This week I traversed into new territory; a place that I have been unable to inhabit fully in my life. Fear unfortunately has been my guide, and I let it control the places I let myself explore or reside.
Consentual reality, the existence I have subscribed to where human beings collectively decide a world-view, has a tendency to assign an inanimate quality to other beings. We/I have applied the word "it" to beings that have a much deeper essential nature. A nature beyond complete understanding but whole, magic and powerful. "It" is comfortable, but ultimately, unethical.
At times in my life I have treated myself like an "it". Centred my actions as if I am required to do a particular task like a machine. A machine that has a particular function that it is expected to perform and if it does not do the said "work" then it is broken, worthless. An appliance, device, apparatus, gadget, that is also not expected to be more. "It" is profoundly limiting.
There are times in my life where I have treated others like contraptions. If they did not do what I believed I needed of them they were labeled as malfunctioning, destined for the landfill where I cast them off and buried them, never to be fully seen. I have stumbled by limiting people, animals, plants and the earth itself. "It" makes war and killing possible. To dehumanize, or inanimatize makes any harsh heartless action on others beings possible.
Some mornings I am gifted with walking out to the chicken coop to harvest fresh eggs. In the coop I may be required to move the warm soft trembling hen off her purpose. Her egg. It is a task that I must do on some level every day to eat and survive. However, the chicken and her egg are not an "It." She and the egg are "thou." Perceiving her and the egg as "it" makes the task of harvesting easier because I do not have to feel what she or the egg might feel. But I rob myself of something when I do. I steal from myself deep gratitude for the gift that is given. The egg may not technically be alive, but there is a potential that is given or an unknown element that renders it thou. Great hunters know and adhere to "thou" and understand that the animal gives itself freely by showing up to the bow, trap or rifle. There is reverence for the animal and its sacrifice. The exchange becomes sacred.
This week I walked more fully into "thou." I was afraid to explore the fullness of "thou" because it meant that I had to interact with reverence and deep feeling. A painful war raged inside for days and "thou" won. Because "thou" prevailed in my own heart, I found myself in love with a woman that is alive, has consciousness, and a purposeful journey of her own to be fulfilled. True love with another human being requires embodiment of "thou." To see her as a being far beyond my own desire. Seeing the world through the eyes of "thou" is a game changer. To accept her gifts with reverence when they come or to let her become more than she could be within my grasp. Sometimes, the greatest gift we can give ourselves and our love is to let go, watch and have reverence. Hearing this call is wisdom. Love is a sacred act that can only happen in the magic of "Thou."
Inspired by the work of Joseph Campbell