Who do we have to be to face fear with love?
How might we love our fears away? To choose love over fear, it helps if I have recently enjoyed deep sleep, nourishing food, a bath, a hug, or a deep breath. If nothing else, a deep breath and a moment of pause can allow me to dip into the well of being foaming with love at heart center.
This August, I shifted my work into the realm of gift and set foot on the Path of Laddership. I’ll be sharing a series here of writings inspired and prompted by the Laddership Pod. This is a bit of preamble for context.
For many years, I have felt that putting a price on my work would cheapen it. That conviction has not weakened, despite the hardship and poverty it has wrought in my life.
“An institution is the lengthened shadow of one man.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson via Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem interpreted by Edward Norton
Also of interest, in an essay of RWE’s called “Self Reliance” we are introduced to
[t]he power which resides in him [that] is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried.
Today might be the day we redeem the suffering of our existence. Today we might crest this wave, reach the cusp. Today we might facetime with the singularity of spacetime. We won’t know until later. We may not know until we are far off this plane. Have we already boarded the next one? I don’t know. There’s a lot I miss.
I began this post in February of 2019. Please bear with me.
Abe Lincoln tamed the disorder of his Springfield law office with a pile of
papers labeled “If you can’t find it anywhere else, look here.” Trying to find
a common thread in the research that increasingly consumes me has left me
wanting just such an envelope. But, hey, it’s 2019, silicon is the new paper.
Why not make it a website?
Here in the Postmodern West mired in the totalitarian gridlock of coronavirus, we’re experiencing a crashing tidal wave of techno-stress and agora-loneliness. We have built a flabbergasting array of tools to prevent and assuage suffering and to connect each of us to just about anyone else. And yet, by any account, we are no happier.
As the pillars of the most expansive, vibrant, land-based communities on the planet, trees know a thing or two about social networking. Thanks to the pioneering work of a few biologists, we are beginning to understand their methods for thrival and the values behind them. How can we learn from the trees as we consolidate our now-decentralized distributed identities under the canopy of one global forest of humanity?
It is a landmark event in anyone’s life: the sudden comprehension that there are others. For most of us, this lightning bolt strikes before we have developed the grammar or syntax we would need to construct a memory of such a concept. Consequently we don’t remember it. But it strikes none the less and we bear the scar throughout our lives. The bolt misses some—perhaps they dodge it—who are no doubt baffled by the rest of us who once were of one mind and now perceive many, who call ourselves members of society, humanity, or civilization.
This week was riddled with coincidence. I’ll not bore you with the details. Like so many dreams told or acid trips recounted, the meaning is already lost even on me.
You see, I have begun listening to Terence McKenna, that whirring dynamo of timewaves and historical embellishment through lateral induction. Initially I resisted his rather grating nasal tones. (I wasn’t ready for the message, and I doubt if anyone is ever truly ready to encounter Terence McKenna.)
Science doesn’t insist that we discard our beliefs, only that we construct them falsifiably, subject them to empirical scrutiny, and serve them with a side of well-documented reproducibility. Still, many, if not all, scientists find—at some point before they give up the ghost—that science has not been enough to explain the wonder of existence, the splendor of the cosmos, the problem of life.
Bold fellow that he was, Immanuel Kant summed up all of philosophy in just three questions:
What can I know? What should I do? What may I hope? We’ll come back to these. But while we’re entertaining reductions, let’s bend an ear to Albert Camus too. “There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide.” Perhaps its solution lies in blissful, defiant absurdity. “One must imagine Sisyphus happy” If you haven’t yet, I implore you to ingest “The Myth of Sisyphus”.