Compositions of a more general nature including ethics, thoughts about life and views about human nature, our times and evolution.
Is That Right?
"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I will Meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase "each other" doesn't make any sense."
A Friend In Deed
"Friendship is about mutual respect, affection, help, and providing comfort in times of crises. Friendship is a mutually supportive relationship between two or more people." (1)
This is a simple and succinct statement, is it not? It covers the essentials of friendship and what it means to be friends. At one time pretty much everyone understood and accepted this definition. Friendships are not to be taken casually, though one can have casual friends, and it is not to be seen as merely a label for it is more like a title bestowed upon another because of the nature of their relationship. Further, friendship must be reciprocated and shared for we cannot have a true friendship without that essential ingredient. A friend is almost an extension of self rather than a relationship between two mutually exclusive people.
The Long Shadow of the Dreamer
We humans tend to be silly creatures even at the best of times. Compared to even our grandparents we have all we could ever want or need, let alone compared to what the thousands of generations before them had. Yet here we are floundering amid a sea of plenty because we spend so much of our precious time wanting, needing, hoping and searching for nameless outcomes. We should be both gracious and joyous that we have so much more than our basic needs met, just as we were as children, but most are not. Instead we allow our mind to gradually obscure our true nature and in a way we become lost to it.
Is it s not that we lack the ability to be free, at least for the most part, of the restrictions of our needs, we simply have not. We don’t start off with many needs, only those related to our life lessons, the rest we take on as we grow up and then add to through becoming accustomed to certain circumstances. We heap them on like extra sprinkles on our cake, or gravy on our potatoes. Not only are they a challenge in and of themselves, they tend to lead to structures of needs that wind us up so tight we seem to have nowhere to go.
What Is Going On?
There has been a great deal of change over the course of my lifetime, on many levels, and this is showing no signs of abating. All one has to do is compare the toys and capabilities we have now compared to just 40 years ago. In that time, roughly since the mid to late 60’s, we have seen the gradual development of a new view of reality and the birth of new possibilities. It is no accident that, along with this, there has been a tremendous shift in technology that has expanded our capabilities at an accelerated rate. In the essay “Our Modern Times” (1), I wrote about the massive changes that have occurred over just the last century and that these changes have not only significantly affected our collective consciousness, they have added new stresses.
Certainly, this ‘new age’ is one of almost limitless possibilities, especially when compared to a century ago. It is one that has been fueled by the new found freedom to imagine and manifest. What has fed the flames is not the technology we have invented; that is a by-product of our conscious evolution. They have been fed by new thought forms: new concepts of reality and the subsequent shifts in beliefs. Yet despite all the possibilities and the expansion of what one could call ‘new age awareness’, we still have not seen a major shift in the overall awareness of humankind, in part because we are looking in the wrong place for it.
And What of Evil?
Over my years of exploring, learning, writing and teaching I have been asked many questions, often they are the same question just asked from a different angle and I have explored a number of them in various essays. One of the most common ones I have not explored relates to the notion of evil and acts perceived as evil. Nor have all the conversations about it “gone well”, as I have had to end a number of them when the reactions of people have become so intense, even leading to verbal attacks, that continuing would do little more than create even stronger emotional reactions. This would negate any value that could be gained by discussing it.
Anyone who pays attention to the news has read about the acts of individuals or groups of people that appear to them as evil and there have been a number of these in recent months that have brought this question to the fore. I am speaking about actions to such acts as someone who kills a number of people and extend this to governments and dictators that start wars, or engage in acts such as genocide of various degrees, assassinations and so forth. Evil is a very challenging topic because it is misunderstood and for many the term itself tends to evoke strong emotional reactions. People react to what they perceive as evil though the tendency is to only notice what they believe to be “great evil” while overlooking lesser forms of it.