So, what solutions do you suggest, Sitara?, asked someone after reading my column “The world has always been burning”. This often happens when I try to describe or critique the world and what’s going on – or what’s not going on – from a vantage point of “no-problem”. It’s a good question. It’s not often asked so gently or with genuine curiosity as in this instance.
First of all, it’s a good question for showing up our obsession with finding solutions for problems. Or perhaps even indicating that unless you offer alternative options, you’re not supposed to point your finger at the status quo. It’s a way of avoiding finding out what created our problems in the first place – existentially that is, not practically speaking.
We’re not talking ordinary daily challenges here (I’m cold, I need to find some wood, chop it and light a fire-type of problems). These are not inherently problematic issues. They’re survival and thrival*-challenges that simply come with the territory of walking the earth in a body, of being held by the ankles by gravity (thank goodness). *) [I just made that word up]
No, instead we’re talking problems created by members of the human race from a sense of lack, or perceived unhappiness. That’s the standpoint all inequality, power and control, institutionalised aggression and injustice stem from.
This is the root each and every one of us needs to “go to” individually and collectively before we can “make our way back” to our unproblematic state and live-work-love-interact-create-care-preserve from that standpoint.
In a way you could say that there’s no solution. At least not how we would like to see it: a kind of re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic-type of solution. If anything, the “solution” is more to do with feeling-intelligence rather than thinking-intelligence. With sitting still and stopping instead of doing and carrying on. Why not try and realign with nature, both externally and internally.
After all, there’s no problem in nature. Nature’s brought us here and it will take us away from here (if violence by human hand doesn’t interfere with us). In nature, there’s life and death, creation and destruction, beauty and cruelty in equal measure. But there’s no inherent problem. So, in a way, you could say the solution is to relax.
Or, I could say, the solution is for humankind to align with (the forces of) nature (the nature that we are made of, come from, and return back into) and stop dominating and destroying it (externally AND internally)… but who wants to do that?! Super unpopular! Most of us prefer to carry on more or less “as is”, to return to some kind of “normal” as we perceive it.
It’s been said that if Mahatma Gandhi would have visited Ramana Maharshi, the latter would have simply sat with the activist/politician and offered him a cup of tea. As it so happened, Gandhi never made it to meet the great sage. His advisors were dead against it. They feared that if Gandhi met the Maharshi he’d turn to spiritual practice and forget about his political mission to free India from the British.
© Sitara Morgenster