What are we imagining when we talk about a world-made-better, where we are participants in its bettering?
What would we need for such a project?
Who would we partner with?
How would we move forward?
We might choose to believe we are loved, and that “we” (the collective we) are together in this.
We might choose to see that the universe we’re in is pushed forward by an almost magnetic, non-entropic energy — an “infinitely regenerative universe,” as Buckminster Fuller called it.
Step by step, we might elevate our mindset to believe that an impossible goal is, well, possible. That on another time horizon, in the multiverse, this dream we have, may already be coming true.
We might daily acknowledge that any progress would be eventual, and on the longest-possible timescale, and we’d still choose patience and hopefulness.
We might even let go of our own hobby horses and pet projects, if we could.
We might tune in to our own basic needs, and seek to meet them, and choose gratitude.
We might let go of pettiness, and abandoned grudges. We might acknowledge our own mistakes.
We might be alert, to dangers and distractions, since there’s real world-bettering work to be done.
We might see any hint of selfishly consolidated power or fame-for-fame’s-sake as a sham to be seen through.
We might see that the bigger-picture dream is the real goal.
And then we’d do the day’s work.
* * *
The above checklist has become a frequent rhythm for me to mentally run through. It might sound abstract or esoteric, or wacky or hopeful, or totally normal, or…I-don’t-know-what, you tell me.
There’s a passage most of us are familiar(ish) with, that goes like this: “Our father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name…” (etc.)
It’s sometimes called the Lord’s Prayer. It shows up in movies, it’s quoted a bunch, and maybe in some of our heads. It’s an excerpt from a part of the bible where Jesus is answering a question where people ask, “How do we pray?” And he busts out that answer.
I used to think it was like a rote recitation: “Here, read this script, and you’ll be praying!” But after spending some time with it, I’ve come to think it’s more like a outline for an improvised speech. In fact, it’s what I used for writing the first part of this post. I took each line from that noted passage, and I translated it into my own words. Weird, right?
It’s a mental habit I’ve gotten into now, whenever my brain feels “off-script.” I’m like, wait, what are healthy thought patterns again? Oh yeah — try the outline. And I step into some mental iterations of this.
This summer, I collected some of my personal riffs and remixes of this, and put them together into PDF to share with a few friends. It’s not done, it’s not a permanent, it’s not a book, it’s just a growing collection of remixed passages that help keep my brain in a healthy spot.