Here we are entering another New Year. 2012. Depending on your perspective, the idea of 2012 is fraught with fear that it is the end of the world “as we know it.” Or, from another viewpoint it is the beginning of a new era characterized by personal, planetary and spiritual transformation; perhaps the world of peace and harmony portended by many religions and spiritual teachers.
We humans seem always to be waiting for, looking for a time when the world we have inherited or that we have created for ourselves will be rescued and changed. There are so many aspects of human existence we aren’t in control of. As one theologian on the NPR program Being said, when asked whether we have complete free will or our lives are predestined: “techtonic plates do shift.”
I take that to mean there are certain givens of human life, particularly on the physical plane of earth with its natural characteristics. We may be causing Global Warming, polluting our water and air; things we can heal if we have the will. But some things are out of our control.
And, it seems to me that the vulnerability we experience, the fragility and precariousness of our very existence leads us to desire and look for a time when we are no longer impotent and at the mercy of, even ruled by, the mysterious powers around us.
I tend to be a very practical, rational person. When I look at history, I see that there have been other times when humans expected a messiah or saviour or believed the world was at its end. I certainly don’t intend to demean anyone else’s beliefs. I find, though, that I just don’t know much anymore about how existence works, or what to expect. It’s like the song says, “I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.”
What I do know, or at least feel pretty certain of: the Universe is an unimaginably vast place; our earth is a tiny, tiny speck in that vastness; we are born and we die at some point that is mysteriously unpredictable. (If you doubt that, check out books and videos about Near-Death experiences; some people live through physical traumas that should really have killed them permanently!)
And what I also know, for sure, is that only through love and compassion and kindness and gratitude can life be full and rich and well worth the insecurity inherent in our lives.
So, no matter what 2012 may bring, I am grateful for the blessing of my life, my family and friends, my work, and you, Dear Readers.