My 27 year old nephew is staying with us for a few days, in between one chapter of his life and the next. Last night, the house was quiet, and for the first time in a long time, we flowed into a conversation about Life that was simply exploration -- seeing, sharing, and wondering about things together.
We talked about the evolution of technology, about artificial intelligence and virtual reality and how they might affect humanity in the years to come. And somehow we started laughing about how all the hoo-ha, the running around and busyness human beings create, starts to seem like what gives meaning to our existence. When really, even though we’re the only self-aware beings on the planet, what we need is simple: we need to eat, be safe and sheltered, and be in community. We love the hoo-ha, but it’s easy to forget that it’s not actually Everything.
I told him about a course we’ve designed amidst all the hoo-ha, that offers, in many senses, an experience of touching the simple richness of life through presence, attention, arts and creativity, communion and communication with one another and ourselves.
After spending nearly 30 years developing organizations to work well for the world and the people in it, we’re putting our attention on our senses -- color, word play, listening, and present-moment awareness. “Slowing down to go faster,” is how we sometimes put it.
Then my nephew and I talked about complexity, and how we, as a culture, are basically dying of stress. We wondered if part of that is because what our bodies and minds are made for is not all the hoo-ha, but to do things like stick seeds in the ground in a spot that’s open to the sky, water them as we’re able, and only “stress” about things like leaf-eating bugs and weather patterns. Simple, straight forward, clear.
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