Written by Billy Potocnik in 2020
It’s hard to be a human. It really is. It’s easy to be a homo sapien, but it’s hard to be a human. Being a human requires so much more than — sadly — we are often able to give. Being human requires remembering our birth. We probably can’t claim to remember our actual birth... a crying little baby coming out of the warm womb of his mother and into the air of this world, longing to be held next to the warmth of the same body in which our human form was created. We can take a moment and use our imaginations to remember our birth.
Remember the softness of this sort of innocence. This innocence that we came into the world with and carried with us through childhood is the soft innocence that growing older tempers, silences sometimes — tragically — destroys. The distance between ourselves as adults and the children of our youth is so much greater than the number of years that spans linearly between now and then. It is the loss of our Cosmic Naïvety. Not the naïvety defined by the culture of our adulthood which programs us to prey, at worst - and look down upon, at best - on the perceived weakness of such sincere traits. But, the audacity of our birth that had no choice but to surrender to love and be helpless in the need to be held and cared for.
The world, as beautiful as it can be, is also a cold and ruthless place that ‘takes no prisoners’ and ‘gives no free lunches’. Our Cosmic Naïvety is slowly chipped away with these revelations of certain worldly truths. Our universal innocence becomes something that we sadly outgrow along with the toy cars, trucks, dolls, and costumes of our youth. The world hurts at first and then we forget the pain in our hearts. Our life becomes a series of separations from all of the things that make us so profoundly and heartbreakingly human.
As a child, the only thing necessary to connect us was a ball, a doll, a set of legos, or the common urge to climb a tree, or play spies in some imaginary land… boy, girl, light-skin, dark-skin, blue-eyed, brown-eyed, blonde hair, it didn’t matter. We saw ourselves in each other without knowing that such an existential thought required validation. We went to schools that offered no courses in compassion, empathy, or understanding. Already, those were character traits that — if they weren’t learned at home — were just shamelessly paid lip-service to in the bigger public forum of an adult world so often blinded by insecurity and ambition. But, we move on through the years, each year getting exponentially more separated from the year before. We see, read about, and maybe experience, so much sadness and pain and violence. We become desensitized to our own darkness within. And in playing out the laws of polarity, we become indifferent to our own light. We tolerate our own apathy toward all that really matters to our human-ness as we witness intolerance toward all that is different than our-self: different color, different language, different clothes, different God… And we forget again and again the memory of our birth... Our true self... The Love that we were born into as brave and courageous
Humans. Human — in Arabic translates into “Godman.” We can, with awareness and courage, choose the third way, the elevated way — beyond tolerance and intolerance — that transcendent way of falling in love with all that is so different than ourselves: your skin, your eyes, your lips, your language, your hair, your laugh, your smile, your tears, your sadness, your story, your love.
There was no class that told us that “tolerance” would simply not be enough, but simply a bare-minimum starting point of working with our most insecure demons. There was no class that encouraged us to create a new and different way — that third way — where “tolerance” just wasn’t enough and the only way through was to fall in love with all that seems, perhaps on the surface, so different than ourselves. We are not separate from each other. That separateness only spans the real space between ourselves and our birth... ourselves and our own heart… The adult who forgets and the child that always remembered.
Can we span the illusion of time that separates those two and be the adults that remember encouraging our children to never forget? Our condition is the shared one of humanity and there are no enemies but the dark illusions of our own doing and the eerie unknowns of our shadow self. Our Universal Innocence, the Cosmic Naïvety of our youth, was given away to the fear of our adulthood and that innocence that was lost. We convince ourselves that it was stolen from us by some force outside of ourselves. This self-imposed victimization became the scapegoat of our deepest disconnections.
But we are the ones that believed and bought into the illusion that our own birth was of something less than what we were meant to be and that that stranger was — actually — not ourself. Remembering our truest nature — imagining our birth — we take our place in the power of our Cosmic Innocence and span the separations of time and space and understand that the distance between you and me, like the space between ourselves and our hearts, is not a fault in our common earth but simply the raw terrain of an un-walked path. So, we take the step to span that space, and we awaken in the clear light of our Hu-man-ness, our God-people-ness, and teach ourselves to love all that is different from ourselves.
And, from that elevated place, we see the ways of our true nature, the selves we were born into this world to be. Equipped with just a glimmer of our full evolution, consciousness and memory, we start to recognize the illusion and we begin to understand the game. And, as we find that new way back into the wisdom of our own hearts, we are re-birthed into the warmth of our shared existence, where we find no alternative to our truth but to love the innocence of our differences and to realize the illusion of our separateness.