This planet is quite extraordinary. We are all on a remarkable journey whichever way we look at it. As I write billions of us are somewhat bunkered in although it looks like things may be slowly opening up. I find it quite astonishing that we get along the way we do with a completely overcrowded planet and an environment of frenzied ambition. If you feel unsettled about humanity’s direction then your’e not alone.
This Covid-19 upheaval is highlighting humanity’s fragility but the human spirit of creativity and connectedness, even in challenging circumstances, can diffuse the dark nature of human division and selfishness. So how do we stay aligned to that connectedness when things around us are going potty?
Last New Years eve I spent with some friends — we were four couples. Just before midnight we had a talking circle where each person would say what 2020 would mean for them. Four people were despairing for the planet and how it’s travelling and couldn’t see much of a future. They worked in government jobs or what might be seen as more pedestrian occupations. One worked in a government service where she puts her energy and body on the line to help those in need — a stressful job indeed and I admire her fortitude for sticking it out over the years.
The other four were more upbeat, focused on what they were doing in the present. They were concentrating on individual creative pursuits and were somewhat removed from the machinations of society.
The feeling of hopelessness of some in the group was striking. It kind of rattled me a bit because all of us live in an environment that I would describe as paradisiacal — a verdant sub-tropical setting of forest and beaches and chilled out vibes. But if one is not fulfilled within oneself then it doesn’t matter where one lives.
In the mid 80’s I began to study spirituality and metaphysics and at the time there were many speakers who were predicting that the apocalypse was just around the corner. Well, it hasn’t arrived — yet. Presently there are less punch ups in the world than in those times — and we’ve added a few billion people.
Recently I saw a documentary from Louis Theroux where he visited people in the US who were preparing for some great planetary disaster in the proceeding couple of years. They were not religious — just normal folk who had a deep distrust of government and were fearful that it was all going to be taken away. All their focus and energy was expended in separating from a world they saw as unfit for them and their families. I got to the credits and realised that the film was made 20 years ago. I wonder what they are up to now.
Are we staring into the abyss? Sure it’s unsettling when we hear what is going on this world. Just look at our loony boony leaders. What a crackpot, sinister bunch.
But they are not what is important for most of us. What is important is the everyday, consistent and measured actions we all collectively take.
We must always remind ourselves that despite what the media sells us, we are an incredibly adaptable species and our resilience is extraordinary. I have talked about our resilience before but this piece is more about choices. Each one of us has a choice. Every day we can wake up and see the world as a threat that is collapsing all around us, or we can rise to the challenge to make our lives, our environment a better one for all — whatever that may be. Focus on the disasters and we invite tension and imbalance. Focus on opportunity and things show up. What shows up may not be perfectly what you envisioned but it’s something to work with.
I understand that at times it’s hard to see our planetary evolution in a salubrious light but we owe to to ourselves to focus on the graciousness that resides in our hearts as we stroll about this magical kingdom. Because this dimension truly is magical is it not? Even if a bunch of corrupt and deranged lunatics proclaim to be our leaders. It’s not easy, and we may not like them, but we have to love our leaders as in them we see a bit of ourselves and from that we learn about our own shortcomings; our own darkness.
In fact we can’t really separate the world into one camp or the other. There is no goodness camp or camp of darkness. The whole of humanity has created all the beauty and ugliness we see today. We are all involved.
So this brings us around to tackling the problem of trepidation; feeling insecure about the future.
We don’t put our heads in the sand. We stay alert not alarmed.
We sense two possible paths for humanity from here on out:
Firstly, armageddon is upon us and Beelzebub (and Amazon, the four horseman, the virus etc) will rain chaos down upon our souls.
Secondly, we will keep bumbling along and humanity will go through its natural ups and downs. And as we sail these choppy seas of human endeavour (corny analogy I know), we will take up the challenge to stay afloat.
And no one knows which course humanity will take. But if you look at your own life, you have probably gone through some very difficult times and you are still sailing. You made it. Or making it on some adjusted level. I would like to think that because you are interested in these writings you didn’t turn out to be a terrible person. You respect your fellow citizens and bid them well. You are gracious and generous and not fighting over toilet rolls at the supermarket.
This is a time of more humility and less conviction. We detach from all the speculative nonsense, leave aside prediction and take a good look at what actually is happening around us. Day to day focus on important matters is what we do best. Our time is precious. Use it well.
Best to you
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Categories: Culture, Spirituality
I loved this article! Thank you!
James, in general I agree with your observations, but I would suggest that there is a slightly different way to view from our perspective. Ask yourself would presumably intelligent and benevolent beings that we see ourselves create the world we see today. I believe that this perspective causes you to question a few things, these benevolent beings should make mistakes but should learn from experience and move to avoid that behavior in the future, I ask you is this what you observe? I believe that once you change your perspective you might begin to form some basic questions regarding what we see as the world, Is is as it would be expected to be after at least a couple of thousand years? I think the obvious answer to this thought experiment is that obviously the world is a lot more complicated that a world populated by benevolent creatures who are surviving. Just a fun thought experiment but it might open your mind up to a much more complex situation.
Great Article James! I shared to my newsfeed, and thank you for the perspective it was greatly appreciated. Alert, not Anxious. Love it!