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An Ongoing Series

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Shifting Ground

This is a confession.

When I came into adulthood - let's say in my mid to late twenties - I began to experience the ground shifting under my feet. Metaphorically that is. Before then, the metaphorical experience was there but, I would say, it was largely unconscious.

Living in California one might conjecture that the feeling was a result of strong sensitivities to lumbering tectonic plates. Having lived in various places around the globe since that time, however, I would have to say that the sensation of shifting ground has more to do with sensitivities to impermanence, of all kinds.

This sensation has never abated.

Quite honestly, I have had the persistent and nagging feeling that at some point "it" would all fall apart. That what we knew as civilization would in some strange way just disintegrate. On some very profound albeit unconscious level, what we were doing as a species never quite made sense to me. I wouldn't have been able to explain myself then (nor can I do so to my satisfaction now), but the inexorable movement toward power and having and conquering and progress never seemed to jive with the dance I was doing. I felt mysteriously and hopelessly out of step.

Quite honestly, again, I now feel that this personal perception of shifting ground and the incredulity at our trajectory as a species is finally and unilaterally being reflected in the outer world. The madness created by the polarization of having and doing and conquering is in full never before. The news, especially the news emanating from the thrust of the one so-called super power, is horrifying and incredible. And yet somehow I feel that I am no longer "delusional." What I felt for so long from early adulthood (and probably childhood) can now no longer be denied. It does seem to be falling apart.

And for this, I am actually quite grateful.

Perhaps when and if our current structures do finally disintegrate, then and only then will we have the opportunity to contemplate our madness. And perhaps then and only then will we have the opportunity to see that those who have suffered the most, those who have suffered and broken down in mental disease, in emotional frailties and in physical weakness, were truly the sane and strong ones, carrying with all their strength and courage all that the rest of us could not even begin to bear.


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