Drawing inspiration from an old and timely Japanese story, I argue for a poetic response to conflict, uncertainty, and fear. Genuine peace requires a poetic basis, a relearning of ways to weave the fragile fabric of culture with threads of imagination, meaning, and healing; This isn’t a quick fix or a simple protest, but a reclamation of radical roots and practices that affirm and nourish the genuine spirit of humanity. This is the real battle, the battle for beauty and meaning trying to break through the spells of the obvious and the fogs of war.
In this episode of Living Myth, we examine our roles in becoming a culture of peace by embodying the stories we tell.
‘This is better than conquering a foreign realm. ‘ And then the King had a thought. He said, ‘If this pit is so valuable and potentally magic, why have you, yourself, not planted it and reaped all the wealth and not bothered to steal all your whole life long?’
And the old thief said, ‘Well, there’s one reason. That is to say that the person who plants it has to never have stolen, has to never have lied, has to never have cheated, has to never have mistreated other people, has to never have claimed they were elected if they were not, has to never and so on…’
And now the King was looking at the pit and beginning to think, ‘Well, I never did have a green thumb.’
(Image source: Galen Crout/Unsplash)