What I see in our world of towering of steel and long blank roads, shopping plazas, is that we are a people who have woken up to ourselves. We have embodied ourselves. We strive to be grounded, to be present, to be grateful.
And I think that's a bad thing.
May I ask, how does your body and your spirit find peace? Not your mind, but your bundle of muscles; not your thoughts, but the warmth that holds your core sense of I-ness. I wonder if you will answer: in the sway of water; in watching light drift over tree bark; in the sound of the leaves whispering; in standing lit upon the hill; in putting my hands dirtwards; in closing my eyes and letting it all float away.
Peace can exist only within our simple, natural being.
It comes from understanding our bodies are part of the great body of Nature, and that when we centre ourselves within ribs, personal skin, we are denying ourselves the greater portion of our actual being. Not surprising then that we get sick - depressed, anxious, addicted, body dysmorphic. We are too grounded, too centred. We imprison ourselves.
I think the sorrow of this modern culture is that we have forgotten we are infact Dreaming. I see this ignorance in our gathering of things about us - our determination to create a sense of permanence about our lives - rather than relaxing back into the knowledge that the Dream, the spirit of Life, is the very essence of impermanence within eternity: it is constantly moving and changing, but without beginning, without end. It does not circle, it dances and drifts.
A concern with material achievement allows muck to accumulate in our flowing waters until finally one day Life crashes through all that stuff and we are aghast to find ourselves carried away from what we thought was real, whether through illness, sudden change, or death.
We are aghast because we think Life can end. We have forgotten to watch the clouds that once were ocean. We have put our children in little buildings with books that tell them all about endings and we have called that school, instead of taking them into the forest where they can learn the truth.
We tell ourselves to be grateful for what we have, which is just another ending - it makes what we have enough, which cuts more off at the roots and blocks change, stops us from wishing and from opening our hearts to countless possibilities. It stops us from feeling sorrow. But sorrow is just another thread of love. I think instead of feeling grateful we might be full of wonder for what is emerging and dancing all around us, and we might allow ourselves the vulnerability of really loving, with all that entails of longing and raging and fearing and hoping and yes, Dreaming.
I don't believe we are here to build tall golden buildings, or even to make this world a better place. I believe we are, each of us, a thread of a great Dream or living artwork or story about beauty and love. And so we are created within Life to be life, to be beauty, to be love. We are created to wonder and wish, which are expressions of love, and to dream melodiously with the Dreamer at the heart of it all.
Maybe love means feeding other people, rescuing animals, protesting oil pipelines. And maybe it means sitting riverside watching light spangle the water's slow-dancing surface. It doesn't really matter so much what you do but how you are. Our culture has forgotten Dreaming, it has mistaken beauty and dismissed love. But we can get it back again. We just have to remember.