Wilbur and Orville Wright were ostensibly a couple of ordinary young men in Ohio earning a livelihood selling and repairing bicycles. In their invention of the airplane, the brothers changed the course of human history. Competitors in the quest to overcome that preeminent engineering challenge of the day had financial resources, training, standing–and yet these two untrained fellows were the ones to fly the first successful aircraft. How could this have happened?
According to writer Ian Leslie, the Wrights owed their success to their skill in the art of “scrapping.” When they were children, their father, Bishop Milton Wright, gave them topics to debate after the evening meal. The boys were encouraged to show passion without crossing the line into disrespect. After the first round, Wright had them switch sides. As a result of this training, the brothers became greatly skilled in wringing information from boiling hot arguments—critical information that failed to occur to their supposed betters. On the way to trying to outmaneuver one another in their verbal brawls, deficiencies of thought would be exposed and expunged. Winning concepts would become refined and strengthened. With mental dross cleared away, unforeseen angles would become apparent, and from this process the first power-driven plane able to fly an astonishing 852 feet emerged.
The brothers’ screaming, neighbors later related, at times seemed interminable. It seems unlikely to our way of thinking that Wilbur and Orville could have been close, but by various accounts they were. Part of their skill, their niece later related, was that in addition to yelling at the other, each listened skillfully and respectfully. No matter how hot an argument got, each consistently exercised his ability to remain quiet, take in and process the other’s thoughts.
When there are enough souls who have elevated to the full potential of their light consciousness, there is going to be a miraculous event. A divine consciousness will fill the world and permeate everything. It will speak from the sky, the earth, your own inner being, and at the same time it will feel as though it has form and is speaking to you directly. This divine consciousness, an embodiment of unconditional love and source light energy, will fill the hearts and spirits of those who have opened their consciousness enough to receive it. It will invoke a call to action, and all at once, those who can hear it will know exactly what they are meant to do. Their vision of healing for the planet and all the sentient beings on it cannot be obstructed. A light of healing will purify everything, and restore the earth to life in a way that might otherwise have taken millions of years.
I relish knowing I have been deceived, The opportunity to pick up new Discordant knowledge, framing what is true And overturning paradigms that I’ve believed. A state of wonder, poised on narrow blade Is pregnant with new possibilities, The chance to see new forests from old trees While shedding past misjudgments I have made.
Two kindred spirits are the scientist And mystic, both embracing “I don’t know.” The spirit of inquiry serves for both To press the mystery that “I exist”. It’s not profane to dissect the rainbow— It cultivates both mind and spirit’s growth.
Humanity’s collective awakening will unfold in ways that nobody is anticipating, for the same reasons an individual’s awakening always unfolds in ways they can’t anticipate…
All egoic patterning is ultimately born of a desire to control, and freedom from that patterning can only come when there’s a letting go of that desire. The surprise ending of the search for inner peace is the realization that peace has always been here, closer to you than your own heartbeat. That our experience of life in all its sloppy tumultuousness is painted upon a canvass of infinite peace, and that this canvass is your true nature. It was simply overlooked for a time.
A dream character can’t know what’s happening in the bed of the dreamer. A confused individual can’t know what it’s like to be a buddha. A confused humanity can’t know what it’s like to be a conscious humanity. Because they’re not conscious of it yet. The lights haven’t yet switched on.
And I point this out because I see a lot of people giving up hope for our future; based on what they can perceive and understand about our situation they see no reason to believe humanity will avoid being locked in an Orwellian dystopia if armageddon and extinction doesn’t end us altogether. But that’s just it: there’s so very much we can’t yet see and understand about our situation, because we’re simply not conscious of it yet.
“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
— Rumi (Coleman Barks)
Reife des Mannes: das heisst den Ernst wiedergefunden haben, den man als Kind hatte, beim Spiel.
— Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil
Mature manhood: that means to have rediscovered the seriousness one had as a child at play.
— tr Hollingdale
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
— Mary Oliver
“Tell me,” said Lao Tzŭ, “in what consist charity and duty to one’s neighbour?”
“They consist,” answered Confucius, “in a capacity for rejoicing in all things; in universal love, without the element of self. These are the characteristics of charity and duty to one’s neighbour.”
“What stuff!” cried Lao “Does not universal love contradict itself? Is not your elimination of self a positive manifestation of self? Sir, if you would cause the empire not to lose its source of nourishment,—there is the universe, its regularity is unceasing; there are the sun and moon, their brightness is unceasing; there are the stars, their groupings never change; there are birds and beasts, they flock together without varying; there are trees and shrubs, they grow upwards without exception. Be like these; follow Tao; and you will be perfect. Why then these vain struggles after charity and duty to one’s neighbour, as though beating a drum in search of a fugitive? Alas! sir, you have brought much confusion into the mind of man.”
Despite all the horror, still the joy far outweighs the suffering. I was reminded of that today by a huge flock of geese calling exuberantly as they flew south. Why are they constantly calling out instead of conserving their energy for flight? Maybe there is a “scientific” explanation (something about dominance order or flock aerodynamic adjustments), but in that moment I knew—I could hear it plainly—that they were calling from a surfeit of life force, from the irrepressible joy of being alive, like a boy shouting “Yee-haw! Yippee!” as he plays in the surf.
The great affair, the love affair with life,
is to live as variously as possible,
to groom one’s curiosity like a high-spirited thoroughbred,
climb aboard, and gallop over the thick, sun-struck hills every day.
Where there is no risk, the emotional terrain is flat and unyielding,
and, despite all its dimensions, valleys, pinnacles, and detours,
life will seem to have none of its magnificent geography, only a length.
It began in mystery, and it will end in mystery,
but what a savage and beautiful country lies in between.