August 29th, 2019
One sees clearly only with the heart.
Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
What if saving the world is not our job?
We can mess the world up by trying to fix — a.k.a. “improve” — it. But we can’t fix the mess we make. We can only stop messing with it. It’s like kicking a cloud of dust up into in the air or a body of water. The dust will settle, but only if you leave it alone.
Leaving the earth alone doesn’t mean doing nothing. Humans can do as much as other animals and still be part of a sustainable system. It’s when we start to “improve” it, to develop it, that we mess things up.
It’s not even that we’re too self-centered. It’s that we’re not smart enough not to be. We’re like the sorcerer’s apprentice, like a child who’s gotten into a cookie jar. Now that we’ve started eating, how do we leave the jar alone? Where are our parents to stop us? Who is the sorcerer?
An easy answer would be “God.” But who is God — and where? I have easy answers.
God is the whole of which we are a part. If God is the whole, then God is everywhere. If God is everywhere, the easiest place to find God is right where we are: that is, inside. But where is “inside?” And how do we contact God? How do we ask for help?
We pray. We ask for guidance. And how does God answer? How does God contact us? Through our feelings.
Humans didn’t get to where we are now through our feelings. We got here through our thoughts. We ate from the Tree of Knowledge, and agriculture and everything else we like to call “progress” began after that.
It’s OK to apprentice God. It’s not OK to think we have graduated. We still have a lot to learn, and we learn it through our feelings.
How do let our feelings guide our actions? There is a system for this. There is a way back. It’s a way forward. It’s been around for almost 60 years. It’s called NVC.
NVC stands for Nonviolent Communication, but a better name for it, according to the founder himself, is Compassionate Connection. That’s not just connection with others. It’s with yourself, and most of all, with God.
God speaks to us through our feelings, and the things God says are called needs. God tells us what we need to do. It’s that simple. The voice is always there.
We can know what we need. It’s what everyone needs, what the whole world needs, because it’s coming from God.
God is not the one running the world. God is the world. The world runs itself — if we let it. We can get in the way because we are part of God: we are just as divine as everything else.
We have the power to mess things up. That’s why we need our needs: to keep us in line, to help us to work for the whole, to not think were separate, to not be a cancer, or Satan.
We don’t have to be afraid. God is in control. Dust settles. Sure, weather kicks it up. There are acts of God. We are part of a much bigger picture. In fact, it’s infinitely bigger. But it’s infinitely good.
The world is perfect, even right now. There is so much right that we take for granted. The list wouldn’t fit into 1000 books. Life is good.
Life is good when you live it, not when you try to think your way out of it. Today, we worship Science, but science (which means “knowledge”) has been our downfall. Science is Satan. Not enlightening; misleading.
If this is all too religious for you, consider Isaiah‘s question:
Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, “he did not make me?” Can the pot say of the potter, “he knows nothing?”
Did you make yourself? Did Science make this world? Can it do a better job? How’s its track record so far?
Our feelings come from the body, from the heart. We have left the heart for the head. We are heading in the wrong direction.
There is nothing more logical than to work with Nature’s laws. That’s the whole goal and premise of science: that in order to control, we must first discover what we don’t control.
Control is not ours to have. Not yet. Humanity is, at best, in its adolescence. Judging from how we are acting, you could say we’re actually at age 2. Either way, we need parenting. We need guidance. We don’t know what to do.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. If it is broke, don’t fix it. It’s like the sign in the repair shop: “$60 an hour. $100 an hour if you help.” It’s time, way past time, for humanity to grow up by admitting that we’re far from grown-up.
There were once two monks meditating under a tree. Suddenly an angel appeared and announced that they would be enlightened very soon. “How soon?” said one, jumping up in excitement.
“Only 1,000 lifetimes,” said the angel.
“Damn,” said the monk, sitting back down.
The other monk jumped up for joy. He was instantly enlightened.
The solution is right in front of us. It’s right inside us. It’s all around. We’re soaking in it. The question is not whether God exists; it’s whether we do.
What the world needs is needs. Feelings, nothing more than feelings. Feelings and needs, together, are the question and the answer. You don’t even have to ask. The answer has been here all along.