by Roman Hanis | Repost from paititi-institute.org
“Consciously or subconsciously, we all strive for chaos in life. No one is content living happily ever after. There is boredom in that.”
― Rajesh, Random Cosmos
Have you seen the news recently? The planet is burning, corruption rules the world and fear mentality keeps spiraling the vicious cycle… Should someone do something or is it all just sensationalist naive fairy tales? Are there any other options?
As grim and urgent as current world affairs are, it lifts my spirits to know I’m not the only one who stands for the possibility of a beautiful, natural world for all the children and generations beyond. However, to make this possibility a reality, recognizing the mind-traps of social conditioning may be key.
Curiously enough, the societal establishment knows the quandary of being alive very well. Hence a vast majority of media headlines focus on sensationalist content specifically meant to take advantage of people’s inner turmoil. Heaven forbid you suddenly realize that a mere drop in the ocean has all along been an ocean in a drop masterfully tricked into oblivion.
In my experience, it’s in times like these that there’s nothing more powerful than for people to awaken from the nightmare of fearful isolation. A unity of diversity emerges from self-acceptance, and not from fitting-in or hiding behind collective stereotypes.
Life Not Bound by Extremes
“I finally figured out that not every crisis can be managed. As much as we want to keep ourselves safe, we can’t protect ourselves from everything. If we want to embrace life, we also have to embrace chaos.” ― Susan Elizabeth Phillips
So is the world really turning into a burning living hell or is it just normal statistics and business as usual?! Am I now classified as a demon for eating meat or an archangel for being vegan?!
I can fervently maintain denial or I can self-righteously pray for the world’s salvation and sing about rainbows and unicorns, finding equal approval in each divided social group.
It’s so convenient to find excuses in the collective opinion polls in order to keep avoiding my personal manure of unresolved inner conflicts. All this ignored inner darkness is the much-needed compost for the heart-seed to awaken and sprout from!
In many ancestral lineages including the Amazonian, Andean and Tibetan wisdom traditions, the obstacle is the solution, awakening the heart’s essence beyond the extremes.
Yes, the traditional Amazonian diet is meat-based while the culture honors the reciprocity of life by avoiding overconsumption, eating local and encouraging biodiversity. Yes, traditionally many Amazonian tribes performed controlled burns to prevent the rainforest from suffocating itself when trees grow in close proximity, but it wasn’t done for the logging, beef, or soy industries. Anything can become either medicine or poison depending on underlying intention.
Caring for the environment was a very practical matter for indigenous wisdom carriers, based on recognition of the greater organism we are all a part of. Prioritizing heart-centered presence above all else is what allowed ancestors to care for future generations while honoring the previous ones.
How consciously can each of us honor the Unity in Diversity a.k.a. The Great Spirit which in turn provides all the necessities of life? The answer to that comes as a question: Are you willing to get to know and come to terms with the overbearing brilliance and abysmal black holes of your own inner universe?
The Love-Hate Affair with the Self
“In chaos, there is fertility.” ― Anais Nin
It took a fair degree of perseverance in my life to grant spacious presence to the vicious cycles of avoidance, giving their womb-like nature the recognition they deserve. For gestation of infinite human potential equally takes place in the limiting dark womb of unconscious social conditioning.
How about acknowledging all the wars, diseases and ecological disasters as the evolutionary womb so essential for the birthing of your highest purpose?
Taking the time to understand the dualistic extremes of hope and fear for what they are, revealed to me the catch-22 of illusory promises and endless disappointments. Yet going through that wash cycle enough times provided the creative friction necessary for clear sight to be born.
Clearly seeing into the awakened potential of fearless heart presence, unintimidated in the face of any adversity, is an essential first step beyond hopes and fears. With a steady pace and support of friends, even the seemingly impossible task of eradicating suffering in the world becomes conceivable. My real motivation awakens only from honoring the calling of the heart rather than guilty mind-trips.
A Practical Blueprint to Check in With…
“When someone is giving you an advice, always check how they came about that information. If that person shares from direct experience paid for by blood, sweat and tears as opposed to mere hearsay there is meaning in such advice.” -El Tayta Cabezon
Here are some of the evolutionary steps I found meaningful on my own journey:
For me it all started with a wake-up call which in my case was a physical illness, pointing to a disconnect from the nature of the heart. My health only deteriorated further as I tried to avoid that call until I got sick and tired of being sick and tired.
1: The Spark
Connect with your innermost pure motivation. Of all that’s happening in your world, what’s calling you back to reconcile with yourself?
The wake-up call doesn’t have to be a physical illness but any pressing issue, unresolved conflict, or simply a life lacking greater meaning. Responding to the wake-up call, I had to first find the tiny ocean drop of motivation to heal my illness and harmonize with my inner universe.
Applying this motivation in everyday life choices, I began awakening to the surrounding ocean of incentive, tapping into a purpose greater than myself. Doing the inner work as service to the greater whole and acknowledging myself as part of it, is what made a real difference for me. With that kind of unconditional empowerment, I could transform the stale identity limiting the nature of my becoming. I don’t think that some people are born more determined, capable or brave than others. In my experience these qualities arise from direct realization of the power found within our shared heart.
2. The Vision
Develop the outer circumstances of your life in accordance with the inner calling. How can everything in your life encourage that inner relationship?
My own response to the call of the heart was to honor the nature within and without. Transforming my inner health and well-being propelled me on a journey towards unity and collaboration. From this Paititi Institute was born – a non-profit organization for the preservation of the ecology and indigenous culture in the Amazon rainforest. The path of evolution unfolded when my individual purpose encompassed the well-being of the greater whole. Hence the founding vision of our organization is to be a conduit for innermost timeless values of humanity, reemerging in this material realm and being fully honored by it.
Once the vision of awakening sprouts as a unifying direction for your life, deepen your commitment by rooting it in what matters for the greater whole.
After many years my visionary initiative reached a threshold in 2014 as our organization acquired 4,000 acres of pristine Andean wilderness bordering the cloud rainforest. Designated as a sanctuary reserve, our grassroots non-profit continues to steward this essential watershed for the Amazonian region. Yet all this is only made possible through the steadfast dedication to unconditional openness amidst all circumstances that millennial wisdom traditions guide towards. Without this inner puzzle piece, preservation of the environment would have no real meaning to me.
While it will appear distinctly to each individual, the essence is the same – an innate passion to be shared with the outer world as a way to blossom into a life of deepest meaning and highest purpose. This essence can then crystalize into a continuous reminder to be rather than to avoid, distract or react.
What practical endeavor in your life could serve as this continuous reminder?
4. Firm, Steady Steps
Being overly naive and idealistic early-on in my journey, I found that a balance of theory and practice was essential since many of my fantasies were unrealistic when put into action. Integrity to follow through initiatives insinuates an integral approach.
In our community we see it as Work, Play and Pray all coming into one continuous stream of Evolution. There’s perpetual fulfillment and replenishment when I love what I’m doing while simultaneously evolving and being useful to the greater whole. It doesn’t have to be anything extraordinary – I’ve met amazing people of all possible vocations, from hairdressers to chefs to janitors, embodying their work with dignity and inspiration.
The whole world is transformed when seemingly disconnected outer events are imbued with inner meaning. The greatest gift of ultimate benefit to the world is to wholeheartedly be yourself.
Making a difference
“We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.” – Mahatma Gandhi
There are and have been very inspiring role models across the globe such as Rosa Parks, Dalai Lama, Martin Luther King Jr. and others who changed the course of history by not getting lost in mass hysteria. They led by example, encouraging people to think for themselves.
What would happen if multitudes of people embodied this way of being in practical, everyday situations? I estimate nothing short of a new dawn for our civilization, brought forth not through external doom or salvation but individual awakening.
In no way should this be interpreted as an excuse to ignore the multitude of issues in the world today, thinking it will all resolve itself as long as I’m in my privileged ‘love&light’ bubble. In my experience, it’s in the midst of real-life trials and tribulations that genuine inner truth shows itself. Those who made a positive lasting difference on the grand scale of things did so with the kind of objectivity that only tried and true inner peace can provide.
While no one can take on all the world’s issues, each of us facing gradually increasing challenges, allows for critical mass consciousness on the planet to be the change. It’s through getting to know myself enough to start seeing myself in others and vice versa that a natural wish to benefit all beings is born.
May we keep mirroring the ocean-like nature of limitless possibilities in each-other, for the destiny of our world may depend on it!