We have come into this exquisite world to experience ever and ever more deeply
our divine courage, freedom and light!
I know that some people reading this do not accept the notion that we come into this life with a purpose. That idea presumes something larger than us, larger than our earth in our solar system that somehow directs a plan that we are a part of. I know that some people reading this are clear that there is Something larger than us somehow weaving together meaning and direction into human life on this planet in our solar system and that includes our births, lives and deaths. I know that a great many people reading this live in space between those two positions: some days they are clear that there is nothing larger than us, no plan, no purpose, no meaning except what we make of our lives. On other days, they have experiences that leave them pondering just the opposite: perhaps there is a Force, an Intelligence, a Weaver that weaves meaning into our experiences as human beings.
I know that most of us are well beyond thinking whatever we think about the meaning of our lives “because the Bible tells me so.” Whatever one’s cosmology, anthropology or outlook on metaphysics and the material world, Hafiz was onto something useful. I rephrase it like this: The human life that takes on meaning for us will include ever deepening experiences of courage, freedom and insight including even what those things mean.
I want a human community (locally, nationally, world wide) where everyone has what they need to survive and thrive. Such a life, in order to be meaningful, must be squarely rooted in respect for human dignity. Beyond that, everything else we might say or want is icing on the cake. What becomes clearer to me as I live and work in this life (insight, light–I hope) is that this kind of human community is possible, but creating it demands courage. What becomes increasingly clear to me is that my notions of freedom first taught me in school and community were terribly shallow. Freedom does not mean just doing whatever I want to do, but coupled with light, with insight, being able to choose better and better things. Better for all concerned.
Example: Having energy to do the things we need and want to do is good. It’s better not to violate centuries old treaties and sacred lands of Indigenous peoples in order to get more energy. It’s even better to find energy that is not dependent on fossil fuels in the first place. It’s even better to help and encourage fuel companies to transition their work away from fossil fuels toward renewable sources. Renewable sources of energy are good for us all because they are good for the planet, and without Mother Earth, none of us have a life or a posterity to be concerned about. Our time on that score is running out quickly.
Hafiz called them divine courage, freedom and light. I don’t care whether we think that they are divine or not. I am thinking today, however, that a meaningful life is one that is filled with loving kindness, and that true loving kindness cannot be had without courage, and without a shifting, deepening sense of freedom. I am clearer than ever that it takes a life time to grow into that kind of insight and meaning. For the sake of the Earth, for the sake of our brothers and sisters who suffer more than we do, we cannot waste a day in this work.