For far too long, we’ve allowed the detritus of mind to choke our rivers of life. We’ve allowed bad habits, compulsions, and addictions to turn the peaceful surface of our minds into churning whitewater for day after day, year after year.
And we’ve known, inwardly, that these plants that have grown in our inner gardens are useless weeds we must rip out. But we’ve languished, working a bit here and there on one or the other without full heart or commitment, and so they persist.
We’ve been tempted to focus only on the kings of addiction we might have allowed entry: the alcohol, the fast food, the drugs, or the gambling. The darkness is thickest there, without a doubt, and such spirits whisper our names in a most repellent, oily way. Strike off the head to kill the serpent, we sometimes feel. Yet still it lives.
And, meanwhile, the television, the sugar and salt, the smoking, or the pornography – whatever “lesser” demons we have – have flourished alongside the shadows of their half-heartedly-resisted bigger brothers. For these, and their brothers, reach their odious bloom by virtue of a widespread contamination.
The most insidious agents of darkness remain accepted in the common dialogue, such that those who speak them are commonly labeled fanatics, and that is how they retain their power. Our culture thrives on an addiction to cruelty through meat consumption, to human domination through cheap products, and to roles and limits of responsibility through the generic soundtracks of an “adult life.” For far too long, we’ve allowed our addictions to ownership and superiority to grow uninhibited in our chests. We might call the fungus of empire a “work ethic”, “business”, “morality”, or even “activism” or “religion” – but we’ve known, in our heart of hearts, falseness if we’ve tried to glorify the rotting vegetation of hierarchy and domination.
Thankfully, a resistance movement has been cultivated and thrives in these shadow lands.
Against the empire, the Kingdom brings light that vanquishes darkness without combat. And we, the children of God, are born of the Kingdom – it is our birthright and creation, and it can never be completely driven out of us. A turn of the head, a looking-up instead of a looking-down, and the serpent recoils in terror. It can abide only when we stand with eyes averted, as we have for far too long.
Starting today, this moment right now, let us restate our commitment to allow ourselves to fully feel the burden of the afflicted. Let us resolve once again to look straight at the detritus of mind, the addictions and compulsions, and to acknowledge that they are not us. They are merely waste gathered through wrong perspective, wrong intention, wrong speech, and wrong action. As such, they are cleaned away through right mindfulness and right effort.
A long path to recovery face most of us. There have been and will be days where the darkness rallies. As we begin to break clear, it will insist all the more determinedly. So it must be – winter before spring, night before day, crucifixion before resurrection.
So today, this moment right now, let us state again: we give ourselves over wholly to the upwelling of love in our chests. Again and again, let us restate our commitment to this resistance movement. No matter how many times it takes, we will look up again. With the galaxies in our eyes and constancy in our spirits, with heads held high, we will stand back up forever.
This is not about battles and wars. This is not even about breaking clear. This is about choosing no longer to half-heartedly whittle away at swirling smoke. This is about reclaiming our birthright and choosing a side. This is about finally putting away childish things and working devotedly to cultivate our inner gardens into Eden.
But mostly, it’s simply that this has gone on far too long. Enough is enough.