Monday, June 15, 2009

A Ramble

We're hearing it over and over again, in the news and print media, all over the web, in lectures and teachings new and old: These times, they're'a changin'. But are you taking the time to integrate just what this message means in your own life and to the world around you? Yeah, we all can agree that life is blasting through the spin cycle, that time feels like its accelerating, that things (from lifeforms to fads) are here and then are out with a poof ! but are you, and I, really grasping the import of all this or are we merely drafting on the backwind?

I'm asking myself these questions, and I don't feel like I can immediately shout an enthusiastic "Hell Yeah, I'm working for change!" I've struggled over recent years with the idea of balancing changing the world by changing myself versus being an agent for change by being involved in local, national and global initiatives. I know voting for Obama was important and all, but besides that I can't honestly say I've invested sweat and tears into a cause. And this is where I get stuck, because so many of the life teachings I align with tout that what's most important is how we are in our individual lives, on a daily, consistent basis: The Butterfly Effect, the Golden Rule. But in today's environment, is that enough?

I also struggle with the idea that where we focus our thoughts and energy is in turn what we manifest in the world. If I believe in the "good" or "righteous", by those very thoughts do I create the "bad" my good is against. I wonder if my siding with a cause only makes its opposition stronger, or more of a reality. Not that I would want to live with my head in a hole and ignore the world, but does me being for something only give it's opposite more power? Does my attention increase it's presence? If I were to be in the world, simply doing the best I can in my daily life, but not paying attention to something like the war in Iraq, would that somehow lessen the impact of it's reality? Perhaps it would lessen its impact on my immediate surroundings (for the time being), but for those that can't look the other way, like those who live in active war zones, or in poverty and oppression, my looking the other way does nothing to alleviate the actuality of the suffering they experience. And though our lives may seem to exist in unconnected dimensions, we are still part of the same whole.

Another thing is that I don't know if it's possible to be alive in a state of only good. Human-beingness is in many ways defined by the interplay of opposites. Great minds and philosophers across the ages, such as Jung, Lao Tzu, Buddha, Osho, Holmes, and Plato, have all stated that life is the weaving together of light and dark.

But going back to change. What I know for sure is that the only thing I have the ability to control and effect is my internal world. I believe that being in touch with one's internal nature is a key to a happy, satisfying life. Research, and common experience, has told us that wealth, fame, beauty, or material possessions and all of those other externals aren't the source of contentment, joy or peace of mind. Plus, a recent study has finally "proven" that having gratitude can increase your happiness by as much as 25% (and it can also help with chronic health problems). And in relation to my last post on community, expressing gratitude has the power to help build community, because "Thanks begets thanks."

How does this all fit into having awareness around the state our society and world is in right now? I'm not sure; I just felt compelled to get these thoughts out there. To be continued...

I would be grateful for any comments or feedback!