the eye of the storm

The things we see when all around us is far from perfect.  The things we see together in an indifferent universe.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi describes the environment in which we see, imagine, and make:

‘[The universe] is the setting for great violence, as when occasionally a star explodes, turning to ashes everything within billions of miles.  The rare planet  who gravity field would not crush our bones is probably swimming in lethal gases.  Even planet Earth, which can be so idyllic and picturesque, is not to be taken for granted.  To survive on it men and women have had to struggle for millions of years against, ice, fire, floods, wild animals, and invisible microorganisms that appear out of nowhere to snuff us out.’*

It’s a hard place to live without making it harder for each other but we know only too well that on a bad day we can do exactly this, fighting against one another in all manner of ways, discriminating against each other as if we are from different planets:

‘We discriminate, decide, qualify, and dissociate almost all whom we look at instead of loving them as they are.’**

We’re capable of more, though, drawn out here by Roz and Ben Zander when they explain the difference giving people an A makes:

‘We give the A to finesse the stronghold of judgement that grades have over our consciousness from our earliest days.’^

When we treat one another as “A people” then we’re creating an environment in which more can emerge:

‘The acknowledgement of abundance all around you awakens the dormant abundance within.’^^

The struggle to live with meaning and purpose, and with love and joy continues.

Sean Carroll identifies what has become one of the significant divides since the emergence of the major sciences, between religion and science, but Carroll want to draw a different line:

“The important distinction is not between theists and naturalists; it’s between people who care enough about the universe to make a good-faith effort to understand it, and those who fit it into a predetermined box or simply take it for granted. The universe is much bigger than you or me, and the quest to figure it out unites people with a spectrum of substantive beliefs. It’s us against the mysteries of the universe; if we care about understanding, we’re on the same side.”*^

When we see together, the possibilities we can shape, the universe changes, the world becomes the wonderful place Csikszentmihalyi alludes to, we are makers of the most beautiful and loving things in this eye of the storm:

“We are the miracle, we human beings. […] Our lives are finite, unpredictable and immeasurably precious.  Our emergence has brought meaning and mattering into the world.”*^

(*From Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow.)
(**From Richard Rohr’s The Divine Dance.)
(^From Rosalind and Benjamin Zander’s The Art of Possibility.)
(^^From Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth.)
(*^Sean Carroll, quoted in Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings: Existential Therapy from the Universe.)

 

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