Barbarians at the feast

An important outcome of evolution is that in day to day life we experience ourselves as apart from the universe. There is “me” here inside this body and then there is “the rest”. We could refine this a little bit; “the rest” also contains “stuff that belongs to me” and “people who are important to me”. This however, does not change the fundamental perception out of which we live our lives; “apart from”, “different from”, “separated from” the universe. After millions of years of existential suffering, we are finally free of the food chain; we live in an age in which we have the most marvellous opportunity to transcend our egocentric, tribal, survival mind-set, and experience real connection, real collaboration that would take us to a new chapter of human history, “meta human” − to go beyond, to transcend what we are now.

Instead, we behave like ignorant but proud barbarians who have been invited to a great feast in a wonderful country populated by a race of enlightened beings. They welcome us. Everything here exists in abundance; there is plenty for all. We the barbarians simply don’t get it; we can only think in terms of scarcity, of danger, of bloody conflict, of survival. We are driven by our fear of death. So although we are surrounded by delicious food, excellent enlightened company, divine music, set in a beautiful land, free of predators, we do not know how not to be anxious for the future. So, rather than enjoying the country and the feast, we act as beggars; we steal food and cutlery (even though we don’t need to)  concealing it in the folds of our clothes.

Eventually, we leave the feast weighed down by the food we have stolen, pleased with ourselves for our great cleverness in stealing food, cutlery and other valuable items. We laugh as we congratulate each other on how we fooled those stupid enlightened sissies.

Meanwhile the feast of the enlightened continues, now touched by a passing note of sorrow. They had such great hopes for us, for our potential but now see that we are not ready, seemingly unable to help or save ourselves from ourselves. So the feast continues whilst we the barbarians continue our harsh, tribal, violent, greedy existence outside. We continue to kill, hurt, destroy and steal all the time lauding ourselves for our cleverness, as we travel inevitably towards extinction.

This is our story right now, but it need not be so. The persistent illusion of separation makes barbarians of all of us, you and me included. To change this story, we must live and experience the reality of interconnection of inter-being in our minds and in our bodies. We all experience fleeting moments of wakefulness moments of ego-free connection with all things, when we are deeply touched by awe and wonder; it might be atop a mountain, enveloped by a forest, or simply the infinite blue sky. We need to understand the significance of these moments and expand them so that connection becomes a reality in all our lives. Only then will we really have a future.

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