I’m just one cell, reporting in from the field. Things are quiet for the moment, but the rumblings of animosity between various factions seems to be hardening into place. It seems that these days everyone is a political pundit, repeating bulletins with little thought or information in them.
I remember as a younger cell, reading a book about the Soviet Union that asserted, “Even the washerwoman needs to be politically aware.”
At that time the “iron curtain” was still firmly drawn across the internal affairs of the Soviet Union. Unlike curtains that stir in the winds of change to reveal glimpses of the activities on the other side, the “iron curtain” tried to create an area of information blackout.
The washerwoman had to know who wielded power and who was a snitch for those powers if she was to avoid spending years in the Gulag.
The current situation, although desperate for many, is different. There is not the same need to be acutely aware of changing political dynamics. The need for vigilance is real, if the rights of the individual are to be preserved, but feelings of discouragement are settling in like a deep snowfall.
There is a sense that threats are global, affecting individuals indirectly through attacks on the overall organism, similar to when a chronic disease attacks our bodies. And most political arguments—if ‘argument’ is the right word to describe a breakdown in dialogue—are about policies and attitudes that affect society as a whole.
Some individuals seem unaware how societal choices affect them personally. It is as if the affiliations they espouse erupt from an unconscious caldron of resentment that wants to disrupt the ways thing are—including an attack on organizations on whose services they and their families depend.
I know a man whose son has been transported by helicopter and has on many occasions been hospitalized for expensive medical interventions; but he supports politicians who would abolish that kind of universal coverage (since they see no benefit for themselves in it). So what can a conscious, conscientious cell do in the face of such a lack of understanding?
Perhaps a potential for collaboration still exists within our social organism when we appreciate it as a whole? Perhaps kind-hearted, well-meaning cells contribute best when they see their individual lives as part of a community.
A clue–about how to be a healthy cell among the billions of fellow cells living on this earth (and that’s not counting all the swallows, butterflies, flying fish and dolphins)—may be to take a breath and contact our own minds and hearts. Perhaps by grounding our awareness in this body, which faithfully manages the activities of its billions of cells and its many coordinated functions, we can learn to be present to our society as one of the many beings that inhabit this global organism, Mother Earth.
Instead of struggling to assert our impotent opinions, our energy and time on earth may be better spent trying to be the best cell we can in this planetary body that is struggling to overcome a life-threatening attack from within. Surely as cells in this shared planetary body we are meant to work together for the common good, as the cells in our own bodies are already doing.
“As individuals who are part of the local and the global community, we can choose to participate with others in enjoying a good journey through this life.” Caring, Page xix.
Good message, Michael
I try to be at peace with myself. I try to help others as I can. I try to avoid political rants whether on Facebook, delivered by email or offered in person.
Yes. This is a good message. Much appreciated. Thank you.
Enjoyed your post… It reminded me of the following quote that we are both familiar. As a cell… a small compartment or bounded area forming part of a whole… we are often imprisoned by our own thinking…
“Caught in the regime, we are bonded to the structures that frame us, entangled in ropes and nets of our own making. The words that point toward another possibility, are simply words, lacking all depth… [T]he fabricated constructs that facilitate our [bondage]… our subject-object world, we circle in spirals of desire, negativities, and anxieties… The patterns in which we move have no substance… They are an illusion that we craft for ourselves by spinning faster and faster… We see only the illusion of substance, the claim of reality. These patterns are subtle. We walk where we wish, but somehow we always walk the paths that have been laid down in advance. We are free to pursue our own interests, but not free to question whether being selfish is the best choice. We are free to decide what is bad and what is good, but not free to ask whether our understanding of good and bad is distorted from the outset… I live my life as I always have, and I find myself where I’ve always been.”
“Unless we look into this, we are not free… If we want to look beyond this kind of automatic behavior we need to look at THE TRANSITION BETWEEN THOUGHTS. If we don’t experience the transitions, we don’t experience our lives. We are not connected… If we want to change how we know, we need to question these kinds of structures… The more we see, the closer we get to being free. When we release ourselves of having to follow our past ways of thinking, we can look at the transition between thoughts, and we can make choices. It all starts with questions.”
.…’Challenging Journey, Creative Journey,’ by Tarthang Tulku, p. 69-80