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Traditions Keep Us Grounded
practising them with open hearts help us to move forward together
“Thank you my boy,” Charles said quietly to his oldest son and first in line to the throne. Anyone watching could feel Charles visibly moved by the solemnity of the ceremony itself. Every moment of his life leads to this one, amongst the most important in his life, and one that could only take place because his mother died. I appreciated the quiet clever way Charles put to rest any question of his being a white supremacist in the way he added the special touches to the ceremony, such as the gospel a cappella quartet and the leaders of multi faith communities.
The author of Spare showing up to the Coronation reminds me that there are two ways to handle family conflict - ego and humility. Ego gets a big interview with Oprah and tells and bunch of stories and ego writes a trash talking book and ego acts out. Humility allows itself to be misunderstood, choosing to show by doing. We each have a choice in the way we approach conflict. Jealousy erodes connection. With oneself. With that for whom you feel jealous.
In Danish the word for jealousy literally translates into skin-sick. Jealousy means we are sick inside our own skin. Jealousy means we are sick of our own skin. Values win in the end because they provide a steady road on which to travel, when we experience a crisis we know the road and what to expect and we can get an instruction on how to get back on track. Tradition represents the steady road that values provides human societies. Tradition provides a social + spiritual map for humans to follow. Spiritual = relationship with oneself. Tradition helps us manoeuvre the natural lines of attachment we need to do in order to grow into ourselves and thrive in our existence.
Watching yesterday I felt a palpable connection to something bigger than me - just the same as the millions of other viewers did and the many thousand there to witness it in person. A monumental figure in my life died, the only monarch I had ever known, a woman from my mother’s generation. She had a hand in peace in Ireland. She had a quiet hand in moving the world toward progress. She never was meant to become queen until her father had to fulfill his duty to stand in for his brother. A simple country lady gave her life and people still want to think she benefitted personally from any of it.
I wonder why we have cultivated this culture which finds tradition loathesome? We have people who think nothing of the wild orgy that has become Pride or the ridiculous monument destruction of BLM motivated mobs taking offense at the coronation? Oh won’t someone think of all the money spent on crowning Charles, say American critics. Oh right, because Hollywood and the massive homelessness crisis in LA and the military industrial complex in a country without universal health care is so much better, huh? Fcuk off with that, okay?
Anyway, the ceremony. Highlighting the servitude of the monarch moved me. He stood there, obediently, whilst people undressed him. He went behind the screen, in a kind of cocoon, where he transformed in an anointing ritual. It reminded me of a chrysalis, we don’t see the transformation we only see the eclosion at the end of the transformation. What happens between the time the creature unravels and the chrysalis spins itself and the time the creature emerges, compressed with life and ready to emerge and expand into being? We don’t know. Growth happens.
What if we could sit back and connect with this event in the moment, free from ego-driven narratives and dopamine hits? What if we could take the grace offered? See the beauty in the moment? Be present now? What if we could see the possibility? What if we could just shhhhhhh?
Cynicism kills the hearts. It atrophies your capacity for vulnerability, distorts your vision of humanity. How much of cynicism is really projection? Cynicism is a refusal to see the beauty, it’s a rejection of the grace offered. Why reject the grace which the universe offers you? This seems arrogant.
Remember clutter is anything that gets between you and joy, clutter is anything that tells you that you aren’t sacred and worthy, clutter diminishes you, it shrinks you, it does not accept you, it is the oil slick, inky black and creeping slowly toward you to engulf you. Clutter maybe isn’t just where you put stuff subconsciously, maybe it’s also where you put thoughts subconsciously?
I can take Chuck sitting in that very old chair wearing that gold robe holding the sceptre and rod or whatever he was holding — I can take that any day of the week over some old rapey empty-headed corrupt POTUS who stands up in front of the podium and lies, saying sex reassignment treatment and chemical castration of kids is the soul of America. It’s relative at this point. Values-based + driven tradition looks really good to me right now.
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