Man maintains himself through 3 forms of heat: Warmth, Touch, and Inspiration. Physically, spiritually, and mentally, without heat, we develop a slow persistent rigor mortis of our internal life. Man has devoted himself to Gods, wars, women, and various movements to keep the fire alive, but a generation is developing that is leading an internal revolution; a revolution of solitude, silence, and building the world anew to increase our internal and worldly connection. Faith, peace, and freedom are under attack, demagogues are attempting to diminish the fire burning inside the souls of the people. We are being challenged to raise our consciousness; which means questioning everything the world has provided as basic fact and tradition. Like Promethean, we are responsible for bringing fire to humanity, but we also share his fate; the bearers of light are bound to a place of unappreciation, imprisoned, or even killed. Understandably, corrupt nations, and autocratic politicians, depend on the blindness of its citizens; while a healthy nation will celebrate Prometheus, the Greeks new, all to well, most rulers share the mindset of Zeus. There are many privileges in modern life, but many people bear the brunt of societies achievements; most people work their entire lives hoping one day to experience it. The modern world has an unmatched coldness, but any look into the books, journals, and letters of the people that felt the effect of this country will express the same pain we have today.
“We do not ride on the railroad; it rides upon us. Did you ever think what those sleepers are that underlie the railroad? Each one is a man…. The rails are laid on them, and they are covered with sand, and the cars run smoothly over them. They are sound sleepers, I assure you. And every few years a new lot is laid down and run over; so that, if some have the pleasure of riding on a rail, others have the misfortune to be ridden upon.” — Henry David Thoreau
Life has, and always will be, a place for both suffering and pleasure, but it is the responsibility of the Prometheus-man to bring fire to himself everyday and bear the brunt of the punishment. Keeping the fire burning through raising the consciousness of the world is our hourly requirement, and bringing the light back if it dies out. Our pursuit of the Elysian fields and our hunger for the Garden of Eden is illusory; we must accept the blue demons will always reappear and attempt to rule our consciousness. We are attempting to justify an existence of constant consumption that leads to a spiritual deprivation; the raising of our consciousness is continuously bringing fire to mankind.
“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. There is no play in them, for this comes after work. But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things..”
― Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience
Through the extraordinarily suffocating pressure of living, mindfulness is a practice that allows us to keep the fire alive, add fuel to the fire when it is dim, and notice when the fire has extinguished. Some days are like the song outstanding by the Gap band, “You light my fire, I feel alive with you, baby, You blow my mind, I’m satisfied”, and other days feel like our internal bomb is at the hands of a tyrannical dictator with an inferiority complex, and every aspect of our lives threatens his image. Through mindfulness we discover the means to light our own fire, and this is our dedication to ourselves. Mindfulness is not hiding ourselves in Mount Olympus, but a confrontation with the world; it’s taking the resources the world has provided us and planting our seeds to nourish ourselves from the life we’ve been given. Our tiredness, our lack of faith, our rumination on the past, our inability to forgive ourselves, and our fear of the world is transformed into an opportunity for discovery and growth. We discover darkness is a opportunity for light, and mindfulness is the art of rooting ourselves into the earth in order to ascend into heaven. Moving away from idealistic fantasies and allowing ourselves to be present at the universal morning roll call, and only pursue our duty, which is, bringing fire to mankind.
“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.”― Henry David Thoreau
Art is an outward sign of an inward spiritual grace; a celebration of people and appreciative acknowledgement of life. Art is the fruit we bear from the seeds we planted with our mindfulness, becoming closer to the emotional, mental, and spiritual life of the world. Most people live disconnected from their passions and pursue the lives that will make their mother, father, or neighbor proud; we must go our own way, and make ourselves proud. The man that goes alone can leave today, while the man that waits on another will wait forever; most people lead lives exhausting themselves for someone outside themselves, and because they are unable to pour into themselves despair begins to sink into their hearts. Art provides man with hope, it is a stimulant of ridding away our despair; revealing the universality of our suffering and the importance of moving through our particular experience. Everyone is involved in their own Sisyphean struggle against the endless despair, the world finds purpose when we commit ourselves to mastery: “The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.” In order to create and become we have to turn ourselves away from the world and into ourselves; all the internal conversations, attempts to predict the future, and rumination over the past must cease. The amalgamation of our experience, our heart, and our mind is the path to keep the fire alive.
“So far as he is serious, the artist is continually tempted to sever the dialogue he has with an audience. Silence is the furthest extension of that reluctance to communicate, that ambivalence about making contact with the audience… Silence is the artist’s ultimate other-worldly gesture: by silence, he frees himself from servile bondage to the world, which appears as patron, client, consumer, antagonist, arbiter, and distorter of his work.”- Susan Sontag