• Thomas Rowland

A Man's World

Updated: Apr 7


We are all worlds


Some of us, like the Earth we live on, have the hidden life of a core within, moving the landscape with currents of magma that swirl beneath and break out onto the surface, bringing with them all the nutrients for life. We have an atmosphere that lets sunlight penetrate, allows us to be warmed by its energy, lets life thrive.


Some are not so. They are solid, lifeless rocks, lacking the life-giving dynamism of a molten core and warming atmosphere. For others, our surface is unbearable toxic, made so by volcanic activity and historical meteor impacts, and our atmosphere cannot let any sunlight reach the surface. We are cut off from the Universe.

A man’s world

A man’s world is often one frozen and numb. Frozen grief. Untended wounds. Ignored passions. Nothing swirls beneath. But it could; it did once. But over time, it stopped (or we pretended that it did) as we learned we had to be hard - solid - to be a man.


This hardening over cut us off from our connection to others. As ice reflects the sunlight, absorbing little of the heat that would melt it, so men refuse to be touched and warmed. Our frozen worlds are alienated from the life, energy and warmth of the worlds around us. Self-reliance is our ultimate achievement - and our most damaging curse.


To be touched, we must melt a little. To feel the warmth of connection, we must become at least a little soft. But if we allow that, the currents of rage and grief held within the bonds of the very substance we are made from, might again be felt. And then we might lose our position in the solar system within which we have found a place for ourselves.

Alternatively, men become gas giants. We’ve learned that size matters: that it matters how many moons you have in orbit around you. And so we expand ourselves. But this expanding can pull our very substance apart. We can feel ourselves fragmenting, becoming littered with huge empty voids


In this state, we fixate on what revolves around us. Our compulsion is to increase in size; our priority is our place in the pecking order; the question that drives us is how we are seen from and by other, smaller, planets. We have fantasies of being the Sun. Yet, when we look within, we see that no light shines. We are a swirling, striving, cloud of gas, revolving around a deeply heavy, deeply sad centre that ever feels inadequate.


A living world


If some force disrupts the inner current of our gas giant, some solar wind or meteor from outside perhaps, such a disruption may cause a collapse. Such a calamitous collapse is found when solar systems are born in nebulae. And so, we can be reborn. Our expanding cloud of swirling gas particles can be pulled together again. Yes, we may be smaller. Our moons perhaps are lost. But the empty gaps that were woven into our being are closed. We feel the swirling currents still and settle. We find a core that has started to burn again. And from these beginnings, we can rebuild our life, connected within.


Similarly, if you scrape away at snow and unearth even a small piece of earth beneath, that small piece of bare ground will start to absorb the Sun’s heat and become the centre of a thaw. Soon, life is emerging in that melted space, as flowers of Spring emerge. And so, life spreads out from those thawing centres to the parts of us still frozen, even in the crevices and depths of our being.


At the same time, we can appreciate our connectedness to the stars and worlds around us, in which we move and have our being, from which we were made. We can receive their love, warmth and energy. We can feel their pull on us and, in turn, pull on them. We can know that we are both changing the shape of reality around us, so that we are never separated, but intricately, inherently, constantly interconnected. We can know we belong to this galaxy of being and matter simply because we are.



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