WHAT OUR FOREFATHERS COULDN'T
we, individually and collectively are changing . . . evolving
2005 marked the end of an era in the English countryside. After
decades of debate the law now prohibits traditional fox-hunting.
It is but one of many trends that indicated how we humans really
are 'growing up':
the psychologist Maslow first published his 'Hierarchy of Needs',
there has been some acceptance that as individuals, as groups
and as a species, so our focus in life depends on our needs
at that time: we cannot allow ourselves to examine our emotional
requirements, let alone more esoteric desires, until our needs
for food, shelter and safety have been met.
trouble is, bits of our brain are still locked into this way
of thinking. Even though most of us in 'the west' have food
and shelter, the remnants of our animal minds still behave with
'fight or flight' mentality. Or rather, they do if we allow
them to! What more and more individuals are realising is that
we do not have to be slaves to this part of our conditioning.
We can actually choose to co-operate rather than confront.
We can decide to live with our fellow man (of different
religious background for example) rather than fight him . .
. and, getting back to the fox hunters, we can choose to respect
the animal world and treat them as 'co-inhabitants of our shared
countryside' rather than hunt them. It's not a matter of what's
intellectually 'right' or 'wrong' and it's not an emotional
reaction to the chase and it's results . . . it's about looking
deeper into our minds and our underlying reasons for
doing, or not doing something. How does it rest with our soul?
Personal Growth & Spiritual Perspective
With thanks to Dan Millman's The Sacred Journey of the Peaceful
of those on a journey of personal or spiritual growth are familiar
with the ideas of chakras, how we have different levels of our
being in which we can get 'stuck'. In a very similar way to
Maslow's hierarchy we need to be able to face and rise above
our survival fears (level 1), we need to acknowledge and embrace
our sexuality (level 2). . . and we need to be able to feel
and work through our anger (for example - level 3) before we
can truly be our own true self. Once we are at peace with our
minds and bodies, then we can reconnect to the rest of humanity:
we can explore the divinity within all things and immerse ourselves
in it (levels 4 to 7).
In my work I have met many individuals who see that
it is time for them to face reality. Such men and women are
part of a growing proportion of humanity or are accepting that
the world we live in is of our choosing . . . and that we, each
and every one of us, is responsible for it. We now KNOW that
we, as individuals, contribute not just to global warming through
our energy excesses, but also to the prevailing atmosphere of
mistrust and selfishness. The good news is that with some support
and encouragement we can trace the roots for these traits within
ourselves . . . back to our own early life. We can forgive our
parents for how they might have treated us, we can acknowledge
that we have been spoilt . . . and work to accept and love others
as much as ourselves. Such trends are real. The lack of their
traditional sport will give many who have hunted in the past
an opportunity to reassess their lives . . . to leave behind
the 'hunter-gatherer' that's in their blood and genes and instead
listen to their soul . .. that inner divine voice.
the above is fine in theory. It's comparatively easy to see
things from the outside. But what about each of us individually?
I was prompted to write this piece having recognised just how
much I've changed. My ways of seeing and interacting with the
world, comparing to those of my parents and their ancestors
is SO different:
too many generations ago we (humans in what's sometimes called
the 'developed world') had a hard life. Just to eke out enough
food or earn enough to live on was all many families could manage.
This was probably true even of my parents early lives, brought
up in English rural communities. Life was, of necessity (as
it still is in many others parts of the world today) about the
day to day tilling of the land and routine tasks that HAD to
be done to survive. In such an environment there was little
time for intellectual debate and, particularly after Victorian
conventions became the norm, little inclination for a 'heart
to heart' or emotional sharing.
just one life-time, I've changed all that. Through the provision
of education and the stability of this family background, I've
been able to face this past, see it for what it is . . . and
move on. This life of mine has given me the opportunity to 'take
stock', to opt out of the expectations of my family's conditioning
and see what I might call a 'higher truth'. Through involvement
in various arts (stage work, writing, etc.) I've broken free
of my unemotional upbringing. Through my ability to feel and
express my emotions I've left behind my practical and intellectual
pasts to see how mind and body are vehicles for the soul. Whereas
the world of my parents and grandparents revolved around their
own small village and family groups I'm able to see the world,
the earth, and all that are part of it as 'The One-ness', an
interconnected energy . . . which flows best when we accept.
previous generations of Beasleys and Kerbys worked hard, succeeded
in many important ways and loved each other as best they were
able . . . in the context of the world of their time: separate,
isolated, restricted to the mundane and local. Those days are
gone and we have to have a way of thinking that reflects the
global nature of human society . . . but that DOESN'T have to
mean being swept along by the corporations and their material
idols. These are not real. We do not need them. What we DO need
. . . if you look at both the Maslow and Chakra views . . .
is to love and be loved, so be able to face our own weaknesses
and rise above our fears . . . to reach out and recognise that
we, all of us on this planet, are in this together. It's time
to rise above our animal and territorial heritage, to use our
huge mental and emotional capacities to embrace each other .
. . not fight or hunt each other.
this is, I have to admit, just my perspective. But I hope it's given
you food for thought. Maybe it has helped you to see how you have
changed during your lifetime? . . . or how your ways are different from
your forebears . . . or how we, as a species, really are evolving.
you'd like to pursue any of the issues raised, or to explore your own 'evolution' do please contact me via the response form.