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I don’t know about you, but I’m finding the nonsense in the media and on social media exhausting and somewhat surreal. Are we really in a world where we are allowing the poisoning of our water by fracking? Are we really in a world that values coal energy over renewables? Are we really in a world where politicians are serving their own economic and self-serving needs rather than for the people? Are we living in a world where people protest the rise of “multiculturalism” in the street as a result of being manipulated by politicians into believing that different is bad? I’m experiencing a sort of disbelief about what I see happening in my world, in our world and I feel a sort of helplessness about what to do about it. I feel a sort of helplessness that I’m watching this insanity just get worse and worse and there is no-one standing up to change it. What can I do about it except vent on social media, sign another online petition or call my local politician? Especially since government checks and balances are continually being dismantled to call them to account.
At school, we teach critical thinking, we work at getting students to question things and I’ve always questioned everything. I don’t know when it started, probably with my affair. It made me question marriage and the connection between people. It made me think deeply about who I am and what my values are. But in the past week, I’ve been questioning everything about the world and the universe. Maybe it was the discovery of Kepler, the earth-like planet that has a 382 day year but maybe it was something else. Maybe it is part of the death of the part of me that is trying to be “normal” and fit into the world. How do we be in the world and fully be ourselves but not sit by and allow this insanity to continue? Or is the answer to be fully ourselves and the world will change by us simply being the change that we want to see in the world?
Question everything. That means everything. What is real? What is true? How do we know truth? Where do we find it in a world full of information and manipulation? Are we being manipulated by and about everything, including our beliefs, values and identity? Is our identity based on what we are told? Is it through socialisation? Even before we are born, our identity as male or female is predicted and wished for. As soon as we are born, the first question that is asked is: Is it a boy or a girl? Not, is the baby healthy? Our identity is socialised into us even before we exist. That’s not to say I wanted to be a boy! I’m completely happy to be a woman and have the experience that I have had and am having.
I’ve been reflecting on my beliefs and how much of who I think I am is based on what I’ve read or heard or seen from other people’s interpretations of the world. And I wonder how much of my belief is based on what I store in my head? Where does belief come from? Is it a cognitive, brain thing, or is belief based on the feeling or an experience? If you put your hand on a hot stovetop and burned yourself, is that memory of the burn there still in your body when you see fire, or a stove or hear the song that was playing at the time?
I feel like I’m caught in two worlds, one where I am striving to be normal, to fit in, and the other which is the world where I feel right at home, centred and full of joy. Feel like living two parallel but distinct lives… teaching – a world where I work because it funds my life, but my spiritual self that is crying out to be set free from the insanity of the world and just be me.
When I go out in the world it seems all so meaningless. But what has meaning? What is the source of meaning and does life have to have meaning? Do we have a greater purpose or is that another untruth that we have been sold in order to feel like our lives are worth nothing unless we are living our “purpose”? What the hell does that mean? I want to disconnect from the world and return to the truth, my truth, my inner knowing. Every time I set foot outside my door, nothing seems to make sense. I feel like an alien in a strange land. The world seems to be overtaken by a survival insanity that has no point. But how do you disconnect when we have allowed our lives to be completely dependent on an internet connection and a small, hand-held device?
As always, when I’m writing a blog, something comes to my attention, and this time a banned TEDx talk by British writer Graham Hancock. While he advocates the use of psychedelic drugs, specifically, ayahuasca to open minds to consciousness, the line that resonated most for me was his description of wisdom from Amazonian Shamans about the west: “You guys have severed your connection with spirit. Unless you reconnect with spirit and do so soon, you’re going to bring the whole house of cards down around your heads and ours.” And they're right. We are disconnected.
I think the more I learn about the world, the more I see the interpretations of other people and how THEY see the world. If someone is at a stage in their life where it is all about consumption of material goods, who am I to judge? Who am I to say that the way I live is better? It just is what it is. They are where they are and I am where I am. Should it be my job to make the world better by pushing and dragging other people into a place that I perceive to be right? No, it should not. Is it my job to be fully authentically me and to follow my heart? Yes. It is. So today, I am focusing on not judging others for being who they authentically are and not carrying the whole weight of the world on my shoulders, because the world that I NEED to focus on is my inner world. I am taking the Amazonian Shamanistic advice and re-connecting with the spirit that dwells in me, around me and in all of us and taking advice from Gandhi from the quote that has driven my life, “Be the change you wish to see in the world” and putting my energy into the things that I can change and taking my energy away from the things that I can’t.
©Alyssa Curtayne, 2015
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