What is it about our way of living…?

What is it about our way of living, the way we have organized ourselves that pushes us apart? I saw a broken piece from the back of a car lying beside the road. Why did the person it belongs to not pick it up? If injured, I understand. If not, why did he or she feel no community with the rest of us to pick it up? Because an anonymous other has that job!

If we see ourselves as an economic community, then we relate with each other primarily through money: we pay this one to do this, that one to do that. They are things: “givin’ you a number and takin’ ‘way your name.”

These are but distractions. How can we see all this as part of one whole? How did we organize ourselves as an economic community, and how can we disorganize this into human community? All—the whisper, the broken tail light—are part of one movement. What is its center, its heart? Heart is—ear, hear, meeting.

Ask what state of mind the maker of this building you are seeing held while making: nervous, anxious, trying to stand out, packing as many people in as possible for the Dollar, enhancing the living of life. What frame of mind were you in while making today?

Did the wholeness of this floor exist before the boards were laid, or did the boards form it? I hold with the first, since it existed first in the mind of the builder and before that was birthed in her heart.

Live by the money
die by the money
as our culture is

Our culture is organizing itself about money. It is our highest and most worthy criterion of a life well lived. We ask, with an edge to our thought if not voice, Why would he want to have X office, if he is already making more than it pays? Seldom do we ascribe to another altruism. It is strange to us when a person gives up a high paying job to live a simple life. And yet we yearn, and we sigh when one of our number “leaves it all behind” for that simple life.

Money is how we think. We know ourselves to be “consumers,” not people with a higher something in us. We know ourselves to be separate from others because we exchange cash for services and goods from the others. We lay out what we have little of, for something we need: food, shelter, transportation. What we value most is that cash. Just look at our calendars which tell the tale of how we spend our lives.

And yet if we escape those calendars for some days and hours to reflect, this is not what life is about for us. How do we come home?

:- Doug.

Published in: Conversations | on February 7th, 2010 | No Comments »

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