I’m climbing out on that proverbial limb. I’m changing the title of this blog. Look above. See???
I want to wake you up.
Instead of being the canary in the coal mine, I am an alarm clock, one of a growing number, thankfully, in our still slumbering culture. May I jangle your ordinary thinking and spur you to make intuitive leaps, walk the ledges and be brave enough to sail off in your own direction without a map.
Wisdom manifesting…Ahh, so THAT’S what my belly thinks, THAT’S WHAT my body knows. I’ve got to act on THAT! Ahhhhhh.
I’m asking myself right now, who am I to have this intention of waking up my culture – just who do I think I am? Not the first time I’ve posed that question to myself. And in the past I have had a hard time responding with confidence so I’d shrink out of sight again. Has that ever happened to you? You absolutely know something is true, but when challenged you can’t muster the facts quickly enough to sound reasonably intelligent, literally and rationally analytic, audible to the opposition.
I’ve gotten tired of standing in the shadows whispering.
I have spent my life time waiting to speak up until I knew enough – even though in the 1970’s I knew I could never know enough…every fact I gleaned, even about a subject as basic as what to eat, had an opposing fact also statistically, scientifically supported. To eat eggs or not to eat eggs. To eat only the whites or the yolk, too? Those were ponderous questions in the ‘70’s for which there is/was no clear answer.
And I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but every issue is riddled with contradictions, paradoxes and ambiguity and even science can’t sort it out.
Every delicate, scented rose has thorns.
So here’s the deal. We might not know whether global warming is real or not, but in our bones we still know that our culture in particular, northern hemisphere cultures in general, ravage the world by over consumption.
In 1918 or so my uncle noticed the degradation of the Hudson River because of coal mining upstream. In 1953 or so, I witnessed my first clear cut – the wood contiguous with my own backyard – to make room for the first ticky-tacky neighborhood development in the suburbs of western Philadelphia. Multiply these personal observations by 3 billion people. ( I made that number up for shock value. I’ll give
you another.) Multiply those personal observations by a kazillion people and 100 years of rampaging progress and what do we have??? A planetary life support system on the brink of falling apart. We know this in our bones.
We humans have to wake up quickly and make some unprecedented choices. Many of us complain. “I’ve worked so hard all my life. I’ve earned my right to live as I do. Why should I sacrifice anything now?” As if to sacrifice is a bad thing. For me, sacrifice is the gift of making sacred, of choosing to curtail one thing in order to give to another which has even more value to me, to my world…such as wanting my grandchildren to live surrounded by beautiful, mysterious intact ecosystems which nourish both body and soul.
Here’s the real kicker! We need to change more than the practicalities of our lifestyles. We need to change our minds. Literally. The rest of unfolding history depends on human intelligence quickening NOW and that calls for the evolutionary human shift to developing and using a whole brain and an intact bodymind.
As Red Green says on that Canadian PBS show, which I think is hilarious now but which had to grow on me “We’re ALL in this together”and “Keep your stick on the ice.”
Please use this blog as your stick on the ice, that third leg to support and inspire our teetering two. Tell me your stories of awakening to wisdom beyond knowing “the facts” and I’ll tell you more of mine. We ARE ALL, after all, in this together.
Dramatic, Barbara, but I salute your approach. There are some issues too important to ignore. Daniel Goleman wrote a book called Vital Lies, Simple Truth. He demonstrates how we walk a tightrope between atention and inattention all our lives, ignoring some issues in self defence because they are just too painful to confront.
Maybe some issues, though, are too important to deny.
Oh I’m so glad you recommended a book, Kate. I’m getting it from the library…sounds very relevant.
Just spotted I commented to a non-existent Barbara a few days ago. Groggier than usual, Deborah, do apologise…..
How do I wake up if I am asleep? How can I wake myself from sleep? I keep pondering this image of sleeping and waking up. Another story continues to intrude on my thoughts. I can’t shake that story from my mind so here is the other story – I had sat in circle a couple of times before, a talking circle with a talking object and an altar and people talking in a sacred way. This was the early’ 90’. One young member was telling of a vision they had and with passion explain many details of what had been seen. Then the visionary explained how the vision was telling them they should do a certain deed. I laughed out loud and squealed, “The devil made you do it”! In the complete silence that followed, I was listening intently trying to hear what the other were trying to hear. Gazing at the shocked stares, I realized I was in deep spiritual doo doo. I spread my hand and arms out in front of me and said, “You know,,,,,, Flip Wilson,,,,,, the comedian,,,,,,, on TV,,,,,,, ‘ the devil made me do it’, I leened forward as if to spoor the innocent comment at their feet for approval. I did not know way back then that, this was a template for my life around the circle. The devil made me do it…..Inappropriate behavior ………How do I wake myself from sleep?
Perhaps devil and god (ooops I actually typed dog ) are two sides of one coin. some people hear the message more accurately if they think it’s dark and scarey and taboo. The point that is important to me is that the mystery in the eairth surrounding us influences our impulses. And no-thing is all good or all bad…everything leads to something else, more learning, more forgiveness, more learning, more compassion, more learning, more discovery…devil indeed, spelled backwards devil is “lived” – You’re alive and spontaneous, no devil there!
I posted a Flip Wilson clip on my facebook page, The devil made me do it!!!
Deborah, After my last reply I started thinking what ‘the devil made me do it’ ‘inappropriate behavior’ and ‘trying to wake myself from sleep’ have in common.
I watched TV clips from the Flip Wilson Show and the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. The Smothers Brothers show was canceled by CBS in the middle of the season in 1969 because the politics was so explosive, and the views of the show were anti-war, so they were silenced. Flip Wilson’s skit on ‘the devil made me do it’ was about taking responsibility for your actions. Do not blame the devil or God. After all, the terrorist believe their God is telling them to give their life to kill others.
Inappropriate behavior is an attention getter, a ‘don’t act that way’, ‘go to your room and think about what you did’, ‘ everyone is looking at you’…………the late 60s’ early 70’s was a generation of inappropriate behavior. Acting out is a term we use in Hospice Care to describe a youth who displayed outrageous behavior. Acting out the pain and confusion that comes when losing someone you love, or are in conflict with.
Waking myself from sleep…..well I am awake now.
Forty years ago, falling asleep to numb the helplessness, the horror of war, the loss of national heroes, the crack between generations, I wake today with a dream of unity. I forgive all the past and carry a delightful image of magical times that birthed the dreams of so many who have become the pathfinders, the edgewalkers, dreamers, the teachers who I have followed, honored, loved, and played with.