Wednesday, December 16, 2009

An Individual Flight to Unity

I awoke this morning thinking about one of the many arresting natural phenomena I get to witness here, from time to time. In part the thought of it came to me because of my dream that woke me up.

We are fortunate to be surrounded by large expanses of nature and hence, the natural life that convenes within it. On any given day, I have seen these roving flocks of birds settling in and around our grounds. They flow in perfect harmony with one another, as if psychically linked and prodded to move from section to section in an aerial swirl that sweeps you up in its magnitude. They rise and settle like the components of a giant entity, moving one part and then another, perambulating along with it's different segments, as they ostensibly forage for food and then quickly move on. This unified dance of sweeping motion is a fascinating joy to behold, one that symbolizes for me, the interdependency of these creatures and their psychic link to one another, which is evident of man himself.

We go about in an individualized state of mind, with our various wills deciding where and when we will do anything. The overall appearance is random and chaotic at best, yet the results for us are all but homogeneous. In my opinion, our individual efforts are driven by vast unconscious promptings that lead us toward common goals. We sweep toward one goal or another, propelled by our own desires, yet falling into the step of general mentalities that influence us. The simple need of providing shelter has led us to acquire larger and larger homes, replete with every amenity conceivable, in a nationalistic desire to represent or exceed our station in life. We easily feel these efforts individualizes us, when in fact, it homogenizes us, in a way that separates us from other cultures. There is nothing wrong with being confluent, yet, the overwhelming effect in our country is our over usage of materials that weigh heavily on the environmental resources available.

Like many of you, we have a new granite counter-top, prompted by what we believe is a good investment move for our shelter. We needed to improve the kitchen, yet was it necessary to engage in this design fashion of the times? It looks great but was it the most environmentally sensitive thing to do? As we move forward, we will need to ask ourselves how does the things we want affect us as a group, nation, species? It seems that our unity has more to do with how we as individuals fair amongst others, as opposed to how we fair working for the benefit of one another. Our current health care debate highlights some of those differences.

Back to my unsettling dream, which was about my belonging to a large group of people that transitioned from life voluntarily, for the symbolic good of one another. Understandably, in my nature, it's the last thing I would consider, so when it came to my turn, I balked. The people in my dream reverentially moved toward their demise, like that flock of birds, seemingly voluntarily, yet driven by the promptings of their masses. I guess the question in all of this is, how do we tell the difference between what we actually want and need versus what we are told we need? When do our efforts for the whole jeopardize us individually and vice versa?

As we venture forth into the holiday season and the settling culmination of an unsettling year, that included the contentious health care debate, we can ask ourselves these types of questions, to begin our lives anew with new perspective. Happiest of Holidays to you all....


Elissa said...

Thanks Glenn! I missed reading your posts. Nice to see the video of the snow upstate.

micki said...

really interesting philosophical commentary, dream action, and self
refection. thank you for sharing these! much love to you + and merry xmas! xox m

Pat said...

Great hearing from you Glen-a testament to the value of our new online connections to one another. Let's try to get together in january.

By the way, I believe the new economic efficiencies will have an impact on our desire for granite.


Genita said...

Glenn & Joe_
Your choice of words are phenomenal. Thanks for sharing your love for culture, beauty, and nature.
Happy Holidays,