This week we love…
On this Saturday in the United States, we celebrate Independence Day. The theme of independence is complex, for in this Universe, we are never truly independent; we are actually interdependent, involved in a complex ecological web of relationships that support one another’s existence: not just humans, but all beings. We rise together or fall together.
So what does it mean to be independent?
It certainly doesn’t mean to be co-dependent! The motto of my Midwestern home state of Illinois is State Sovereignty, National Union. I appreciate this more all the time, because to me, independence means something like self-sovereignty and self-determination, just as my native country desired in its infancy, as one of its originary principles. As we become more fully ourselves, mature in our own agency and empowered with the resources to self-determine, we are able to bring that power and presence to our participation and relationships with others. The whole system becomes stronger as we become stronger, independent, sovereign.
Independence means to Be You. It’s a lifelong process, of course, to discover and refine what that really means.
Here are some offerings to inspire you as you day-by-day author (and amend!) the Constitution of your life!
One of the most powerful moments in the multilayered, psychedelically dreamy, emotional Love & Mercy occurs when Melinda Ledbetter-Wilson, played by Elizabeth Banks, pleads with Beach Boys singer and primary composer Brian Wilson (John Cusack) to leave his abusive, exploitative manager. ‘You’re a grown man, you’re your own person!,’ she insists. That’s not even a spoiler, because there is no way to spoil this unexpectedly touching film about genius, creativity, and rising back to the surface sunlight after years of having your selfhood lost in the depths. The way the movie portrays Wilson’s creative process and the intricacies of his music is simply dazzling.
‘You don’t love security so much that you guide your life by it, Meg.’
Madeleine L’Engle’s beloved classic science fiction A Wrinkle In Time has been integral to many of us forming our philosophies at an early age, particularly in its terrifying presentation of how precious individuality is against the threat of monolithic, dictated sameness: Meg v. Camazotz. This past Spring, L’Engle’s granddaughter revealed a three-page passage of the novel that did not make it to publication (even the greatest writers are subject to editing), but that makes more explicit the novel’s implicit theme in a conversation between Meg Murry and her father. L’Engle can be heavy-handed when she lets her own views turn narrative into a lecture; she is more graceful and effective when she allows the story to make the point, but this extract is food for thought and fuel for discussion. How much of ourselves are we willing to sacrifice in order to feel safe?
‘The unknown is really, really interesting—it keeps you awake!’ ~ Stuart Wilde
If you’ve ever heard of spiritual teacher Stuart Wilde, you know that he has the reputation of a puckish iconoclast. In his later years (he passed in 2013), Wilde went deeper into paranormal dimensions, but regardless of how you feel about that, the work from his glory days is fresh, witty, and rings of truth. This selection from his audiobook Infinite Self shines brightly, particularly the chapter about tribal, fear-based consciousness v. individual, infinite consciousness, which begins at 26:50 ~
As a truly American art form, jazz represents the best of freedom in cooperation with others: improvisation, the flourishing and showcasing of individual talents, but also the empathetic feeling all the performers must have for one another. They have to really listen to each other, in the moment, and respond. The next time you hear a stretch of jazz (and even better to go do it live if you can), tune in and experience the pulse of something utterly vital. It’s a brave contemplation.
Even though she originally wrote it for the Faroe Islands and Greenland, Björk often customizes her song ‘Declare Independence’ and lands herself in controversy, depending on the country in which she sings it. It is endlessly adaptable to many situations of life. Raise your flag!
No matter what your country (and we are multinational at Be You Media), it is a privilege to share the Earth together and to be born at this time of so much evolution and exciting change! Happy Independence Day!