Sitting in Central Park one morning, I thought about an On Being interview I heard about the importance of hope when looking toward what needs to change in our collective world of human presence and activity. As I listened, I thought about the war in Ukraine and about the powerful polarization that exists in my country, the U.S., and also in other countries around the world.
From a spiritual perspective, I interpret this polarization to involve those who, perhaps because of fear, orient to a stance of individual rights, discomfort with “difference”, and what I would call an orientation to separation. And, on the other hand, there are those who orient to collective well-being, interdependence, and an underlying sense of oneness within our human family and with nature. I’m sure there are many people in the middle, but in our seats of power it seems that the polarization expresses itself in fairly distinct ways.
I’ve written before about a dynamic in Nature, emergence, that has given me hope over the years, even in times like these where our human family seems to orient to short-term goals and tribal kinds of interests. What emergence refers to is the tendency of Nature to generate unexpected and unanticipated solutions, creating new options to meet and shift existing conditions. The example I usually offer is how Nature somehow brought together molecules of air that, when combined, created liquid—when oxygen and hydrogen came together to create water. I don’t think anyone could have imagined that air could create liquid and yet our lives depend on this moment of emergence from so long ago.
I think of emergence, in a sense, as Nature’s creative intelligence grappling with and solving challenging problems and issues that arise in the course of life’s unfolding itself. When I look around the world at this time, I find myself thinking a lot about emergence and wondering how to “call on it” to help us resolve all the various ways in which our human family is harming ourselves and the planet.
Read More “871st Week: Honoring and Invoking Emergence”