Yesterday, we began listening to something much more powerful than a babbling book; we heard a singing river in Maya Angelou’s poem, “On the Pulse of Morning.” The river finishes her song in today’s post.
The river’s estimate of nations recognizes that they are “delicate and strangely made proud…” Why “strangely made proud?” Because they are artificial, they are weak, “delicate.” They rise and fall, sometimes overnight — no cause for pride.
Oh, yes, this is River’s intended message — no doubting: the nations are “thrusting perpetually under siege.” The unbridled expressions of hyper-nationalism seen both now in alarming expansion and throughout history in many countries might make egotists think they are powerful, but they’re not. Truly strong nations would not have to fight endlessly. Of course, examples of such nations are hard to come by.
Why? The ability to wage and win wars — the only possible result of Ego-fueled nationalism — is certainly not based on Heart-energy. Rather, this penchant for flexing muscles derives from this: “Your armed struggles for profit / Have left collars of waste upon / My shore, currents of debris upon my breast.” The River frames her song not only with the beauty of passion but also with the accrued evidence, the facts of the detritus polluting its essence.
Nature ravaged by the Ego-choices of humanity, the unabashed dash for wealth, power, and control, results in death and destruction. The River has witnessed war from the inception of nations from its unique vantage point of being a border.
How can we learn the lessons from such keen observation, such deep wisdom? “If you will study war no more.” But what about them? What about the threats? What about those who won’t give us what we want? What about…? Keep asking the questions. The answer is the same: “Come, clad in peace and I will sing the songs…” They are songs of peace, harmony, and natural order, the natural laws in place from the beginning “when I / And the tree and the stone were one.”
These are the tenets, the precepts, to which the founders of America were attuned, even though the reality of much of the Natural Law escaped them in practice, witnessed by the inhumane treatment of Indigenous Peoples and the fostering of slavery of Africans and others.
However, Heart-energy observes these natural laws of human dignity, respect and care for the environment, and freedom. Those in the fellowship of the Heart know that individuals must have the opportunity to discover Self and create purpose, which cannot be forced with lesser Ego energies. They can, though, be protected by laws that harmonize with natural law.
When were these laws enacted? “Before cynicism was a bloody sear across your brow / And when you yet knew you still knew nothing.” No Ego arguments, no rationalizations, no alarmist fears, no hubris and pounding of chests.
River, in its ever-flowing course, has a song to sing to us of peace, harmony, and natural law, a song of Heart-energy, Spirit. Cynicism reeks of superiority, breeds bigotry, and creates unhappiness. What response would tend to a harmonious flow, a peaceful society? Admitting we don’t know everything and all ideas are worthy of consideration.
There is no virtue in knowing everything, because no one does. All the unyielding political stances and always being right begin the pollution of the River. Omniscience is Ego’s feeble attempt to control our world.
While some elements of humanity continue boastful foolishness, they do not and cannot stop the melody, for “The river sings and sings on.” Nature’s voice will not be silenced as long as we exist, for its testimony exposes Ego and evokes Heart-energy to challenge us to experience life we desired to know.
The evidence of Heart within each of us is found here with the River: “There is a true yearning to respond to / The singing river and the wise rock.” The fact that many of us long for a swift end to foolish Ego hostilities and learn from Nature shows Heart-energy operates in us and longs for productive peace. Hope.
Questions to consider:
How many times have you asked yourself or simply thought about the following questions?
Who am I, really?
What is my truth?
How do my actions reveal what I really feel and believe?
What would I do with my life if I could do anything?
What is my passion?
Why am I here?
How can I discover answers to any of these questions?
If you have considered any of these questions, I hope that my experiences and writing will give you some guidance. Please read my blog and comment and share your thoughts. I would love to hear from you!