Greetings fine folk! I’m sitting at the local coffee shop, enjoying a good change of venue, and watching people come in and out. I’m a human spectator, and that helps for this post. I have spent the last five years re-learning what it means to be human. Relearning the difference between instinct and instruction; i.e. who we are versus who we’re taught to be.
This relearning process has helped me be a better writer, because I create my worlds and characters based on what I’ve learned. More importantly though, I think it has made me a better and more compassionate human.
So here are some things I’ve re-learned and observed about being human, and hopefully it resonates with you as well.
Humans are extremely complex creatures. So far removed from the barriers and boxes that culture places around us. There is very little about the modern day lives we lead that is instinctual. The majority of modern existence is wrapped up in avoiding cultural taboos. Eastern philosophy, especially as articulated in Taoism, embraces the reality of this complexity. The balance of the yin and the yang, the light and the dark, reason and emotion, are the real reality of what it means to be human. Being human is as intricate an existence as the rest of the universe, and yet it is a cultural norm to try and restrict it to definitions and rules.
Though religion and politics would tell us otherwise, humans really are innately beautiful creatures; both inside and out. There is a sense in which beauty is in the eye of the beholder, yes, but that does not mean beauty is not there to be seen in everyone. We love, we laugh, we create, and we procreate. Humans are so beautiful, and bring so much beauty to the world, but we seem to think more about what separates us, and to think of it negatively. It’s that complexity, both what separates us and what unites us, that makes us beautiful. This realization has changed me tremendously; not only in what I write, but in how I act and respond.
Complexity and beauty result in amazing creativity. Humans create so many beautiful and complex things. Think of the Mona Lisa, or the Sistine Chapel, and you see it already. Amazing works of art and architecture. Even the amazing artscapes adorning the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel speak to the power of human creativity. We create art, we write books, we make films, we design technology, and we record amazing musical backdrops for our enjoyment and pleasure. We create our little wee folk with the hope that they will experience the beauty of being human.
There is so much that is good, and yet humans also create chaos. Humans create religions that separate and divide instead of unite. Humans create war, based in part on religion and in part on cultural stigmas and hate, and that only exacerbates problems in the world.
No matter what, whether beauty or chaos, they are both part of what makes us human. It goes back to the yin/yang concept. One cannot exist without the other, but chaos can be channeled positively into beauty, and beauty can erupt into chaos. If the balance of pure chaos and pure beauty could be achieved, the world would experience an amazing awakening.
THE BIG PICTURE
I have come to appreciate the power of acceptance of all that it means to be human. Acceptance of the complexity, the beauty, and the creativity. Without these, we cease to be human, and become something lesser and distorted. As I said before, when I learned to give way to human instinct, and the love and acceptance that is found there, it did wonders for what I do and who I am. Now, every human encounter and relationship is a spiritual experience. No matter who I meet, I can confidently say – Namaste.
Embracing the Magic,