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Lethe or Aletheia? (we have a choice)

I see how we struggle, the patterns we repeat over and over again. And I ask myself: what will it take for us to want liberation more than anything? What will it take for us to seek to balance love and power? What will it take for us to stop selling ourselves short and start lifting each other up? What will it take for us to set aside the waters of forgetfulness and take up the cup of truth?

Admittedly, sometimes my impatience for human liberation ends up acting more like frustration than compassion, and I know that this is part of my own process. I want so much for us all, so much for this gorgeous world we are part of, so much for the unfolding of the processes of Nature, of the cosmic flow. Liberation is within our grasp, yet so often we keep missing.

I just finished reading “Spiritus,” a new novel by British occultist Kala Trobe. On one hand, it is a spiritual horror novel that uses gorgeous language to weave its spell. On the other hand, it is a clear statement about the ways in which we allow ourselves to be taken in by that which seems shiny, sexy, alluring, and powerful, yet ends up getting us drunk and numbing us as it eats our very souls.

What attracts us that is deadening? What do we think we want that saps our life energy and individuality? What keeps us all small, controllable, making choices that serve not ourselves, nor our friends, nor this earth? Look around. The shiny attractiveness of advertising and consumer culture has convinced us to walk into a tragic, toxic, mess. The lure of false power rips apart our communities. Even those of us that fight against this are not immune.

What is important to us? I’m talking here culturally and spiritually. Do we want social cachet in our subcultures? Do we fight each other for recognition, and to ensure that our sense of entitlement is justified? Do we think we are too small and ordinary to have much effect? Do we tear each other down? Do we diminish our own talents, wishes, and will?

We can be more than we think we are. We can access all the stages of our development in every moment – including being at our very best and brightest. Will we call up the parts that are scared to live at full capacity, or the parts that want to numb ourselves back to a more comfortable size? Will we call up the parts that are generous, or the parts that wish to feel grander and more deserving than another? Will we support our best work, and the best work of our communities? Or will we drown within a solipsistic sea?

I pledge today to try to make a greater attempt: to temper my impatience with compassion; to think generously rather than to give way to constriction; to push myself and those around me to live well, with heart, and with soul. What do you pledge?

The earth needs us. The cosmos needs us. Art needs us. Love needs us. Beauty needs us. Courage needs us. Let us not drink the liquor of forgetfulness. Let us help each other – let us shout “Wake up!” from the rooftops. Let us dance.

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