I remember the persecution of European spirituality and earth-based
ways of life, and with that I see the universally acceptable in the
revolutionary founding of the USA.
I remember the massacring and
grave injustices toward the original stewards of Turtle Island, and
with that I see the universally scornful and hypocritical in the
colonization of the land we call the Americas.
In the middle of these pillars of past memory, one may walk toward universal realization of the USA’s mantra, “liberty and justice for all.”
Mamwlad is Welsh for motherland. In this song, indigenous poet Lyla June sings about the conquering of the indigenous peoples of Europe, singing with loving forgiveness; truth and compassion; and forward-looking faith.
“Great grandmothers burned at the stake for holding the earth in their
hands…persecuted…these were not evil people, these were Europe’s
healers. They were healers.
This old heart of mine, it weeps
away. This old heart of mine, it feels the pain, of all our ceremonies
going up in flames. But feeling is healing and these tears are falling
like rain…and this is why we remember their names…and this is why we
wash away the pain. So let it rain on this land.
medicine lives in the Earth. Rising from the ashes as we remember. I can
hear her songs running through my veins, as my brother’s blow on embers
of old bards’ stories. I will place my feet in the streams to mend the
tattered edges of my father’s dreams. I will see past blood and I will
remember the beauty, the beauty of a people before the conquerors came. I
will not choose war, I will choose peace, and honor the ancestors that
live inside of me.”
With the soil of our ancestors and the seeds of future generations, we can grow a present worth gifting.
Deliberating debates I often find myself navigating toward a middle way.
Solve et coagula, meeting in the middle. Lest 1 forget the value of VITRIOL.
The middle often feels oddly dissatisfying, even when reached with an impressive reconciliation of differences. It can feel as if the debate is cut short, or as if a rightful winner is stuck with tie by technicality. What if it were best to keep debating, even if doing so fiercely and even if missing each other’s points?
I suppose to moderate is not to identify and insist on a fixed middle ground, but rather to remind toward and protect access to a homey middle ground. All things in moderation…including moderation.
Just as debating shouldn’t be a spending of time that could be better spent acting, moderating shouldn’t be a spending of time that could be better spent acting (?)
What is it to act of balance? To do nether? To do both?
Is a waveform up or down? Mu!
This post is inspired in part by my effort this evening to offer a middle ground in an increasingly fierce debate on a permaculture listserv’s email thread about Extinction Rebellion / “collective action” vs. Individual efforts. Both initiatives pointed toward radical mitigation and adaptation for ecological crises. To identify and push for a middle ground felt necessary in the act, but afterward I wondered if it were better to not intervene and let both sides further duke it out. Surely they will still duke it out and hopefully my intervention helps that go productively. Additionally, as I wondered second-guessingly, I also felt the burn of time ‘wasted’ as I recognized and acted on various tasks I could’ve/ would’ve/ should’ve tended to instead of email.
Alas, there are layers of life to moderate, and as usual priorities are of prime importance!
“Compassion hurts. When you feel connected to everything, you also feel responsible for everything. And you cannot turn away. Your destiny is bound with the destinies of others. You must either learn to carry the Universe or be crushed by it. You must grow strong enough to love the world, yet empty enough to sit down at the same table with its worst horrors.” ― Andrew Boyd
‘Be in this world but not of this world.’ ~
“When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: the people I deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous and surly. They are like this because they can’t tell good from evil. But I have seen the beauty of good, and the ugliness of evil, and have recognized that the wrongdoer has a nature related to my own – not of the same blood and birth, but the same mind, and possessing a share of the divine. And so none of them can hurt me. No one can implicate me in ugliness. Nor can I feel angry at my relative, or hate him. We were born to work together like feet, hands and eyes, like the two rows of teeth, upper and lower. To obstruct each other is unnatural. To feel anger at someone, to turn your back on him: these are unnatural.” – Marcus Aurelius
(And in a paraphrased version of Aurelius’ statement, other people’s wrongdoings are driven not only by others’ lack of good judgement of good from evil, but also by others’ own suffering and personal history and inner environment which cannot be known but can be reached with compassion.)
Reminiscent of Dark Forest Theory, Yuval Noah Harari spoke with Sam Harris about mutually assured destruction. Humanity faces various existential threats now (nuclear war) and in the future (AI), with some threats coming from human enemies (cyber warfare) and some from a common enemy/ourselves/no enemy (climate change). Yuval pointed out how the common enemy of mutually assured destruction itself may be our salvation. When two parties recognize that it is in their best interest to avoid any potential catastrophies with nuclear war, because of the mutually assured destruction that can come with such a path, they step back from that precipice. The same applies for future potential catastrophies both parties might pursue or affect, like AI or even climate change. ‘The only way to assure I am not destroyed is to work together with them to ensure none of us get destroyed.’ By recognizing the potential for mutually assured destruction, we can work together to overcome existential risks.
Dark Forest theory is from Chinese Sci-Fi series In Remembrance of Earth’s Past, also known as Three Body Problem. It focuses on various existential threats at a bewildering set of scales, from neighboring alien civilizations’ mutually assured destruction, to the mutually assured destruction of All in the Universe.
If you cultivate a sense of the uncertainty of the time of death, you will make better use of your time.
To prevent procrastination with regard to spiritual practice, take care not to come under the influence of the illusion of permanence.
Realize that no matter how wonderful a situation may be, its nature is such that it must end.
Do not think that there will be time later.
Be frank about facing your own death. Skillfully encourage others to be frank about their deaths. Do not deceive each other with compliments when the time of death is near. Honesty will foster courage and joy.
Let it be or intervene. Even in the simple act of eating, is one creating or destroying potential? Someone else could have had that grain. That grain could have become a whole ‘nother mother.
Such suffering. The one lashing out suffers themselves; whether they recognize it or not, they harbor suffering. Rather than pray for their decay, pray for their transmutation; when all is whittled away at the end of the day, some toxins persist. This is why “two wrongs do not make a right”: to respond to the propagation of suffering with further propagation of suffering does not decrease suffering.
Put yourself in another’s shoes. We all suffer at times. Why would you behave in such a way as to cause the suffering of another? If you are at peace, would you cause such suffering?