It’s a chapter in which we’ve felt and thought that we are one and the same with this physical body, different and separate from all other physical bodies, whose survival is our paramount concern and whose pleasure is to be sought and whose pain to be avoided.
At the same time that we pursue the agendas that arise out of these concerns, we also respond to needs that we share with other species – the felt need to propagate, to raise our young, to tend our old, to provide for ourselves and beloved others shelter, food, rest, and other needs associated with the body, and to respond to a deeper urge for something we know not, which we fill with ever-new experiences and possessions, none of which addresses it or satisfies it for long.
This is the chapter which is ending for us on this planet.
Some of us are sensing that ending in that we are unsatisfied with the material, the usual, and the known. St. John of the Cross once said that his life was dedicated to something “I know not what, that one must come on randomly.” But we’ve been told that this something unknown will soon be something we come on … no longer randomly, but permanently, and every day we manage the waiting and the expectancy.
This something we expect is no longer associated with a separate and physical body, but is seen to be shared and eternal. It is no longer associated with need, or even with wants.
It is associated with a deeper hunger of the soul, with the wishes of the Divine rather than our own. It lies beyond the cycle of desire we formerly travelled endlessly.
It is associated with an expanding round of life, expanding on every level. It comes with a newfound sense of kinship with all of life and not simply other humans.
It is associated with peace, cooperation, harmony, with unity, joy, and love. It no longer leads us to value struggle and strife.
It is associated with an endlessly-unfolding panorama, not all of which can be seen or even sensed. It leads us to an acceptance of the unknown, even the unknowable.
This is a rite of passage for the species, an entrance into adulthood. The appetites of youth are falling away from all of us and a new maturity arising within us, gradually and below notice every day.
There is no fanfare that attends this new maturity. There are no markers, no boundaries, no moulted shell or abandoned skin. There is only a new competence and a new confidence and a readiness to meet whatever tomorrow brings, no matter how different or unrelated it is to what we’ve left.