The greatest sorrow I feel is when I see someone mistaking peace with apathy. I’ve dwelt in that delusion myself. Now I see it as a temporary suicide – a form of limbo that diminishes the whole world.
Apathy is very common in spiritual circles. Often I meet people who seem wonderfully peaceful and content at first, but then I notice they change the subject a lot. Their eyes glaze over when certain topics come up – like that some people are fat while others are starving, or that children in some countries are dying right now when a $5 water filter could save them. Apathy means people don’t want to talk about the wars that are being waged in their name, or the child labourers who got sick making their iPhone. They think politics is something other people do. They prefer to focus on “positive things”.
“Oh look, a butterfly… isn’t it pretty?”
Genuinely peaceful people don’t withdraw from the world. Only frightened people withdraw.
Many people who seem peaceful are really like swans: they glide gracefully above the surface while flapping frantically underneath. They are secretly desperate to experience true peace of mind but they don’t admit it. They feel too ashamed of not experiencing it already. False imitations of peace become their addiction – numbness, narrowness and apathy. But apathy is not peace. Apathy grows out of the absence of peace.
If you feel like you have no power, apathy seems like a smart choice. But power isn’t something you have; power is channeled, and never through apathy.
Usually I take the view that other people’s lives are their own specialty – there is no greater authority on you than you. But then I meet another swan who’s wearing apathy like a shield and I can’t deny I want to hug them and shake them at the same time. My head says I should leave them alone, but a deeper feeling calls me on. It feels like a visceral instinct to wake them up. We evolve as a collective, not individually. Letting them block me out would be my own form of apathy.
My trepidation is because I see these people like lovers who just lie there. Waking them up requires trust, and without a framework (like a coaching relationship) I’m often too impatient.
Waking up is about dancing to your own music
Every human being, male and female, includes both masculine and feminine elements.
The constant, unchanging will at your core is innate to the masculine and you need to associate with that core before you can create your life deliberately. The masculine element is not in your body or your thoughts. It’s always in the last place you look, like your keys. (They’re always in the last place you look because after you find them you stop looking, obviously!)
The always-changing world of form – the material world – is innately feminine (mater being Latin for mother; like in “Mother Nature”). I don’t mean it’s feminine in the way our culture depicts and diminishes femininity – it’s not all pink and girly. But innately, elementally, all form is feminine.
Dancing to your own music is about penetrating the feminine form with your masculine will. That’s easy to do but it doesn’t come easily to people who think they are purely masculine or purely feminine. Most of us were born into a wonky culture and we make a lot of mistakes before we can walk this path with integrity.
I think the integrity comes from an honest realisation that you are making love to yourself. You are both the masculine that’s penetrating and the feminine that’s being penetrated. To deny either is to get lost in mishegoss – a kind of chaos, a craziness. (Of course the person experiencing it thinks they’re the sane one and it’s the world that’s crazy.)
That’s why I’m completely against the popular self-help metaphor of people floating in a river of well-being. I’ve been told many times that I don’t need to try; that life should be effortless; that I can simply lie back and be carried by the river of life. No, no, no! We are not only in the river; we also are the river. It’s a simple but critical distinction. Einstein said we should reduce everything to its simplest form but no further. To claim we are passive floating beings turns a useful metaphor into a ghastly deception.
It’s equally unhelpful to think you can “go with the flow”. You are the flow.
You are both the flow and the flowing; the masculine and the feminine; the yang and the yin.
I use the metaphor of a bird with two wings. If the bird only flaps its left wing, what happens?
So maybe it’s best to only flap its right wing?
Maybe the left wing one day and the right wing the next day?
Flap the left one while reading books about the right one?
You get the point.
But let’s go all the way.
My spiritual friend who inspired this article told me yesterday: “My heart goes out to the starving people. I pray life will get better for them.”
Oh good, I said. And after you prayed, what did you do then?
She told me she’d left it in god’s good hands – and I think that demonstrates in a nutshell why people continue to starve despite there being enough food for everyone.
It’s childish to pray without also acknowledging you are god.
Prayer either connects you to the internal clarity you need before you can manifest your will or it does nothing at all.
Most people who pray don’t really pray, they simply pass the buck to an imaginary friend. And that’s nothing more than theatre.
Maybe you’re so good at theatre that you can sell tickets and start your own church. But the starving people will still be starving while you float down your imaginary river, going with the flow.
Living deliberately means you stop lying back and accepting whatever happens to you. You stop pretending the universe loves you and realise you are the universe, so it’s your job to love yourself. It’s your job to decide what your life is about. It’s also your job to make it happen.
You can’t micromanage it all consciously, of course. You have unconscious processes for that. But you have to experience your intention. You have to accept responsibility.
Basically, you have to give a fuck – only then can you midwife your creation into existence.[fbls]
- My latest article – What if believing in Freedom is what stops you being free?
- My latest MP3 recording – The Three Fishermen
“Speaking with Chris Morris was the beginning of a fantastic trip, and it hasn’t ended yet. After our conversation this morning, I found myself gently nudged out of the reality I was so accustomed to knowing. It led to an entire day where I experienced a level of inner peace only previously possible through journeys with mind altering substances. The stillness I’m in now is incredible. It’s like a sense of floating through life. Instead of a heavy, arduous existence, I feel like I’m floating ever so gently on the breeze of the moment. Where there was resistance, now there is ease. Where there was struggle, now there is flow. Where there was anxiety, now there is peace. Thank you Chris.”Dave Booda
“Ever since I met Chris, I know what it feels like to be inspired. Being around him, it is hard not to grow. He has the heart to love unconditionally, the mind of a genius and the guts to look and point at things that others may be too afraid of (or simply not curious enough).”Felix Thissen