The rise of the freely available disposable material-ness over the last few decades has unfolded hand in hand with pockets of spiritual awakening.
The light and the dark have actually expanded together – Tupperware parties were occurring concurrent to communes popping up (albeit in very different neighbourhoods). One side of the coin dismissed the other as ‘free-loving hippies’, and the flip side laughed at the prim and proper orderliness of its counterpart and with a foreboding as the onset of the throw-away society began.
But no one’s laughing much now.
Forgiveness and compassion
Those entrenched in the one side are now seeing the folly of the ever-increasing ‘convenience’ that has become a thoroughly use-once culture, while that flip side has continued to grow and grow and grow and grow with equal momentum. However those ‘free-loving hippies’ who identify less and less and less with that stereotype, welcome those into the fold who are profoundly realising the error of the capitalist, profit-at-all-costs way of living. Because when open to the loving channel that is our spiritual side (which, of course, we all have), one realises that it’s not about ‘taking sides’, holding grudges or battling. But that rather than finger-pointing in blame, it’s about forgiveness and working through solutions together.
We’ve all been ‘guilty’ of our wanting our wants, and so forgiveness needs to extend to ourselves as well as those around us. Instead of criticising, it’s about compassion above all else, and in lieu of separation.
The essential contrast
To some extent, there may always be two sides because it is in the experience of ‘dislike’ that we can experience like; we can only affirm what we do want after having had a flavour of something that we don’t want. It is the contrast that ultimately delivers better, and we need that contrast.
At some point though, we are going to have to ask ourselves what we think our raison d’etre is – is it to keep consuming and consuming and turning this amazing and beautiful world that we all inhabit into a fully scared, grey and pillaged shell of itself? Have we not experienced enough of this side of the contrast to now know that we want something different, something a little bit more rosy, thank you very much.
Surely at some point (in the not-too-distant future; how about yesterday?), we must come together and seriously ask if the path that we’ve been ardently following looks like a happy-go-lucky peachy version of ‘life’ and living…(that we’ve been pretending it has been), in order to expand, together, into the possibilities for what health and happiness really look like here on our (somewhat neglected) beautiful green planet…
Photo by Francesco Gallaro