The « news » from Japan continues to swirl with a dizzying array of disasters. Each shock seems more incredible, more impossible, than the other. Untold numbers of people are facing untold suffering.
My heart goes out to them, breaking and breaking and breaking.
We had a small ceremony for the « victims » at our sitting on Monday night. As with all ritual, it was a way for us to transcend our limited « personal » lives and join the limitless « impersonal » sphere in which we are all one, the tragedy of the Japanese also mine and yours.
I have found myself deeply affected by the information about the ongoing crisis that I must process in my job as a journalist. This is unusual for me, as I generally maintain a « distance » in order to do my work. Perhaps the amplitude is such with this earthquake/tsunami/nuclear catastrophe that I can’t keep it at bay.
Or perhaps it’s that this situation hits to the very core of our human condition, revealing our folly: Our belief that we could harness the energy of the universe, master it, for our own ends.
The earthquake and tsunami were indeed terrifying in their mighty display of nature’s stupefying power. But what has followed with the nuclear reactors, the uncertainty, the impending horror, is all man-made. As one writer observed, « When nature strikes, why should humankind compound the trouble? »
Why? Easy: greed, anger, ignorance. There is nothing more basic, and also nothing more toxic.