Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness.
It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.
Underlying unity isn't a dream; it's reality.
The appearance of separation is, though, a dream, and it's turning into a nightmare.
A few things that I've learned last week are embedded in the two messages above, the first by Mary Oliver who wasn't thinking global disasters when she wrote this line, but nonetheless offers a possible prelude to a new way of reflection and action. How many times over the last days have you heard pundits say we need to wait before we know how to assess the horrific massacres in Israel and Gaza. Have we been given a "box full of darkness" with this Israeli nightmare? Or for that matter the "black box" that has been given to nearly 200,000 Venezuelans who have crossed the Darian Gap this year seeking a new life. How does a country survive when nearly 8 million of its people have fled. The list needs to include "black boxes" given to the Sudanese, the Syrians, the Afghans, and thousands of pockets of others.
The second lesson is from Jude Currivan, Oxford trained physicist and author of The Story of Gaia: The Big Breath and the Evolutionary Journey of Our Conscious Planet. The opening quote above is worth repeating here: Underlying unity isn't a dream; it's reality. The appearance of separation is, though, a dream, and it's turning into a nightmare. Currivan goes on to say that The Story of Gaia is dedicated to everyone who is waking up to re-member we are inseparable. Here, she builds on James Lovelock's theory that Gaia, the Greek Earth goddess, and of course, all mothers of life according to other cultures, connect all living organisms, and chaos, as we are seeing it, leads to a new awakening.
I'm overwhelmed but comforted by the third lesson in my thinking. Mary Oliver's "box of darkness," and Jude Currivan's idea that we are "waking up to re-member" leads me to believe there is hope in the CHAOS we are in the midst of confronting. Does this not lead us to consider that we need to step out of 19th and 20th century thinking to advance life equitably? Don't we need to become radical, getting to root causes, in order to survive? Isn't this survival based on the premise of compassion, as addressed in the Charter for Compassion? Don't we have enough proof that our world is out of balance? Thirty years ago, the Hopi word "Koyaanisqatsi," was used as a title of a film in which the relatively new director, Geoffrey Reggio, demonstrated, in a moving montage, environmental and human chaos and disaster. The only word spoken in the film, over and over again, was Koyaanisqatsi. We are in chaos, and we are out of balance. In plain language we are not evolving but are stuck. The only way through "the box full of darkness" is to start re-INVENTING--a new economy, a new diplomacy, a new way of listening and building a shared destiny—one that exemplifies compassion.
Needless to say, our hearts are aching with the brutal tragedy that is continuing to unfold in Israel and Gaza. The pain will endure long after we begin to deal with the gift of darkness we have received. Let's pray that we have the bravery to recognize our need for balance as a new generation of Gaians, re-member our collective responsibility to each other.
With warm regards,