I haven’t been pulled by the blogging muse for quite some time. We are living in challenging times, it’s so obvious it feels redundant to write it. Times that affect each of us in slightly, or vastly, different ways. Every day I am aware of the white, middle-class privilege I am living in. My home is in a first world country, albeit one that is for a short while longer (thank God!) being ruled by a crazed while man (I’ll have more to say about white male privilege later). I have a nice warm home, ample food, my health, loving companions, and the family finances are sound. I have, in essence, all of my needs met and more. There are so many who do not.
This is, in essence, why I have not mustered the creative impulse to wax poetic as of late. To me quite honest, I am wrangling, instead, with a sometimes over-whelming sense of dismay and, at times, a healthy dose of anger by those who would rather live in, and try to pull the rest of us, into the world of “What ifs.” I know I have written about this before, and I can’t promise this will be my last post about it.
I have two dear friends with whom I have weekly discussions about our current perceptions of spirituality. One is older, one is younger than me, which doesn’t really matter, but for ease of distinguishing them in this post. I met my older friend during the very early stages of my exploration into my spiritual self. As she recently reminded me, she introduced me to the world of Tarot, past-lives, and more. A Virgo like me, she has always had a strong grounding in reality, a fierce lean towards justice, and a heart big enough to hug the world. I don’t, quite honestly, know where I’d be without her.
I met my younger friend much later. She came to my house one summer day when I was hosting a gathering of “light-workers.” And, although she practices shamanism and sometimes speaks to animals, she too is grounded in the here-and-now. For me, she is a reminder that one can live in both worlds and still keep your head above the watery world of, well, let’s just say it, conspiracy. Neither one of us belong to the “light-workers” group any more because the core ethics do not resonate with us, but we both still consider ourselves spiritual beings.
When I talk to my older friend, who has just completed a certification course in Qigong, I empathize with her struggle to figure out how to be authentic. We are both in the category of privileged white western women. She was not born into the teachings of Qigong, just as I was not with yoga, yet we are both drawn to the practice and philosophy. My younger friend was drawn to learn shamanism even though she did not come to it through the traditional path of lineage. She too is a white, middle-class woman living in this first world nation we each call home.
The subject of authenticity comes up often when I talk to my friend who is trained in Qigong. We are both concerned with the rifts that are occurring in the world and what it means to live authentically in a world that is rife with struggle to define, or redefine, itself. We are both trying to figure out where we fit into it all. “I know I pretty much introduced you to spirituality,” she tells me with some guilt. Yet, I will forever be grateful that she did. My soul was craving belonging. It yearned for voice. These days, my friend finds grounding in debunking popular conspiracies propagated by the “spiritual” world. I feel her struggle.
I still believe we can, and should, exist as spiritual beings. This is our essence, this is who we are. Should we, though, cling to the false holds of “New Age” spirituality? The thinking that “I know something that few others do,” the belief that “I have a power that others will never have,” etc. All that ego-driven nonsense that gets us, frankly, nowhere but divided from ourselves and each other?
We, as humans, are endowed with brains that are designed to process information through logic and deduction. We are also born of the same essence that exists in all life. Yet this is over-looked through our ego-centric need to feel “special.” I use that term in the broadest sense of the word, because “special” can also mean the need to be “right,” or the need to be “dominant.”
Our human brains cannot know everything. Nor should they, perhaps. Mystery is what drives us. It’s what motivates us and sparks the desire to keep living. Seeking knowledge is part of the human condition, but I wonder these days how much this seeking has led us to go astray from our true, authentic nature.
The questioning brain is not inherently dangerous, but when the questioning is unfounded, or premised upon ego-centric fears and insecurities, should the questioning be propagated?
I grew up with in a household ruled by a for the most part, loving and intelligent, albeit very insecure, white man. He had some college education, but was not educated, as no one can be, in every area of knowledge. Yet his ego was driven by a desire to feel like he “knew it all” and “knew best.” I have met a lot of white men of a similar nature. They are often quick to call others wrong in their need to be better, or know better. Frankly, I have lost my tolerance for this.
I fully realize that this is not solely a white-male-privilege issue, but it can be particularly dangerous when it is. One need to simply look at the pattern of “his-tory” to see it. One need only look at the dangerous state the POTUS has incited to see it. Ruling by the ego-centric need to feel dominant and special, and propagating lies and “what-ifs” that are not grounded in logic, creates a world filled with division and mistrust.
It serves no good to insist you are “all-knowing” when your all-knowing beliefs cause harm to others. One must rule by the heart, as well as the mind. There is a dance that occurs when peace is the objective, rather than division. It’s called harmony. It’s driven by love. Not fear. These days I find myself doing more unsubscribing and practicing non-engagement rather than trying to argue with fear. I realize we are all struggling in our own way to find our authentic selves and to create a more authentic world. I still hold the belief that we are more good than evil and that no dark force, but our own individual shadows, has taken over the world. I cling to this, because it feels both true and essential. We will always make mistakes, we will always be imperfect, but it we can choose to live seeking the good that is inherent in each other and in ourselves. It we seek what is True, what is of love, and what is uniting, then we all come out “on top.”