CLOSED MINDS or OPEN DOORS?
‘The one that sees only the diversity and not the underlying unity,wanders on from death to death’ Hindu Scripture
We are moving through very troubled times. These are times where humanity is undergoing a paradigm shift in consciousness. One 'reaction' to great change is resistance and we see growing evidence of this resistance in the growth of fundamentalism in all areas of life - religion, politics, nationalism etc,. We see daily evidence that our world is beginning to close its doors. and 'grasp' onto the false and dangerous comfort of fundamentalism. This growth in fundamentalism, in all its aspects, has a tendency to slam shut the doors between peoples, ideas and cultures. We can so easily lose sight of our common humanity ( as expressed in the quote from the Hindu Scriptures above) and more importantly off the interconnectedness of all creation. Gandhiji, before India was granted independence, was very aware of the tendency of fundamentalists to shut doors and build barriers between peoples. He is quoted as saying ‘. No, open the doors and windows wide. I want the wind of every culture and language to flow freely throughout this house’. Gandhiji certainly knew the importance and value of open doors and a free exchange between peoples.
This tendency to close doors is mainly based on fear and lack of trust. And fear is rooted in the more primitive parts of the human psyche. We need to face the 'demons' of our false fears and this growing tendency to close doors.The fear and mistrust that underpin the closed door syndrome cause growing depression, anxiety and can lead to ‘neurotic isolationalism’. So our task as individuals is to ask ourselves, ‘Where are my doors closing’?
Because where doors close there is a breakdown in communication. To counteract this tendency we need to become fully human and to become fully human we need each other. . Therefore we need to urgently find ways to improve the way we communicate. We need to bear in mind that our communication is ‘self-reflective’. The way I communicate reveals something of me. It informs my willingness to ‘open doors’ , to inter-communicate and to play my part in reducing fear, defensiveness, depression etc, and it helps others to do likewise.
That our human family and our planet are at a crucial point is seemingly self-evident. Our scientists and cosmologists warn us of the dangers facing the planet. There is serious doubt whether mankind, as a species, can survive much longer. It seems that our planet may have no choice other than to ‘get rid of us’. The past 100 years have arguably seen more wars, famines and disasters than in all the previous history of mankind. We ignore our environment at our peril. Most of the aboriginal peoples, and their spirituality – including my roots in Celtic Spirituality, have stressed our need to cherish and reverence our planet, nature and the environment. We have seemingly ignored this ' wisdom of the ages’ and our planet is suffering. Our great Faith Traditions and ideologies are seemingly being taken over by fundamentalists whose ‘simplistic certainties’ counsel division and strife. The mystics and sages of all the great Traditions have throughout the ages warned us of the dangers of failing to see our underlying unity. They have tried to help us to see that we are essentially ‘Spirit’ and therefore united through The Source.
As an individual I have to seriously challenge myself to face my responsibilities. There is no sitting on the fence, no waiting for further data before I make up my mind! I am either on the side of life or by making no choice I really choose death. There is a theory of ‘the critical/crucial mass. It seems to be borne out in nature and by evolution. If this is in fact a ‘law’, which is highly likely, then, if sufficient people choose to side with life, to side with the Planet, to side with the concept that we are all equal members of this human family, then change will occur. This will require me (and others) to make constant choices for life, for equality for people and for the planet. Even our seemingly small choices make a difference. I, like others, need to reach out to others across difference and to build bridges that unite. This is a truly awesome and important task for all responsible spiritual seekers. Once again, I am reminded of the wisdom of Gandhi and the challenge of his wise words.
' Be the change you wish to see '
Peter Creagh Oct 2017