The Universal Process, King Crimson
Nosce Te Ipsum (Know Thyself)
It is startling that wisdom, compassion, honesty, and integrity are rare jewels gathering dust in the rapid-fire age of hustle culture. Genuine concern for the well-being of our own life and the lives of those around us greatly endangered in the dominant paradigm of ruthless competition, one-up-man-ship, spiritual materialism, cognitive dissonance. The sum total of human activity and the flow of the universal processes that support life have created a situation where living a quiet, un-self-conscious, ordinary and simple life is the object of many people's dreams and fantasies. There was a time on this planet when all of life was ordinary, unassuming, and free to express itself according to its own nature. We seem to have bottled up the process of free movement into narrow veins of socially and economically acceptable forms much to our collective detriment. All is not lost, for the opportunity to connect to the wisdom, intelligence, and power within ourselves is ever present.
To operate as a human being in our modern world, we are constantly juggling multiple narratives of who we should be, how our life should appear, whether we fit in to the context (social or otherwise) of our surroundings. We are constantly interacting with socialized programming that teaches us to value certain qualities and to reject others. The norms, precedence, and traditions that have created pockets of concentrated wealth and power are evidence that living within those constructs is not available to everyone equally. Exclusivity promotes and thrives on scarcity, even though we are bombarded with messaging that teaches us to strive towards that narrow segment of class or status.
In addition to those layers of identity, we have our own personal, ancestral, and societal trauma. There is a growing awareness that pain, suffering, violence, and other tumultuous events leave a deep impression on the fabric of space and time. Every thread that connects our current life with the lives of the past is colored by the influence of harms done or received, and it is within our capacity to heal wounds and restore what was rent asunder by carelessness or callousness.
We also have the desires of our body and the wants of our personality and mind. Every living being desires to thrive, and does so within the context of the other lives that surround it. At every level of cosmic organization, from molecules to cells to ecosystems to solar systems, there are natural ways that equilibrium is maintained. Order and chaos are not at odds with one another, but are ends of a spectrum that seeks to continue to shift and adapt and establish temporary states of homeostasis and harmony. Human-centered activities have greatly thrown that delicate balance of this world into a perilous scenario where we face a mass extinction and new challenges to navigate. The idea that we should perpetuate struggles for dominance, control, and selfishness is unimaginably short-sighted. Similarly virtue signaling, spiritual bypassing, transcendental fantasies, pay-for-play hierarchies of perceived saintliness are also frivolous and hollow.
Amidst this vast assortment of agendas, attitudes, beliefs, desires, motivations, intentions, and ideas there is a powerful and illimitable radiance that seeks to express itself and commingle with the forces of the cosmos that surround it. Just as the seeds push upward through the heaviness of decayed matter in the soil to reach the light, space, and elements that support and nourish its flourishing, so our lives also move. The process that separates the wheat from the chaff, removing what is nutritious and rich from what is a husk, is also at work within our relationships. In this time of transitions between seasons, between chapters of our life's story, between the breaths of our living world we must make effort to reconnect with what is essential to life, present in the forces of nature at work in this vast and expansive universe that is home to us all. To listen to the silent heart of creation that beats equally within us, to take instructions on how to live well with each other is to live with compassion, dignity, and grace. It reminds me of the beautiful feeling of listening to King Crimson's I Talk To The Wind.