This essay has been updated to include a link to a video of Carl Sagan’s famous quote included in the Voyager 1 interstellar space probe that exited our solar system sending back information and images of space. One of those images was the earth appearing as a dot within a narrow beam of light. Check out the 3 min video and the profundity of what he said. 🙏
As political and cultural polarization continues to fester, could there be an antidote? The CARE image above was discovered and captured at Asilomar State Beach while the dharma wanderer was on a regular walk/run. The half mile long beach had never exhibited a word message of any sort during these walk/runs for more than two years.
Driftwood, shells and sand formed the singular message. A reminder of what it means to be human, being clear about what’s important. It was artfully formed by one who surely knew a wave would soon erase it amidst the truth of impermanence. It was designed with an open hearted earthiness that camouflaged the formidable power of its meaning.
When he saw it he was struck emotionally by the depth of meaning it communicated in such a raw pristine setting. He immediately felt the urge to take a picture, but he never carried his phone on these exercise sessions. He looked around to find someone who might have a smart phone he could borrow for just a moment. There was no one nearby. He gave up the search and continued down the beach. Fifty yards later, a woman appeared, holding her phone, taking a picture of the unceasing waves amidst the salt air spray and cold wind that chilled the skin.
He stood silently while she continued her brief movie making. She cautiously looked in his direction . He spoke, “Can I ask you a favor?” She nodded assent. He explained what he wanted to do. They chatted for a moment. She waved to her husband to come to them so he would know why she was choosing to walk up the beach with a stranger. Names, handshakes and brief introductions were exchanged.
As she walked with him, they quickly shared a bit of their journey. He, a retired psychologist. She, a Reiki healer. She very briefly told her own story of a death dealing car accident at age sixteen. Flatlining at the hospital. Being completely different afterwards. Searching for so many years to understand the mysterious changes in her consciousness that included so much suffering. There was not enough time to share all the remedies she had explored. Doing Reiki healing on others for more than a decade was an element of her own healing.
He pointed to the simple word as it lay outstretched on the sand. She handed her phone to him. He framed the picture carefully.
They walked back to where they had met. Still chatting, still sharing their individual stories. They exchanged contact info and a brief hug. He resumed his exercise, freshly energized by the serendipitous connection with the openhearted being who appeared at the right moment.
What do we deeply CARE about? How to express it? How to amplify it? How to send it out into the emptiness that surrounds us, permeating our temporary presence on what Carl Sagan called our planetary home, “this pale blue dot.”
Individual consciousness knows when the heart opens. It is felt in the chest and can spread with tingling chills. When that happens, that moment pregnant with feeling can be sent out from the body into empty space, resonating with the metaphysical purpose of our presence on this pale blue dot.
This is one antidote for the hate, anguish, fear and tragedy that fills our media. There is another world more powerful if it be accessed. It resides in the human heart. That magical place where love and caring and compassion exist and can be nurtured.
Again, what is that antidote? In those special moments when your heart is open, imagine light emerging from it, surrounding your loved ones, the ones you care deeply about. Send it out to them. Expand that to include all beings living within the impermanence and mystery we share on this pale blue dot. Surround our planetary home with your heart felt vibe. The universal mirror will return it to you, for sure.
This is the blessing each of us can give to all of us. To every living breathing being on this pale blue dot.
May it be so.