From an email to a friend:
Beautifully put, Blaire, for we are all one family, and more or less distant cousins with every other living being, from microscopic virus to mammoth whale (currently rereading Moby Dick.) And we are one family in the literal as well as figurative, mythic and poetic sense. Only, our upbringings sometimes—ok, most times—have utterly failed throughout the ages to bring home that fact and appeal to more parochial circumscribed sub-groups. What’s more, it is this sub-group training or indoctrination which divides us, cuts us off from the awareness of our oneness with the whole.
Everywhere the sub-group has been encouraged…. up to now, though of course the mystics throughout the ages have suspected and even taught of this oneness.
Today it is our task, the task of the genuine artists, though I’m not sure I trust that word anymore—maybe just World or Life teachers or guides—to spread the message which may serve to awaken people to the underlying and overarching oneness of Life. In order to do so the message need resonate within and then lift people beyond the pull of the parochial, the draw of the circumscribed. Call it a dying to the parochial and circumscribed and rebirth into an awareness of the oneness that is all Life, for it is an archetypal journey that the Guide must first undergo and of which he or she then speaks.
It is an archetypal pattern, for Life is patterns and not ideas, and it is incumbent upon us Guides to eschew the static sterility of ideas civilization has inculcated into us and awaken to the patterns which govern the ever flowing oneness that is Life. Only then can we hope to contribute to the ecstasy (ex-stasis) that is Satori, the realization of our participation in the oneness and wholeness that is Life.
And just as I suspected, Ishmael (Melville) in Moby Dick relates precisely his very own archetypal journey. Here he is aboard his whaling boat becalmed amidst a great circling herd of whales, at the very centre no less, surrounded by innumerable females giving birth and suckling their young:
“Some of the subtlest secrets of the seas seemed divulged to us in this enchanted pond. We saw young leviathan amours in the deep.
And thus, though surrounded by circle upon circle of consternations and affrights, did these inscrutable creatures at the centre freely and fearlessly indulge in all peaceful concernments; yea, serenely revelled in dalliance and delight. But even so, amid the tornadoed Atlantic of my being, do I myself still for ever centrally disport in mute calm; and while ponderous planets of unmanning woe revolve around me, deep down and deep inland there I still bathe me in eternal mildness of joy.”
Naturally, I count Melville amongst the Giants of the Human Spirit.