What Can We For This Crazy World?
Article ID: 12845
Age Group: Adult
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Posted: March 29th. 2009
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The times are crazy. The world seems to be in a whacky state and life seems kind of out of control.
Is it really worse than it has been in the past? Are these the worst of times? I think not. There is always crazy stuff going on in the world. Our time seems especially tough because…well…these are our times, and we personally have to deal with the issues at hand.
I look at the way my children perceive the world and I know that these will be their “good ol’ days” without a care in the world besides “what fun stuff will we do today?” When I think back to my childhood years and early teen years, they seem blissfully safe and interesting. But in reality, I’m sure my parents were thinking that the world was in a terrible state.
I remember cars lined up for blocks to buy gasoline in fear of the gas shortage with skyrocketing prices topping out at numbers that seem cheap today, but were perceived as being very high at the time.
The President of the country was on trial for improprieties perpetrated from the oval office. It seemed monumental and horrible at the time, and people seemed incredulous that the president was less than perfect.
There were Olympic athletes being held hostage by terrorists as the world held their breath and watched. Suicide bombers were blowing themselves up and taking innocent folks with them.
A volcano in Washington State blew up and we got ash in Los Angeles. That was cool! I didn’t think about the loss other people might have suffered
I remember my parents talking after dinner saying that the world seemed crazier than ever and how it seemed completely out of control. I wondered what they were talking about as I snuck past them to meet my friends in the neighborhood on those fabulous long summer evenings. I vaguely remember my parents strategizing how to minimize car trips for the errands of the day as I was jumping on my skateboard to head for the beach.
School was fun and easy and the worst calamities to be concerned with were embarrassing things I might have said in front of what’s-her-name, or whether or not my sports team would win or lose that day.
And now, as I concern myself with horrible floods and storms, corruption in big business, and suicide bombers blowing themselves up and taking innocent people with them, my children are in the next room picking out their bathing suits for their day at the beach.
“The world is in a terrible state, kids!”
“Okay, Dad. Can you drive us to the beach?”
These are their good ol’ days indeed. In a few years, when they reach their teens, I’m sure we will enter the identity wars dealing with what’s cooler than what, and the right and wrong stance on any given subject. They don’t have any chance to avoid it in our society.
The times may change and circumstances may evolve, but human nature seems to evolve at a slower rate. The people of each generation think they are smarter than the previous one and the problems being faced now are always more important than anything that has come before. In a way it’s true, I suppose, because what we do now dictates what comes next.
When I look at where our society is, I am very curious to see what comes next. We have accomplished great strides in technology and medical expertise. We seem to be changing our views on human rights, and at least giving lip service to the concept of global cooperation. Human spirituality and religion are metamorphosing to the next level, albeit slowly.
I have been following the pagan path for over twenty years. Although my family was Catholic, I was fortunate to have open-minded parents and great teachers in my life that helped me see other ways to perceive the world.
My martial arts instructor, a man of few words, showed me that what really matters is what one is able to do with their body in their own life. He taught me physical responsibility for my actions, and taught me supreme confidence and intimate knowledge of my capabilities and potential.
I had a great teacher whom I met as my math teacher in junior high school, but turned out to be much more as he taught me about backpacking and living in and with nature as his Blackfoot ancestors had. He taught me supreme respect for the Mother Earth and her workings.
My second Mom as a teen was a music teacher I had. She taught me that hard work and diligent practice is what is behind every seemingly flawless and effortless performance in life. And that the pursuit of beauty and perfection is a worthy cause in and of itself as an ultimate expression of the human experience.
From that foundation I found myself looking at many different spiritual paths since my practical questioning of the church elders made it obvious that they did not have the answers to a fulfilling life of free will and sensual enjoyment of the world. All their answers went back to the premise that we are unwitting sinners destined to meekly do as the church dictates and await the judgment of a power outside ourselves. These views were not self confident, not natural, and not beautiful.
One day I met a woman at a bookshop that seemed happy, confident, and beautiful. She smiled and laughed a lot, and made excellent recommendations for a curious young man to read. Along the way, she gave me a delicious tea that rid me of a nasty respiratory thing I had had for months that the doctor’s medicine didn’t seem to affect. She listened to my stories about the ashram I had visited and encouraged me to go back and check it out some more, but to read this and that at the same time.
She never spoke badly about any religion. Instead she seemed to know something about everything. Finally, I learned she was a witch, and that she practiced Wicca. I loved that she accepted whatever philosophy people had as being okay. She was so focused on praising life and living smart that everything else fell away. Unfortunately, I only knew her for a short time.
In looking into it further, I quickly learned that not all people who practiced Wicca felt the same way she did. I felt that much of the liberating power of free will did not exist in the way many Wiccans lived. They seemed as chained to the ideas of other people and as dogmatic and exclusive as the church.
I was fortunate to continue to have friends and teachers that lived a more tolerant lifestyle than that. I have identified myself as a witch for twenty-six years and find myself very comfortable in my belief and lifestyle. However, I cringe whenever I happen upon a “pagan” forum where one “tradition” bashes another, and bad mouths the church for this and that. It all seems to be missing the point.
The complexities of life are mostly self-imposed. Our needs are quite simple at the fundamental level. We need to eat and drink. We need a safe place to sleep. Beyond that, it’s all elective. If we choose to reproduce and have a family, we need to find and attract a mate to do so.
Everything else we do in life should go to supporting that effort. But to me, that’s not the reason we are alive. I think human physical manifestation is about appreciating life itself and rejoicing in the pleasures and wonderment of it all.
We have to know we are eternal and perfect spiritual beings, and that we are all the same on that level. We have to rejoice in the experience of being alive and be thankful for this jewel of a planet. Everything humanity does should come from that philosophy and work towards preserving it.
We are one planet, one people. Everyone is trying to figure out the big questions. There are bound to be some different ideas on why, where, and who; and that’s okay. In fact, it’s good. We should all climb out of the shoebox we enclose ourselves in and look at things from other angles. We may decide that our little shoebox is indeed the best place for us, but at least it will be a decision based on thought and experience, and not an exclusionary mindset that simply stems from fear of the unknown.
So the next time we find ourselves in a discussion of which god or goddess names are more appropriate, or why this or that incense is good or bad, or what color your athame should be… know that it doesn’t matter.
We need to exercise tolerance, open our minds, and accept that the rainbow of life has many colors. It’s easy to blame and criticize, and infinitely more difficult to try to understand and help, but that is what is needed. We need to be happy in our lives, and sincerely wish happiness for others. We need to cultivate love close to us and our homes, and know that love is as contagious as hate.
Cultivate Love and watch it flourish in our garden.
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