Contemplations on Interdependence: LIFE FORCE July 2017
It is summertime and I am sensing with astonishment the beauty and abundance of life force all around me. There are so many forces seemingly coming from nowhere pushing through into the light. But where does this force come from? How is it in me? How is it in you?
My mind in winter drifts towards darkness, the days shortened and cold everywhere can lead me to my deepest fears. Mortality murmuring through ancestral memories of scarcity and starvation.
But our darkness is our compost, it grounds us in the light. It is food for the life force. The darkness is the clarifying force, the dense nutritive substance of feelings that call out injustice, cruelty and oppression. These feelings become our darkness because there is a layer of shame over our moments of hate, rage, jealousy, and judgement. We push down these feelings because our bodies have become the cage that was fashioned by the violence that came at us as children, or by the indifference, neglect and abandonment we experienced. We push our darkness down because we want to feel safe. Yet over time if it is not brought to the light of consciousness, and released through creative life force, it will make itself known as aberration, tumor, violence, paranoia, threat, anxiety and worst of all for our planet a numbness to the natural world that is shining with beauty all around us, and supports our every living moment.
Our spiritual and psychological evolution is deeply influenced by the environment we experienced when we come into this world. Our families and communities are the soil and sun and water into which our seed soul must grow or perish. We do not know that it could be any different, and we have no choice to plant ourselves elsewhere until we become adults and can walk away. And we as adults do have that choice. But where do we walk to?
As an adult we can walk outside to sit under a tree. The natural world can help immeasurably in making a new story for ourselves. The natural world does not blame us for having dark feelings. We can walk or sit in nature and no matter what we are feeling it will still be there, unless of course we act out our feelings on nature itself. And this is perhaps why our world is dying. People are acting out their dark rejected feelings on the earth itself. Our darkest feelings need to be seen as part of our being human, and witnessed within ourselves with care and compassion in safe environments. If we find ourselves acting out on others it is our responsibility to find ways of expression that do not harm others or ourselves.
Because our adult bodies are often a mask over our broken hearted child self, it can be hard for us to feel that we could walk outside and find a tree and sit, or yell in the back woods, or make a black painting, or write a poem about our grief and rage. Yet that child part of us is longing to live in wonder again, to cry freely when life is hard, and to seek the comfort of unconditional love when we are broken.
The good news is that we are surrounded by the loving presence of the earth itself at every moment, and deep within our unconscious mind we know that this is true. The rocks, the trees, the grass, the leaves, the flowers, the water, the air, the list is endless. This is our home and we are made up of all that is around us, indivisible and whole.
What if every human on earth could sit beneath a tree as the Buddha did, even for just a day? Their awareness might be able to witness the passing by of darker feelings and thoughts until an opening to the simple experience of being connected to the moment to moment reality of the tree would unfold. The unmoving trunk, the reaching leaves, the steady presence of life force around us as our world spins in the vast universe. Our darker feelings can be here without judgement as they dissolve in our minds as the miracle of life unfolds.
Perhaps this would set humanity on a course of inter-being that naturally brings deep peace and self-love. This is a kind of feeling that lasts as long as the wind blows and the river flows, and the stars pass by in our wondering eyes.