Interesting. After writing yesterday about the gathering in Atlanta I received an email today from the folks who put on the event.
A few weeks ago, several elders from around the world gathered at Ancient Wisdom Rising in Atlanta. It was not business as usual. There was more urgency in how they spoke. Two main messages rang out loud and clear: only the heart will be able to guide us in the time that is coming…the mind will not have a clue. And the need for community. If you don’t have one, get one. If you have one, go deeper. We are going to need each other.
The email went on to ask for money, but this first paragraph caught my attention.
Yes, the elders did speak with urgency and concern about the state of our planet and people. And they spoke about the importance of community. But not from a perspective of needing to gear up for pending disaster. Water, check. Flashlights, check. Dried food, check. Community, check. It’s not that we are going to need community but that we have always needed community. Desmond Tutu and others have reminded us that for as long as memory the concept of I am because we are, has been embedded in the African people.
Being in right relationship with community is one of the three fundamental messages from Ireland’s indigenous spiritual ancestors. A message that is thousands of years old. A message that echoes through the rituals and traditions of this holiday season. Gathering with family and friends. Sharing stories around the fire. Celebrating. This is the light of community that feeds the soul. And for our Irish ancestors, hospitality wasn’t just a good idea, it was the law. Breaking the code of hospitality was as serious as stealing cattle.
Yes, community can be a messy business. Yet, as the elders and ancestors have always known, it is only through community that we thrive. Perhaps it’s less about community saving us than us saving community.