It’s been too long since I’ve last posted and through the support of my friends I’ve been encouraged to post a little more. I’m glad people do read what I post when I actually get around to it. The metrics on this blog are somewhat strong enough that there may be hope for me to actually write a book. So thank you!
I’ve been in Maui for about a week and now and am comfortably settling into the splendor of the islands and the aloha spirit. Hawaii is a powerful place where you can actually feel the land speaking to you. I’ve never been the type of person who believes in this sort of thing. I never really felt “connected” to the land so to speak. I’ve been inspired by and of course find certain places in our material world extraordinary. But to actually feel the land loving you and supporting you through times of transformation is a new experience and one that I’m happy to be enjoying.
Besides enjoying the obvious pleasures of Maui (the beach and Ram Dass) I’ve been spending a lot of time watching and reading a lot of history; namely critical thinking on the American Revolution, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and the philosophers that made up the body of thought on The Enlightenment.
As we see this difficult week in American unfold I keep coming back to the original ideas that formed this nation and a thought keeps occurring to me – The Enlightenment for the 21st Century.
Living in the material world while maintaining a spiritual soul brings up several rational ideas of our true nature. And even a few dystopian ones about the future of our species. If you believe, like I do, that our soul is eternal, full of knowledge and full of bliss then it’s baffling that we see our souls take birth in this sometimes maddening world.
If you sit with that idea for a moment you then realize it’s actually not baffling at all and that it is perfectly sound and cause for just awareness. Yes, our souls exist as an eternal form of boundless love but it’s also taken birth into this human incarnation that is tied very firmly to the material world and with that comes the laws of nature.
Since the dawn of existence everything we know has been violent and explosive. The Big Bang was an enormous burst of fire and violence that, after billions of years, subsided into a gentle expanding universe that could support a fragile ecosystem like Earth. So it’s no wonder that human beings kill, bomb, rape and cause destruction to it’s own kind over and over and over again. It might take some time for us to learn to love ourselves and to slowly adapt the way the universe did to support this planet in the first place.
Lately, people around me have been talking about the current state of our global society. And to that effect it seems that we are generally in a disagreement about the answer to that question. Some people, like many older people I know, feel that this is a world gone mad and are completely pessimistic about our survival. Part of this point of view to me has a lot to with technology and media. The world has become so much smaller as a result of what we see and hear all the time that it creates this illusion that things are crazier than ever. If you knew everything that was going on in the world at any time in history in the same way we do now you’d think the same thing.
Thomas Jefferson was very vocal about the idea of generational tyranny and wanted to take action to avoid this situation that was already on the horizon in 1790. So much so that he actually came up with a formula that defined a generation as being 19 years old and that everything America was about needed to be reviewed every 19 years, even the Constitution. His thinking on this matter originally took shape after noticing that the American debt would continue to increase and that it would be a form of tyranny to leave it to the generation that came after who had nothing to with it. Did you know that the national debt was already at $71,000,000 in 1790?
Another take on our global condition is that we are living in the most peaceful time in recorded history. For instance if you lived 400 years ago you may very well have could have died at the hands of a violent rage or political upheaval. Even as recently as the 1970s if you were of a certain age in this country you were forced to join the Army if they needed you and thus your fate may have ended in violence. Today, it’s not like that. A person of my kind would have been burned at the stake in yesteryear for being an obstructive eccentric witch perhaps. The subtle variations of The Enlightenments “the science of man” speaks to is ripe for study even today. In 2013, we have more options than ever before as to what kind of awareness based dharma we we want to live. We can be a banker or a lawyer but we can also be a healer, a writer, an artist, a psychedelist, a freak musician, a professional cognitive dissident or something else that defies a label. This is the very essence of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
At present I stand in the middle which feels somewhat noncommittal. I do think that the world has more opportunities for one to manifest there ideal state of living than ever before but the divide between cultures and classes is still so extreme. For instance, it would be hard to say our world is less violent when you’re talking to one of the 100,000 plus families of innocent Iraqi civilians who got killed in that war. Is it the world more fluid and harmless for an upscale white male from Los Angeles? Most definitely yes. Until we have one political administration that can serve an entire term in office and say that it doesn’t have any innocent blood on it’s hands I’m afraid we still have too much work to do than settling on our hearts and laurels.
Taking the approach of a spiritual pragmatist combined with an ongoing revision of how the science of man exists in the world is a worthwhile looking glass. Both our spiritual conditions and our technological advancements are combining to form a radical new man that will define our future.
The title of my book will be “Who are you now? Awakenings through technology and spirituality.” I plan on exploring many of the above topics the best I can. With that said, I do have one overwhelming issue that I need to address before I go on. Like many great dissertations before, pointing out the problem is easy – it’s pointing out the solution that is difficult. Do I have one solution that I can put forward? Certainly not. That is where the challenge lies; how do we turn awareness and philosophy into action?
Looking forward to sharing more.