It dawns on me this morning that so many of us see our lives in chaos, our personal lives and what we call “the world.” But do we really mean the world? The rest of the world seems to be doing just fine, thank you very much, it’s human societies, we mean, that are in disorder. Why is this so? Why do we feel so chaotic, out of control, and manic?
What is the first ingredient to creating order out of chaos? Isn’t it silence? Implied in that silence is complete attention. Complete attention to the problem followed by interest and then care. And from care comes discipline. Structure. So, we have no order because we have no silence. No interest in the problem per se, but our well-being within it. See how this is so. We say we cannot do anything about the chaos of the world, so we carve out a little happy-ish place, a cranny in the cracking, burning house that is a little less stressful than dealing with the fire.
How we deal with the fire is everything. If we deal with it by ignoring it, that isn’t dealing with it at all. But one way to ignore it is to try to do something about it without understanding it. This is ignoring the problem to live within it. We have no interest in the problem, not really. Again, our only interest is self-interest. How am I? How do I feel? Is my family safe? Are my friends okay? Is the system broken? Will somebody come along and fix it?
And now we surround our children with distractions and multitasking so plentiful that they create in them an attention deficit disorder. Since we weren’t attending to our chaos in the first place, just imagine the uphill climb the next generation will have.
In every way we seal our fate. We trash our bodies. We trash Earth’s body. We throw other species to extinction. We pollute the air. Heck, we even pollute the upper atmosphere with satellites and space junk just so we can communicate absolutely nothing worthwhile to each other. And then we tear down the minds of our children just to drug them back up and pretend their pain is a mystery. We pretend someone else is doing this to us.
All this and we haven’t even talked about politics and war. Racism and sexism. Homophobia. Xenophobia. Dancing on the carcass of a humpback whale, surrounded by tiger sharks, because the camera is on.
Silence is golden, goes the saying. Oh, silence is worth more than that. More than platinum, even. More than all the shiny rocks in the world. Silence is everything. It looks like nothing, so it’s easy to ignore. Far, far easier to live in ignorance than silence. Even when it confuses us. Even when it mutates us.
Even though we kill us noisily, perpetually, and on purpose.