I’m in Upstate New York this week, and the ground is wet, the sky silky and grey. Last night it rained, and we headed into a restaurant dodging the spouts of rainwater coming off the old buildings. Today, the morning is still and cold. I love how heavy the sky is here, like a blanket, muffling sound. Little brown birds are going crazy in the bare branches of the yard, and their movement flies incongruent with the stillness everywhere else. A fat red cardinal perches in a tall tree, reminding my rods and cones of their purpose. At 12:30, there will be a window of no rain, and I’ll walk into the little town, sneak glances into windows, maybe sit and have a cup of coffee and then head back to this cozy little house for a peaceful day of tea and kitties and my dear friend.
This Saturday at 2AM, we’ll board a bus to Washington, heading to the march there. Months ago, when it was announced, I knew I would attend. I grew up seeing images of the great civil rights marches of the 1960s, and saw how their power changed the world. When I see the footage of Martin Luther King speaking, I have always imagined that if I had been living at that time, I would have been there. How would I feel now if I had had the chance to participate in that moment of hope and hadn’t been there? When the Women’s March was announced, I imagined seeing it unfold on television, in San Francisco, and could feel how I would regret not being there. So I made plans to come out.
It should be pretty apparent by now, if you have been reading or listening to these blogs of mine, that I believe we are all One. Connected by one consciousness, a unifying energy of love. I have spent my life on a kind of spiritual path, following a deep intuition that my goal is to open to love more, to widen compassion to an infinite degree, and thereby do my part to change the world, one interaction at a time. I have not been successful in this, the unenlightened being that I am, but I recognize this as my challenge and my path. As I move forward however, my belief grows stronger that each human shares this potential for enlightenment. At the base of the true self, each human is already enlightened.
The Buddha knew that he could not achieve real enlightenment until each being, past, present and future, was also enlightened. Which means that he saw into the future, to the time when each person was there, living in eternal compassion and light. Somewhere in time, we are there. Even people whom we don’t like. Somewhere, they made it. We made it.
When you believe that we are all One, connected by a field of pure awareness, the Us Versus Them mentality becomes just another smokescreen. On a daily basis, I drop into my heart, and open to a connecting energy. I communicate in particles and vibrations when I play music. I believe in wide morphic energy fields that connect the energy of our thoughts. I like to play with the idea that maybe each human is yet another incarnation of my own karma. I love the ideas of the Buddhafield, in which we are each enlightened beings at different stages of enlightenment, and there is an image of a tiny Buddha in every molecule and atom you see. I am able to take a side in an issue, while at the same time aware that issues are also wisps of smoke in the big picture of reality. I am probably fatally unable to hate. I can’t help the compassion I feel even for those who do evil acts, even while I am heartbroken and horrified by the acts. My motive in life is unity, and in finding common ground.
When I think of marching in the rally, I don’t think of marching against anything. There are issues that I care passionately about. From my teenage years into my 30’s, Planned Parenthood provided healthcare to me as I fluttered through poverty in my development as a musician and writer. Because the Affordable Care Act was passed, I was able to finally become a musician and writer full time, and had the space and breath to develop a practice of healing energy work. These are issues specific to this Clementine person, walking around the planet, and part of me will be marching as a show of wanting to keep these things intact.
But the bigger issue, and the main reason that I want to march, is that I believe in the power of humanity to change the world for good. I believe that right now, there is enough energy, there are enough resources, there is enough food and peace and love in the world for each human to live a happy, fulfilled life. There is enough for everyone, and when we unloose the barriers that keep each person from living in this peace, then we allow every one to connect with that deep intuition that enables them to move forward to enlightenment.
I believe that we’re living in a transitional time right now, in which the ideas that hold us back from the ideal of a peaceful world are making themselves known in very vocal ways. A time in which the old concepts about the way the world works are rising to the surface. It’s painful, but it just means we can now see clearly how to sweep these old ideas away. We are not as divided as we are told. We are not as fearful or hateful we are painted. Whatever you believe about all the specific issues, when we come together, we all want the same things. Peaceful days, comfort and support, abundance enough to pursue the big-picture items. If we are cared for, we can learn to fall into the heart and see that we are all connected in this same infinite place, where we feel the connection to the greater purpose. No matter the differences we manifest, it is the same for everyone. I will always believe this.
I want to be on the right side of history. I want to see that I stood up and said, I believe in the power of love. Not romantic love, not love as the response to hate, but love as the energy that animates existence and connects each atom. I believe we can be in peace right now. The people who hold us back from these things, they know it all too, in their deep consciousness, in the deep true self underneath the crushing pain and distraction of the ego. Let’s work to eliminate the fear and hatred and shame in ourselves, and in compassion communicate this compassion and freedom to each person we meet. In one song, in one mile-long vibration of humanity, let us sing of love and that light we are destined for. Let it be now.
Don’t just resist cynicism — fight it actively. Fight it in yourself, for this ungainly beast lays dormant in each of us, and counter it in those you love and engage with, by modeling its opposite. Cynicism often masquerades as nobler faculties and dispositions, but is categorically inferior. Unlike that great Rilkean life-expanding doubt, it is a contracting force. Unlike critical thinking, that pillar of reason and necessary counterpart to hope, it is inherently uncreative, unconstructive, and spiritually corrosive. Life, like the universe itself, tolerates no stasis — in the absence of growth, decay usurps the order. Like all forms of destruction, cynicism is infinitely easier and lazier than construction. There is nothing more difficult yet more gratifying in our society than living with sincerity and acting from a place of largehearted, constructive, rational faith in the human spirit, continually bending toward growth and betterment. This remains the most potent antidote to cynicism. Today, especially, it is an act of courage and resistance.
You can hear me read this here: https://soundcloud.com/clemthegreat/to-washington-with-love