Slooowly reading Joanna Macy’s World as Lover, World as Self: Courage for Global Justice and Ecological Renewal. My glacial speed is partly because I never read books like this very fast (it takes me months to finish anything byPema Chodron) but mostly because Macy’s so freakin’ Right On!
So still absorbing her analysis re how we look at the world:
World as Battleground.
World as Trap
World as Lover
World as Self
And wouldn’t you know it? Am discovering that, good Quaker that I strive to be, much of how I relate to the world IS about “the reassuring sense that you are fighting God’s battle—and that ultimately you will win.”
Macy talks about a variation of this paradigm: “A more innocuous version of the battlefield image of the world is the one I learned from my grandparents. it is the world as a classroom, or a kind of moral gymnasium, where you are put though tests to prove your mettle and shape you up, so you can graduate to other arenas and rewards.”
Macy’s “innocuous version” describe an insidious trait of mine and shared by my Cambridge/Somerville/intellectual friends—and they ARE my friends—I’ve shorthanded to “The Harvard Syndrome.” Although I did not go to Harvard, must admit I see myself struggling in that “moral gymnasium,” sometimes.