Hope y’all had some good New Year’s festivities wherever you be. Here in Medellín I didn’t do anything too crazy, just went up to a lookout spot to see the city at night, then walked back down along the river where all the Christmas lights are strung up. It is indeed a spectacular sight.
All I could think about was all the electricity being wasted. We then walked the long walk back to the slums where our hotel is located—because no taxi would stop and pick us up, for some reason—dodging street kids, drunkards, and transvestites, to celebrate the commencement of the new year in the security of our hotel room, wherein we imbibed a bit of Ron Medellín mixed with some gaseosa. The firecrackers in the streets, of course, went off all night long.
It is my established tradition to give some kind of commemorative New Year’s speech, and not wanting to disappoint, I’ll attempt to dredge up some inspiration for one here. A lot of the sub-narrative of this trip in Colombia, so far unsaid, has been about my relationship with my girlfriend—as I am traveling with her—and when traveling, relationships are always put under stress and challenged in every way. I will delve more into that topic specifically in another post, but for now, my point is that I have been thinking much about what a relationship is really about, and what I would like to do now is to unite some of those conclusions with a broader vision of what our relationships with each other as a human species is all about:
When you love someone, and are interconnected with them deeply, whether a family member, a lover, a friend, or a co-worker (c´mon, you see them everyday and interact with them—that’s an important aspect of our lives!), you have entered into a new world of relations with the entire universe, whether conscious or not. Because the fact is that you have come to realize that you are more than one singular, solitary individual, alone in all the cosmos. You have come to realize, through the act of empathy, compassion, and mutual perception, that you who once were one are now 3. Another way of stating that last bit is to say that what was once 2 distinct individuals is now one. Whatever way you look at it, there is a triune evolution in your existence, in which you evolve upwards into a greater unifying dimension, which allows you to descend back down into a wider, embracing perspective from multiple viewpoints. Think of it this way: two separate, disparate individuals begin to share a life together, and their once distinct and detached worlds begin to mesh, and at some point, you cannot clearly delineate a clear separation between the two anymore, because whereas before there were clearly two, now it becomes manifest that there is really one; or at least, a movement and development towards unity. But at the same time that there is this unity, there are still two clearly distinct individuals, with different personalities and so on. So there co-exists the two separate worlds alongside the higher unifying oneness between them. There is an evolved trinity.
All of that is rather vague, perhaps. But the idea I really want to convey here is that we all exist in our material selves as detached, separate, distinct individuals, with our own personalities, trajectories, perceptions, etc. All of humanity appears, on the surface, as fragmented shards of a fallen deity, split asunder into factions, fear, and locked in the eternal warfare of dominance, greed, and misunderstanding. When leaders rise up that would try to better unify us, they are shot down ruthlessly by barbaric, murderous, bestial elements, such as just recently Benazir Bhutto was so barbarically slain before the eyes of the world. It would seem, at first glance, that there is nothing that can string all of us together.
But the lie in this deception is apparent when you look closely at your own life, at the threads that tie you so intimately and immediately to others. We are not all detached, alone, and astray. We are all evolving together into the greater unknown that lies beyond appearances, beyond multiplicity and fragmentation, beyond logic and reason, beyond complacency and habit. In this world beyond that coexists right here and right now within and above our own, we cannot yet speak—yet we can sing; we cannot yet walk—yet we can fly; we cannot yet understand—yet we can intuit. It exists and we know that it exists because we feel, because we love, because we always and forever will strive to know of this divinity, this greater unity, even in the face of the greatest suffering and despair. It is there. We have love, and we know that this love takes us there. It is in extending this personal love in each of our lives all the way out to include and interpenetrate all of humanity and the world that lies the challenge.
I would like to end this little speech with a quote from my guru of the moment (because whomever I happen to be currently reading is my guru), Sri Aurobindo: “. . . on one side Nature works according to her limited complex of formulas . . . but on the other side there is an overseeing, a higher working and determination—even an intervention—free but not arbitrary, often appearing to us magical and miraculous because it proceeds and acts upon Nature from a divine Supernature: Nature here is a limited expression of that Supernature and open to intervention . . . by its light, its force, its influence. The mechanical, mathematical, automatic law of things is a fact, but within it there is a spiritual law of consciousness at work which gives to the mechanical steps of Nature’s forces an inner turn and value, a significant rightness and a secretly conscious necessity, and above it there is a spiritual freedom that knows and acts in the supreme and universal truth of the Spirit. Our view of the divine government of the world or of the secret of its action is either incurably anthropomorphic or else incurably mechanical; both the anthropomorphism and mechanism have their elements of truth—but they are only a side, an aspect, and the real truth is that the world is governed by the One in all and over all who is infinite in his consciousness, and it is according to the law and logic of an infinite consciousness that we ought to understand the significance and building and movement of the universe.”