Solutions, Swami Vivekananda, and Art
We are all uniquely formulated expressions of cosmic forces, and thus we are going to experience different ways of connecting to the intelligence that flows through us. We have a global and historical culture that is founded on separateness to the degree that we are separate from our own way of experiencing our life. We are deeply embedded with the idea that only certain groups or individuals will have exclusive access to the wisdom, tools, or power to connect to cosmic or spiritual forces. The concepts of the chosen few, or the separation between spiritual and mundane life, or the righteous and unholy permeate across every area of human culture. These categories of in-groups and out-groups may have served us in an evolutionary context, but at present they are outmoded and of great hindrance to our collective growth.
In the context of ongoing technological, political, social, economic, and environmental changes, it can be extremely confusing to understand our individual roles and responsibilities. We are constantly being given updates that cause outrage, sorrow, fear, and anger to flood through us. Rarely do we see collective actions to ground, neutralize, and ease tensions in order to invite solidarity and solutions to our collective conditions. Sadly, more often than not, we are polarized, or encouraged to become highly charged and activated in order to participate. No doubt, action is a necessity in engaging the world. However action that does not invite and promote dignity, wisdom, love, compassion, and kindness is lackluster at best and dangerous at worst. To arrive at action that is connected with the capacity to transform conflict into understanding and separateness into wholeness is to look into the depths of our own being for what is already and always free and undisturbed. The process starts with recognizing the ways that we hold on to separateness, and therefore suffering. In neutral observation we begin to see how we deeply clinging to attitudes, beliefs, ideas, and identities that constrict our capacity to meet life, the world, and its inhabitants as they are.
To see things uncolored by separateness we begin to appreciate that humans share this world equally with all other forms of life with very little acknowledgement of our shared predicament. This world is not divided into "good" people and "bad" people. Every person is constantly making decisions, whether they are aware of them or not, based on the information and experience that is available to them in that particular moment. None of us has more or less time to choose, to act, and to face our consequences. We are all subject to the same play of cosmic forces. But our inner and external conditions are so varied, and often so inequitable. The divisions between groups and kinds of people are ones that humans have created and sustained, often violently and without mercy. Often those purported differences are arbitrary, and fall apart under the slightest scrutiny, and ultimately it requires more "reasons" or mental gymnastics to maintain them in our daily lives.
We have the capacity, and the responsibility, to break down those divisions and create a more equitable, sustainable, and hospitable environment for humans and non-humans to thrive within. Only then will we see people have the inner and outer ease to choose compassion and care more immediately than fear, anger, retribution, and violence. If our needs are met for connection, sustenance, and rest then we have no obvious reasons to quarrel and create struggle between ourselves. Outer and inner peace arise from the same nexus: love.
There is a deep wisdom present in our own being already. It is the wordless power that unites all cosmic forces, that sustains all life that has or will ever be in all forms, and is always completely present. It is the source of dignity, wisdom, and love. It is felt as the spontaneous felicity of existing; utterly unprovoked by anything other than our own being. We do not need to toil or seek endlessly because it is what we are. Identifying where we are holding separateness and diligently working to disentangle those threads is all that is required. As Swami Vivekanada said, "Various clouds of various colors come before the sky. They remain there a minute and then pass away. It is the same eternal blue sky there stretching forever. The sky never changes: it is the cloud that is changing." Listening, and paying attention to the flow of our own wisdom we begin to understand, as the band Art sang, Love Is Real.