Einstein wondered “what if I rode a beam of light?” His “what if” changed how we perceive our world. Our class ranging in ages from 15 to 67 inhabited a world of metaphors and “what if’s” for three days and experienced how they could reimagine their world by understanding themselves a bit better.
Tim and I didn’t know if delving into life’s deeper questions – like what is a soul, can you talk to your “higher self,” how does one’s deeper consciousness communicate to us, how does understanding ourselves, our motives and behavior create a better world – would work. It was billed as an experiment.
We worked our way through and into personal metaphors with nature’s help. Chief Seattle said that man did not weave the web of life, he (I prefer we) is merely a strand in it. Sixteen people, including Tim and me, were weaving and creating, experimenting and contemplating what it means to be human in a time of chaos and uncertainty. How do we each become personally responsible for the solution rather than continuing the problem.
Two of the adults announced without warning before our final class that they were leaving. A doctor’s appointment was the excuse. Tim was furious as it was his friend (and his current girl friend) who had convinced Tim he had changed prior to attending. Many of my generation have created this mess so these 60-something adults leaving was, at least for me, the perfect metaphor for how we need to vigilantly fill the holes of inconsiderate behavior without losing the strength and unity created by those who meaningfully do the work. His friend could not travel beyond his narcissism but the class of teens and twenty-year olds and three thirty plus gems turned the disruption into strands of personal and communal gold to be woven into nature’s web of life – and the group was stronger for it.
One’s life doesn’t work very well if it’s me-oriented and the group created a ceremony to close out our class and for the entire camp that transcended the me-first, it’s all about me, what about me mentality. I had asked that there be no one leader and that all suggestions be heard and considered. Like Einstein they wondered “what if WE” reimagine the world, ceremoniously, what would that look like.
It looked like magic and felt like hope!!!!