Why do we need a bigger boat? Lets go back to the movie Jaws for a clue. Jaws was about this big fish that lived in the American unconscious (beneath the surface) and it came up to feed on us. “Meditations on Eckhart Tolle” called this the Pain-Body. So the brave hunters of the Collective Pain-body went to kill the Jaws (the Minotaur), but they needed a bigger boat. Their understanding was not big enough to understand and make conscious the unconscious pain body. That’s what understanding is: making the unconscious conscious. We are at that place in our history. Our boat is too small to contain the forces of globalization and global warming and all the changes that are rapidly taking place.
Our boat is too small. Our boat worked fine during WWII, but after that, it began to get cramped. The forces of modernity are not yet understood in the collective common sense world of everyday mind. Common sense is always yesterday realization. But when yesterday’s world becomes today’s common sense world, the world is always moving on, changing, and it is in conflict with our common sense world view, which was fine before things started changing. We have to evolve. We need a bigger boat.
Today political and social grid-lock is a crisis in consciousness. We cling to yesterday and get angry when it doesn’t fit today. We are like the person pounding a square peg in a round hole: Fit damn it, Fit!
The two forces that must be reconciled by a bigger boat of understanding is Global Warming and the cost and need of health care. These forces cannot be repressed or dismissed or crammed into our existing boat. These forces are pressing on America to grow, to evolve, and to discover itself anew. That is what America is all about: self-creation. Out of the ashes rises the fire bird. Out of grid-lock, rises a new nation. This is both a personal evolution and a collective evolution. This is the law of life. Evolve of die. Create or die.
This “bigger boat” metaphor is Buddism. Suffering is cause by your boat being too small. When you give. up trying to repair your old boat, and suspend your plans for fixing it, a single Idea appears that solves your problem. In the final stages of the evolution of consciousness, that is Awakening of Buddha Nature. But in the lower stages it is getting a new house that holds your growing family. That Single Idea of a new house generates the energy that creates the conditions for the new house to appear. We under estimate the power of a Single Idea that has no second. That Single Idea creates the world it envisions.
The Bigger Boat is a metaphor with legs. You can go anywhere with this metaphor. We constantly need a Bigger Boat because reality is constantly changing and outgrowing our concepts of reality and who we are. Noah’s ark is a metaphor for a boat that whole the entire creation…That is the Buddha Boat. Or the Enlightenment Boat, or The Christ Boat…you name it, the boat is the same boat. This “boat” is like a Russian Nesting Doll in reverse. Instead of reducing to a smaller doll, you keep expanding to a larger doll.
When it comes to reduction and fixing your existing boat the intellect is fine, but when it comes to expansion to a boat that never existed before, the intellect is an obstruction. You can’t create a boat that didn’t exist before with the intellect, with the known. The intellect operates with the known. The Bigger Boat is a gift of grace when the intellect gives up the struggle to create that which has not existed before.
Getting back to my political twist in this martini, the Democrats are going to have to great this bigger boat. Why can’t the Republicans? They use the logic of exclusion to get to the One. But the bigger boat cannot be conceived by the logic of reductionism, or the intellect. You can’t get to the Bigger Boat of America by excluding some of the passengers. You can’t get to the boat that holds everyone by making membership so expensive that you can’t board it.