It is the last week of December, which calls for the reflection of another year past. I’m currently enjoying the holidays in the 80 F and sunny weather of Bangkok, Thailand and I do not want to head back to the brutality of the Michigan winter. From the purely physical standpoint, the seasonal variations may suck, but if you think about it you can think of the seasons as serving a larger cosmic purpose. Time may not be entirely linear. In some ways, it may possess a cyclical characteristic, not unlike the seasons.
Thomas Berry, the late Catholic priest and “Earth scholar” (as he prefers to be called), has been a great teacher of late. He said in his book The Sacred Universe that there exists three parts in our world; the divine, the cosmic and the human. We currently live in an age where technology disconnects us from the story of the universe and science strips us of our mystical reverence. At a certain time the world ceased to be attuned to the voices of the universe within each of us, how it relates to the cultural context of the present and the forces guiding our vast playground. Even I feel very disconnected from the universe within.
But… we live in a transitional period. A new age is being ushered in, by the miracle workers disguised as academics, social workers, businessmen, students and everyone else. We are reorienting and reconnecting our human awareness with the cosmos and the divine–not necessarily in a religious way, but spiritual way. Thomas Berry had said that the art of interpretation is one of the most ancient forms of human wisdom, but unfortunately it is one that has been stifled during the era of science. I believe humans are starting to feel empty, hungry and disconnected, yearning for something more. We are entering an age of renewal, a renewal of our connections, our interpretative capabilities, our understanding of the larger reality and ourselves. The need for this renewal has never been greater with the current ecological challenges of our world. The age has got to come soon.
Earlier today, when I was at Kinokuniya, a large bookstore in Asia, I was pleased to see that its “Plant your knowledge” section contains books by Seth Godin, Daniel Kahneman, Richard Branson and the like on issues including social change, the thought process, overcoming the status quo and the mystical power of the mind. Prior to the recent decades, the spirituality movement has been considered extreme by many, but it’s getting into the mainstream–it’s a big deal.
This whole year has been one of frustration and hope. Not much was accomplished, but not much needed to be accomplished. Hectic was life, but hectic was not what I sought. Certainty was desired, but uncertainty was. Peace was what I sought. Life was what I got.
Life is becoming increasingly taxing (emotionally, for the most part). I’m getting old. I know I have been weary of the same processes and sequences of life that has yielded but temporary swings of the pendulum. Where can we actually go?
The road ahead will be an interesting one, as it always is. Who knows where the world is taking us. Are we controlling our destiny? Are we simply part of a large play?
Why are we here?
They say peace is the most ultimate form of happiness, and also one that has proven to be so elusive for me.
That’s all I’m setting out for.
Will I ever find it?
Possibilities lie ahead.