Friday, September 08, 2006
Love in the Age of Kali Yuga
According to Hindu scholar David Kinsley in his book TANTRIC VISIONS OF THE DIVINE FEMININE, he defines the "Kaalii Yuga" as; "The present cosmic era, in which morality has declined; the last four yugas." (283)
I just returned from the desert, an apparent lifeless dried lakebed inhabited by a sea of bodies searching for love. Burning Man; a vast playa with open hearts looking for meaning with each other. Filling themselves with each other, the extreme overtone of humanity broadcasting itself in expressive ways. Many people arrive and find love for the weekend at least, and many others break their vows. This is love in the time of Kali Yuga, where there is no roadmap only a vast template from which to drive across. There are no set examples, only the now moment on the vast desert floor in a dried white canvas lakebed that extends for miles.
What does it mean to share love in this time of Kali Yuga? During the festivities i was invited to two ceremonies. One, couple were having a hand fasting ceremony, committing together for the next three months. This was a big commitment for them. Another was a separation ritual for friends who had been together for three years and were cutting their cords in order to proceed on with their lives, as individuals. Each of the couples wanted and needed the support of the community in order to fulfill their mission. One was transcending their relationship and moving on in their lives, and the other was creating a union.
In the age of Kali Yuga there is no one way, right or wrong of union, only different methods to navigate whatever has lead us to this moment in time.
There are few nuclear families that i know of amongst our peers, and mostly what i see as "coping mechanisms" as a strategy for the confusion. Polyamory has resurfaced as "truth", multiple partners yielding to individual agreements. The de-secularization of the concept of "relationship". Instead of one monogamous couple there are many multiple loves, from an autopoetic standpoint, each sharing their individual expression for a night, week, a few months, and then moving on. Its as if we are caught up in some zeitgeist in the middle of a sandstorm. While lost in the whiteout we are left feeling for each other, hoping to find each other in the void, with only the sense of touch. I cant help but wonder if we are all shrouded in confusion, in the desert feeling our way to the next body to hold for a moment of safety.
We are calling into the wind, and the wind is blowing back into our faces asking us to look deeper within ourselves, instead of toward each other for salvation.
There seems to be little rhyme nor reason to what we are searching for individually or collectively. Right now we are creating new paradigms, we are caught in the middle of this shift unable to see what is happening around us.
We have only the experiments of the sixties to draw from, yet we are so far from them that few remember, their legacy seems to have ended up in monogamy once again. Here we are at the dawn of the new century with only a little bits of information to draw on from the past.
Within this paradigm i see punctuating of my beautiful, intelligent, radiant women friends whom are all feeling the same way. A bit sad, longing for love, not finding it in traditional ways. In an environment which is too dynamic to sustain the love they require. There are many of us also racing the internal clock, questioning what our families will look like. The concept of "family" is becoming extended deep communities of friends. Loving communities where we receive our needs from various people, not only one. Many people fulfilling different pieces. This is a new understanding.
Many of us share the collective vision of living together. To live in community with each other. Once we travel beyond this period of uncertainty maybe we will all begin having children together and all take care of each other. Perhaps it will look somewhat like what began in the sixties, but with an intentional focus, a life that we are co-creating, not by default.
A friend confided in me that he has no idea how love in this age, and observing the wake of disappointed women left in his path i would say that he is right. Not that he has purposefully decided to hurt anyone, but that he is just as lost between old paradigms of 'commitment or monogamy' and 'what feels good in the moment.' Its as if right now we are searching for an intelligence to mediate between these two extremes.
So what does it mean to love in the age of Kali Yuga? Perhaps this we don't know. Perhaps we are caught and blinded in the midst of this sandstorm of change, searching for others who are searching. Until the wind dies down, and we can open our eyes we wont know what the landscape actually looks like.