4) Lauryn Hill, Luke Skywalker, and you

“Fantasy is what people want, but reality is what they need.” – says Lauryn Hill

So let’s swallow the red pill and see Reality for what it is. See how our living, dying world is beautiful and horrifying. Inspiring and disgusting. Breathtaking and heartbreaking. Let’s open ourselves to the full blast furnace of reality. Let’s feel devastated. Let’s marvel in awe.

Don’t you ever survey “normal” life and wonder, “Is this it?” Don’t you ever watch the news and ask, “What the hell is wrong with the world?” Doesn’t it seem incomprehensible that our civilization is so rich but so much of the world is poor, we’re so knowledgeable but so distracted by trivialities, we’re so powerful but seem utterly incapable of making ourselves happy for longer than a couple of hours?

You know, don’t you? You know that “business as usual” is not making the world a better place. You feel the uncertainty of our precarious 21st century.

We are all yearning for more — more meaning, more community, more creativity, more fun, more beauty, more nature, more love, more laughter, more dancing like nobody’s watching.

I want this.  I want more. I want to live more fearlessly. I want to bust out of society’s box of normalcy. I want to feast on life. I want to bathe in visions on the edge of possibility.
I want to believe.

Even saying that makes me uncomfortable. I’m not “supposed” to “believe”. I’m supposed to be cynical and detached, checking out booty on the internet and smirking at celebrity antics. So what do I do?  I hold myself back. Why? Because deep down, I am afraid — that I’ll be laughed at….that I’ll fail….that people will think I’m not “cool”…..that my flaws and vulnerabilities will be exposed.

But you know, I do believe! I believe in humanity’s deep goodness. I believe in Spirit or Love or whatever you prefer to call “magic.”

A wise friend of mine, who believes in energy healing, once laughed at me after several hours of my skeptical questions. He said, “Reality is a story. My story fills me with joy and wonder and makes my days an adventure. How’s your story doing for you?”

I also believe that Darkness is falling on our civilization, and we are entering a new Age, an Age in which we will either rise heroically and finally build the society that we deeply yearn for, or we will fall, tragically.

I believe in the stories I have absorbed all my life. I believe that when darkness falls, heroes rise. When the Death Star is built, the Rebel Alliance suits up. When Mordor threatens Middle Earth, the Company begins its adventure. When Charles Wallace’s Dad disappears, he goes on a magical journey to rescue him. When HomeTree is destroyed, the Na’vi unite their tribes and fight. When Lord Arawn releases the Cauldron-Born, Assistant Pig-Keeper Taran rallies the people. When Fern Gully is going to be destroyed, the fairies go to war.

Now the story is our story, the darkness is our darkness.Fern Gully and Home Tree are being attacked, all over the place. And we, through our gov’ts, protect the mining and other corporations who are the cause of immense destruction.

But lots of people are fighting back.

This is our Selma moment — this generation, this next decade or two.  It’s time for all of us, not just the immediately-oppressed, to join the marchers on the bridge and put our bodies on the line.  Google “James Hansen arrested”, if you want to see Rocky stepping into the ring.

I know that you know this. Deep in your heart you know it; you can feel what Joanna Macy called the Great Turning. It’s the “big picture” that hides behind the news stories that flash across our screens. Our world is crying out for help, and what we do in this generation will set the tone for all generations to come.

I believe that every person is a hero-in-waiting. So let’s do this together. Let’s help each other grow our courage, break the shackles of fear and indifference, and create the world we wish for.

Nobody can do this alone. Divided we fall. United, we tear down the wall.

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