The Unstoppable Impulse to BeMay 19, 2022
Have you heard about Great Pacific Patch - that enormous “island” of garbage floating in the Pacific Ocean?
As sad and alarming as it may be, there is also something amazing about it. It is teaming with life. Scientists recently found that there were huge concentrations of organisms living amongst the plastic debris. Some hypothesize that there are as many of these organisms living there as there are pieces of garbage.
I thought about this as I walked through our neighborhood a few days ago. For all of us in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s that singularly vibrant time of year when nature is working overtime as the tender green shoots burst forth from trees and plants, the first flowers bloom, and baby animals are born. Everywhere, life is emerging.
Like the animals apparently thriving in their garbage home, the re-emergence of life each Spring is testament to the universal and fundamental power at the basis of all of life - the impulse to exist.
According to the school of Nondual Tantric philosophy known as Kashmir Shaivism, this impulse of life to exist is known as Iccha Shakti. It’s considered to be the absolute power of will that gives rise to creation. It’s the unstoppable force of Supreme Consciousness to move itself into manifestation.
Because of Iccha Shakti, this pure power of will at the heart of all existence, it is the very nature of life to emerge, survive, and flourish wherever and whenever possible.
What does this mean for us?
Kashmir Shaivism teaches that this impulse lives within us too. At the very ground of our being exists an intrinsic capacity to be, persist, and thrive.
Like the renewing power of nature, or the flourishing of life in the seemingly most bizarre and unsupportive circumstances, we too can take hold of this energy of pure will to move forward, begin again, and persevere; to emerge and re-emerge in service of becoming who we are meant to be.