We can talk transformation, scale the process to
metamorphosis of butterfly from caterpillar,
infant from embryo, a birth of sorts.
We can use words to explain the pain away
in a record of the fits. Ecstatic convulsion.
It is laughter with the clouds. It was gratitude weeping
on knee in the kitchen by the cast-iron sink
when I learned world peace is possible
because someone declared
anything is possible.
And today’s scream.
Shoes slammed against the floor
not because we are still in this growing war,
only because I am not free of this worn story
about a filthy floor.
We can whittle this down to the birth of a butterfly
or the opening of a rose bud. I want for something so simple
seemingly graceful. But I am more like elephant,
the one with smaller ears and emotion steering.
Horton heard a Who?
Who? is the silent voice
no one else hears.
And everyone listening
hears some version of
in something called
the first thought.
Yes, I am more like elephant than butterfly
I have no wings, the tattoo of ages is my skin.
But I am not elephant, I am human.
More like God, I am told, because I name
and can claim elephant,
butterfly, and all the others.
And oh I am not God. Please.
For all I know of God is laughter
with the clouds, gratitude in a weep
on the floor and this wail that cracks the ceiling.
The root of a tree surfacing.
I am human. If there is freedom in this body
it is the human kind with strings attached.
Much like elephant
but not quite as close to God's image
note: Not God was written summer 2014 and revised summer 2016. I, like any student of evolutionary biology, am informed by Charles Darwin's insight, which includes that there is no hierarchy or ultimate aim in species evolution. So, I do not think elephant more advanced than human beings any more than I think humans more advanced than any other species, or some humans more advanced than other humans. What I see are differences. With mammals, mostly I consider how the child is raised, whether or not the child develops within the context of healthy bonds. And when I consider the evolution of human consciousness, I think in terms of revolution. Consciousness is non-linear, non-hierarchical, and universal. The mind experiences varying expressions of consciousness and the mind can be trained, even mastered to a degree. Ideally, the varying experiences are fluid and the resting state is tranquil.
There has been an overall devolution of the human mind and thus the human expression of consciousness through generations of inborn and imposed insecurities that lend to obsession with material form and the accumulation of material wealth. Underlying this is not merely the attraction to beautiful objects, an attraction which in itself is not harmful, but a fear of non-existence reinforced by a culture that applauds material gain at the expense of morality.
The impression that we're seeing an evolution or advancement in human consciousness is thus understandable. Yet for the sake of protecting the origins of consciousness in human beings and other species, it's imperative to understand that what we're seeing is a return to the tribal mind, which allows no member to go hungry and homeless while recognizing itself part of a larger community in which everyone is fed. This enlightened mind has been necessary for human survival from the start and roots in the South African Ubuntu wisdom. For it's humility and ultimate appreciation of mystery, the tribal mind, this cultivated inner space, is humanity's greatest achievement. Much less is the manufacture of machines that travel to outer space and those that destroy Earth's biodiverse embodied consciousness.