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Stakes Is High

Humanity in puberty, dark fluid and magic, and De La Soul

Our daily lives are fraught with information that is largely unsettling. In such a charged environment it can be hard to understand what needs to be done, and also to find the motivation or conviction to take action at all. If our enthusiasm arises from a place of obligation and social norms, it unlikely to be something we can maintain without becoming frustrated, disappointed, or disillusioned. However, if we are able to remember openness, possibility, and opportunity then creativity flows through us. With healthy boundaries, compassion, and awareness, we can find ways to approach the complex and challenging conditions that are part of everyday life.

There is a lot of conversation about the need for big changes or a kind of revolution in our world. What if we approached our situation, as though those changes were already underway? Humanity is going through a kind of puberty. It is awkward, and uncomfortable, but also so beautiful and enriching. Our individual bodies grow and change largely unnoticed; cells replicating, pushing marrow through bone, fascia, muscles, into skin in an inseparable cohesive package. So too, our collective body has experienced a "growth spurt." And like all growing beings, there are periods of mourning the life we knew before, and welcoming and embracing the life present right now. As a changing being, we discover unknown and sometimes frightening parts of ourselves. We also encounter new ways to adapt and apply old skills and incorporate new ones. As all other things do, we continuously create a relationship with who and what we are, and what surrounds us. Like all growing, there is no striving to become something, but an unfolding of processes guided by timeless cosmic forces. We also become accustomed to cultivating a lived experience of patience because the timetable for change is not up for debate. But we do try to argue, don't we?

We tend to attempt some mental gymnastics, bargaining or reasoning between ourselves and the cosmos, as though it is possible. Our attitude towards nature and our relationship with it reflects deep misunderstanding, and often a lack of humility. We operate as though the attitudes, beliefs, and ideas of human beings are independent from time. We interact with our concepts and ideas as though they are equivalent with the natural order of the universe. The cosmic process that unfolds as time is known to us through our perceptions; we "create" distinct moments in time based on differences we observe.

Time itself is a deepening of exchanges of energy through various forms like the bubbles of boiling water rising up briefly before dissolving back into the invisible fabric of potential; research suggests that dark energy moves like "dark fluid." Recent developments in science have put us in touch with the intricate ways that nature operates that appear like magic. As we shine a light on what is unknown to us, what we take for granted as canonical truths will become more clear for what they are: stories we used to tell ourselves when we were young.

Like all old stories, we may find some nostalgia or recoil from the past we find in them. What is clear, as we continue to grow out of old tropes and traps, is our awareness will continue to deepen and open new avenues of choices and possibilities. We will begin to remember everything that exists on Earth, from societies to stomata, are linked in cycles of creation - preservation - destruction. The forces that give rise to these cycles of time are mysterious to us and extend beyond our world into the entire cosmos. The processes at work here on Earth are linked to the totality of existence in ways we can barely comprehend. The foundations of existence, time, space, matter, and energy in all their expressions and interactions are, to us, the surface upon which we play the jigsaw puzzle of life; we are constantly interacting with and taking for granted what holds together what we perceive as separate pieces. Our greatest gift to ourselves and each other is our compassion; we must practice forgiving ourselves and each other for not knowing what we know now. It is of vital importance to cultivate compassion and humility because as De La Soul said in '96, "The Stakes Is High."

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