Reading this morning of the Iranian president’s UN speech where he compared Israel’s relatively short prominence in the geopolitical landscape to the ten thousand year residency of of the Persian civilization reminded me of the perils and benefits of attachments to ethnicity, culture and landscape.
As we move through our cycles of incarnations towards graduation from what some have called the Earth Life System, we experience a multitude of situations and challenges, not the least of which is our growing fondness for various identifications of a cultural and spiritual nature. To use my own path, as I currently perceive it, as an example, I am more interested in the development of the United Kingdom and the European Union as democratic political entities than I am in any of the other states around the globe. Seems to me that’s because of the relative preponderance of lives I have spent within those entities, compared to say Africa, Asia and the Americas.
One tends to return to (a), where one is most comfortable and (b), where one has the most ties. Do I mean ties of a karmic nature? Yes, but seeing karma in its broadest scope. The “I” that is writing now has committed itself to personal contributions to the evolving spiritual/cultural/political entity known mythically as Albion and historically as the British Isles. As peasant, druid, christian priest and monk, merchant, wife, mother and sex trade worker, scholar, aristocrat and royalty, I have participated in the evolution of what might be termed the British soul and the development of the European consciousness.
That is not to imply a superiority over other ethnicities and cultures, merely to point out “my” degree of attachment. One knows that all cultures, even those with tiny, almost imperceptible profiles, have their unique contributions to make, and that the temporary geopolitical supremacy of various empires signify little in the overall picture of Gaia and her deity-bound children.
Just as we repeatedly interact with the various members of our soul group, the sizes of which seem to vary I might add, in situations of a familial and societal. nature, we continually return to cultures where we have accumulated loves, hates, ambitions and fears. As your mother in one life could easily be your son in another, your business partner in a third and your battalion commander in another, while your husband now may have been your attacker, defender, betrayer and mother superior, your country of current birth may have been your oppressor, liberator, safe haven, palace of exile and land of opportunity before. Thus we revolve around familiar centers of activity.
Early in our individual evolutions we indulge in excessive pride in our culture of preference, using it to justify all manner of insensitive, ill mannered and ruthless behaviour towards others. Eventually we all see the futility of such aggrandizing attitudes and actions and resort to tolerance, compassion and kindness in our dealings with others and other cultures. In the modern world of course we are seeing ever greater blendings of cultures in our great cities around the globe, and intuitively see, despite the obvious frictions and insults sustained, the global future unfolding in our midst.
With ancient, well established cultures, like Persia/Iran it is entirely possible to have had so many lives there as to regard other cultures as insignificant and disposable. As we know, many empires have been built on such attitudes. And as history shows us, not built to last.
What endures is the endlessly questing consciousness that the human being is gifted with, that divine dissatisfaction which irritates until it produces fresh growth in new directions. Growth which inevitably encounters nutrients, poisons, barriers, and predators. Growth which results in adaptability to any challenge. Growth which gives us the understanding of achievement and the desire to cultivate a garden of others.