I am amazed, truly! About a week ago, I was invited to participate in an experience of authentic relating. The group was evenly distributed: four women, four men, all beautiful people. Yet what was different for me is that I was their grandma’s age! I worked enough on myself to feel right at home, regardless of how different the body looked! And it makes me wonder… It took me a lifetime of dedicated work to feel that I belonged. And here they were, mostly in their mid-twenties, having conversations of a realness and a depth that surprised me, as if they had bypassed a number of stages of evolution that people of my generation had to painstakingly earn. Moreover, various theories of human development concur on seeing that stages cannot be skipped, no matter whether you’re born as the Buddha or as a housewife. So what’s the deal? Is evolution being dramatically speed up, to make up for the dire state of the planet? Their sense of honesty and responsibility is and was endearing! It also brought forth another question for me: in my artist life, I have always seen the relationship of pain to transformation, as if I had agreed to take on and transmute a given amount of darkness through making art. This idea is really not new: it has been felt by writers, painters, musicians, dancers, etc., etc. who put their soul in service of expression, just so that all of us could have compassion (literally, be “with our pain”).
While I accept that a part of our youth can sustain a form of balance and a quality of leadership rarely touched by a generation of severely abused children, how can they bring forth real solutions, be it via art or science, if they haven’t been compelled by their dark side to descend into the abyss — just to see the light?
Shadow Work and Fool’s Gold