Those of us who have examined our violent human history and become aware of the waste we have laid on the land, have often developed a form of chronic, species-wide self-loathing.
But instead of encouraging us to be better, could this gloomy regard for humanity be the ultimate form of self-fulfilling prophecy? Is there another way to think about ourselves that could better propel us forward?
1/5. Seeds from the stars
Starseeds are said to be beings from extraterrestrial civilizations who incarnated on Earth to help our kind evolve. If that sentence makes you want to leave this post immediately, I totally get you, for I too can be that person depending on the day.
However, I have also gained much from welcoming all ideas that come my way with curiosity, especially the ones that challenge my belief system. Those musings have often lead to amazing places, as they did when I allowed myself to freely ponder whether I could be one of these beings.
As I learned over a few conversations, a crucial sign of being a dormant Starseed (one that has not remembered their origins) seems to be a deep sense of not belonging on Earth. As I scanned my experience for such a feeling, I identified much alienation and pervasive social anxiety, but also a strong bond with this planet. For all its chaos, density, violence, and pain, this place and its whacky explosion of color feels like home.
2/5. Mother’s Love
I concluded I must indeed be simple human after all, but mentally playing with the possibility of other intelligent life forms had me wondering: If there were older races of conscious life, what would humans be in this interstellar network?
Would that make us the Universe’s youngest self-aware offspring at this moment in time?
Something funny happened as that thought formed: I was flooded with the feeling of Creation seeing us with the delight of a mother watching her newborn open their eyes.
Now, I grew up with a strong rejection towards what I considered ‘made-up Godly love,’ seeing it as a tool for social manipulation. I am also not a particularly sensitive person, so finding myself sobbing in my kitchen was quite bewildering, but the relief of feeling not only loved, but hoped for, was beyond description.
Like many, I had wondered before whether we were some freak accident of existence and often hoped for our prompt extinction. As I grew and immersed myself on buddhist teachings of universal compassion, I learned to observe and accept my discontent non-judgmentally. I wanted to focus on our good qualities and feel unconditionally loving towards mankind, but up to that that morning annoyance and discord had become a habitual background noise.
As I bawled on the rest of the morning, I felt not only accepted or forgiven, but an unfaltering trust in our goodness that saw nothing to begrudgingly accept or forgive us for. As I settled down over the day and thought about the experience, new hue started shining upon our history:
We crawled and stumbled around the world in our innocent infancy, discovering it, observing it, and eventually cooing our way into naming it. Perhaps these beings, our older siblings from the stars, had kindly offered to babysit us, put up with our tantrums, attempt to teach us the ways of the universe, chase us around to keep us from burning down the house.
Eventually, we gained enough awareness to think abstractly, modify our environment, and exacerbate our sense of self. In a flash, we were basked in hormones, out to prove our own importance, and annoyingly self righteous towards everything under the sun: flora, fauna, the neighboring village… our turbulent, rebellious teens had rolled in.
We whined to our maker about how unfair she was, tried to bribe her into giving us whatever we wanted, blamed and resented her when we thought she didn’t, then felt like lone victims of an overpowering tyrant.
And as we did weird things to our hair, killed each other over made-up lines on the ground, self-destroyed with junk food and booze, she simply watched in unconditional, motherly love. The kind of love that respects freedom above all and does not seek to own, control, or manipulate. The kind of love that expects nothing, doesn’t mind the mistakes, and marvels at the successes. And marveled she did as we smeared dirt and oil on walls to decorate the Sistine Chapel, as we reached mountaintops and learned how to deep dive, as we fell in love for the first time, as we danced like fools around the fire.
Insecurity, the need to impress, the self-absorbtion… we know these feelings well and many, as shown with the rise of the wellness and self-care industries, are seeking to heal them. Could this be a sign of a species-wide shift from bewildered adolescence into blossoming adulthood? The awakening we keep hearing about?
4/5. Cement Cocoon
On the micro-level of my own human experience, one of the biggest setbacks to self-actualization was the covert conviction of my inadequacy and inability to learn better. (My last blog molded and expired months ago because nothing I had to say felt worthwhile enough).
Have you been there too? Making elaborate diet plans and exercise schedules that remain unfollowed? Yes, this form of shame-led sabotage is as pervasive as it is insidious. Thanks to the research around ‘fixed and growth’ mindsets we can see clearly how indulging in the delusion of inadequacy keeps us stuck in a self-fulfilling prophecy of failure.
Can see how this lack of trust in ourselves is a trap? And if we can spot it individually, can we see it collectively?
Self-deprecation and human-detestation have become deeply ingrained in our culture (just take a look at our memes). What is more, the conviction that our personal value must be proved fuels an economic system based on the premise that each agent must earn its worthiness, that some are worthier than others, and that environmental degradation is nothing but an externality we cannot take responsibility for.
Most addiction-recovery literature asserts that change while in a state of hopelessness is next to impossible: the exhaustion of fighting against a settled sense of doom leads us to escape to our very worst behavior and create what we originally hated. E.g. Since I ultimately (yet unconsciously) believe I am defective, no movement towards improvement seems worth the effort. Discipline ultimately feels uselessly restrictive, so I might as well eat the damn cookie, pop another beer, and get back to my series.
Or, if I ultimately believe that humans are awful, that we’ll eat each other without constant policing, that we would gladly grow roots to the couch without a job to keep us busy, then I will never start imagining, let alone creating, other ways to work, interact, and live.
Will we let self-imposed powerlessness seal our cocoon solid before we get to emerge?
Our transition from egotistical youth into wise, adult stewardship does not stand a chance as long as we keep a fixed mindset about our potential.That fixed mindset, in turn, will not budge until we learn to love the hell out of ourselves and each other (in every sense). After all, it is trust in our intrinsic, irrevocable worth that finally softens the paralysis of not feeling good enough.
It is not easy to see through the ignorance, aggression, and plain old bad taste that part of our kind struts. After years of therapies, self-help books, and meditations, it was not until that morning, feeling like the universe’s baby, that the last bits of aversion for myself and for others dissolved.
Scolding myself for my unpolished aspects became absurd, dismissing others for their unpolished aspects became even more absurd. I spent the day genuinely stuck by the brilliance of my peers in my next teleconference. The aspects that used to annoy me about them floated by neutrally; their creative bursts, that I’d normally miss, became admirable.
There’s no way of telling what our human adulthood will bring. Some say that the powers of telepathy and astral travel are within reach. As sexy as those sounds, I mostly hope for freedom for you and me. Freedom from unworthiness. Freedom from expectations. Freedom from scarcity. Freedom to love others unashamedly and together enjoy the gifts of a thriving planet.
The first step is cultivating faith. The next ones will be the topics on this blog.
Let’s play a metaphysics game. Let’s say that expansion is the leading purpose of all existence. Let us also say that whenever something arises into being, its opposite also does in order to define it through contrast — we can only know white through black, sound through silence, light through darkness, the bliss of vibrant health from terrible illness.
If humans have proved to be capable of a colossal level of density, darkness, and destruction, could it follow that we are also capable of unprecedented lightness, harmony and creation?
With full compassion for the gravity of slavery, war, exploitation, or sex-trafficking, allow me to posit that our centuries of unconsciousness have not been a cosmic mischance, but the opening of contrast for the full expression of our being. That the Universe knew exactly what she was doing and that we are her pathway into expansion.
If the Earth really were a cosmic experiment then our awakening would be the whole point to it.
Can’t you help but feel how important you would be?