Sunday, May 19, 2024

Hero's Journey

    Some still imagine that they're floating along on a lazy, hazy "smooth ride," but a jarring wake-up call has been clanging for some time. Real life is dragging ALL of us - personally & collectively - to rehab right now.

Personal level - one's health
Lamott's older brother “John still had such a handsome, hard casing that when God finally reached a tipping point with him, He or She had to use a very heavy hand: John got severe rheumatoid arthritis, which sent him to bed for days on end during flare-ups. He cut his work life in half, needed a cane to walk, and then a cart for longer distances, like getting around the Chico’s Costco. Then his liver began to harden and die off in spots. And those things he had always kept at bay – the grimy, the real, and the powerlessness – were now obvious aspects of his life. The smooth ride was over.
    Anne Lamott. “Small Victories. Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace.” Riverhead, 2014.

Collective level - earth's health
The people who have contributed the least to the climate crisis, whose wise indigenous cultures have been plundered to create hyper-individualistic economies, and who have the least financial resources to manage their local waters, air, and soils are already suffering the most. It is shameful that instead of joining hands to face the climate derangement, the current global geopolitical order is inflicting gory violence upon people in the Middle East, where everyone will be displaced by ongoing global heating in the next few decades.
    A vibrant and ongoing sense of local community that takes meaningful actions cannot be created without vulnerably connecting over stories and releasing our layers of personal and collective grief, rage, fear, and guilt-shame.”

    Kritee Kanko PhD "Climate Grief, Communal Power. A Zen Teacher Invokes the Parable of the Mustard Seed to Call for Intersectional Solidarity from the Larger Buddhist Community." Tricycle, April 4, 2024.

Personal Unconscious - Universal Consciousness?
week or so ago, I had a strikingly clear, memorable dream. I was driving in downtown San Francisco towards an archway, where the road appeared to simply end. So I stopped the car, got out, and walked a little bit ahead of the car and to my shock, I saw that the road sharply bent straight down at a 90° angle, to the street ~10 stories below. There was no sign of crashed cars at the bottom.
    I walked over to the left, to an adjoining archway, and there too, again without any posted warnings, the road bent almost as sharply downwards, but here, there was a wide, extremely steep stairway down to the street far below, with no handrails, so that at least theoretically, one might survive the very long, extremely steep climb down
    In the dream, I
was absolutely incredulous, and mad that there were no warnings whatsoever, that this was the catastrophic end of the road for my "smooth ride."

    This dream suggests (screams) that our collective next move is unexpectedly, right now, & highly uncertain. Are enough of us up to having a genuine "hero's journey"? - "A sudden & unexpected journey, promising adventure & peril. A test of character, strength, & skill. An ultimate battle that tests the hero's resolve. A triumphant return home." Can we first learn & then spread the understanding that life has real meaning & purpose?

    Wise collective action is demanded, which must be lead by wise, mature leaders. Our collective behavior will demonstrate whether enough of the human race can quickly, radically evolve to become a blessing - OR - continue devolving as an unsustainable invasive species.

"How wonderful it would be when all beings
experience each other as limbs
on the one body of life." 

Simon & Garfunkel - A Hazy Shade of Winter


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