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100 seconds to Midnight, Peace, and Mandrake Memorial

Allow me to make an assumption about you dear reader, that neither of us is interested in seeing our world end any time soon. To be clear, and to signal without dread, we are approaching the darkest part of night despite the day. The "Doomsday Clock" has been set to 100 seconds before Midnight; cue disheveled person holding cardboard placard that reads, "The End is Nigh." Those of us waking up at this late hour must utilize awareness to find other ways to navigate these challenging times.

Humanity has been on a collision course with itself for a great number of generations, and we who are alive today bear a heavy load. The incongruent weight humans gave themselves against the other inhabitants of this natural world have given us a quagmire of ecological problems. The countless number of grave injustices and decisions to purposefully create an environment of inequity, leave us with a world of folks divided by invisible towers of thoughts, beliefs, and justifications. We have created technology that has made communication in ways never imagined possible, but also have the capacity to completely obliterate all life. Our real strategy to avoid total nuclear war is mutually assured destruction? That is the best that our political leaders have been able to accomplish in the 75 years since the Trinity Test where nuclear bombs became a reality? I think it's fair to say that's not good enough.

In that 75 years, violence has become so incredibly profitable, while peace as a serious endeavor has been turned into a product that we purchase or a project we are meant to pursue on our own. The highly individual-centered world we created has us cozy in the warmth and safety of our self-created bubbles of separateness; we are each a universe, expanding and contracting to our own rhythm. We are encouraged to explore our individuality because it is what makes us unique (duh), appealing (nope), valuable (we're all already valuable), and who we are (we know ourselves through relationships, actually). "Wellness" as an industry is a response in some way to the failure of our social fabric to maintain the deeply woven connections that make life, integrity, and dignity flourish. It is absolutely absurd to imagine peace that does not include everyone. Peace that does not go beyond the boundary of our own mind is a separateness that we maintain and is actually the real cause of conflict between people.

The invitation to experience the depths of our own nature is always available to us, but it is our responsibility to accept and embrace the opportunity. What often lies at the heart of our reaching back out to the cosmos, is neither a lack of courage nor faith, but an unwillingness to admit that the thin veneer of who and what we believe ourselves to be is all that keeps us separate. Our condition, as a living being, is not unique in that we are independent from all other things that exist. No. Everything that exists is part of invisible mutualistic relationships between energy in a variety of forms. We are unique, as living beings, in that we possess a sensitivity and awareness of our situation, which produces drives, needs, patterns, behaviors, decisions, feedback loops, and eventually thoughts, feelings, concepts, ideas, beliefs and desires.

We humans, as much as any other form of life, or clod of dirt, or gas giant all belong to the same cosmic cloth. We must re-orient our lives to reflect a deeper awareness of what is not a product of human ideas or ideals. We must make effort to unburden each other of the heaps of generational trauma and of the patterns of self-destruction and self-deception. We contribute our part when we make effort to untangle the places where we are caught, as an individual, in the web of separateness that keeps us from experiencing how we are a worthy and powerful expression of cosmic intelligence. The way forward, through these dark hours in the story of humanity, is through our collective investment in caring for each and every being on the surface of this Earth. Mandrake Memorial sang it beautifully, "the road's our imagination," in their track Earthfriend.


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