• Franca Baroni

Navigating Collapsing Boundaries

In the rising tide of global intensity many of us might ask: is the planet out of control? The sobering good news is, yes! Our systems anchored in the collective belief that we can control life are dissolving in the waves of change, like a tower whose foundation is being eroded by the sea. We are desperately holding on to the illusion of solidity in hopes the tighter our grip, the better things will get. The box of our reality is getting rapidly smaller and more distorted and the old social contract on which it is all built is being washed from under our feet. The illusion that history repeats itself and nothing will ever change is just another rationalization to keep ourselves asleep.

For a long while the public heart has been whispering to us to jump from the tower, relinquish our old stories of national identity and relax the reactivity that perpetuates a seemingly cyclical history. Jumping takes courage – cor-rage – the fierceness of an open loving heart. Now is an auspicious time to take the leap into freedom!

National identity is a collective egoic form often founded on events inflated or deflated, idealized or demonized by the familiar dualistic and adversarial survival strategy of the mind. Nations are often sustained by stories of martyrs that the “other” deems heroes, and stories of heroes that the “other” deems martyrs. This is the debilitating DNA many nations and countries which are per se built on the illusion of separation.

Yes, cultural and ethnic differences do exist and the desire to gather around these commonalities needs to be honored. Boundaries are a natural part of life. Yet, these are typically not the boundaries at the core of national identity. We have long forgotten the art of navigating natural boundaries within a collective body. Instead, we have construed artificial boundaries disconnected from the public heart which pervade our collective operating systems. These artificial mind-based boundaries – often pencil lines on a map drawn over a cocktail at the close of a war – are out of sync with life and eventually collapse with often devastating repurcussion.

The reactions to the refugee crisis, the terror attacks in Paris and the rampant mass shootings are good examples of our self-created suicidal paradigm based on artificial boundaries. They are also an opportunity to compassionately accept our collective mental illness and remember the truth of our innate wisdom.

The refugee crisis and the terrorist attacks are both bringing to light artificially created national boundaries. We like to believe that immigration and terrorism are about defending national boundaries. Yet, the reality is that immigration and terrorism are merely a symptom of the trinity of poverty, corruption and organized crime at all levels of society, a trinity that we are incapable to tackle as a whole in the pigeon-hole paradigm of the mind.

In our illusion of control we like to believe that there are “states” and “enemies” out there that we can bomb and eradicate yet in reality the cancer cells have long been replicating inside our collective body defying any boundaries. Terrorists, refugees, mass shooters are not stopped by the illusion of boundaries and never will. Terrorists have valid passports and will most rarely go through the hassle of the cumbersome refugee process. The stream of refugees will continue as long as the poverty gap continues and undocumented immigrants will continue to come back a few days after being deported. Organized crime in Central America and Mexico will continue as long as the huge demand for illegal drugs and the mass production of weapons in the US continues. Traffickers and terrorists will continue to easily cross the borders as they are mostly citizens or have otherwise legal papers. And ultimately mass shootings will continue no matter how stringent gun laws are. Such laws can never adequately decide where the boundaries separating those who are mentally healthy to own guns are.

Reason for despair? Not at all, because these situations are nothing more than a logical consequence of the paradigm we have chosen. We have an opportunity to choose anew. As the illusion of control and artificial boundaries is collapsing we can become ALIVE. Beneath the first layer of reactive national policies, we find a pristine thread of root causes and a myriad of other healthier possibilities, including natural boundaries.

We can stop spending hours and years analyzing the reasons for terrorism, the refugee crisis, mass shootings and the never ending threats we are facing. We can compassionately accept the root of our mentally distorted collective machine cropped from its true foundation – the wisdom of the public heart. We can become aware of what produces insane results in the name of reason. Fear masked as clever control strategies. Anger masked as patriotism. Sadness masked as martyrdom. We can unplug from what turns us into terrorists, refugees and self-harming towards ourselves.

The public heart is a practical source of healthy possibilities foreign to the mind. It is not an unreachable, theoretical, religious or spiritual mind construct, it is the pulsing beat that causes us to breathe in the first place. The public heart has always been and always will be alive and is the force that moves us off the tower of control into the sea of life. Whether we can read its message it is up to us. Unlike the mind, the public heart is not self-imposing in the arrogant assumption of infallibility. It humbly offers a new opportunity to choose each day, collectively and individually.

Connecting to the public heart starts with a radical acceptance of the artificial boundaries we have collectively created on the ground. It is an illusion to believe that we have no responsibility for what happens in our nation and beyond. The choices we are making in our personal life are intimately feeding the collective body each moment. We are its organic cells and as such we can choose whether to perpetuate the cancer or radiate health. And we know that cancer cells can ultimately not survive if there are enough healthy cells.

When we have the courage to jump off the tower in our personal lives we help re-program the collective body to do the same. When we relax our all-knowing minds we will hear the song of the public heart. Many remember from personal crises that ultimately we are being pushed off the tower into our hearts no matter what. Yet, it is less painful if we cultivate the attitude that allows for a smooth landing and navigation through life. It is in the public heart that we find the clarity of healthy natural boundaries conducive to life.

A culture of heart-centered citizenship is what restores our collective mental health and what makes navigation easier. Peace is not the goal, peace is the process. Nothing more, nothing less. Let’s learn to be guided by the public heart, held by the sea of life and allow peace to find us through the art of living.

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