Enlightenment and Evolution in Crises

Nature Here & There

Now that we’re landed for a while, we’ve unpacked our boxes to find our plates from every state we’ve lived.

Where does this lead? I think it’s time for two things:

1) going deep into what’s here, and…

2) broadening our minds for where we’re going.

This reminds me of my first backcountry experience in Western Michigan: Ludington State Park. My buddy and I put on backpacks to discover what natural Michigan looks like, and to reflect again on who we are.

I’m using backpacking as both a metaphor and a practical skill. It’s fitness and ability to walk into the unknown with reasonable confidence you can survive.

In “…Post-Nature…” (here), Peter Friederici just wrote about the imminent future of our environment. “This mess is our new terrain,” he says. “This is our new task.” To respond, he evokes the adventure spirit. “It [is] only by embracing a dangerous unknown that a fledgling country [can] grow into what it surely ought to be.”

Our adventure is not just spatial, it’s temporal. We’re not only exploring our world, we’re discovering our future. There is no post nature or post truth. There are only our nature and the truths we have not yet uncovered, an environment we have not yet discovered.

So we now find ourselves in this precarious place. Our mission isn’t just preserving our world and ourselves. Our mission is to move forward. Sure we’ve passed the point of no return, and we’re now heading someplace we’ve never been. But we can’t do that with panic and hope to survive. We survive only by daring forward into the sometimes frightening, sometimes breathtaking unknown.

I agree with Sarah Kendzior‘s dark advice in “…how to be your own light…” (here). “‘…write about who you are, what you have experienced”. And keep writing. Our story’s not yet finished.

I moved West, years ago, in a journey to find myself. I found out self-discovery means finding and losing yourself over and over again. I had no idea that in 2016, my journey would bring me here. To know thyself suggests not just exploring the person you are but also the person you are becoming. Every experience is the potential not only to lose yourself but also to find yourself again.

And both enlightenment and evolution happen through crises.

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