by Troy Chapman
(continued from this post)
This was a life-changing moment: when I realized that wholeness was what I hungered for and that this hunger drove me — on the spiritual level — as surely as physical hunger drives me on that level.
We can say “I’m looking for God. I’m seeking peace. I’m trying to find happiness.” But all of these are different ways of saying “I want to be whole.”
When I came to this I realized there was nothing wrong with my desire; my instincts were good. The error lay not in the “what,” but the “how.” I see this all around me. I know a man who believes he can fulfill his wholeness-hunger by gambling, and so his whole life revolves around gambling; another believes that power over others will do it, so he works as a CO and wields his power fanatically, actually loves wielding it and is addicted to it the way some are addicted to drugs; prisoners who believe the same thing spend their lives in the weight pit and surround themselves with other tough guys who extend their power over others. Others believe that knowledge will make them whole, or money or pleasure. The list goes on.
The world is comprised of six billion souls desperately trying to feed this hunger. But amidst all the killing and consumption and craziness, many people are waking up. This is what happened to me and perhaps to you.
I woke up and realized that there’s only one way to be more whole, and that is together. It’s such an elegant solution. We need each other to be whole, and finding each other is as simple as switching from consumption-mind to communion-mind. The difference is a tiny internal shift.
We can approach all things with either of these two minds, consumption or communion. So I ask myself as often as I can remember, am I consuming or communing? Consuming is about “what can I get?” Communing is about “what can we experience?”
I am looking at the ash trees outside my window and the starlings fly in to cover the whole tree, replacing lost leaves before leaving again themselves. And if I can just remember to say “thank you,” it is enough to switch me from consumption to communion. I meet people all day, say hello, talk a bit, and I will consume them as objects in my world unless I stay awake and remember to ask the question, remember to truly meet them. This is communion, asking “what can we experience?”
And this is the bottom line: communion makes me more whole, consumption less so. Communion feeds me, consumption famishes me.
Painting by Troy Chapman