I feel inspired this morning. I woke earlier than usual and, seeing the beautiful weather behind the curtain, I decided to sit myself up and be awake. That’s a nice metaphor about what we’re doing here: seeing the beautiful weather behind the curtain, where the beautiful weather is our already-enlightened nature, and the curtain is the network of conceptual obscurations that prevent us from living out of that place each moment. It’s like waking up and remembering I live here:
I feel inspired to do my purpose, which is to observe and report the world anew, to investigate the nature of reality, to write my own narrative and help others to do the same. I’m drafting a post about what I even mean by changing the narrative and psychospiritual wellness — coming soon. But meanwhile, I can say this much:
without really knowing it, in our subconscious we tell ourselves stories about the way the world was, is and will be. If we are not vigilant about the content of these stories, they can be limiting and even harmful. We can get stuck in the past, and from there all we can expect is that our future will reflect that past. If you’ve had a good past, then bully for you — but most of us haven’t, and we want to see a brighter future.
So I found myself reflecting this morning on how the world I was born into is coming to an end — or has already ended, and we are now in the process of building the new. (Side note: I am immensely enjoying N K Jemisin’s sci-fantasy novel The Fifth Season, precisely because its theme of “every age must come to an end” illuminates the idea of this epoch-ending time we are going through, aka the apocalypse.) If not the world, then the age I was born into — the age of reductive materialism and mechanistic determinism. The Western Dream of material security — the quarter-acre block with two kids and a BBQ — has proved to be just that, an illusion. Maybe idealists of every generation have said this, but how else do we evolve if we don’t continually move on from what has died?
I’m getting obscure. One thing I mean in particular is that the age of traditional employment — go to school, get a job, keep the job for 50 years, get a gold watch, die distracted — has come to an end. If not for everyone, then at least for me.
That is my affirmation today, and this:
by living my purpose without primary regard for material wealth or excessive abundance, all the material abundance and wellbeing I need will be available.
This is the new–old narrative. We once knew, when we were hunter-gatherers and subsistence farmers, that nature would provide because we were doing our purpose and not taking or aspiring to more than we need. I don’t know if that’s true about our ancestors. Maybe it’s just a romantic furphy, a story I tell myself about an ideal way of being that pre-dates industrial society and speaks of a golden age where we lived in harmony with the planet.
I don’t know.
I do know though, that we can be this way today — that’s a choice. We have all the technological and ideological means we need to furnish ourselves with just enough and no more. We have the means to hark back to an imagined ideal and make it real. (This reminds me that a scarcity mindset is a narrative we need to change, and I hope to make a resource about that for Kokoro 心 Heart.)
This is the idea of our ancient future, which I can’t go into right now but which I find very exciting, just remembering it! It’s something I call the dragnet theory of intentional evolution. It’s not my idea — that’s just the name I’ve given it after gathering bits and pieces of it from here and there, from bards like Terrence McKenna. The gist of it is that we now, in the twenty-first century, have the means to engineer a culture and society that borrows all the best from industrial developments and marries this with all the best from ancient indigenous wisdom.
It’s not social engineering I’m talking about, but internal or personal engineering. By accessing and practising such wisdom, we naturally bring it back into our culture — a beautiful process of transforming culture from within. Social engineering, on the other hand, is a bit gross — makes me think of propaganda and advertising and mind-control, all of which are synonymous with each other, I think. My sort of engineering is far more about inoculating ourselves against that kind of top-down manipulation.
(Nikki has just put on “Bread and Circus” by Puscifer, which perfectly illustrates this idea-moment:
A main thing I am doing with my inspiration today is to start establishing the practice of working two or three hours a day on some aspect of the Kokoro 心 Heart project of changing narratives.
By “working” I mean doing something publicly here or on Kokoro 心 Heart socials, but I also mean doing the work on myself. That is the main work I’m doing, and anything else grows out of that.
The first thing that comes to mind is a grounded compassion meditation and the establishment of this as a daily practice. Because what better place to start with changing narratives than with cultivating an inner environment that more spontaneously flows to compassionate ways of thinking and therefore doing and being.
It’s a long game, this internal approach to cultural change, but it’s the only one I believe will be sustainable in the long run. Compassion is contagious — if we steep ourselves in it and being … I mean begin … to exude it, others will catch on.
Here is a compassion resource by Dr Kristin Neff that I will add to the Resources page. And here is a compassion meditation guided by Sharon Salzberg.
And an embed from Insta because I’m enjoying learning how to play with that platform: