From wherever we are in life, if we project our self forward into the future to the end of our life with as much imaginary vision as we can muster… if then from that imaginary perch, we look back and reflect on what happened and begin to divide what really mattered from what didn’t matter much at all, we then have the proper perspective for what to focus on as move forward toward that day when this vision becomes an inevitable reality – that is, if our life is not cut short. There are no guarantees.
If we apply serious thought to this we will probably find that we don’t value or even remember much of the many extra hours we traded for dollars so we could afford fancier clothes, a gadget, or a needlessly trumped up car that carts us in higher style – or any other glitzy trap that tricked us into hugely investing in walking a trail mind numbing chores in exchange for a few fleeting moments of exhilaration.
We will remember and value the friends, family and the experiences we shared – the laughter, the tears, the triumphs and the failures, and we will ambivalently cherish and mourn the time we had with those who we have loved and lost. Everything will have happened in the blink of an eye from that future’s past. We will not hold any value for what we now know was wasted energy spent trying to fit in to groups that didn’t accept us as we are, but demanded that we fit the mold they prescribed for us. We will have long since learned the painful lesson that not everyone that wants us to come to their party wants us there as a guest; that sometimes it is to parasitically feed on our flesh. We will have shed that charade that drained us with bait of promises that never bore fruit.
Form our future’s past we will remember the lives we touched, and those that touched us and we might wonder why we were ever so scared to be our self in front of others – because it was the only thing we were better at than anyone else on Earth. We will measure what we value from that future place, not in terms of stuff, but of the bonds of intimacy between those we care about and those that care about us, and we will realize that everything else we ever did would have been better spent in service of cultivating that community which we now value the most – and we will realize that the degree to which our lives were not centered on these values with all the practical strength we could summon is the degree to which that life was a slave of our own ignorance of our self – that in those cases we did not own our own life – at the same time we will realize that we had the key to release our self from that prison all along. Perhaps we will remember that time – long ago, when we watched the wizard of Oz, and a wry smile will subtly stretch across our weathered and wiser cheeks.
Posted in Practice
Tagged Awareness, cooperative relationships, culture, freedom, fulfillment, Healing, inspiration, life, Nature, philosophy, Storytelling, wisdom
Intimacy is an essential social nourishment requirement for human beings. Trust, vulnerability, and a continual proportionate bidirectional flow of nourishing actions toward one another in the context of that intimate communal membrane are essential for intimacy to develop to full maturity. Except for developing children, relationships characterized by lopsided giving or taking cannot result in intimacy. This is why children who are not properly weaned or falsely believe their role is only to serve the needs of others are not able to cultivate fulfilling intimate relationships.
Here are some links to studies on the link between health and relational deprivation.
Social deprivation and premature mortality: regional comparison across England. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1679128/
Adding social deprivation and family history to cardiovascular risk assessment: the ASSIGN score from the Scottish Heart Health Extended Cohort (SHHEC) http://heart.bmj.com/content/93/2/172.short
The phrase “form follows function” is a principle associated with modern architecture and industrial design. It centers on the idea that the shape of anything designed should be centered on its intended function or purpose. Form and function are certainly intertwined. We cannot use a holey bucket to carry water. Form enables function or purpose. If we use this as a lens through which to look at ourselves some interesting thoughts come out. Because of this, we can infer our function as biological creatures through our form.
Cells are sometimes called the basic unit of biological life. When working properly, they consist of a community of interdependent structures which function as a unified whole. Although parts within the cellular system perform different tasks, they share a unified purpose toward nourishing the whole system as a community. This principle of shared purpose in the context of a community of mutual dependence for nourishment does not stop at the boundary of the cell. In human biology cells must cooperate with each other to compose organs. Organs must also demonstrate this mutually nourishing cooperative relationship in the context of body community. We also see this in the shared relationships between many other biological life forms such as bacteria, plants and the environment as a whole body of life. Without this web of relationships with other biological life forms and the environment our biological form breaks down.
We depend on each other to work together as a community for life. This is the community principle. It is our nature, and finding our place as a nourishing contributor in the context of our local community, and as a species in the context of the whole body of life, is our purpose. This is what nature speaks to us through its structure.
Pretty nourishing thought… huh?