Inner Work, Outer Chaos, and Deeper Meaning and Peace

Sometimes it is easy to believe the skills of reflection and discernment required when we work on our personal issues cannot influence the world we share with almost 8 billion other Souls.  In this vast mix of religious beliefs, governing procedures,  racial differences, environmental issues, gender discoveries, economic divides, and cultural mandates, the individual desire to evolve beyond reactivity into responsiveness may seem like a luxury none of us can afford.  We have created a world in which we experience relentless  pressure from every external source of information to abandon our inner lights, our discernment, our powers of reflection, so we might find meaning by merging into groups that assure us we are incomplete and inadequate unless we join them.

“Join us and vote!” we hear from politicians.  “Take a stand!” we hear from activists. “Get an education!” we hear from educators. “Find a Godly Leader!” we hear from religious institutions. “Buy this product!” we hear from corporations. No where in this fierce fight for our attention, our time, our dollars, and our skills is there the slightest interest in asking, “What matters to you?  When you tune into your Deep Self, what kind of world do you want to nurture? What kind of world might welcome your creativity, your Soul Purpose, your yearning for meaning and peace, and not just your vast resources, but the resources of everyone alive?”

We have given our energies to this outer directed world for a very long time, and its fruits are terrifying.  Hatred, schisms, cruelty, and praise for brutish, warring behaviour take up our media-dominated air space.  No where, except in our own hearts and spirits, can we wonder, can we reflect, can we discern what truly matters to us as members of a vast web of life where . . . ,

‘what blesses one blesses all’ and ‘what curses one curses all.’

I learned these teachings from my grandmother.  During my boisterous youth, I thought her beliefs in the spiritual interconnectedness of all that is reflected her old-fashioned views on life.  Born at the turn of the last century, she grew up in a world marveling over telephone connections and air travel.  What could she possibly know about the world as it is now?

It turns out that she and countless others sensitive to our invisible interconnections knew and know a great deal about our spiritual and our material reality.  The interconnectedness, not only of human beings but of all species on our Earth Home, has been proven by theoretical physicists, environmental researchers, and scientists testing interconnectedness in labs. It’s also been experienced by ordinary folk seeking to create loving kindness to overcome the isolation from Self created by outer-directed world views.  Both Erwin Schrodinger’s theory of entanglement and Lynne McTaggart’s experiments with the ‘power of eight’ describe interconnectedness, the first in scientific terms, the second anecdotally.

Now, as an older and much more reflective person, I find myself wondering about my own earlier resistance to my grandmother’s what-blesses-one-blesses-all conviction.  As a visitor to Point Pelee throughout my childhood, I could see the effects of Windsor-Detroit pollution in the bodies of dead fish and seagulls whenever I walked the shores of Lake Erie.  Those beautiful, ravaged dead creatures taught me that no one should be dumping toxic waste into the Detroit River, because when they did, they poisoned everything downstream, all the way to the Atlantic Ocean.  By spectacularly vivid means, these dead fish and birds proved the reality of my Grandmother’s belief that ‘what curses one, curses all.’

Countless examples exist to prove interconnectedness, from mother-infant health, to loving our pets while knowing the harsh conditions visited upon the animals raised to feed them and us.  How do we live with the rampant destruction of interconnectedness?  How do we add something to the interconnectedness side of the isolation-interconnectedness ledger?  How do we make a difference to the suffering in Ukraine when we are living in relative comfort and the news footage of actual war is sandwiched between advertisements suggesting a new car or phone is the source of all happiness?

The answer is simple and yet tremendously demanding:  we do our inner work; we identify those parts of ourselves grown callous, or overconfident, or invested in a world view that demonizes others.  We sit in solitude, in silence, and we ask our hearts to speak.  We have a notebook and pen nearby, to write down insights, and destructive beliefs, and heartbreaking realizations.  We create grieving rituals and take other meaningful actions. We acknowledge in some important way the thoughts and feelings that emerge from our intention to not only bless ourselves, but bless all that is.

If there is no reason to speak of our inner work, we keep it to ourselves.  We remind ourselves throughout each day and before we sleep that we are on a journey of self discovery that is a source of healing, for ourselves and for the greater world.  We acknowledge our own hatred, its multiple birth places, and how we’ve nurtured it mindlessly.  And we acknowledge our capacity for  love and how we can grow this capacity through intention and awareness.

The first of our inner-work reflections can lead to seismic shifts in our relationships  with family, friends, co-workers, and, through these personal connections, radiate out to bless countless others. As we continue our daily inner-work reflections, we find ourselves in conversation with the Deep Self, asking, time and again . . .

Does this action, thought, belief bless or does it curse?

Our questions and our answers reveal who we are becoming and how we can continue to shift our fear-driven sense of meaninglessness and isolation and impotence to cultivate deeper meaning, peace, and conscious interconnectedness. This is inner-work; it is the work of growing meaning and peace inwardly and outwardly, for ourselves, and for all that is.  It is the best work there is.

May we all undertake the inner work that supports our interconnectedness.

And may this work of conscious interconnectedness replace the chaos of despair with blessings for ourselves and our vast human and greater-than-human families in every moment of every day.

Until next time

Jane