Do you look at the evening news, do you read the FB posts or read the online newspapers or blogs and feel the physical sense of being overwhelmed with fear, despair or trepidation about the state of the world? You know what I mean – that sinking feeling of disempowered angst or incredulity that politicians, corporate executives or dictators could be so stupid as to take us to the brink of war or climate cataclysm. WTF is one of my common exclamations of incredulity. It feels as though I am observing a perfect storm of collective stupidity and suicide and yet we rationally justify it as acceptable. Talk about MADness – mutually assured destruction!
Nearly every day we are bombarded with news of violence, war, threats of nuclear devastation, natural disasters, the plight of refugees, the duplicitous obfuscations of politicians and rising inequity within and between nations and demographic groups. Nothing new here of course yet what is new is the scale and ubiquity of the great disturbance. Given the evidence of systemic breakdown at ecological, climatic, natural resource, social, financial and political levels, it is abundantly clear that humanity is going through the birth and death pains associated with a transition stage in our civilizational and spiritual evolution. It’s not pretty but it’s not hopeless either.
The negative states of mind that all of these events create in our minds and hearts – angst, melancholia, depression, anger, rage, bewilderment, fear, cynicism, disdain, grief – does affect our mental health and our willingness to engage in the world beyond our immediate family or community. After years of exposure, many of us tend to shut down to feeling these, we tend towards an unconscious strategy of numbing rather than feeling, of disengaging rather than staying consciously connected and engaged. But that is at our peril, individually and collectively.
Why? If you recognise that everything, yes absolutely every aspect of our collective reality is interconnected at some level – quantum, energetic, atmospheric, information, consciousness – then you will understand that no matter how much we ignore or numb or get focused on our busyness, we are still affected, consciously or unconsciously at some point during this death-and-rebirth transition period. The question is not if I am affected by the degradation and violence and inequality and corruption, not whether I should feel anger or despair or other feeling but how can I transform the associated feelings of pain into a source of power for personal transformation and greater agency?
The response to the how of coping is as simple and complex as you wish, and certainly there are a myriad of solutions. Yet any solution to coping with and moving beyond this hidden suffering must include transforming the notions of self-identity and consciousness which underlie our understanding of our place in the world and how we create and respond to our experiences. Asking the age-old question of who am I really is a question that we must live into rather than finding a ‘solution’ in some abstract or escapist kind of way or process. There are abstract, conveniently packaged and often superficial solutions to dealing with trauma and pain. Same goes for understanding the role of our own consciousness in responding to a co-created world gone crazy.
In the next blog, I shall discuss my approach to dealing with emotions and feeling associated with suffering the travails of self and planet in this difficult time of great unfolding. It is critical that we all consider integrative measures that help us reflect deeper on who we are, our hidden blockages and patterns that underlie our life and why we create the external events, if we are to create a sustainable perspective towards our identity and how we interpret and respond to the personal and collective events of our lives.
It revolves around expanding our conceptions of identity and deepening our awareness and consciousness that includes other beings, physical and non-physical. The experience of connectedness, resulting from broadening the circle of integration, acts as a conduit for recognising the Divine within and beyond the illusions of physicality and sufferings. By illusions I do not infer it to be not real but to infer that we are the creators of these events and things ‘out’ there and shifting perceptions of them, and the inner hidden world within us, can shift our identity and consciousness. Re-perspectivation by drawing ever widening circles around self-conceptions is an essential step for becoming more resilient towards the negativity and suffering in our personal and wider worlds.