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Pay Attention to What Gives and Takes Energy

“It’s a death trap, it’s a suicide rap
We gotta get out while we’re young
`Cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run” (Bruce Springsteen)

We are mesmerized by the ball and puck as it moves from one end to the other on the field of play. The contest becomes a series of movements and moments that sweep us away in the shifting momentum. Patrician and hooligan alike dissolve from being and type to be conjoined as witnesses and participants of what is becoming. We are spirited by the transfer of energy as the game unfolds. There is no past or future when the great one slips behind the defender and rushes onward towards the goal. We too are players as our dreams are realized or ruined in an instant. The sport is energy, energy is now, now is life.
Our mind conceives of the world as a taxonomy of things – the sky, the bottle, the charged particle that starts the critical mass reaction. It is easy to understand what is happening to and around us when translated into subjects and objects where we are the viewer and they are the viewed. In this way, we are the keepers of authentic experience if we are to remain in our totality apart from this Wonderland where all others are merely our own projections on an inert cosmos. Poor Alice was disoriented by an altered state of consciousness when she followed the White Rabbit. But what if we she had it right and we have it backwards? That is, we have removed the sentient energy from our world in order to preserve our high place as the interrogator of “thingness.” We recognize when the family dog shows love or remorse, and we feel our special connection to nature when we stroll out among the hawthorns. Our experience of the world as interwoven and relational, where we are part of something greater, flows from our participation in the progression of energy across time. We interpret and consume this life force as a matter of degree with one end of the continuum being permanence and the other change. Of course the world spins and heaves all around but because it is a familiar state we do not experience it as strange. When mindful we feel the pull of the radiant stars that give us light and life as well as the black holes that drain us of our good and trammel our growth.
We are a magnificent accumulation of genetic history, irrational choices and unlikely encounters. There are patterns in this seeming randomness that cannot be known until some future moment when Oedipus unravels the riddle. This is the paradox of the human condition. Growth requires us to move ever forward. The roads we have traveled take form on our faces like the visible rings of a great tree that reveals each drought that it has endured and every spring it has enjoyed. Just as ideas shape actions our experiences become material and the basis for our reality. In one moment, magic or tragic, we meet that special person with whom our fortunes are intertwined and our destiny is forever altered. They become part of us. Our growth is interdependent upon members of our family, community and the unnamed causes of our effects. Their force brings order and novelty to the labyrinth of becoming that we take as our life. We are born of this energy and are recreated by our ability to recognize it and use it constructively.

  • Our growth requires that we draw energy from vital sources

Jeff DeGraff
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