Tuesday, October 20, 2009
“When men lack a sense of awe, there will be disaster.” ~Lao Tzu (531 B.C.)
I think if Lao Tzu were coming to dinner we’d have much to discuss.
I spent the day on-line catching up on Ted-Talks, the Bioneers Annual conference postings, cutting-edge organic and environmental art, and other relevant planetary doings…from the hopeful to the hopeless, taking in the global picture. I will say that there are a lot of remarkable people, projects and lines of awareness emerging at this time. Right along side are critical global issues which could so easily render me frozen, mute or lost in despair. If he were to be at dinner I would tell Lao Tzu that awe and disaster have arrived as the Siamese-twins of this era. Then there are the oblivious…until disaster finds them too.
Disaster is being felt each day in a billion ways by millions of beings, as the norm of their lives is being irrevocably altered. It is felt in the faceless-wild spaces where climate is changing, and man has infringed deeply into the sacred balance of nature, fracturing once-whole systems… and those are the first waves. Disaster is setting up house.
Meanwhile…I am in awe… In awe of the guy who is making fat-free (elegant organic low-material) furniture. In awe of the artists who sculpt amazingly sensitive detailed sculptures out of used tires and the photographer who photographs the largest tire dump in the world so that the horror and beauty coexist within the viewer. In awe of the man who while working out the details of using radio waves to cure cancer discovered he could make an engine which will run on salt water. In awe of the multitude of thoughtful, creative, sustainable ideas being birthed and midwifed into form.
Yes disaster is on the march… but the brilliance it provokes in mankind is so awe-inspiring. I wonder what Lao Tzu would have to say about that?
My shaman friend keeps directing me towards my wonder. Awe and wonder seem similar if not the same, although wonder seems child-like and awe seems more adult and age appropriate. I may need to invite him to dinner as well… I was struggling with wonder and feeling discomfort in the naiveté and innocence which accompanied wonder. I did have a dream in which I had “eyes-of-wonder” sort of like glasses which I could take on and off. In playing with them I learned that I can’t wear “eyes-of-wonder” while doing organic review work, but I could wear them in nature…
The point being- I’m finding my way. I’m choosing my side, I’m choosing awe and I’ll continue to work on wonder… It’s a comfort really, a clear job description that I can handle. I don’t have to have answers to problems large or small. I can own my awe.
Disasters will come.
Our power is in our searching and supporting all that is awe worthy.
If Lao Tzu is right… rediscovering awe could be our salvation.