This I Believe

Peter - Cohasset, Massachusetts
Entered on February 8, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: democracy

One day I walked out the front door and looked at the ground to see a broken branch with a narrow angled fork. Caught in the tight wedge of the fork was a dried snakeskin. I realized the snake had intentionally gotten itself into a tight jam in order to shed a layer of skin, a layer of yesterday, a layer of who it used to be, in order to emerge anew. Have all our seemingly bad jams been so purposely designed for growth?

I belive the Earth came out round so we wouldn’t try to hide around corners and so we wouldn’t try to take sides to take sides. I believe that an “I” for an “I” makes a world full of egomaniacs and only a truth for a truth can make a wiser world. The Earth spinning on its axis should remind us of the humbling fact that no matter how far or fast we try to run or climb, we’re all just going around in circles.

When the individual ego goes awry and ends up in a tight jam or fork in the road and we have that dark night of the soul, the self re-emerges from ego-death with a fuller sense of our collective identity. When industrial nationalism goes awry, like the mission for whale oil of Captain Ahab’s “Pequod” or the mission for democracy’s oil of the neo-conmen, the national citizenry is orphaned like Ishmael and only then can we re-emerge as more global citizens. After the dark night of the empire’s soul gone awry, from eco-death we can re-emerge with a greater sense of the inherent beauty and sensual joy of our natural state, to restore the innocence of original sin, to return to the garden and know the place for the first time. Will humans remain or will there only be human remains?

I believe the only justification for conflict is that all occupying forces must be resisted, be they the external forces of militarism or the internal forces of misapprehension. Absence of misapprehension is the natural state of the planet and the mind. We need to learn how to turn the crippling stigma of self-consciousness into the unclouded sunlight of self-awareness. We need to free the emotions from the confines of the hidden heart. We need to free the sensual from the confines of the body. We need to free the mind from the confines of the brain. We are all victims of a program of rendition by the terrorists of language who steal the true meaning of words and put us a jails with bars made of labels. When the natural sensuality of life is rendered and defamed as inappropriate sexuality, then true universal love is rendered and defamed as egocentric lust. Then the only form of human contact left to us all is violence, from the schoolroom to the bedroom and from the boardroom to what was once the international conference room.

When we choose to answer the question, “How shall we live?”, we must first find out who is the chooser. I believe it does not require a leap of faith to jump from a building that is on fire. In the final moment we must dive within to survive without. Very few find the truth of who we are on the way up. Most realize that truth on the way down, and when the right time comes, we come to. So I believe that what matters most in life is not what we do. What matters most is what we realize.