Soles of our feet, soul of society

Our legs down to our feet mark where we stand and where we’re going. The sole is the bottom most layer of everything. It is the place where calluses grow. There is nothing wrong with a callus, only that it is there and it may mean it’s time to move differently.

Smooth the sole. Appreciate the leathery feel, worn over time. Then lift your feet high so blood runs through your body. Your soles are not to be left unattended because they are the foundation of every journey.

The soul of society is like hundreds of soles crossing a border, migrating to new territory, challenging one hundred selves to explore, to better things, for curiosity or to ward off adversity.

The soul of society will always be one hundred plus feet, standing or walking, running or skipping, dancing. The soles of our feet, like the soul of society, feel like a very private matter and yet, our intimate dance moves us universally. It’s like listening to a fine cello piece or contemplating a painting; each born out of one but touching everybody.

I sometimes dream of a body with amputated legs after some undefined war. I wonder how it is that we can learn to survive with such pain, the sole stripped away. Then I’m in awe at how human beings are so clever. We design makeshift feet, we invent technological devices that help us move ahead effortlessly. But what about the soles of our feet? What about the soul of society when the leathery wear and tear have been pulled off and we are left with metal frames, clever gadgets and send buttons? I wonder if we are fully aware of the purpose behind movement and speed and the role of the soles of feet.

Different parts of our mind-body are working. We’re finding that the soul is dispersed evenly. It’s a new revelation, perhaps, for many, that the soul is not bound by the soles of feet. It’s like magic, really. The ability of the soul to morph into anything, so free.

I’m becoming more accustomed to this floating feeling but it’s still scary. Here we are recreating life and our way of living. I do miss standing steadily, even if it is illusory. I massage my soles after running. I love that anchored feeling even now when I know that my feet are growing old and will die.

I will say that the soul of society needs our care and attention. We should treat it like a baby. Our new soles are so soft and supple, unable to stand. It needs nurturing, discipline and a lot of love. We are a hundred plus heart beats scattered about now, but we are one when we are listening.

The Excruciating Present

Even those of us who practice meditation and a contemplative way of life are struggling in this crisis. In this moment of social isolation, we confront ourselves and our immortality.

We are slowly realizing that there is no future as we know it, future does not exist.

We are faced with the absolute now of our existence.

What is there to motivate or inspire if you have no future guaranteed? What drives your action each day when you have no idea what to expect tomorrow, nor do you really understand the events that led up to this moment?

In this moment of crisis, we are experiencing the impact of overlapping variables that are so beyond our comprehension and control. We can’t even see or take individual responsibility. Neither you nor I created this virus, did we? And yet, this thing is destroying our sense of security and the global economy. Are we or are we not conspirators in this calamity? This is phase one of letting go, the questioning of responsibility, thinking that what has occurred in past is ours alone.

But is everything that occurs in the past our fault? Do we have the capacity to see the past clearly and in its totality? The answer is no. The past, when you really think about it, is a vague memory with great unknowns. Think about memories and how we each perceive the same past differently.

So what is left? The present moment. There is no one past, there is no one future. Both are ephemeral and unknown. We may catch a glimpse of this or that, but mostly, we can only be fully aware of the present moment.

How painful this is, to let go of the past! To let go of tomorrow!

We are thinkers and planners and visionaries! I like to learn. I like to know! These things ground us, give us a place called home. We are learned and filled with ambition. We fuel each day with the past and keep our eyes on a vision. Isn’t that what modernization is all about? And our addiction to media and entertainment? Our insatiable drive for moving pictures and improvement?

And yet, look at us now, with our future stripped away. We face unexpected deaths and adjust to a strange reality.

What do we do with ourselves, moment to moment, day to day, if we know nothing? What is our new motivation? What do we have when we break apart and destroy every goal, every dream, every possibility and replace it with unknowns?

This is the excruciating pain of having to face the present moment. Of confronting the absolute meaninglessness of every thing, past and future, and sitting still in that one moment of truth.

Wondering, contemplating, deliberating, what to do, what to do? What to do with myself when nothing matters but now?