“The world has changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air. Much that once was is lost.” ~ Galadriel, The Fellowship of the Ring (LOTR) by Tolkien
“[The] soul is calling us now into its favorite territory – darkness. The Enlightenment and its legacy are fading into the archives of human history. We have entered the Age of Endarkenment, a term introduced some years ago by the poet Robert Bly. Confronting collapse consciously is an intentional response, an agreement to make the descent into the darkness, not because of a masochistic preference for suffering, but in order to mine the gold that cannot be discovered elsewhere.” ~ Navigating the coming chaos: a handbook for inner transition by Carolyn Baker
“One thing that comes out of myths is that at the bottom of the abyss comes the voice of salvation” ~ Joseph Campbell
The world has changed, but it didn’t happen overnight. What happened overnight was the sudden awakening of mainstream, the feeling that things are not right and may get even weirder, if not really outrageous and dangerous. And even this awakening has not yet become fully acknowledged by most.
Until recently, most had faith that things would be more or less as usual, with some bumps on the road but nothing to worry too much about. Still many feel that way, even with the mountain of evidence to the contrary. “It doesn’t affect me yet, therefore it should be OK” is the underlying thought…most of those able to read this post don’t have issues with water, food or shelter and don’t have to worry about their freedom of speech, being unemployed and homeless or their cities being bombed.
For me, the awakening happened a few years ago, and since then I’ve been “preparing”: learning skills, stockpiling, auditing what I have, planning various scenarios, building resilience against all odds such as family passive aggressive behavior, health issues and age, lack of time or resources.
The real preparation, however, is that of inner transition: being strong and healthy at the soul level, and then at the body-level, then the community level and so on…
Anyone working in emergency preparedness knows it well: you can be lost in the middle of the wild; naked in the aftermath of a terrible earthquake or fire, injured after a fatal crash or being the victim of a terrible crime; any real survivor will tell you: what’s going to save you and help you from now on are not the emergency kits, the bunker, the tools or even the first aid kit. Running away is not an answer either, as whatever you are running from may travel with you and sooner or later may catch up. What will save you is being strong inside, and knowing what to do next…
So in the aftermath of a terrible blow like the one we are living now and the many that will follow (environmentally, socially, financially and politically), here is the advice I would like to share:
Through these difficult times we will need each other more than ever. But more than each other, we will need to be strong and safe inside and allow our souls (more than our minds) to wander free. This is only achieved when we re-discover, acknowledge and accept what we are, what’s sacred to us and where our place in this world is.
We may discover that these dark times are a blessing, like the dark night of the soul is when you allow yourself to see what’s hidden behind the shadows: dark gold.
“This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.”
~ Jellaludin Rumi
Category: Accepting Pain for the world, Active Hope, After Sustainability, Awareness, Beyond Sustainability, Bodhisattva, Building resilience, Ecopsyhology, Empowerment, Engaged Buddhism, Inner Permaculture, Inner Transition, Life Coaching, Living the truth, People Care, Resilience, Right Livelihood, Self reliance, Social Justice, Social Permaculture, Stages of Grief, Transformation, Transition