Awakening to Heat and Denial

It’s supposed to reach 108 degrees today — here in Oregon –I’m not in Las Vegas!
It will be the hottest day on record here, and with this and the flooding issues as rivers rise in some parts of the country, and the drought in other parts, it is simply astonishing that anyone dares to deny the fact of global warming. It is an example of how the human mind is capable of denying what is right in its face — one’s own direct experience, and clinging to a thought that is not only false, but self-destructive. Why are we often so afraid to question our thoughts and beliefs, to challenge assumptions, to look objectively at the world around us?

It is easy to blame greed and self-serving goals for many of the stumblings in our political structures. But there is a broad base of people who vote for these people despite some of their statements that appear on the face of it anti-humanity, destructive to the very life of the planet. I have found that many spiritual people are pro-life in the sense they support whatever would improve and nurture the health of the planet, the cooperation of cultures, the alignment with a universal respect for nature and for one another. They may support a person’s individual choice, but at a universal level they believe in supporting the lives that exist here and now. For many spiritual seekers a huge barrier to feeling free is all the agitation that arises in them when they observe what is happening in our political structures and to our planet and the people on it. How can one be free when turning on the evening news brings international horrors and national insanity, obvious inequalities, and a continual impulse to support killing in order to achieve national goals, and a political emphasis  valuing personal arsenals for “self” protection over innocent lives?

Although we are spirits living in human forms, our society is not spirit-driven, it is mind-driven. As soon as forms and thought emerged in the vastness of space, division emerged. The opposites came into being. Light and dark, day and night, inner and outer, space and form, sound and stillness, peace and violence, right and wrong — everything has its opposite in thought. A great yogi, The Mother, who was the spiritual partner of Sri Aurobindo, once said of the experiences that arise in yoga (something like) “You can be sure that if there is a great darkness, there is a great light hidden beneath.” This insight can offer us hope and direction in our human struggles with politics, weather, one another, and even within ourselves. Is there a light hidden beneath the denials of global warming, the migrating children upsetting our patterns and beliefs in immigration, the rapid accumulation of guns designed only to kill humans or many of the other issues that seem insane to someone who has awakened not only to spirit but to life? Take time to look for this light and see where it is functioning in the world. There may be kindness among your neighbors, charity, personal moments of great connection and even joy. Deep inside of you there will be light. But thoughts can keep you ever distracted from it.

Perhaps some political practices and beliefs have to become so obviously dysfunctional and unworkable that they collapse under the weight of their own confusion. There was a time when child labor was common, and women were not allowed to vote. Our “united” states once suffered with a civil war.  Perhaps political issues must become intense before they provoke a need for greater clarity and compassion, and old structures are recognized to be past any usefulness. Where will new possibilities emerge? Is it possible for thoughts to shift on a great enough scale that we can heal the divisions while still recognizing the inevitability of opposites, which are not likely to go away?
Is an intuition and understanding greater than thought available within us?

I know on a personal level that division within me dissolves when all I want is to know what is true, free of any conditioned beliefs about how I want it to be. I know truth is found in silence, presence, and a willingness to be open and flexible and to consider another’s needs as equal to my own. I know it is helpful to trust that within each human is the spacious open availability to love and beauty and truth, even though it is often immensely clouded by beliefs and positions that are self-destructive. Sometimes a mental illness, a desperate childhood, or a huge traumatic life event overwhelms the capacity to be free or see clearly who we are. But for those who have choice and who love life we will be soothed by taking a backward step into our own silence, opening our heart, trusting the core of human life is the spirit of universal life, and being willing to hold the dissonance that arises within the human condition we all share. Today we may all be sharing heat arising, and we need to find creative responses to it. Will the answers come from the divided mind or the loving heart that cares for all humanity?

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