and the light is beginning to dim slightly. As I near my destination, I begin to see familiar flecks of light in the sky.
I approach the house, and I watch a friends car pull up. She steps out without looking around, not noticing my presence. She walks quickly to the door.
I walk also towards the door now, entering with a sense of immense gratitude for this earth and the small adventures that seem to be infinitely available when we so choose.
I am grateful for the simple choice I made a mere 20 minutes ago.
John, thank you for this story. Such a vivid reminder of how “simple” choices can lead us to full bodied and sensory experience which then deepens our relationship to living. Reminds me of the new movie Avatar – what a wonder that film is. It can be examined at so many levels – one of the epiphanies for me was how caged or boxed in the “earthlings” were who sought the Unobtainium – couldn’t even breathe on their own, let alone fight without robotic help. No direct connection to their environment at all. . .everything was dangerous or alien. . .something profound is lurking in our own cultural psyches with that thought. djm
This is lovely and sweet, like VERY good dark chocolate. The kind, which if you allow it, will melt and transition on the tongue. I love the notion of examining sacrifice, too. It’s all in how you frame it. I love the thought of the culture “sacrificing” greed, disconnect from nature, and the biggest one of all — sacrificing the belief that we have dominion over all.
Thanks, Deborah, For writing this!
My ego sighs with relief at the idea of sacrificing the belief that I as a human have dominion over all. I am not nearly smart enough, capable enough to take on that responsibility and I think the notion that we are in control of our lives contributes to our feeling exhausted!!!
And I just made chocolate creme frosting for a cake. Love that decadence in the midst of mayhem!