Today a man, who will probably not be identified as a terrorist because he was white, walked into a small church and killed half the congregation, before ending up dead in his car.
Last week a man who probably will be identified as a terrorist because he was Arabic drove a car onto a bike path in New York City and killed 8 people before ending up dead in the street.
Barely a month prior to these two events, a man who has not been identified as a terrorist because he was white opened fire into a crowd at a concert in Las Vegas (eerily in the presence of a replica of the great pyramid) killing 58 and wounding more than 500. There is ample evidence to suggest that there were multiple gunmen in that instance and that it was an event orchestrated by multiple parties, though the official media line is that of the “lone wolf.” That “lone wolf” also died shortly after his rampage.
Welcome to modern America. America is one of the most beautiful and strange places in the world, as far as I know. It is home to some of the most profound beauty and some of the most devastating depravity in the world. In the light of the steady decline of the society into its worst expressions, I wonder if anyone, anymore, calls this place “the land of the free and the home of the brave”? It is a statement awash in contradictions since the “founding” of this country as the entity it has become today is a long and long-buried story of extraordinary violence, brutality, thievery, lies, betrayal, and environmental devastation, none of which has ever met the light of true accountability, and none of which has ever been dealt with as the debilitating wound that it actually is, and so has completely escaped the healing that is necessary for growth.
The garden that has grown from that agonized soil bears strange fruit indeed. We live now in the land of control, violence as casual entertainment and extreme daily occurrence, police brutality, rampant sexual violation of everyone from barely arrived babies to barely still here elders, money slavery, constant surveillance, encroaching authoritarianism, an ever-looming threat of punishment for not “obeying the law”, conditional freedom, radical corruption in “leadership”, and crumbling social order as every unacknowledged wound, trauma, ghost, demon, and tortured spirit rises from its dungeon to rattle its chains and smash the walls of the glass house of our “nice, prosperous, equality-for-all” society.
And everyday, all day long, we carry on with business as usual.
Well, I have a proposition.
My deepest prayer, as terrifying as the ramifications of it being answered are, even to me, is that we will stop carrying on with business as usual.
EVERYONE. EVERYWHERE. RIGHT NOW.
Stop carrying on with business as usual.
Because this is not the way it should be. This is not “just the way we are” or “the way it is.” This is by no means normal, by no means inevitable, and by no means the ultimate expression of who we are as a species. We have a lot of material to be dealt with if we are going to move from where we currently are as a presence on this planet into the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible – America’s unacknowledged history alone is a festering wound in the collective body of the world, and until it is met and dealt with the society will continue to degenerate into apathy, slavery, madness, and violence – and I cannot feel a more important or worthwhile endeavor to embrace with the fullness of our hearts and the vast brilliance of our consciousness.
Just a few of the examples of the severity of our situation follow:
Having a male (he’s not a man) who is known to be a rapist and a misogynist, who’s morally bankrupt, incredibly incompetent with the task of leadership, famously ignorant, astonishingly arrogant, and is also a notoriously corrupt liar with the rational and emotional capacity of a developmentally impaired teenager as president of the nation is not something to adapt to. It’s not the new normal. It’s no kind of normal. It’s fucked up. That’s all it is, and that’s all it’s going to be unless someone hauls his ass down to peru and locks him into the care of a particularly unglamorous maestra to do the deep work of riding the waves of his own underworld until the extraordinary disfiguration of his spirit straightens out into an expression of integrated manhood. May it be so, and soon.
Nor is the steady destruction of the land of this holy planet something to blithely accept as the new normal. It’s not fucking normal. It’s extremely ab-fucking-normal. Poisoned oceans, disappearing forests, mass extinctions of species, severe drought, epidemic wildfires, devastating floods and hurricanes, famines, mountaintop removal, poisoned air from power plants, animals enslaved by the billions for food, clothes and more, wildlife hunted for sport, land that took thousands of years to grow into a perfect system of sustainable beauty for innumerable life forms decimated within months for “development”, let alone the impact to human life that the astronomical wealth inequality holds, all this and many other examples are expressions of the twisted and wholly contemptuous-to-the-earth ideology of “progress.” “Progress” as a driving ideology, complete with its extreme diversity of serious consequences that get measured against economic standards of validity and acceptability, its tremendous array of pollutants and contaminants all driving not only the planet but most of the bodies on it into a state of degenerative disease, and its many other pernicious impacts on life and the world, has long since crossed the line from beneficial to horrendously detrimental, yet shows no signs of slowing anytime soon. Indeed, the rhetoric of “progress”, with its attendant standards of “economic development” and “growth” as the only valid measure of its success, seems to steadily grow in volume and amplitude as it’s obvious failure as a guiding principle simultaneously becomes ever more glaringly inescapable.
We are living in a world in which some central delusions have long since become a reality with their own imperatives, and we are on the brink of absolute catastrophe and almost certain death because of it.
It isn’t normal and it doesn’t have to be this way. Other things are possible. Can you feel that? Listen to your bones….. Can you hear life calling?
This is not just words on a page. This is the living, breathing reality of the world that we are living in and sharing with an extraordinary array of life forms who are also on the brink of annihilation because of our human endeavor.
This is a BIG FUCKING DEAL.
This is the most important thing to be in relationship with. Being in relationship with the absolute imperilment of our world and our place within it is the only portal to true empowerment. It’s not “heavy”, a “bummer”, a “downer”, or “too much” – it’s REAL. This is what we’re actually dealing with, and until we call the Hydra the Hydra we can’t deal with it, because it’s not a fucking Dragon, right?
Anywhere there is avoidance or denial there is a loss of power and vital energy that only serves to feed the Wasteland we all need to emerge from. The reality of our world as it is demands and deserves absolutely all of our attention, care, ingenuity, creativity, love, passion, intelligence, humility and action to bring to life the core of beauty that awaits, but is not assured, within this crucible. Being with the world as it is, with all the pain and fear that comes along with that, is the only path to true power and contains the only possibility of potency in response. It is the only path to Life.
We are in the most extraordinary initiation, and as in all initiations, we are walking with Death. Only the way that we walk decides whether or not we live to embody the gift.
Breathe deep, because here’s the amazing thing about it: opening to the pain, sorrow, fear, anger, rage and whatever else arises when you stop to fully breathe in the reality of the world and the awesome precariousness of our situation right now is a direct pathway to not only immense Power but also to true Joy and true Love. Not happiness: that’s what most avoidance is chasing, happiness. True Joy and true Love are another wolf altogether, incredible allies. They are a foundation from which any wings can take flight while remaining deeply embedded in the life of the world. They are the fire that will fuel us and warm us while we do the incredible work of waking up and taking our place in the creation of the World of Beauty. Nothing else can hold us like they can. Nothing else can feed us like they can.
And they are only accessible through the portal of opening to everything that this moment truly is.
So I pose a few questions, and I pose an invitation.
The questions are this:
Where are we, really? Is this where we want to be? What’s going on in this world, really? When we stop long enough to truly look the world in the eye, how do we really feel about it?
How are we participating in the world? Are we living our dreams? Are we living from love? Into what soil is our taproot planted, and what nourishment are we drawing from that soil? What are we feeding into the body of the world with our lives?
Are these choices that we are choosing from – building our lives from and spending our days with – truly, or even barely representative of what’s possible in the scope of a life in the world? What’s not on the menu?
What critical elements that would change everything are being actively hidden from us and conditioned out of us by the society of control and punishment, common education, degenerating nutritional value in food, pharmaceutical drugs, the death of the imagination with the rise of technology, an increase in deliberate obfuscation, propoganda and blatant dishonesty in leadership and news, the crushing mediocrity of “the way things are” and the extraordinary pressure to carry on with “business as usual?”
Before you read on, please take a moment to just be with those questions. Read them and breathe into them, let them open and unfold inside of you, let your responses open and unfold, and welcome all the new questions that they stimulate inside of you.
What awakens for you as you allow yourself to move – in your imagination and your feeling body – beyond the boundaries of what has been handed to you as the only valid set of possibilities and into the life of your own deepest knowing?
What could you reclaim from within your own deepest knowing that could help to heal the world and foster the birth of the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible?
Take time with those questions. Let them work on you.
And then I’ll share with you the invitation.