It seems obvious to me that there is a collective consciousness, a thread of truth that moves from person to person, from nation to nation, from generation to generation. Has anyone dared to frame this insight, this deeper truth, other than to ascribe it to the holy tomes of some religious sect?
Cosmic insight and inspirational ideas often get shoved aside because they are paired with the pomp and circumstance of the gaudy belief, (“you must do this… dance, sing, pray, be silent, sacrifice, etc., etc., to pass into the kingdom,”) rhetoric. Many a person has tried, (of this I am certain), to pass on such universal wisdom, only to be silenced by the trending notion of social expectation or religious convention.
A cacophony of civil laws and theological commandments dictate what we ought to do or not to do at any given period in any given place. These metallic rules and regulations jangle on stone like spilt nails, annoying yet demanding our full attention.
“You must not kill. You must not steal. You must not bear false witness.” These are simply words without circumstance, justifications for their exception always waiting in the wings. “Why should I?” becomes the impertinent question to follow.
Is this not the temperament of man? The animals are not so cunning as to hide the true nature of their violence, never substituting bigotry, jealousy, greed, or revenge, for the will to survive, as we so often do.
Our comparatively huge brains allow for the storage and sharing of life-sustaining information. It allows us to determine what is helpful, important, and critical to obtain or to do. Rules to follow, however, seem suspicious, especially if they are not consistent across national or regional borders.
Within our own society the vast majority may act upon the postulations of politicians and aristocrats, generals and bureaucrats, and various leaders of religious sects as if their words were etched in stone. And initially most of us are a trusting lot. We expect our would-be leaders to guide us to a better quality of life.
As we grow older and observe our world, our neighbors, our allies, and our enemies we begin to see the variances, the inconsistencies. We see fat sacred cows on the same streets as starving children. We see religious sects prosper in regions where acts of genocide perpetuate the slaughter of children and the raping of women. We find devout followers of love-based doctrines, advocating war for the sake of disseminating those beliefs.
In every land and in every generation there will always be those who question the universality of so many of these sanctimonious edicts. How do these laws make us better? How many ways might we continue to be betrayed by those who insist that we are neighbors, comrades, and brethren?
Too often we accept the rants of zealots and madmen as the annunciations of prophets and oracles. We seek out scholars and teachers to teach us their understanding, only to end up more confused. The dogma of moral insight, collectively embraced by the masses, waits patiently to pass into the hearts and the minds of future generations. To this day, the true facts of life continue to allude us.
Lust and love, theft and charity, violence and strength, prosperity and peace, weakness and humility, each vies for its position within the vacuum. We stand in the market-place of values, too often overwhelmed by our choices.
So how do we know what is right or wrong? Do we listen until we hear some god-like command? The voices are everywhere, weak and strong, commanding and cajoling, serious and comedic. It is not for lack of sources that our ignorance remains.
Free will has often been cited as the key to this awareness. It is said to be our ability to walk our own path, to choose our own destiny. Yet, making decisions or moving in our own chosen direction is only possible when we do not see ourselves as prisoners of the world in which we live. We panic when the black hood is draped over our heads. We quickly lose hope when the darkness comes upon us.
The ability to see and act upon the edicts of our deepest beliefs comes only through the freeing of the spirit. It is within the constraints of our corporeal being that we act as a sponge to the materialistic world that surrounds us. That is not to say that this fleshy costume serves no purpose, rather, it must become a cloak of honor, a robe to keep clean and well mended. But, make no mistake, when it becomes tattered and useless it will surely be discarded. Likewise, the so-called treasures of the world are only a transient mirage of desire.
I suggest that we look beneath the veil of our skin. We must not be afraid to explore the breadth, width, and depth of who we are. But we must also be looking outward. We must consider our impact on others and their effect on us.
Our reflections must not just be relegated to inter-personal affairs. We must also understand our place in a greater physical system. We do not exist separate from that which we perceive. Somewhere between our corporeal being and the bounds of a greater collective consciousness, a true r self is hidden. This is the place where the soul resides. This is the place where insight and personal energy come into play.
As atoms form molecules and planets spiral around stars, we must recognize our place and the delicate balance that must be maintained within the Essence of All Things Living and Innate. This is the one and only unspoken law of the universe.
Imagine yourself floating on a small raft or an inner-tube. You have decided to spend a warm and lazy day in the water and under the sun. Have you ever considered how much information, Time, and energy that goes into the planning of such a seemingly simple activity? The levels of knowledge and independence required to make this excursion cannot be ignored. Every human is a collection of his or her own experiences. Together they form a knowledge base that, for the most part, goes unseen and unsung.
There are always going to be people involved. People to consult, to inform, and to consider, insuring that scheduling conflicts do not occur. There will usually be personal interactions, as well; inviting a friend or significant others, or making the choice to go it alone. Getting to your destination includes a sea of traffic to be navigated or the dependence on others for transport.
And then there are environmental considerations: the entry into the river, testing tolerance for the water’s temperature, assessing the width and depth of the river and the speed of the flow. One might also consider the number of other people who share the same idea and thereby share the river.
Once committed to the act of free floating downstream however, the mind seems to relax, to disengage itself from an otherwise stressful existence. The lapping of cool water, the warmth of the sun or shade of the trees overhead are expected and reassuring in their presence. In this leisurely way, the journey downstream is predictable, even if it includes reacting to the occasional rapids or to the buzzing of mosquitoes.
Whenever we are able to suspend our Time-focused lives, our passage seems to become much easier. Once we have put ourselves in the current, the only thing that really matters is following the twists and turns of the river itself. Paddling with oars or hands and feet, we react to the current, adjust to the flow. If we wish to travel some distance, this is all that matters. This is the nature of free will.
To be at peace with the world we must consider only our immediate path. We must accept that life has an element of flow to it. This is not to be confused with the passage of Time.
In our earthly lifespan our physiological being is forever going through a series of observable changes. The Essence of All Things Living and Innate is the same. Everything imaginable is in a constant state of flux.
We humans remain unable to determine the actual length or width of our universe. Likewise, we cannot ever truly know our own limits or limitations. We are, however, always able to interact with the Essence of All Things Living and Innate. This is a telling aspect of our shared reality. Our energy will always be a part of the whole.
In the river of life, there are billions of stars. Each star holds the possibility of life. Some stars are forming while others explode and dissipate. Regardless of the current state of a star or any other element of our perceived reality, everything continues to exist, al be it, in many differing forms. Above all else, it is important that we understand that everything is subject to a constant and unrelenting series of changes.
Time, on the other hand, seems to insist that there are fixed points of reference, (the baby, the toddler, the adolescent, the adult). Time also attempts to superimpose a set of fixed qualities on us humans. Expectations and acceptable actions/behaviors are, likewise, associated with these designated periods of development.
As an educator, I was taught to generalize behavior, to consider the similarities in humans and to look at “differences” as being abnormal. Categorizing human behavior for the purpose of training or “modification” has been going on since before history was being recorded. Educating human beings has been an important aspect of our too often skewed view of the world.
The Keepers of Time have always held a great interest in the study of educating or otherwise influencing people's knowledge and actions. The increase or decrease of attributes considered “good” or “bad” in any given society have always been up for grabs. Knowledge is power!
Even given the fact that we have recognized and categorized thousands of physiological and psychological differences between human beings, we still insist in making "scientific" generalizations. It is the essence of nation building and crowd control. Many governing bodies insist on teaching orderly behavior and rote memorization of "key" facts as the means to promote their own agendas. This is often done under the guise of allowing or providing for public education. Limiting access to critical information and free thinking, while promoting loyalty and obedience to the ruling elite, serves to keep unrest at a minimum. The Keepers of Time continue to promote their interests in this way.
In truth, from the Time of mankind’s earliest scribed notations, elders and/or teachers have enlightened the young, providing them with practical information on how best to survive. The information passed on, however, has always been vastly different for the king’s son and the son of a slave.
The point being that we must never completely believe everything we’ve been told. Entanglement in the social trappings of a community, a state, or a nation, may have similarities but also stark differences. Unfortunately, we are only expected to know that which is befitting to our assigned social status. And for the most part, this is all that we are given.
Millions have fought and died to shake off the yoke of tyranny, malcontent being the rotten apple at the bottom of the barrel. Many would find themselves so overwhelmed by the disparity that they would turn to suicide as a reasonable means of escape.
Otherwise, billions of humans simply accept the simplistic “do or die” reality superimposed on them by the societies in which they have lived. The ensuing fate of a struggling, suffering, disenfranchised citizenry, with its inevitable "procession to the grave", is most often accompanied by the theological promise of a mystical afterlife of endless wealth, family reunions, and assorted creature comforts thrown in for good measure.
I suspect that the majority of people who have walked upon this planet have led miserable and unfulfilled lives. The deception perpetuated by the Keepers of Time has been a brutal force against man and nature. Evil has been given many names and many faces.
The idea of being able to push ones worries aside for the sake of a relaxing float down a river may seem a dream, but it is not too hard to envision ourselves doing just that. Most of us have some, perhaps many ways of distracting ourselves from the day to day struggle to stay afloat, financially or otherwise. Making opportunities for quiet reflection, regardless as to where you are physically or emotionally is the key to truly experiencing life. Diverting yourself in mind and/or body should become a frequent exercise. Seeking out routine opportunities to consider our connection to The Essence of All Things Living and Innate serves to give us purpose and to promote the balance which is necessary for the continuation of the species and the survival of the planet as a whole.
As the river carries us we are blessed to be able to look around, to examine nature passively. We might see the purpose of water flowing to the sea, the purpose of growing cycles in plants and animals, and a purpose in our reactive regard to the river. In this state of reflection we must also consider our frenzied approach to survival. And at some point, we must come to understand how Time has become a false dimension, a pretentious god.
I believe that this kind of “idle” revelry must be a constant and unfettered part of the human experience. This is not to say that we should avoid our ongoing occupation with life and living. But rather, that we take these cosmic connections into consideration on a day to day basis. First and foremost we must stay afloat, upright and balanced, as opposed to feeling the dis-ease of falling into the water and constantly contending with a sink or swim ultimatum.
Secondly, if we can get a handle on the direction and the speed of our journey, as it relates to living comfortably, we could better see our part in it. That is to say, if we can come to a better understanding of the true nature of living, we can learn to become more relaxed in allowing life to have its elements of change, its twists and turns, and thus would be far less likely to fight against the prevailing currents.
As a third point I would say, this journey is all about self-discovery. We must be ever vigilant as to our own needs, independent of others and in conjunction with others. We need to quantify which needs are or are not being met on a daily basis.
Every cell in our bodies should be continuously considered. If we are missing dietary resources we must make them available to ourselves. If we are without proper clothing or shelter, we must find a way to obtain it. Working with others to meet our needs is totally natural. Assuming responsibility for our own care is critical!
And finally, when we meditate or pray to our Higher Power we must first appraise our relationship to that entity. If we are indeed, a part of the creation and the Creator, we have an obligation to sustain ourselves accordingly and to communicate our understanding of this necessary equilibrium to our fellow Earth mates.
Allowing destructive or “negative” things to happen and then attempting to absolve ourselves of the guilt of participation, (both active and passive), by praying for forgiveness does little to reset the balance. This is the fatal flaw of many organized religions.
We must closely examine the foods we consume, the water we drink, the clothes that we wear, and the shelter we require. These items are basic to survival and important to everyone. These things must be readily available, communally, or as a result of each individual’s own endeavors. Taking an active role in our own survival may cause us to ignore or make secondary the requests or demands placed on us by others. It can not be considered a sin to tend to the needs of the self. This is a falsehood perpetuated by the Keepers of Time.
Much imbalance and chaos comes from those who would manipulate others to provide these same life basics for themselves, with little or no compensation. Forcing men and women into servitude or slavery to live substandard or abbreviated lives is in some liberal circles considered to be the height of evil. In more conservative circles, however, it can be viewed as being fiscally responsible and subject to the laws of the land. But when considered in a cosmic context, one might also see that these acts are separate from the true collective consciousness. In the greater picture they might be visualized as self-inflicted wounds.
As is the case in cancerous cells, a false message is sent out. The offending cell becomes something unintended, and as such, is subsequently attacked by the ever-vigilant white blood cells. This is the reactive face of the Essence of All Things Living and Innate. The survival of our species depends on an inherent willingness to maintain the balance, to set things right.
This willingness to be an agent of change will only manifest itself if we disengage ourselves from the Time Keeper’s prison. We must free our minds and then quietly float downstream. In so doing, we will begin hearing the voice of the collective consciousness loud and clear. We will begin to find our proper place in the universe. We will be better able to know and understand the Essence of All Things Living and Innate.
Michael S. True
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|Reviewed by Ronald Hull
|Wow! I am blown away by your insight in this amazing article in the stories section. You must have spent much time thinking through all of this before you wrote it.
What you said about teaching has been a problem I struggled with while teaching. Educators seem to fail to understand that nature plays a larger role than John Dewey or even BF Skinner thought. Along the same lines, teaching conformity to the rules, whatever they may be, has always been unsettling to me when there is so much potential in humans to be creative and think "outside the box" leading to much better ways than following zombielike.
During my summer of discontent when I was staying with my parents, between jobs, we would go to the lake on weekends. No longer able to fish or swim, I picked up one of the old inner tubes and set out on the lake in it. By paddling with my arms and legs I got around the placid lake quite well. I would spend 2 to 3 hours, while not flowing downstream, still half immersed in water and sky, sometimes brushing up against underwater stumps and weeds in the shallow lake, totally relaxed and in tune with the universe. The inner tube had a slight leak so I had to get back to the dock for my dad to pump it back up, but my biggest danger was sunburn, not sinking or have a musky or snapping turtle bite my toe.
My nitpicker picked up a couple little things… I like the idea of "spilt nails on stone," but it set me back for a moment. … our impact on others and how they "affect" us. .… a "truer" self.