Wednesday, May 10

converging paths

The Healing Wisdom of Africa
Finding Life Purpose Through Nature, Ritual, and Community
by Malidoma Patrice Some

Today, while most people in the West enjoy material affluence, villagers in Africa suffer hunger and poverty. But here, perhaps, is a case where the material and the spiritual are working independently toward the same end.

Africa's material scarcity may be symptomatic of a deeper global problem pertaining to soul and Spirit.

While the Third world is experiencing the immediacy of the people's need for healing in the area of physical hunger, the West is awakening to a spiritual hunger so dramatic as to be almost frightening. Like the famished cows in the Pharoah's dream, the modern psyche dangles and zig zags this way and that with a mighty intent to devour anything that smells ancient and spiritual.

The converging paths of these two worlds may ultimately enable material abundance to silence the Third World's cries for nourishment and the cries of the Westerner's hungering soul.

1 comment:

James Samuel said...

I had a rough day today - you know one of those when life just seems to be a bit hard, and yet it is hard to put a finger on the underlying feelings.

Yesterday a friend loaned me the book I have quoted from here. It is affecting me quite deeply. And this afternoon I began to feel a lack - of a day to day type of community contact. I felt a longing for intimacy where I can express my struggles and not be judged to harshly for feeling weak.

Thanks to a beginning of ritual, through the practice of Calling a Circle, which I have been learning about since our first experience of it in Zimbabwe, I feel this part of my life is awakening.

Being involved in the beginnings of a community garden, and a food-gardens service, growing lots of food plants from seed, is growing me in the direction of being closer to nature and I am happy with this.

Now I would like to be able to express these things through community living.

Over conversation after dinner tonight, with Matthias, whose values I have long felt a deep affinity with, I was helped to realise just how much community I and we have. While I sense this longing for deeper expressions of it, I cannot deny that there is a lot that exists already (thanks Milan for your comment on the previous post). It was the thing I had been asking for - a friend who could listen while I babbled, and I came away feeling lighter and not so alone, and nurturing a deeper sense of gratitude for all that I have.

Can we imagine how community will express itself in the coming days?

It will obviously be different than we have seen it expressed in the past, though some qualities will live on.