I recently saw the movie version of “The Giver,” which focuses on how a society protects its citizens by essentially removing all memory and experience of individuated emotion. A world without pain, suffering, loneliness and war… is also by necessity a world without joy, choice, love and free will.
In order to create a safety in sameness, the Elders determined, the world cannot have differences. One person is trained as the keeper of memory, to provide occasional guidance when needed based on mistakes of the past.
What does it do to a society to live without color, music, emotions? A society, then, where there is also no compassion or intuition? How does it feel to be introduced to these experiences?
As the story does a very good job of reminding us…. In order to fully Experience the world, we need to embrace the lows and the highs, the loss and the joy, the misses and the successes. Otherwise our life is gray and relatively meaningless.
Application to Real Life
The next day, in real life, my local Consciousness Circle in the Twin Cities (Minnesota) gathered for its monthly get-together, where we engaged in small and large group discussion about the nature of Consciousness – what does it mean, to live in an interconnected world?
One of the topics brought up in our three small groups: How does compassion, and intuition, inform our ability to practice Conscious Living?
In my opinion, what we largely came to philosophically in the evening was something like this:
- Much as we’d prefer to inoculate ourselves as individuals… in order to live with the Full Rich Color of the Universe, with all of its ups and downs, where conflicts in Missouri and the Middle East affect us at our core, what can we do to minimize suffering?
- Is there a responsibility we have toward helping the planet reduce conflict, short of removing emotions?
- How is it possible to live individually colorful lives, with everything from compassion to anger – without killing each other?
How do we move from day to day in a world both deeply troubled and deeply connected at a spiritual /quantum level?
Reaching Solutions, Instead of Polarization
The hints of our responsibility are all around us. Every day we DO have the choice to react to grievances, big and small.
Some despair looms large at how polarized our society seems to be: right/wrong, black/white, left/right, good/evil.
Yet there are many voices around us that also offer sound insight… and… despite the deep gulfs around us, the hope is that we are growing in number as Consciousness becomes less “hippy dippy” to the mainstream Western world. As we start to recognize that the way to healing — gooey as that might sound to many of us — is, indeed, by understanding that we are NOT separated from each other. We are all part of the same pulsating heart.
One of our group members, Sook, offered an article written in 2005 by Will Keepin, mathematical physicist and executive director of the Satyana Institute.
[Aside: I continue to be impressed at the numbers of physicists who are talking about the way we interact with each other as a society. When you spend your life examining the micro and macro of the universe, it does tend to make you think about the way our human species is having an impact.]
In the article Keepin wrote: “We are urgently called to action… in two distinct capacities: to serve as hospice workers to a dying culture, and to serve as midwives to an emerging culture… We must transform anger, fear and despair into compassion, love and purpose. This entails a crucial shift from fighting against evil to working for love…. Don’t demonize your adversaries, this only leads to polarization. Going into an adversarial situation, we can be aware of the correctness of what we are affirming, but there is usually a kernel of truth, however small, in what is being affirmed by the opponent. We must be especially mindful about what we deny, because this is often where our blind spots are.”
What do you think? Are we heading in the right direction as a society? Can we individually and collectively make a difference?
— Mikki Morrissette