Tuesday, January 20, 2009
DYNAMICS OF QUALITY
In the peace and solitude I’ve found for my body to inhabit, its only external influence is the nature that surrounds it. Except for sirens and manly motorcycles, the sound of the highway up the hill has become as ubiquitous and ignorable as the whining cicadas in my head. So what is the dynamic that is generating this mysterious thing-to-be-doing feeling arising in my deepest meditation?
I have eliminated the quest for where I belong and the need to account for myself to anyone as sources of disturbance of the quietude of this daily grok, so have now come up with the idea that I may possibly have reached the itch primordial enough to be considered the spark of life. Say, what?!! Okay, the spark of my life.
Bear with me here. The most primary characteristic of the universe is constant change throughout, no beginnings or endings, births or deaths, only transitions. The primary characteristic of life in the universe is response to change. At all scales, definable entities (i.e. quarks, atoms, cells, animals, planets, galaxies, galaxy cluster, etc ad infinitum) can be found to be made of lesser parts and be constituent parts of greater entities. Entities are gestalts greater than the sum of their parts just as the function of a bee hive is greater than the capability of any solitary bee, or the mind of a man is made of, but greater than, the thoughts of his cells. So much for the ballpark we’re playing in.
On the level of awareness my body experiences, my mind finds purpose in simply wanting to be around for the next change to feed a curiosity about possible import to an accumulating story. The dynamic of needing to feel established enough or understand enough to risk allowing curiosity to challenge and expand comprehension without suffering dissolution is enough to keep any consciousness perking right along at the keen edge of discernment.
The primary excuse the government makes for belligerence toward extraterrestrial visitation is their fallback theory, based on the history of western civilization’s exploitive exploration of the globe, that when a superior civilization encounters a more primitive lifestyle, the more primitive ways are obliterated and the inhabitants are enslaved. Defending humanity against aliens, by supposing them to be as cruelly domineering as one’s own history indicates is possible, is the xenophobic isolationism that characterizes the desire for permanent establishment of a limited world view and is the essence of the death from incuriosity suffered by civilizations over which jungles grow and new cities are built. Change, it’s constant.
Here we are, born with our drive fully engaged, bent on doing whatever our genetic program has concocted out of the DNA combination of two humans who may have been destined to reproduce the next heir to the perks from the ancestry of the master race, planned since the clan wore bear skins in a cave or may have been conceived as a random consequence of rape by an unknown. That the parents, each born with the same sort of drive, lead lives in niches of society found partly by such proclivities tends to cloud the difference between nature and nurture during child development.
In western civilization, and in the others to some degree, the newborn is assaulted with resistance to expressing his or her unique character and distracted by instruction on proper obedience —silence, eyes front! It is a rare parent that allows their child the freedom to interpret the natural world from scratch through the early, most formative years and withhold exposure to and enforcement of personal and societal interpretations until they become the subject of curiosity and questions from the child. Between the pressures of satisfying parents and teachers any uniqueness less obvious than physical begins to crochet a facade of protective knots tied by little semiconscious, spontaneous vows made in times of feeling assaulted to never expose that raw self again, like dabs of makeup over zits.
It is a rare infant who can withstand the induced schizophrenia required of society and follow his or her inborn voice from womb to tomb — don’t know if anyone has ever done so. Anyone I have met or read about who has found their peace with the world as it is has learned to untie those knots and disassemble the ego’s distorting prism in a trial of fire as it were. Just as the relief the world feels at the transition from George Bush to Barrack Obama, the self-realized, self-actuated person may not be self-made but is certainly the natural diamond self-carved out of the block of coal Santa and the rest of the western myth intended to create. The lemonade to be made from this sour situation is the wisdom that sees the difference between being used and being useful.
This itch, this digging of my natural inclinations to seek out and untie knots of debilitating prejudices accumulated during an earlier lifetime of willing contribution to western civilization’s myth of human exceptionality as the self-righteous owners of the planet, seems to be generated by this dynamic of desire to establish a life as good as I envision possible within society and the curiosity to understand how to make it better for all. It is a microcosm of life: heresy dragging orthodoxy into the flow of evolution, curiosity recycling conclusions as parts of theory, my garden building itself from the compost of the old garden. I am Chance the Gardener.