Now that I’ve gotten a few posts about my meditation and spirituality background down, I want to begin to move away from those kinds of ‘testimonial’ type writings, into a voice that more closely conveys current complexities. I felt that it was important to give a little context to my choice to change the name of this blog from one that many seemed to like – which I’ve now done, albeit in a simple way.
In contrast, there is not much simple about our times, nor is it easy to be satisfied with cute little stories about enlightened moments, when almost all of us are facing very difficult choices every day, dealing with those we love, and trying not to hate those seeing the world in very different ways from our own. It seems as though we have to have an educated opinion on almost everything, while suspecting every source that seeks to educate us, while functioning in the world with others, yet without risking deep conversations that might jeopardize our livelihoods and family harmonies.
Some may say it has always been thus, and indeed it has been always the case that political/religious lines have created divisions and forced thoughtful people to live at different levels of secrecy. I myself was born in 1970 and didn’t live through the cataclysmic changes that occurred for my parents’ generation, but I did live out the reverberations, attempting to make sense of how views became tangled, one with another.
I think those years, while not first quakes by any stretch, were especially significant because they were happening in a new country, a kind of test country for what ‘the future’ might mean, daring to ask a question I’m not sure ever ‘could’ be asked before then: “War OR Peace?” I think confronting Vietnam with post-WW2 eyes stirred the will to find a way out of war for more people than had ever fathomed the possibility before. Then the younger generation dared to try to play that out, resulting in a material collaborative creativity that, I feel eventually obscured the question at heart, trapping a whole country in the beauty of its own reflection, and into a quest fortifying itself to protect those seeming gains.
Still, I recognize that mine is a partial view, inseparable from core beliefs about what I take the universe, the world, and humanity to be. Therefore I often find it impossible to confront the puzzles of our time by giving a right or more full logical answer, adhering to what has passed (in the past!) for normal parameters of debate. Pushing beyond limits in this sense, mirrors into what buddhists call emptiness, so every situation and conversation and relationship that arises as phenomena, must indeed become unique. This makes opinions mere snapshots in time, with an underlying aspiration toward openness that I pray might leave room for radical changes to occur.