The historic mission of our times is
to reinvent the human—
at the species level,
with critical reflection,
within the community of life systems,
in a time-developmental context,
by means of story, and
shared dream experience.
Inscendence (from Thomas Berry, The Dream of the Earth, p. 207-8, and p. 211)
We must go far beyond any transformation of contemporary culture. We must go back to the genetic imperative from which human cultures emerge originally and from which they can never be separated without losing their integrity and their survival capacity. None of our existing cultures can deal with this situation out of its own resources. We must invent, or reinvent, a sustainable human culture by a descent into our pre-rational, our instinctive resources. Our cultural resources have lost their integrity. They cannot be trusted. What is needed is not transcendence but “inscendence,” not the brain but the gene.
… the species coding of the human carries within itself all those deeper spontaneities that guide the authentic developments of our cultural codings.
The genetic coding that gives to the human its species identity is integral with this larger complex of codings whereby the universe exists, whereby the earth system remains coherent within itself and capable of continuing the evolutionary process. To remain viable a species must establish a niche for itself that is beneficial both for itself and for the surrounding community. The difficulty generally with this proposal is that our genetic endowment is considered to be a mere physical determination of our being, not also our richest psychic endowment, our guiding and inspiring force, especially when the cultural process has entered into a destructive pathology.
… The new cultural coding that we need must emerge from the source of all such codings, from revelatory vision that comes to us in those special psychic moments, or conditions, that we describe as ‘dream.’ We are, of course, using this term not only as regards the psychic processes that take place when we are physically asleep, but also as a way of indicating an intuitive, nonrational process that occurs when we awaken to the numinous powers ever present in the phenomenal world about us, powers that possess us in our high creative moments. Poets and artists continually invoke these spirit powers, which function less through words than through symbolic forms.
D.H. Lawrence from his journals
We have little needs and we have deeper needs.
We have fallen into the mistake of living from our little needs til we have almost lost our deeper needs in a kind of madness. Let us prepare now for the death of our present little life and the re-emergence in a bigger life in touch with the moving cosmos. It is a question practically of relationship. We must get back into relation, vivd and nourishing relationship to the cosmos and the universe. The way is through daily ritual and re-awakening. We must once more practice the rituals of dawn and noon and sunset, the ritual of kindling fire and pouring water, the ritual of the first breath and the last. To these rituals we must return or we must evolve them to suit our needs. For the truth is we are perishing for the lack of fulfillment of our greater needs. We are cut off from the great sources of our inward nourishment and renewal, sources which flow eternally in the universe.
Vitally, the human race is dying. It is like a great uprooted tree with its roots in the air. We must plant ourselves again in the universe.
Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth
Visionaries of a new holistic and ecological paradigm are themselves deemed to be neurotic. They have moved out of the society that would have protected them, and into the dark forest, into the world of fire, of original experience. Original experience has not been interpreted for you, and so you have got to work out your life for yourself. Either you can take it or you can’t. You don’t have to go far off the interpreted path to find yourself in very difficult situations. The courage to face the trials and to bring a whole new body of possibilities into the field of interpreted experience for other people to experience — that is the hero’s deed."
Almost anybody can learn to think or believe or know, but not a single human being can be taught to feel. Why?
Because whenever you think or you believe or you know, you’re a lot of other people: but the moment you feel, you're nobody ― but-yourself.
To be nobody-but-yourself—in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else ― means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting…
Does this sound dismal? It isn’t. It’s the most wonderful life on earth.
Adapted Version of Norie Huddle’s story from her book, Butterfly
The caterpillar’s new cells are called ‘imaginal cells.’
They are so totally different from the caterpillar cells
that his immune system thinks they are enemies… and
gobbles them up.
But these new imaginal cells continue to appear. More and more of them!
Pretty soon, the caterpillar’s immune system
cannot destroy them fast enough.
More and more of the imaginal cells survive.
And then an amazing thing happens!
The little tiny lonely imaginal cells start to clump
into friendly little groups.
They all resonate together at the same frequency,
passing information from one to another.
Then, after awhile, another amazing thing happens!
The clumps of imaginal cells start to cluster together!
A long string of clumping and clustering imaginal cells,
all resonating at the same frequency,
all passing information from one to another there inside
Then at some point,
the entire long string of imaginal cells
suddenly realizes all together
that it is something different from the caterpillar.
Something new! Something wonderful!
…and in that realization
is the shout of the birth of the butterfly!
Since the butterfly now “knows” that it is a
the little tiny imaginal cells
no longer have to do all those things individual cells
Now they are part of a multi-celled organism—
A FAMILY who can share the work.
Each new butterfly cell can take on a different job—
There is something for everyone to do.
And everyone is important.
And each cell begins to do just that very thing it is
most drawn to do.
And every other cell encourages it to do just that.
A great way to organize a butterfly!”
THE SUBVERSIVE SOUL
We tend to focus on, and speak about the soul-life of an individual in terms of spiritual comfort and deep nourishment, qualities which are a central, and abiding dynamic of its presence, but the equally unsettling and disturbing quality about this strange, often wild and courageous faculty of belonging inside us we have come to name ‘the soul’ is its ruthless, and almost tidal wish to find its own way to a fuller union with the world. The soul is a planner’s nightmare, the career counselor’s central puzzle, the biographer’s conundrum, the saboteur of the puritanical and the unimaginative, [disturber of the adolescent American Dream]; an internal abiding spring that is both a source and a flow: an internal stranger at the door of our outer life about to break everything apart; a pilgrim often suddenly more in love with the horizon than its home; and most disturbingly, someone who would much rather fail spectacularly at their own life than succeed drably at someone else’s.
Winter Thoughts © David Whyte 2018
I live in an inspired guided state,
I am alway in touch with my entelechy (my higher purpose).
I live and play out my higher pattern and deepest destiny for the rest of my time on this earth.
I know myself as a cosmic agent, a midwife to a finer society a higher consciousness, and a way of being on this planet at this time.
I am an evolutionary evocateur of the higher plan of emergence for this planet at this time.
I listen for and I am inspired to receive both the vision of these possibilities as well as the passion to act to carry them out.
I know that I come coded, but also have the receptors to unfold my coding, as well as to receive my new coding and directives from the source.
Each day I remember my source and I listen for the movement and the plan.
I know that I live on both cosmic and historical human levels and stay vigilant to bringing these two together honoring both while I integrate their realities.
—Jean Houston affirmation