A lovely spring day, way to warm for the beginning of March. I took a few minutes earlier and sat on our porch bathed by the sun drenched warmth. There was just enough breeze to sound the large bell and remind me to breathe.
Sitting quietly, doing little, I began to think about how our country seems to possess a bottomless capacity for hatred. This provides politicians much fodder for deflecting our collective attention from our real shared problems. (As you no doubt know the problem list is long, and rapidly growing longer.) Certainly, the political fog machines, on all sides, are busily pouring out distortions, untruths, and lies, which make thinking, and breathing, difficult.
Truth be, most of us are worried; right now, it does not look like all will end well. I find it difficult to keep in mind that we are in a major perturbation, (hopefully) a transition between more stable states. Perturbations are an inevitable, perhaps even necessary, aspect of natural systems. Most of the time, systems right themselves and return to more stable states. Sometimes the new state is different from the previous ones, and sometimes, the system collapses into something that bears little resemblance to what came before.
When societies enter destabilized periods, much suffering usually follows. When multiple destabilizing forces interact, things can get very perilous indeed.
These thoughts were in the background the other day while I had a conversation with an acquaintance. We were speaking about her concept of god. She spoke to feeling closer to whatever god might be when in nature, when engaged with the complexity of the non-man-made world. The more she spoke, the more I imagined she envisioned god as “All-That-Is”. When I inquired whether that might be so, she readily agreed.
I revisited the conversation later in the day, and was reminded that evil politicians, rogue viruses, rapidly changing climate, and wars are all part of All-That-Is. Now, from my position as an aging human, there seems little comfort in this realization. I have a strong preference for stability, peace, and affordable health care for my remaining time on the planet. At the same time, I must concede that even those events that I perceive as evil most likely are aspects of god. It sure is difficult to see everything in context, to perceive perturbations as aspects of a larger unity.
The thing is, when we are able to do just that, to see things in larger context, we become much more likely to be kind.