In silence, man and shadow met face to face, and stopped. Aloud and clearly, breaking that old silence, Ged spoke the shadow’s name and in the same moment the shadow spoke without lips or tongue, saying the same word: ‘Ged.’ And, the two voices were one voice. … Light and darkness met, and joined, and were one. Ursula K. LeGuin, A Wizard of Earthsea
The truth of the matter is self-honesty in all things. Gregge Tiffen, Open Secrets: The Nature of Feminine Truth (March, 2011)
Practicing oneness requires the self-honesty acknowledge the darkness within.
Slowly the light is returning. Soon the day will be equal in its light and darkness, and the darkness will give way to more hours of light. A cycle: one of many cycles within cycles that is the natural order of the Universe.
We humans though think we know better than the order of the Universe. We create tools of separation and control: calendars, clocks, daylight savings time and build a culture that honors such tools over the wisdom of the Universe.
This week, though I sprang my clocks forward, I chose to ignore them as much as possible. As is generally my habit, I’ve risen upon waking and allowed each day to flow from there. Even with few timed commitments, I found myself noticing the time and correcting thoughts about being ‘late’ as I went about my day. The exercise reminded me how deeply imbedded ‘time’ is in our culture.
Our culture also holds ideas about how we ‘should’ use our time. Since closing the B&B, I’ve felt a strong pull, guidance if you will, to ‘read, write, connect more deeply in nature, and empty’. I’ve followed that guidance less than I’d like to admit. After all there are taxes to prepare, firewood to stack, and – oh, yeah, shouldn’t I be doing something to generate income?
But these little things (yep, in the grand scheme they are but tiny blips despite how I allow them to interfere with my peace) pale in comparison to bucking the violence that pervades our culture. Violence is monetized (and, not just by the ‘war’ machine, but also in medicine, pesticides, and more). It is deeply imbedded in our language and our history. Sadly, our cells know much about violence.
I’d like to believe that I’m not a part of this violence. But alas, there is a mirror that, in Oneness, reflects right back to me. In that mirror I see the justifications that I claim for my own acts of violence: if I don’t kill the mice, they will …; my blood type is ‘O’ so my body needs meat; my curiosity takes me to violent movies like Black Panther and Star Wars; mosquitos carry disease (and are sooo annoying!). These are only a few of the mindful choices I make. Sometimes I squish a spider before I’ve given it a thought. And, so it is in our culture.
Creating a new culture requires facing up to my contributions to the culture we have. Practicing oneness requires the self-honesty acknowledge the darkness within.
As I look to the courageous students who walked out of schools yesterday calling for an end to gun violence, I’m filled with encouragement for the world they envision and the world that is theirs to create. I’m proud to march with them whether in spirit or body. And, yet I wonder if I have the will to buck my own violent habits as a contribution to ending violence on our planet? For if I don’t, how can I expect others to do the same?
This is the challenge of our oneness with all things and with one another. I am all the beauty and the light in this world. I am also the darkness. I am That, I am.