A few days ago, a handful of men detonated bombs in the capital city of my country of birth. For a combination of complicated reasons, they had become so disconnected from their own humanity, and from the humanity of others, that they thought this would be a good thing to do. A holy thing to do.
I despair for a society that creates people who are so filled with hate that killing becomes a holy act. It makes me sad and afraid and angry. But the tears came when I saw the many messages of solidarity and love scribbled in chalk on a square. Because it speaks of hope. It suggests that a different world is possible. That really touched me.
I believe in that world. I believe in the possibility of a world where we can all live together and thrive in a multi-coloured, many-cultured community. As humans together. As humans with all the life that surrounds us on our awesome, living planet.
For me, that last bit is the key. There is so much wisdom in Nature. Every forest knows how to be a community of boundless difference and endless connection. Species speaks to species. Plant touches mineral touches animal. Everything connected in an interdependent web of gift giving.
We humans are not an incidental add-on to those communities. We didn’t just land from outer space and start to live here, separate from the ecosystem of the planet. We are part of it. Those ecosystems created us. It is our disconnection from them that creates people who believe that to murder is holy.
If our world is to thrive, if we are to flourish, we need to do it in connection with all the species that surround us. We need to re-learn how to receive with appreciation and how to give in return. We need to learn how to communicate with the beings we depend on for life and for sanity.
That is why I’m on a quest to bring such connections into my daily life. This is why I no longer want to treat the world around me as an assembly of objects that I can turn to my will. I want to weave myself back into a conscious world of magical connections. And I want that weaving to be what I do every day.
So I go to my daily practice for inspiration. From what I learn there, I am slowly turning to face the world, touching it as gently as I can. And I am touched in return.
It is my hope that this first contact will make the great web of connection conscious to me in the everyday. That I will be able to build a home and a community where everyone – human and other-than-human – thrives because the flow of gift giving is mutual and balanced.
When a person can fully receive what they need, and is honoured for what they have to give, surely murder as a holy act is not an option.
So may it be.