Notes From The Furlough: Day 96

Wild frightens us but it also frees and sustains us.

Please discuss. How does this play out in life?

I’ll start us out. We think of ourselves as civilized people. We have rules; we have laws; we have societal norms. We have formal educational systems; we have organized medical care; we have jobs and careers; we have culture. We have a system of government; we have official monetary currency; we have organized food production and distribution; we have military and police to keep order and protect us.

And yet, somehow some things seem to be broken. We generate war, violence and civil unrest. Government seems to spend more time power jockeying than caring for the needs of people. Education leaves us unprepared for the rigors of life. Prejudice, inequality, and inequity result in some of us having less than others. Our civilization fails to deliver the benefits we believe it is designed to provide, and we decry it while also fearing its breakdown. We’re afraid of devolving into disorganization and anarchy. Our fear has led us to trade relative freedom for the promise of health, stability and abundance. These are not unworthy aspirations, but perhaps not realistic to expect society, as it is, to deliver. Events of this year of 2020 have shown us how unreliable this trade off can be.

We think of the natural world, when it is in a state unmanaged by people, as wild, chaotic, and dangerous. We’re uneasy with its uncontrolled nature and feel it can be heartless and cruel. And yet, it is in balance. Predation and disease, among other natural mechanisms, keep overpopulation or species dominance in check. Unsuccessful adaptations fail and new mutations introduce fresh possibilities. Nature manages itself elegantly without overt governance. Without our direction, the natural world succeeds and survives. This perhaps frightens us most—nature doesn’t need us to thrive, but we rely on our planet and its resources for our very existence.

Today’s message reminds me that in my personal equation, my subconscious mind is my untamed, uncivilized side. I may think of my conscious mind as running my show and making my important choices, but it provides a decision making and storage mechanism and a platform of perception, nothing more. My body restores and renews itself nightly without any conscious effort. All the vital, ongoing biological processes essential to physical survival are manage by my wild side. My dreams, inspirations, fears, and personal stumbling blocks all arise from my lesser understood subconscious. To know and cooperate with this essential part of myself, I must be willing to get wild, to cast off preconceptions and assumed civility, to get raw, unfiltered, and honest with myself. I free my possibilities when I am brave enough to allow my inner self to emerge unfettered.

How about you? How do you attend to and respect your wild side?