I imagine our long-ago ancestors lived in deep time. They looked into the night sky and saw configurations in the stars and patterns that correlated with the changing of seasons. Even though their feet walked the earth and their fingers picked berries from the vine and even though they lived hand to mouth and day to day, counting on the mood of the moon and the service of the sun to work as their calendar, I suspect they felt embedded in time in ways we have all but forgotten. This realm of deep time, operating independent from and outside of the everyday, is the home of faith. Not faith as we normally think it: that things will be ok, that we are under the care of a god that loves us the most. But faith in the workings of a universe governed by its own laws.
The ancient ones lived nightly under a milky way we have dimmed out with our own light. We closed the portal door in order to tame the darkness, celebrating our conquest over the wild with our foot on the head of the slain lion. But there is a cost to cracking the mysteries open; a cost for reducing the planet to a commodity for our pleasure; a cost for using ourselves as the measure of all things.
A segment of the today's news (Friday, June 28,2018) highlighted the heat wave striking the country, including coverage of numerous raging wildfires currently burning in several states. Deadly fires have become a fact of life in California, Californians are warned to prepare for longer and worsening fire seasons as we go forward. It shocks and saddens me that the current administration is so short-sighted, bent on rolling back progress on environmental issues.
We are just beginning to feel the burn of a fierce sun. But we are undaunted. We still strip the veil from the face of the earth for the comfort of our fleeting lives. We still rip the veins from the splayed body of Terra Firma for a few years of opulence. And every day, we birth another nation of consumers, trained to feed on planned obsolescence, to live discarded lives, and to leave a world of waste that rapidly tilts us all toward the dreaded zombie apocalypse.
My writing mostly focuses on personal interests, on matters of heart and souls, and on how we navigate our lives from the inside out. I rarely write about current events or social and political issues. But every once in while, I do (with a poetic flair, of course!). I began this piece with a topic in mind: Faith! I had no idea where it would lead. I then started composing in the same way I usually start my writing time: with an opening line (in this case: "our long-ago ancestors lived in deep time;") and an image (in this case, it was an image of early humans gazing at the sky) and then let it flow from there. In other words, I let my unconscious take the lead. I assumed my unconscious knew, or would make, the connection between that initial line, the image, and the topic. I've noticed that environmental conners are the most common social/poilitical issue that pops out in these sessions.
The world’s religions may claim they have the corner on faith, each insisting they hold the key to the only doorway into the divine. Yes, their cathedrals are magnificent monuments to the beyond. Yes, their doctrines contain eternal truths from the mouths of prophets. But I take issue with institutions that narrow the passage to a sliver and require your soul as a token for passage. The door is always open, needs no key, and is wide as the sky.
I am just as guilty as the rest, riding the wave of our hubris for the creature comforts of air-conditioned housing and easy access to meals, for paved paths and planes that put the world within my reach. My life is just as tethered to the clock as any one, parsing my day into minutes and meetings and a long list of “things to do,” while somewhere, in nether region of my heart where the ancient ones still gather, I gaze into deep time. The veil is stripped from my milky way eyes, and I see how all the laws we have tried to bend in our favor now bend against us. We are on the brink. But true to our form, we won’t go down without taking as many hostages as we can with us.
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