The world we have known for the last several hundred years and in which each of us has grown up makes no sense anymore. We are not merely moving from one calendar year to another in these days, but from one age to another. In our more impatient moments it may seem as if we are in fact caught, becalmed betwixt the ages. But if becalmed we are, I detect a breeze, a shift in the air.
The old story, dominant for the last 500 years, is the story of the all-conquering human, man’s dominion over nature. It told that we could analyze, understand and control everything in our world, that we could master nature through our technology and brilliance and thus assure the future of the whole human family. There was always a new frontier beyond which we would find more of everything, new sources of whatever we needed, there were no limits to human growth on this huge planet. The triumph of human ingenuity defined that age. Today we can see two major flaws in our use of this story, a missing player and the great hijacking.
Firstly that old story omits any mention of an intelligence larger than us humans. No space for a god of any name, nor the concept of an intelligent universe; no chance for us to see a larger pattern to inform our choices, no way to sense the true inter-dependence of all life. In our hubris we have cast aside any phenomenon we can not yet decipher or tame, declared ourselves both creator and destroyer of life, and hang the consequences.
Our story hijacked; this second trap was never foreseen. Once we learned to harvest the natural cycles of the earth and organize people’s efforts on a feudal scale it became possible for some of us to gain great power over others. Capital co-opted the human project to serve the needs of those caught in the allure of wealth and power. The story of our eventual triumph through progress has pacified and seduced the masses for years, kept us enthralled and mute right up to the shuddering, sobering realization that this story can never work.
The good news; we are moving into a new age, one not yet defined or even named. The new age will allow us to remember and reconnect and rediscover the medicine we humans carry for all life, but there is, as yet, no clear and central narrative to take the place of that old discredited story. The new story is a work-in-progress, being written by you and me and thousands like us. This is our new tribe, awakened by the unstoppable impulse of the human heart to move toward love, and wholeness and beauty. What a joy, what succor, how vital then that this tribe is now gathering, ready to stand, for dignity and justice today and for a habitable home tomorrow. I’ve met you on every continent, wherever in the world my work has taken me, in every case I find the same; a feeling of familiarity, a ready intimacy, shared values and common connections woven together with synchronicities. I was inspired to catch this phenomenon in a poem;
A light is glimmering in the dark, flickering and growing firmer, constant now and stronger by our stories shared and retold they keep the shadows at bay. The light is emboldened as we share our hopes and dreams rolling back the gloom to expose the possibilities once obscured by ignorance and folly.
Pay attention to the eyes of every new acquaintance. Linger awhile, perchance the ancient pact reveals itself there.
Hold each embrace a moment longer lest that breath, that softening tell of the promise we made elsewhere.
And listen please for clues that we share an ever-present longing for wholeness and an end to suffering.
In these ways and more a scattered tribe is refinding itself and what it means to be human, agents both of death and destruction and the birth and recreation of our common future.
Sweet the miracles available in our midst, tender the space for our communing, for your hero’s journey and mine.
Our shared vision and the inner knowing arising makes available enough light for us to see and be seen by another such gathering, another glimmering in the emerging web of light of you and me, of hope.