19 March, 2012

Warriors and worriers...

'In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.'

When George Orwell wrote these words for his soon-to-be-published novel, he knew full well the complexity of the human spirit, its great dreams and aspirations and truly dark nightmares. The story portrayed in '1984' was a possible scenario for humanity should Hitler continue with his fascist military progrom across Europe during the 1940s. Although Orwell was not a soldier, he can be epitomised as a great warrior. His pen liberated humanity's soul through seeing a possible new world that was as dark as he imagined, and in seeing that future pitfall, we avoided it. At least until we forgot it by the baby-boomer generation of the 1960s-1980s.

There appears to me to be a general malaise about what it is we are meant to do in these 'interesting times,' as if we have forgotten the ideals of a past generation, and soon to be surpassed by a new generation of starseed warriors. Us babyboomers suffer the malady of inaction - that we must do something in order to be of use to friends, family or society in general. We feel that something is missing, that we must or should be assisting the changes that are occurring globally by the folk of younger years. We look out in confusion, not knowing, not really sure of our direction in life. Retirement looms, the body no longer blooms and the mind, once so nimble is now fleeting. But as Mother Therese once said, 'not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love.' So I, like my many colleagues and peers, tend to our immediate gardens (our family, friends, peers and contacts) with the hope that our noble hearts may inspire others to keep on keeping on. Few of us seek the limelight, the lure of power, fame, or fortune, and content ourselves with our small lot that we weed with love, fertilise with hope and water with wisdom.

When I was first introduced to the notion of the Internet as a doctoral student in the early 1990s, I dismissed it as a passing fad and said to my younger friend who was a computer scientist, 'this will never catch on'. My friend was an avid pornographer (no longer so) and assured me this would be bigger than Marconi's radio invention. I lacked his worldview or should I say, purview. I was just naive to that nascent dark side of the human fire which seeks the interconnectedness of shared vice. In simple mindedness, I truly didn't think it would catch on. I have never professed to be a visionary, more a cynical optimistic who sees the good in the many but the faults in the few. I have, rather painfully and slowly, come to realise that humanity's 'soul force' is unstoppable and our spiritual trajectory unassailable. We are headed for a beautiful future, if only we could have faith in ourselves rather than those forces above, beyond and around us. As my Buddhist teacher hammered into me many times over the years, we all need a teacher, but only until we can no longer learn. Discouraged by my inability to learn her wisdom after a half dozen years, I finally left with reams of books and notes and obligatory initiations, only to find on my new wanderer's path a self-realisation that humanity was already at the zenith of its spiritual largess; there was nothing to do, just be 'now'; nowhere to go, just stay alert. We have already reached that point of 'no more learning'. We no longer require any more teachers, academics, gurus, teachers, pundits, critics, pundits or parental overlords. We must simply step forward and 'own ourselves'; our future, our proprietary right to the stars.

The Internet has become the most powerful force in our collective enlightenment, thanks to the many sites which offer ongoing illumination on the transpiring changes to the world at large. As John Seabrook remarked that 'the internet poses a fundamental threat not only to the authority of the government, but to all authority because it permits people to organize, think and influence one another without any institutional authority whatsoever. The blogosphere is a concatenation of many voices, not all of them according the same voice, many a concordant discord, but all speaking of the same meme; rebirth, evolution, change. I take solace in realising this may be as great a re-invention of humanity as the birth of the radio, electricity, modern medicine, and the internet. I take comfort in knowing that regardless of our differing opinions, and even because of them, we are becoming more and more a concert of the many. As Richard Berkeley Cotton most poignantly stated, 'freedom is not free; free men are not equal and equal men are not free.'

Let us rejoice in our differences; of culture, codes and concepts. These are the things through which democracy breathes. It is only uniformity that has the ability to choke us into conformity.