We are witnessing the greatest transition to a new era of human life in the shortest time span of recorded human history. What lies ahead?
“It’s always darkest before dawn.” A phrase you’ve likely heard many, many times before. But how often do we truly meditate on it’s meaning? Like all things in the universe, human history and human behavior follows existing patterns. Much like the dark hours in the dead of night, we are currently clinging to our existing notions of reality before the darkness in the hopes it will guide us toward the light.
Dear listener, I do not believe that clinging to our previous notions of how the world operates will offer us the inner and external peace we all desire and deserve. Much like the brave souls before us, such as Jesus Christ, Siddhārtha Gautama, Martin Luther King Jr., and so on, we must plunge fearlessly into the depths of darkness in order to find the light.
When the waters become fierce and unforgiving, the first thing which must be done is manning the sails with all the willpower and physical strength you can possibly find within yourself. Throughout human history, people are drawn toward the non-violent, compassionate, and even “holy” individuals who took it upon themselves to man the sails. All the while ensuring us that if we, too, are brave enough to sail through stormy waters- we will eventually be guided by the universe into the light which inevitably lies ahead.
This is not to disregard the casualties which we have faced and will continue to face. As the pattern dictates, some humans will inflict suffer and death onto others if given the chance. We see this happening in the United States under Mike Pences’ leadership, as he weaponizes COVID-19 to commit a new “hands-off” method of genocide. (I do not refer to Donald Trump as the leader of the United States because he is notably cognitively impaired. While Donald Trump is certainly no holy person, he, too, is a victim of the system of brutality being perpetrated by radical Evangelical’s in the White House.) We can also glean this pattern manifesting in China as they enslave, imprison, and enact genocide campaigns against their own people. Similarly, Russia continues to mount it’s position as a global superpower, all while relying on mass murder, unethical surveillance, and fear-mongering to ensure compliance among it’s people.
These are heavy words, dear reader. “Genocide” is not exactly the side we want for our morning cup of coffee or tea. Yet, our ignorance only aids and abets the tyrants committing these atrocious acts. It is this painful truth which has ignited a level of civil awareness and education previously unsurpassed. Although institutions have done well at implementing the gate-keeping of knowledge at as many levels possible, the human spirit of curiosity and evolutionary need for knowledge cannot be stopped. Regardless of how many pay walls may be put up for access to scientific journals or independent news reporting. No one can stop humans from learning.
While ignorance certainly is not bliss- the antithesis isn’t always sunshine and rainbows, either. Learning about the cruelty of human nature is incredibly painful. Often, our minds react by shutting down and informing our brain that this is too much to handle! This happens to varying degrees as some people refuse to listen, to learn, or to go deeper. Yet I am sure, dear listener, that there is a middle ground between the false “bliss” of willful ignorance and the pain we feel when we are exposed to human cruelty.
Much like the parable in which Jesus Christ turned water into wine, we too we can transform reality with the world’s most powerful creation- our minds. After all, it is our minds which are responsible for our perception. Take for example individuals with a condition known as blindsight. This condition refers to a disconnect within the optic nerve which prevents the person from “seeing,” yet still enables the person to catch a flying object with ease or even weave through obstacle courses without guidance. “How is this possible?!” You’re wondering. Truthfully, I have no idea! But I am sure it is real, measurable, and within the patterns of human history.
The mind is the most powerful creation of God and the universe which we may find here on Earth. Much like those individuals with blindsight, our minds may be aware and conscious of things within our world which we are not even aware of ourselves. Conversely, our minds may reject information which causes us to experience fear or pain. This is not a criticism of humankind. This is a survival mechanism. Although it has it’s benefits, as all survival mechanisms do, it is not appropriate for every situation- as with every intrinsic defense mechanism.
So we must adapt. This means we must take the time to learn skills which will allow us to better communicate with our brain. Exercises such as Eastern meditation, in which you are encouraged to convert pain into wisdom, lay the path for this work. Additional skills, such as exercise, mindful and nourishing dieting, counting to ten before we speak with angry tongues, and yes, getting sufficient sleep, are all necessary skills if we want to man the sails within these rough waters.
Much like the ocean- humankind is vast, cruel, unforgiving, and unknown, while still wondrous, gentle, generous, and natural. We are a species which has been blessed by the universe with consciousness. Your brain and your mind are inextricably tied, dear listener. I encourage you to begin thinking of altruism (“extreme” kindness), as the light house guiding you to shore. This practice begins with yourself. Much like Jesus Christ, Siddhārtha Gautama, and Martin Luther King Jr., when you become the light- others will inevitably follow you to shore.