From Bonds to Connection, from Contract to Community

We are tied to each other, but beneath these bonds lies a deep connection that cannot be experienced without letting go of both the suspicion and the sense of duty we feel towards our bonds.

Bonds are ties. Ties are compulsive. They are the fabric of domination, whether between us or within us. We live in societies that are bound by forms of domination. These form the social contract.

We struggle with the shape and size, the fit of this container. Some resist by pulling back, exercising authoritarian instincts to make life “simpler” by making the binders tighter and more direct. Others resist by asking for leniency. They seek to reform the bonds, looking for ways for them to pinch less, for them to make us feel more generous, magnanimous, more liberal. Neither side of this duality recognizes any possibility outside of bonds. All of them agree, without ever articulating why, that life could not exist outside of a state of domination. Each is eager to replace their flavor of dominance over their rivals, but neither sees any reason to look beyond the struggle they’ve bound themselves to.

Life is seen as a negotiation. There are roles and parties play their parts, and the whole is a game with winners and losers. There are no visible doubts concerning these foundations anywhere to be seen in any public forum. Arguments about inclusion and prejudice and hegemony thrown at one’s opponents from either side; and all across the “middle” of the fiction that this one short line scratched across the infinite realms of human possibility is all that is, all that matters; maintain an increasingly desperate insistence that beyond the tiny circle of their struggles can only exist chaos and the void. There is no room, no air beyond their panicked inhalations for anything else. Argue with them and their rage is their only answer.

This rage is the cutting edge of the all-consuming destruction that is both cause and result of a misunderstanding, a human failing that has led us on a self-amplifying course about to culminate in universal destruction through a variety of means and fed equally by the attitudes and beliefs that underlie the entire program. It matters naught which team we might prefer. This program has been fed by the consumption of abundance to create the fiction of wealth by placing its “winners” in a position of relatively lesser poverty that they then call wealth. The entire system, based on the primacy of desire and appetite, is only concerned with maintaining a slope, a relative position of perceived “superiority” for its proponents over those who’ve been taken as their victims.

In the endless bottomless craving for completion, complete power, complete consumption, complete domination over everything within range; there is no room for any deviation from the intoxication and addiction to this single human propensity now swollen to encompass the entire range of human possibility and touted either victoriously or in apologia as the sum total of “human nature!”

What is there to counter this Juggernaut? Even this question is mired in the overall framework that has caused this view of domination to become so all-encompassing.

What is a question that points us in another direction?

What is?

Asking what is, instead of demanding what one wants, is an alien concept today. Our alienation from such a clear and obvious necessity to place our efforts towards engaging with what is, is the final binder holding us within our trap.

When we talk of letting go, instead of this being a cry of defeat, a giving in to the nihilism hounding our exhaustion at our captivity, it is a release from the bonds that hold us within domination’s grasp.

The simple yet profound action of removing our attention from the struggle at the heart of domination’s hold over us does nothing, yet it changes everything. This is the catalytic moment we find in the story of Stone Soup writ large.

It is a choice to attend to connection, and through this choice we arrive at community, with all that this can give. It takes us from the binding traps of negotiation; with ourselves, with each other, with the world, with our conceptions of God; and releases us to the realm of trust, of sincerity, of the entire realm of the Gift. It opens us to the greatest gift, to the recognition of what our life is in each moment, its immensity, its sufficiency, its joy.

We replace an insatiable hunger to maintain a slope of advantage for the narrow slice of everything we deign to call ours, with a focus on sincerity and the ways of compassion that carries us into the only kind of growth that is eternal. The growth of community ever expanding, fed by compassion and understanding, to encompass all that is. This movement is life. It is not a trait of some subset of things as we see the world from within the view of domination. It is the currency of all. It is the dance, the motion that brings what is to be.

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