Sniffing Out the Truth
The dogs and cats of Sri Lanka were nowhere near the coast when the tsunami hit in 2004. They had split, seeking higher ground.
We humans can smell what’s going to happen, too. Though we act as if we’ve forgotten it, we too are animals. We too are born with an awareness of the natural world, and on some level of consciousness we all know we’re part of the rest of creation. But it is a peculiarity of the proud modern psyche that we identify disproportionately with our minds, and dis-identify with the rest of our beings. This resulting imbalance throws us off painfully.
We do tend to recognize the authority of our body and spirit when we’re in desperate straits, however. In the many parts of the world right now, where essential social systems are collapsing, basic survival has necessitated a marshaling of all aspects of the human organism, including our primal animal intelligence. People struggling with floods in Pakistan, blockades in Palestine and starvation in Nigeria are calling upon all the resources at their disposal to stay alive. How ironic it is that in the relatively privileged First World, untouched as yet by mass life-and-death catastrophe, our estrangement from our essential natures is the most noticeable.
Humanity is on the cusp of a period of wrenching change. If, at this moment in our lives, we are blessed with circumstances that permit the luxury of introspective work, now would be an ideal time to consider that we are made up of more than just our figuring-out apparatus. Many of us have been conditioned to neglect our corporeal intelligence and allow our inborn spiritual knowing languish. Society has rewarded us primarily for grooming our minds.
But it is through the non-mental parts of our identities that we’re cognizant of the enormous changes the world is going through right now. Our best bet is to listen to these guides: our inner animal, viscerally hip to what’s what, and our soul knowing, with its hotline to the All-That-Is.
These parts of ourselves not only know what’s coming. They already know what it means.
Our minds, by contrast, could cause us trouble, and need to be used with care. The potential to get confused on an intellectual level will climb sharply in the years ahead. If we try to maintain our sanity by mental and ideological assessments alone, we’re goners.
In the USA the societal conversation will get even nuttier than it is now, conducting fear-driven ideas like a wire conducts electricity. The sophisticated techniques of the mass media, polished to a high sheen, are poised to submit all the world-altering changes upcoming to the manipulations that are its stock in trade. These include giving distracting nonsense prime time, keeping key questions from getting any air time at all, and reducing every issue to a cartoonish contest between polarized positions. We will need to make a concerted effort to avoid getting caught up in this noise. The more we get into our bodies and follow our intuition, the better off we’ll be.
This is not to say we should deny the intellectual function that is the jewel in the crown of humanness. To believe in unconditional cosmic appropriateness is to believe that each of us, for our own mysterious reasons, chose to incarnate not as a raccoon or a dragonfly, this time round, but as a miraculously complex creature with brains—to use, ideally, in the service of our spiritual aspirations.
But because of the cultural conditioning we’ve soaked up along the way, we have become attached to certain ideas that pull us away from truth—both our own inner truth and our awareness of universal truth. We have identified ourselves with false presumptions about what constitutes realism and sanity.
In order to stay sharp and responsive in the troubled times ahead, we need to notice these assumptions as they reveal themselves in our daily lives. What lies do we ingest with our morning coffee?
We may be listening to a talk-show on the radio while driving to work, and hear a military expert come on the air. As he fields questions from his respectful host, we may this blandly authoritative gentleman opine that a certain number of civilian casualties are inevitable in war. His opinion is intoned with a neutral sobriety, shored up by the high rank of his office.
I submit that the better parts of our being—the animal part and the heart-engaged part—are repelled to hear a statement like that. These parts of us, if allowed voice, might react by saying, “It is obscene to think of the murder of human beings that way. What if the people in that drone-strafed wedding party were my own family? What if they were this military guy’s own family?”
I believe it would be a healthy exercise for us to honor, in that moment, the part of ourselves that instinctively rejects what the esteemed general is saying. I believe that it would be life-affirming to condemn his opinion as a sacrilege. Whether we make this declaration privately or publicly, it would strike a blow for our sanity. What’s more, to the extent that everything is energy and the power of healing energy knows no bounds, I believe that to make this declaration would strike a blow for the sanity of the world.
Few deny that the US economy is bottomed-out, its infrastructure in shreds. Fewer than ever deny that the already-nine-years-old war in Afghanistan has met none of its goals, whatever anyone imagined these to be; only death and ruination. And yet, every day, some politician or other can be heard talking as if it were a valid option to continue the occupation indefinitely.
If we were fully in touch with our body-spirit-intelligence we would no sooner go along with such consensual insanity than a cat would eat rancid meat.
When we are in an integrated state, our mind joins together with our body and spirit intelligence, and resonates with authentic perceptions. To these perceptions our mind contributes insight, our body contributes moment-to-moment experience in the physical world, and our spirit contributes the knowing derived from living through our charts. Unlike those drilled in by advertising or government propaganda, these are perceptions we have earned. These are the ones we should honor.