a fire that doesn’t go out

I’ve said before that there are days when I can barely handle the world. At least, not the whole thing all at once. Including the hateful parts, the misogyny, the brutal disregard by the powerful of the powerless.

Sometimes, I feel like I can only be a citizen of this house.

Of this cool summer day.

Of the family I can hold on to.

Of the flowers I can grow.

Lots of days I’m at least as much concerned about the state of the world as I am about my attitude about the state of the world.

And then I find myself wondering. What if all this chaos is just some kind of theatre of transformational events that we’re living in right now?

What if the chaotic global events of the past two years – historic week after historic week – are part of some kind of ongoing, dynamic collective transformation? Where, eventually, a good number of us recognize that these events happening in the outside world – all around us – wouldn’t be happening if there wasn’t something also happening inside of us.

What if we somehow found our way to knowing that none of us are separate and apart from any of this chaos happening in the world today? The pandemic. The war in Ukraine. Ongoing colonialism, famine, poverty, homelessness. Political corruption. And decisions to revoke, or never grant, human rights in the world. What would happen if, instead, we acknowledged that not only are we not separate and apart from these things, but that we are also the engine of these things? Because no one and nothing is separate and apart from anything or anyone here.

What if we stopped filling up our days with the online hatred plastered all over social media? Stopped being connected to everything, all the time, and instead recognized this as a recipe for disconnection. From each other. And from ourselves. What if we weren’t just the people in other cars, each with our own story, but passing too quickly to be noticed or understood.

What if we discovered that all of this chaos and disconnection and anger and hate and frustration and misinformation and mistrust is just about becoming conscious? Truly conscious. What if this whole thing is about the truth? Of life. And of our own spirit. That it’s kind of like a test. Refining our capacity to discern the truth of things. Teaching us to break through the illusions in our lives so that we can become more conscious, one perception at a time.

What if none of us believed that we were entitled to anything? Not good parents. Or a good marriage. Or respect. Or that our skin colour is our currency. What if we looked at the wonderful things we have and realized that we had nothing to do with most of them? That all the good things we have are blessings that prove to us that something greater than us is operating in our lives.

What if, instead of wondering why we’re here – alive in this time – we wondered more about why we chose to be here? On this planet, right now. To experience human existence, with all of its challenges and suffering. And with all of its beauty and wonder.

And what if the answer that came back was simply: because we chose to be here for this. It wasn’t forced. It’s not a punishment. We’re not here because of bad karma from some other life. Or because we aren’t evolved enough. And, it’s not just some coincidence.

We’re here because we chose to be here, now. We chose it.

And all the basic parameters of our existence – we agreed to them in advance, too.

Or, that not believing this is also part of the journey some of us chose.

I don’t know what would happen if all of these things were true. But I do wonder, all the time, how the world would be different if consciousness were to become more about connection and gutting ourselves at an incredible level of truth— and less about things like recycling and carrying a water bottle. For now, I just wonder. And do my own deep work.

But there are days when I can barely handle the world. At least, not the whole thing all at once.

On those days, I feel I can only be a citizen of this house.

Of this cool summer day.

Of the family I can hold on to.

Of the flowers I can grow.

And, of a fire that doesn’t go out.

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