Today I was reading ‘Abundance and Right Livelihood’ by Neale Donald Walsch and walking along a beach watching the endless play of waves, birds and sky. The words below are the outcome of a melting pot of thoughts and feelings that emerged from these two experiences. They speak to me today; tomorrow they may not. Likewise, they may speak to you, or they may not. They feel ‘truthful’ to me in this moment, but I do not profess them to necessarily be True…..
The evidence is all around. It’s not exactly hidden from view. Not so wrapped up in subtlety that it needs to be deciphered by the wise. Not immersed in metaphor to such a degree that only dreams can touch upon it.
In every leaf, every drop of ocean, every bird that flies or animal that runs, crawls, slithers or swims, in every fragment of rock and every beam from the sun… The whole world delivers a message every single day and every single night.
Creation, destruction, birth, death, beauty, ugliness, wondrousness and fearfulness, calm and turmoil, order and chaos… Nature shows us an endless array of opposites that we could talk about to infinity and back, had we but infinite words to talk about them.
I need only glance at the ocean to feel a flood of associations fill my being. Associations that have been felt, thought, spoken, written and disseminated in a multitude of ways from the very first moment that man ever set eyes upon the vast blue-green-grey waves before him.
It is all there, raw and glorious and unhidden, contained within that one glance. The ocean… That gives life, and takes it. That offers the softest of playful ripples to paddle in with laughter, and the most vengeful of raging torrents to suck ships and people alike to a dark-drowning end. That contains a plentiful bounty of nourishment and wonder, and a power so strong it can throw itself against the land with an all consuming violence that spares nothing in its path. We came from the ocean, along with this abundance of miraculous life; we owe our very existence to its creative prowess. Yet, it has also heralded destruction on a grand scale, when ‘anoxic events’ gave rise to a splattering of mass extinctions strewn along the thread of our planet’s long history. It ebbs and flows, ebbs and flows, to a rhythm which takes its lead from the wanderings of our accompanying moon, but which occasionally breaks from this harmonious song to throw discord and chaos at the world.
If I spent my entire life looking intently at every element of nature I would see the same patterns of generosity and abundance walking hand in hand with gruesome, nightmarish, tearing-of-limb-from-limb brutality. They are woven into the very fabric of nature; take them away and the tapestry would simply not exist.
The evidence is all around…
I cannot help but smile to realize that this leads me to a glaringly obvious thought. If God exists, and by God I mean that divinity which all religions point towards but which none own outright, nor can claim singular knowledge of or singular path towards, then It is the ultimate definer of the word ‘inclusive’.
Nothing is left out in the cold, nothing excluded. Whether my version of God is called God, Allah, Shiva or Consciousness, whether it resides externally or internally, It is showing me in every breath of this grand display of ‘life’, that everything plays its part as it should.
The divine does not exclude beauty, and neither does it exclude ugliness, It does not exclude creation or destruction, fairness or unfairness. It includes harmony and discord, apparent goodness and apparent evil, and the whole big cast of ‘the good, the bad and the ugly’.
But in the face of these monumental shows of inclusivity, the evidence written into every physical manifestation around us, what do we humans manage to do? In the tragic-comic puppet show of our existence we divide, condemn, judge and attempt to separate the godly from the ungodly. People of one religion make war on those of another, a heterosexual man condemns a homosexual one, and we all want to shut someone or something out of our club.
We cannot cope, it seems, with divinity’s inclusivity. It is beyond our comprehension. We are children failing to understand the rules of the game, (or failing to understand that there might not even be any rules).
And yet, I smile again as I come full circle on myself, the divine’s inclusivity must, by definition of being infinity inclusive, include us too. It includes our failings, weaknesses, judgments, assumptions and arrogance within Its infinitely inclusive embrace. It includes our selfishness, our stupidity, our laziness, our stumbling, and our, at times, sleep-filled stagnating egos. It includes both virtue and sin, along with all things in between.
In the face of such a paradox, in what direction shall I steer my ship? Shall I set a course towards a land of love, compassion, understanding and growth? Or shall I steer towards darker realms of greed, ignorance and stagnation, knowing that the divine gives full blessing for me to do so? There is no push or pull to do either, no carrot of heaven and no stick of hell to propel me. Whether I choose stagnation or growth, I am still included within the divine’s embrace.
I find it an interesting, perplexing and liberating question to ask myself… If we allow for a moment in our imagination that we are free to do and be anything we like, and whatever we choose to do or be is given absolute, unconditional consent by God, what shall we choose today and every day for the rest of our lives?
We may all have our own, uniquely personal answer to that question stemming from our own emotional, cognitive, humanistic and spiritual vantage points, all of which may well be sanctified by divinity’s inclusive embrace. For my part my answer flows, both consciously and maybe mostly subconsciously, from an intuited belief and feeling that goes something along the lines of the text below:
“Not only are you always given a choice, you are always making a choice, and you’re always making the choice that you think will best produce, or avoid, a given outcome. What you seek is the outcome that will assist you in defining Who You Really Are. That’s what you are up to. Now, you may not articulate it in that way, but I assure you, that’s what the human soul is up to. And when you begin to see it that way, when you begin to frame it in that way, you see life in a whole different way. And you imagine life to be a grand adventure, because suddenly it becomes an extraordinary adventure – an adventure in self-creation.” From ‘Abundance and Right Livelihood’ by Neale Donald Walsch
And with that I choose to let go of the all-consuming urge to continue improvising my way through this collection of shifting thoughts and words, and instead stretch my cramped muscles, eat some nourishing dinner and tell my husband I love him.