Tuesday, 10 March 2009

outgrowing the growth

I’ve discovered that it’s possible to simply outgrow problems. And that I am at last growing up. These last couple of years I’ve felt like a child, powerless in the face of humanity’s cancerous Kamakazi suicide mission. Yet also knowing also that this is the perfect world, a kind of warts and all Garden of Eden. Cancer happened because I forgot to laugh at the joke, and grief settled in like a cool corrosive mist. But now it’s different. I can read the news without pangs of fear of what’s ahead. I can listen to people talk about their flying holidays without feeling like going AAARGH! I’m not in denial, but neither am I suffering.

I also know, first hand, that you can’t tell an addict to change; all you can do is wait with compassion till they hit rock bottom. There’s no point in trying to help humanity to change in advance; we are going to outgrow the problem, even if we die out in the process. This is going to be a rear-view mirror job, just like the economy. All we can do is love what we love, and permaculture is one of the best ways I know of doing this.
While planning to plant a small forest garden on St Johns Terrace this weekend I watched this wonderful BBC documentary about the future of food and farming, and came across this quote by Carl Yung:‘I always worked with the temperamental conviction that in the last analysis there are no insoluble problems, and experience has so far justified me in that I have often seen individuals who simply outgrew a problem which had destroyed others. This ‘outgrowing’ revealed itself on further experience to be the raising of the level of consciousness. Some higher or wider interest arose on the person’s horizon, and through this widening of his view, the insoluble problem lost its urgency. It was not repressed and made unconscious, but merely appeared in a different light and so became different itself. What, on a lower level, had led to the wildest conflicts and to emotions full of panic, viewed from the higher level of the personality, now seemed like a storm in the valley seen from a high mountain top. This does not mean that the thunderstorm is robbed of its reality; it means that, instead of being in it, one is now above it.'

1 comment:

Fr. Peter Doodes said...

You are so right. Environmental concern is like watching a loved one all but destroy themselves in an unsuitable relationship, secure in the knowledge that all that can be done is to show them by example.

You hope that they will change, but if they don't then you make sure you are there to pick up the pieces.

That film was utterly amazing.