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The Winds of Wildness

Updated: Nov 6, 2023

Wind Torn

Hope in the Whirlwind

Everywhere I sense a restlessness, a twitchy stirring up in the very essence of our being. A wildish whirling influence that lashes through our physical world, our interpersonal relationships, our national and international dogma, and our religions. This north wind, bitter and cold, is flinging angst throughout our sentient planet and in us, the people who inhabit it.

These gusts make me shiver with uneasy observation as I see dark emotions pour from so many sources -- including from friends I know to be otherwise compassionate. I feel its effects with a heavy mood that seems to come from nowhere to invade periodically my cheerful soul. This has happened before in our world, but it seems to be so much more somehow.

I believe that at the core of existence there is only love and fear. So how - oh how! - do we point our planet in the direction of love?

It’s not the wind itself that is fear; it is simply a portent. Endurance and strength is the test of the North Wind according to some Native American wisdom. The direction North on the Medicine Wheel, I’m told, is represented by the White Buffalo, standing his ground in the snow of winter blizzards, firm in the wisdom of maturity and strength.

This maelstrom of distress includes Earth’s climate. Whether we caused it or not, the disruption of weather is real. I believe I am here to take care of this Mother Planet, our Earth. I am, after all, her dust.

But we are here now. We are using our Earth in a way that greedily exploits the resources that are life itself to us. Yes, perhaps this is as it has always been, but it is certainly an acceleration from what this generation - my generation - has ever seen and it threatens our very existence. It is surely unnatural for a species to consume its own life.

Can we learn to work together to escape the karma of benign neglect and outright planetary destruction? Might we, just might we, create a truly new world of harmony?

A few months ago, I watched again J.R.R. Tolkein’s epic Lord of the Rings directed by Peter Jackson. The lessons resound. Fighting hard for the good. Standing by friends no matter what. Loving beyond boundaries – of any kind. Trusting your heart. Accepting your assignment, no matter how heavy it becomes, and seeing it through. Every motif is covered. All of the archetypes are revealed. Death is violent and heart-rending. Life prevails.

In that work, Middle Earth is both living and sentient - as I believe our Earth to be. She reacts to the love or hate that fills the inhabitants of each land. Lush green abundance in The Shire where Hobbits dwell in peace. Barren dark coldness in Isengard where fear has overtaken all reason.

The messages are of struggle, perseverance, resilience…going on to the end...remembering that the goal is to achieve the highest good for all.

My mind races as I contemplate this because these are today’s challenges, too. Can we extract correctives from ancient wisdom for the greedy desire and blatant ignorance that underlie our fears? For those are the fears that give rise to misunderstandings and hatred and violence.

There are ways of peace outlined in parallel thoughout all of the scriptures I read. These are not simple antidotes to be read as lovely concepts. To live positively takes a moment-by-moment awareness of my emotion. To live the way of wisdom and love takes determined practice.

  • The Three Treasures of the Tao Te Ching: Love, Moderation, Humility.[1]

  • Transcendent Practices of Buddhism noted in the Dalai Lama’s writings: generosity, moral discipline, patience, endeavor, meditative concentration, wisdom.[2]

  • Fruits of the Spirit in the Bible: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control[3]

In these three examples above I am especially appreciative of the Transcendent Practices because in my mind they instruct me how to live so that the Fruits of Spirit flow.

The path of the Bodhisattva is to become enlightened for the sake of all others, delaying even nirvana to aid others. “May all beings be happy” writes The Dalai Lama. Jesus taught a way of peace, instructing his followers to go an extra mile with their despised enemy (Matthew 4:41).

The Treasures, the Practices, and the Fruits, surely, are the very values we seek. The very ones that can heal our souls and our planet.

I do not fear the Winds of Wildness, though I may not like it when they are gusting in my face. The winds are in my life to teach me the deepest lessons. “If no wind blows, nothing stirs,” wisely says the Dalai Lama

Perhaps…if I listen deeply to my own soul and stand with you against this cold wind’s force, if we endure by practicing kindness until the cleansing breath of spring… we will save our very lives and our beloved planet Earth. We might also save our souls.

[1] Tao Te Ching, translation and commentary by Jonathan Star [2] Glossary in The Bodhisattva Guide, The Dalai Lama [3] Galatians 5:22-23

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