Cont’d from The More we Change, The More We Stay The Same …
‘The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are,’ said Carl Jung. And we could easily add, ‘The sooner that is achieved, the longer we enjoy living our authentic life.’
But how to bring THAT on once we’ve lost a sense of who we truly are – or what the real purpose might be for our ‘un-accidental’ presence on planet Earth, here and now?
Forensic archaeology tells us that Neanderthals cared for each other. They knew compassion.
Conclusions drawn from the exploration of graves confirm that they believed in an afterlife. They were aware of a power greater than themselves.
It must have been the rise of imagination and shared meanings that sparked, in our ancestors, the idea of worshipping the more significant elements that shaped their lives, though they were as beyond their physical realm as they are beyond ours.
As neutral observers, we know that the worship of a Greater Intelligence had become optional long ago. That said, though many spiritual traditions and religions like Judaism, Christianity and Islam have ‘one divinity’ in common, they can neither agree on his/her name nor on their inherent character and imagined characteristics.
The same applies to the amalgams we accept as true when it comes to our soul.
Though Soul was as invisible to our early ancestors as it is to us, and though we feel unable to understand her real purpose, as Toni Morrison wrote in her novel, Beloved, ‘She is a friend of my mind. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order.’
We might say Soul is ‘the space’ from where we access our altruism and our genius a.k.a. our best self.
Each one of us is soul-endowed.
Regardless of the details of our physicality and status, each of us is an infinite being of energy packed into a body that has a limited, physical lifespan.
Regardless of our faith, very few modern beings would question the ephemeral reality of Soul, so, technically, we agree: each one of us is endowed with what it takes to rise above the noise and follow our genius.
But, on the whole, we don’t.
Instead of rising above the noise, we let it grip us.
We amplify it.
We drown in it.
In doing so, we relegate Soul to this weird sort of entity mentioned during funeral ceremonies.
It is ‘saved’, we are told.
Mourners across several religions are oddly comforted hearing that the soul of the departed one is already with the Lord.
Or are they?
Wouldn’t it be preferable to be aware that Soul is embedded beneath the entire gamut of our moment-to-moment reaction to stimulus?
That Soul is embedded in our ability to respond instead of reacting.
That Soul is the ability to improve our heart/body/mind coherence.
That Soul is the understanding that every moment perceived as a complication is simply a trigger to push us out of our comfort zones – yet another unexpected opportunity to tap into our true mettle.
Serious question: if untested by occasional unexpected and unprecedented circumstances of varying intensity, how would we ever become aware of our evolving innermost resilience?
Serious question: on a scale of 1 to 10, how much social trust do we, modern humans, impart towards each other?
Heads up: these days, ‘truth’ is probably as subjective as ancient times … but more easily fabricated.
More than ever, subjective truths roll off the tongue – or the clicks on the keyboard – of those with a private agenda.
Any information could simply be ‘misinformation’ or fake news.
Though the neutral observers that we are live in an era of unprecedented flow of information, we are struggling to know ‘the truth’ on any topic or issue, no matter how mundane – or profound.
It just seems that these days, more and more people own their own truths and proclaim them loudly.
Our take on love and hatred yields subjective ‘truths’.
Subjective ‘truths’ are beliefs more driven by a Me-First, reactive ego-persona than by an all observing, all-knowing, altruistic mind.
Today, as in bygone eras, subjective truths still come out of the mouths of many men and women of faith and of politicians, too.
These days, though, information manipulation is evermore rife, dangerously confusing – and divisive.
Bottom line: perhaps even less informed of what surrounds us than our earliest ancestors ever were, pricked by numerous biases and the fear of missing out on something or other, we are only marginally, if at all, clued to actual facts.
Heads up: whether we grow or cut or shave our hair, we remain as we are.
Whether we are in love, in pain or in-secure, we remain who we are.
Even when we are unseen, we still are.
Even when a loved one no longer remembers who we are, we still are.
Even as our bodies deal with toxic or depleted components – even as our cells rejuvenate, we are.
So, surely, we are more than what we see of our selves and perceive of our personality.
We are also more than what others think they see of and in us.
Until we realise and internalise ‘what’ we are, really, truly and moment by moment, our default operating system goes on allows our brains to create amalgams imagined to serve our best interests.
And for that, we posture.
We fight with words, mostly, but we fight hard.
We fight, and we fragment.
With or without weapons, we fight with our selves, and we fight among ourselves.
As our early ancestors fought against marauders and invaders, we fight against others, even against those we are intended to love.
Reality check: these days, as always, every negative attitude we dislike in others reflects a similar capacity in our own brain.
More serious questions: how to cultivate a sense of kinship when we walk away from our roots, as we tend to do as soon as we are ready to test our independence?
How to develop a sense of community at our individual level when we don’t accept that ‘divided, we fall’?
Reality check: there are many influencers: whether musicians, scientists, actors, athletes, founders and CEOs, brand and food creators, fashion gurus, politicians or potential holistic healers, collectively and separately, these groups of people are those who move us in the direction of their choosing.
That’s in the direction that has brought them to the position on the global stage they’ve desired – and worked very hard – to access.
These people are our modern-day ‘idols’.
We eagerly embrace their personal vision by literally buying into their creations.
We are their invisible, unregulated, but direct sponsors.
We want to be them.
We want to be with them.
We want them to elevate us into their world.
Ironically, seemingly unaware of our loss of cultural and personal individuality, like the little clouds in the sky that might imagine themselves forever separate and different from all others, we clamour, ‘Look at me! I am an individual cloud! I come and go as I please. Nothing can stop me.’
Despite proclaiming our individuality, we think, move and present ourselves as a collective – a global herd.
That’s because we can only choose how to be, how to act and what to do within a seemingly limited range of options.
Yet, millions of us feel alone.
We feel fragmented.
And, we yearn to become once again a part of a greater ‘whole’ – a holistic whole.
Bottom line: forensic anthropologists are categorical: early humans were very much like us in many ways.
Saying that helps sense a link with our earliest of ancestors.
It helps portray them as ‘humans’, not as mere troglodytes irrelevant to life as we know it.
But … if we turn this around and say that we, modern humans of the 21st century, are very much like our Neanderthal ancestors, what does that say about us as the civilisation of the 21st century?
Dear Reader, please, share your thoughts as, like you, they are deep and wise. 😊