” …[T]his current of life, traversing the bodies it has organized one after another, passing from generation to generation, has become divided among species and distributed amongst individuals without losing anything of its force, rather intensifying in proportion to its advance.”—Henri Bergson, Creative Evolution
There is a oneness and unity to all Life, and when I write that I’m not writing it in some vague New Agey, metaphoric feel good ‘literary’ way. We haven’t collectively grasped that yet though, bound as we are to old ways of looking at things, old belief systems, old myths and religions.
So last post I was writing about what I like to call The Great Passing Through, meaning essentially that which is passing through every living creature from one generation to the next. That’s what Bergson is referring to in the above quote, calling it the ‘current of life’ and tracing it back to the very beginnings here on planet earth some 4.5 billion years ago. Of course one day we’ll realize that there isn’t really a ‘beginning’ nor an ‘end’, but only an eternal Flowing.
And I had written that in discussing this Great Passing Through, this ‘current of Life’, we are at the very profoundest level of Life, of mystery and mysticism. In the east it has been termed ‘the void’, precisely because there is no term for that which is Passing Through.
“What, then,” you may ask, “is Passing Through?”
And I’d say there is no other answer than “Life.”
But the thing is, it’s not to be imagined as Passing Through you, as it isn’t to be imagined Passing Through the grasses, shrubs and trees outside my window as I write this. I’d say insects, birds and animals too, but it’s winter outside and those other channels of flow are pretty quiet or sleeping away these frosty months.
No, it isn’t Passing Through you… that’s not the way to imagine it…
Because you ARE the Flow, you ARE the Passing Through, just as those grasses, birds, shrubs and trees, insects, birds and animals ARE too.
So why is this so hard for us to understand? Well, for most creatures the Current is hardwired into their behaviour through their genes. We call this ‘instinct,’ and so much of the natural world is bound inescapably to it. However, we humans are privileged in a way to be largely free of the severest restraints of instinct. Over the millennia, over the millions of years this whole Passing Through process has been going on we have become the most supremely adaptive and communicative species on our great Mother Earth. And then some seventy thousand years ago being as adaptive and communicative as we are we developed the capacity for retaining signs in the frontal lobes of our brains. This has been an unbelievable boon to our species and propelled us into the world mastery we enjoy today, though some might say using the term ‘enjoy’ might be a little premature.
And finally, the monumental irony of it all is that it is the signs, languages and ideas we’ve come to use every day, every minute of our lives, which cut us off from truly experiencing The Great Passing Through!
Our ideas have come to rule the planet…. for now….
But the Current, the Flow, the Great Passing Through goes on regardless of what we think or believe.
Whether we humans Flow on with It or not….
Only Time will tell…..