There is a wound in the world. Deep in the crook of civilization’s cradle, the experience of time was born and trembled at tomorrow. The immense mystery inspired stories of expulsion, sacrifice, eternal life.
Was violence inbred from the first microbial mutation? Aggression the Achille’s heel of intelligent design? Is religion an attempt to disguise man’s inhumanity to man in a swaddling cloth so glorified that the world’s troubles have been rooted in disparagement of one god or another?
I keep a series of talks by Pema Chodron on repeat in my car’s compact disc player. Bodhisattva Mind. The words are rich with grace, humor and wisdom. Even the dogs settle down when Pema’s voice soothes the air, and her laughter lifts the wheels from the asphalt. After listening to one too many podcasts or blues tunes, I switch to CD mode like I’m spinning a roulette wheel, which never fails to land on a winning combination, my state of mind greeted by the teachings that remind me: Start Where You Are.
The concepts of remaining like a log and sharing the merit help me hike the hills and valleys of my heart. Practicing presence provides sustenance as necessary as breath in the atmosphere of the planet that we humans have altered beyond recognition — and not always in the spirit of Do No Harm.
We’ve foolishly drawn ourselves in the center of the circle and have directed injury from easy chairs and bar stools and thrones. Our frailties feed AI with a human-centric, shit-faced vision of the galaxy that leaves little room for the sweet doe guiding her fawn to the river or the house cat terrorized by rocket fire.
There is a wound that will not heal. Perhaps it is the original sin, the shiver that arrived in civilization’s cradle, call it anxiety, suspicion, panic, call it the physiological edge, unending fuel, the race for the biggest guns.
Is humankind destined by its fearfulness to orchestrate its own destruction? Is the question enough to motivate a different answer?