Storytelling, art, and music have long helped humans access ancient pathways to deeper knowledge and wisdom—pathways that were well-trodden by our ancestors but have become overgrown, forgotten, and lost in our modern time. In their place, amazing scientific discoveries and technological advancements define our modern time, and indeed they improve our lives in many ways; however, other parts of who we are as human beings remain fuzzy, nascent, and yet to be fully understood—something that seems less and less likely as we become more and more distracted by fabulous new technologies packaged for us by mega corporations who compete fiercely with each other for the money we earn working for them. Essentially, these are circular systems that are eating themselves. But constant economic growth remains the gold star measure of a successful civilization, and so corporations eagerly cater to our appetites for something new. With a human population of 7.5 billion (and growing), Earth’s life sustaining systems are being pushed to breaking points. In short, we are a species that is too successful and has overshot its biological niche bringing us to the brink of devastating, even irreversible damage to Earth’s life sustaining systems such as our climate.
“The golden mean or golden middle way is the desirable middle between two extremes, one of excess and the other of deficiency.”
— Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics II.1
Most modern humans scarcely recognize the ancients places our ancestors travelled and knew so well… places where insight, creativity, intuition, and wisdom spring from eternally… places that have determined the fate or destiny of man since the beginning of time. Many of us can no longer see, hear, smell or taste our way back to these ancient places, essentially cut off from our internal spring of wisdom, knowledge, and inspiration. This is partly due to the dominate Western narrative that has locked most of humanity inside super-sized, consumption-driven bubbles that has trapped vast amounts of intelligence, creativity, and inspiration. The price is declining psychic, spiritual, and emotional health. Yet, most of us stay in these bubbles lulled into complacency by those benefiting most by our compliance and who want us to believe this is the only way to exist in the world. But it is not. There are other ways to be in the world that are much more balanced, sustainable, and life affirming than our current dominate narrative puffed up on a narcissistic high that badly misunderstands its place in the world, nature, and the true work humans are here to do.
How do we get to these other places of being?
Conscious growth is a starting point for when we are born, much of ourselves remains hidden in the darkness of our unconsciousness (i.e., simply it has not risen yet into the light of our growing conscious understanding, thus we cannot see or recognize these parts of ourselves as existing at all). Finding what lies hidden in the darkness of our unconsciousness is a journey that must be reveal over time. Often, we are guided to the deeper places inside ourselves through life events, sudden reversals, and struggle. At the same time, we learn parts of ourselves are not accepted by our family, peers, and/or culture—sometimes in painful or traumatic ways, which can lead us to hide these parts of ourselves, locking them in deep recesses of our unconsciousness, sometimes forgetting they belong to us. Even worst, we may split pieces of our psychic wholeness from ourselves, creating an inner wound that never heals. This process of forgetting and splitting who we are diminishes us in so many ways, most of all, it hinders us from doing what we are here to really do. If we cannot find ways to discover, reunite, and heal these discarded, submerged, or still undiscovered parts of ourselves, we are prevented from becoming whole. And, this can be tragic for every part of ourselves is needed to balance every other part.
Stories offer powerful places where one can go to gain insight, wisdom, truth—even transformation. Stories help us recognize threats that come from within our own psyche and inspire us to resist bad behavior and destructive choices. They can even provide short cuts in learning how to do the hard work of self-reflection needed to find the parts of ourselves that remain unconscious, and in doing so, empower us to become a kinder, wiser, and a more courageous person. Some stories even show us how to recognize and respond to existential threats, providing a pathway off a course that could destroy a person, a civilization, or even world.
Every thought, choice, and action we make is like a vote on the direction our collective tide of our consciousness flows. This direction creates Now, and this is why every human being is needed to create a better Now. As we learn how to swim once again in the deeper waters of our consciousness, we can begin to access deeper ways of being and wisdom needed to solve complex global challenges. We can learn how to unite mind and psyche allowing us to access creativity that will help us rediscover other ways of thinking and being in the world that are life affirming and sustainable. When we listen to each other’s stories, we heal and grow as individuals and groups, which empowers us to become better individuals who can contribute stronger, better threads to our shared reality (i.e., the stories we tell about ourselves, our families, friends, communities, cities, countries, and world). This is not new work. It is as old as the first humans sitting around the first camp fires telling stories.
So now, here we stand at the edge of a global precipice the likes of which humanity has never stood so near before. If we go over, we may never return. Homo sapiens sapiens is a single species that evolved on Earth, emerging out of billions and billions of other life, and now it alone holds the keys to the entire kingdom of life on Earth. Supposedly, we are the wise ones, but we have lost the very wisdom our species was named for andneeds so desperately nowto save ourselves and life on our planet. We may have caused this disease, but we are also the medicine of Now. And, it is simple, we need only apply our time and attention to notice the divine in ourselves and others, thus healing ourselves, each other, and Earth. As our personal stories become richer, stronger, more diverse, so will our collective story, and Earth might yet heal. Each and every person is a force for positive change and transformation (or destruction – the choice is made person by person). To survive, we must become transformers for life, so that Earth can heal, and we can hand her to our children and grandchildren in all her divine beauty seven generations forward. Earth is our home (our Mother)—the only place in the universe capable of sustaining life as we know it (at least the only one that we humans can get to). For you see, life is immensely precious and rare, even in the vastness of this magnificent universe. It’s lost is incalculable and leaves a void in the void of endless space from which we somehow miraculously emerged and found ourselves to exist.