It’s us against them….
Or so we’ve been led to believe.
It’s in our nature, our makeup. Hardwired, if you will.
Inherent in accomplishing the Great Passing Through from one generation to the next, in community.
We’ve known, felt, and lived community for hundreds of thousands of years. And what’s more, individuals in the community have been tasked with nurturing and nourishing that sense within us all. Shamans, through dance and ritual, song and tale have served as our communal custodians since before time’s dawn. (That is, the awakening of the light of consciousness.)
Us, and them.
We, us, within the symbolic-metaphoric circle; they, outside.
The circles, being who we are, are fluid and often enough shapeshifting. ‘We’ might be two friends, brother and sister, man and wife, partner. It might be a class, organization or sports team, any group, dwellers on a street or in a neighbourhood, citizens of a town or city or nation. ‘We,’ and this one came late to the party, might be solely abstract, a ‘race’ or members of an ideological band or bent, or ‘we’ might be the followers of a belief system, creed, or religion.
As individuals, you and I are born into a family, whatever the shape that might take. In and through family we grow into communities. We learn first the ways of family and then the ways of community until one day, all things being equal, we too attain to full adult membership in community, meet someone, form a bond and even a family of our own. The Passing Through has been accomplished. The flow continues.
Simple enough it would seem.
Only, it’s not.
Communities change. They evolve, they grow from tiny seed to massive unwieldy civilizations. The communal custodians lose their way and the communities suffer. There is loss of direction, loss of purpose, the break up of family and rise of individualism.
Who are we now, and who are they?
What once flowed naturally now sticks.
Shamans have disappeared, withdrawn to legend and myth.
Would be shamans and prophets abound.
Babel of tongues, messages, creeds, beliefs.
Broken, dissolved circles. Where is one to turn?
“Our true reality is in our identity and unity with all life.”—Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth
Life is ALL there is….