What is temporal? What is eternal?
Hello fellow travellers,
What brings me to the PDA movement, and what gives me the strength to face the prospect of collapse is the context I have through my spiritual life. I say this tentatively, as I know it is often said that the PDA movement is not served by finding ‘pollyanna’ solutions through religious beliefs, or the like. But I also see that the fruits of those with a committed spiritual and/or religious practice are some of the healing substance that is brought into the dialogue.
My path is within the tradition of Mystic Christianity. The word ‘mystic’ here denotes experience, as opposed to belief. There are mystic aspects to all of the religious traditions, usually lesser known, and at times viewed as heretical. And the word ‘Christian’ here denotes human, the human spirit – that flame of being within every single human (in any or no tradition) that is capable of love.
There is much more I could say on this, and I would be happy to be contacted if anyone would like to hear more, but in this learning forum I offer instead one exercise, simple to explain but not so easy to do:
At the end of each day, sit quietly and review it for yourself, seeking to discern out of all of its contents: What is temporal? What is eternal?
You can use your own understanding of this as the gauge (which itself is part of the exercise), in terms of discerning what a temporal or eternal nature is. Also, in terms of what you include in the review, ie. your own inner life – thoughts, feelings, actions you take individually, your interactions with other humans, your interactions with other life forms – animals, plants, minerals, world events that you hear about or consider, actual ‘things’ you engage with – chairs, tables, computers, clothes, food…
In all or any of these, discern, which are of a temporal nature, were any of an eternal nature?
That’s it! It’s a subtle exercise that can build over time into a different way of standing in life. If anyone takes it up, I’d love to hear how it is for you, especially in relation to facing collapse.
My name is Vaike and I am a 46 year old woman, living in Sydney Australia with my husband and my 19 year old son. In the first half of my adult life I was devoted to theatre-making, in view of cultivating the human spirit. In later life I have sought this same impulse off the stage, through education, activism and now through spiritual community. I have always been progressive and left-leaning in my politics, and my 'green consciousness' has grown organically and steadily. COP21, Paris in 2015 was a turning point, and since then I have taken on board that it is 'too late' to 'save the earth', in the sense of coming back to any 'normal'. The crisis this catalysed in me led me to Deep Ecology, and to taking my environmental consciousness inward. Happening on the original PDA paper by Jem, on the back of the emergence of Greta Thunberg's voice reignited a sense of panic in me, and for the first couple of weeks after this time I was just about incapacitated. I would describe it best as shock at the realisation of how fragile the framework on which I base my existence is, but this soon grew to being most wary of how human nature will reveal itself, under such pressure eg. even more terrifying that famine or fire could be my own next door neighbour, in a situation of resource scarcity. A further layer then, beyond my personal situation, would be the tragedy of human nature itself, falling so far from what it is it its most beautiful truth. Dedication to this beauty, through my outer and inner life, is now my area of work and my solace.
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