I hadn’t put much thought into this, until yesterday I revisited what’s rapidly becoming one of my favorite books.
One of the final chapters of Presence investigated the idea of power, and of how the usual sources of power in the world today – technological power and governmental / corporate power, say – are fundamentally and overwhelmingly powers-to-destroy. (Somehow I feel that most “external” power is of this kind, but that’s another story.) Obviously this sort of power is not the sort I could imagine anyone really wanting — I’d hope that it’s apparent that our world is small and interconnected enough that the destruction and abuse of anything in it can’t help but affect the one doing the abusing — but nonetheless, it does exist, and nonetheless, there are people with the horrible burden of holding this sort of power. It’s not a role I’d relish.
But it made me start thinking about what it means to have or to own a power-to-create; that is, a power-of-life.
To me, “storytelling” (be it either writing or speaking) has the potential to fall under this category. Weaving stories involves generating meaning . . . and creating meaning is a life-giving and obviously creative activity. It involves the ability to communicate to people a greater vision, a reason for their being, and is the one of the few ways in which it’s possible to facilitate that connection of individuals to the deeper, greater life, to a sense of purpose, to the is-ness that’s already existent. It’s one of the few ways to encourage the connection of people to themselves, and to begin to bring about and work positively with that human, that necessary, search for meaning. I can’t think of anything else that has the power to do this . . . and thus I’m somewhat humbled by being awakened to my role as an instrument in the process. (We are all instruments in the larger system, whether we’re aware of this or not, and we all play roles within it, and I feel, again, a deep sense of gratitude for being an instrument of – or for – life.)
I’m still struggling to articulate this; again, it’s something that I’ve only recently begun to really appreciate. And I feel, still, a little shy about this posting; it feels half-finished and not-quite-born. But it affected me, deeply, and it’s the start of a new story, and stories are nothing without being shared.