We are receiving reports from various parts of the U.S. of floods galore, strong winds and one gale after another. To top it all, we have the terrible oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

One would expect honesty from those who caused the manmade accidents. We cannot fine the winds, the floods, the gales, the hurricanes. We can’t bring Nature to court. We can’t expect Nature to abide by our desires and corrections.

But we can expect those who tamper with our territories to be responsible human beings. How sad when BP seeks to escape its obligations. How sad when we hear its international headquarters pleading, “What about our stockholders? If we pay,” it says, “all the claimants, our stockholders will be deprived.”

On the one hand, the company’s principal officer recites “mea culpa” publicly, but privately meets with his boards and whispers to them, “Leave it to me — you will get yours.”

This callousness is the modern disease. It speaks of privacy, private property, private ambitions as if they are not related to the rest of the world.

“No man is an island unto himself.” We can’t be known as human beings when we deprive ourselves of humane standards. This is taught by every tradition.

The 20th century, with its many “isms,” was lacking the connectedness of which we speak. Franco, Mussolini, Hitler, Hirohito, all said the same thing: “The wealth of this world belongs to the chosen few. The rest are there to serve and care for the chosen.”

We have many examples of this kind of behavior. It seems as if from the earliest days of human existence, the notion of the chosen was the path of the divine.

Fortunately, in the past two centuries, many scholars have discovered another aspect of human existence. They call it “the unconscious.”

It is the place within ourselves that is of times hidden from the human eye. It is the place we experience in our sleeping hours. It is the place we discover in moments of meditation.

In that place, we find a different approach to human existence. Its lesson is that we are all one. And as Carl Jung said, “What is known to one is known to all.”

It seems to us the time for withdrawing from the conscious, its errors, its selfishness, has arrived. It is time for all of us to sit down and take inventory of who we really are. Amazingly, we will discover our hidden talents, we will realize our possibilities, we will no longer laugh at the dreams of those who speak in terms of ultimate potential.

We will find that divine breath that lies in the unconscious urging us to pay heed to its lessons. Who knows, that may be history’s lesson for our times.

 

Rabbi Harry Sky is a resident of Falmouth. He can be reached at:

[email protected]