Gestation rather than Stagnation

Homeostasis is necessary for life. It provides a stable home base, a resting place from which the body can respond to the surrounding world. . .

In the service of homeostasis, addiction acts upon the human spirit like gravity upon a planetary body, seeking to hold it within a stable orbit against the planet’s own centrifugal striving for the stars. In this way, our most natural addictions safeguard the essentials of life. They are part of love, but they are pure function, unadulterated efficiency, nothing but inhibition. For the spirit seeking freedom of love, as for the planet seeking the stars, the gravity of addiction is a painful price to pay for safety.

If homeostasis were the end of things, that end would surely be Sheol: stagnation and death.  With no stretching, reaching, opening, or yearning to counteract our gravity, we would collapse in upon ourselves like stars becoming black holes. Often we do try to choose that option. We choose safety over freedom; we entrench ourselves in inertia. We dull and occupy ourselves so completely that we stifle our desire, anesthetize our yearning, restrict the energy of our passion.  This does not remove us from the ongoing birth of creation, but it deadens us to it. . . We all opt for safety on occasion . . . Most of us choose it more than we would like to admit. Some of us choose it continually.

. . . Love does not permit homeostasis to be the end of things. If we so choose, whatever stability we have can be the source of endless beginnings. Our equilibrium can be gestation rather than stagnation. Homeostasis can be the place where we wake up to our yearnings, however painful, and claim them as our own. . . We can say yes to the invitation of love and begin to open up and reach out again. Each time we say yes we upset our stability. We sacrifice our serenity. We risk our safety. We become vulnerable to being hurt. And creation shines more brightly. . . Each human yes contributes a priceless breath of freedom to the endlessly birthing universe.

– by Gerald G. May  in The Awakened Heart: Opening Yourself to the Love You Need 


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