The formerly wild place along the creek at the edge of town has been all but destroyed by so-called development. Fittingly, the great sycamore fell over some weeks ago, dead of apparently natural causes.
While I still can, I take a meditation next to the fallen sycamore once or twice a week. The hills are still visible over the grated field just upstream from the construction site, and they beckon the eye and heart.
One fearlessly enters the house of death when time ends. One feels, 'I could die happily at this moment.' Even so, as the world slides into another world war, one feels the immense sorrow of man.
What can we as individuals do? Don't waste your energy and time trying to prevent what cannot be prevented. There are times when things become inevitable.
The war train is on a runaway track. This war will spread violence and destruction far beyond Ukraine, and nothing can stop it now.
If we are radically changing within ourselves however, a small minority of people, inseparable from humanity, can change the basic course of humankind in the wake of the war.
Not since 'modern humans' emerged 100,000 or so years ago, has a psychological revolution been more urgently necessary.
Transmutation in the individual, giving rise to a revolution in human consciousness per se, and manifesting in new socio-political structures, can and must go hand-in-hand for the first time in human history.
So how does radical change within the individual, which is where all true change begins, occur?
Passive observation in the mirror of nature effortlessly gathers attention beyond the will of the ego and the direction of the self. All-inclusive, undirected attention ignites an invisible flame of attention, which incinerates thoughts and emotions as they arise.
This action of effortless attention is what quiets thought, and allows the whole brain to be aware of the Earth and the cosmos. It is the wellspring of harmony, and love, and it has nothing to do with organized religion and ritual.
As the spaces between thoughts grow, the entire movement of thought, which is based on symbol and memory, spontaneously falls silent. And when the mind-as-thought falls completely silent, the brain pulsates with the Earth.
The human brain, effortlessly aware and silent of thought, is then truly the "pinnacle of creation" on this planet. That doesn't make us special, or give humans license to destroy other species and rapaciously exploit the earth.
Indeed, when symbolic thought dominates the brain, as it has at least since the first cities, humans become what we have become - creatures that make war on the earth, and ourselves.
So the first thing is to end psychological thought and bring the benediction.
Thought is inherently separative, and can never be whole. Functional thought has its place obviously, but psychological thought operates in division and fragmentation.
The second most important thing, flowing from the first, is igniting the psychological revolution that changes the basic course of humankind. That has never happened, but has now become existentially imperative.
There has only been one precedent I know of - the explosion of insight in India that occurred after Siddhartha. The Greek creative explosion, which gave rise to the Western mind and to science, was intellectual and externally oriented. The Indian explosion was internal and externally expressed. It was regional however, and the urgent necessity now is universal - in the human mind and heart as a whole.
Can the flame of attention catch fire within enough individuals to ignite the dark matter at the core of human consciousness?
We must think in terms of preparation now, not prevention. If enough of us are ready, in the wake of the imminent world war, we can change the basic course of humanity.
Two blocks from my street as I bike back, what looks like a kite falcon appears overhead and flies down my street. I'm skeptical, since I've only seen the graceful raptor gliding and hovering over the once empty fields from where I just came.
But as I turn into the driveway, I hear its plaintive cry behind the house. It circles the house and appears in front, flying low. It lands at the top of a pine across the street, momentarily hovering with its distinctive fluttering.
It's unmistakably a blessing, and a sign. Of what? It's not too late for human beings on this beautiful planet.
Martin LeFevre is a contemplative, and non-academic religious and political philosopher. He welcomes dialogue. email@example.com
Published with permission of the author. All copyright remains with the author.
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