“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us.”
Charles Dickens, A Tale Of Two Cities (written in the mid 1800’s)
Today, we may feel as though we are living in an era of epoch, radical and unprecedented change. Change that appears to be happening so suddenly, we often feel anxious, hopeless and unable to cope. These times have generated such a massive consciousness of fear that it informs and taints our perspective on every level of existence…personally, locally, globally.
There will likely never be a permanent cure for ‘personal’ problems. We’re all here on this planet either crawling or jogging along the learning curve.
I believe that what dramatically differentiates our times from those of Dickens, is the leap of awareness from local to global. Information now travels at the speed of light and many millions of people on earth have devices to access it immediately.
We live in this age of rapidly changing technological and information saturation that has immense global importance and impact. But often by the time we’ve reviewed and considered the data and have formed an opinion or preference, the information (and technology) that led us there has already changed. The issues facing us are monumental and can be viewed as catastrophic and seemingly unsolvable which is creating a sort of mass malaise, high anxiety, hopelessness and despair.
I find it a full time job…365/24/7…to overcome, release, override, ignore and deny fearful thoughts (which are mostly based on the dead past or the imagined future). In my experience, the energy of fear taints the outcome of any desired manifestation. And, I’ll admit that, although I endeavor to make the conscious decision Not~To~Be~Fearful, it doesn’t always hold for many reasons. That’s why, for me, one of the most useful and simple ways to practice overcoming fear and restore calm is contained within:
The Serenity Prayer
“Creator, please grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Caveat: just because we may be able to accept the things we cannot change doesn’t mean we agree with them, like them, want them or can tolerate them. The power is in learning, that with wisdom, we can work toward changing those things with courage.
A now a word about Faith! Why not just decide to take leaps of it?
If what we have always regarded and become accustomed to as truth and certainty has changed (keeps changing) for better or for worse, then that which is being imagined and implemented to replace it, can be for better or worse as well, depending on the kind of energy we, ourselves, lend to it.
Maybe it takes a leap of faith, like Indiana Jones, discovered in The Last Crusade, when he stood on the edge of the abyss…the Chalice hopelessly out of reach, the life of his father hanging in the balance…the edge of the chasm breaking away with him on it and no way to go back! Considering his options, it didn’t take Indie long to simply take a deep breath and Step Off into the unknown. He could never have anticipated that, waiting for him to take that leap in faith, were pillars that would rise up, positioned precisely, to further him on his mission!
Indiana, is one of my favorite action-figure archetypes because he depicts the power of passion directed toward a singularly focused intention, resulting in progress forward, while having one hell of a good time doing it! And although we can be generally relieved that our challenges don’t come as fast and furiously as he likes his to, the truth is that there will always be challenges that require some kind of action or movement, either forward or back.
We don’t have the luxury and we’ve never had the guarantee that our problems…personal, local or global…could be solved all at once or even just once. The more depth and complexity, and as we are beginning to understand; the more pervasively interdependent and codependent all of our concerns regarding life on this planet become, the more our solutions require wisdom with perspective. We each have a unique part to play.
It’s a daunting prospect no matter what. But, especially if our personal perspective is cultivated exclusively by the small~picture models being spewed out from the popular media machines. Partisanship, us~against~them factionalism, culture wars, and the dumbing down control exerted by the fear mongers in our contemporary society have served to undermine perspective rather than promote it.
The polarization of fear~based ideologies has made careful, thoughtful, intelligent, inclusive dialogue…dialogue that could promulgate more wise, prudent and useful solutions…come to a clenched~fist stand~off. And, the meltdown of sureties that has characterized ‘our times’ has brought with it forms of denial, despair, hopelessness and rage that are afflicting and endangering our human consciousness. Deceit at the highest levels of authority has contributed to the confusion, delusion and loss of respect for those who we trusted to guide us, changing the existential nature of reality for millions and millions of people.
But, the world Is transforming, and we are transforming too, like it or not.
It is my strong feeling that maintaining an audacity of faith and lending our healing, loving energy to the matrix of the construct is the most potent personal action we can take. When we do, we have the potential to positively affect not only our personal physical, mental, emotional and spiritual lives, but that of our local communities as well. When our personal lives and our local communities feel empowered and hopeful, we can begin to believe that the transformation of the Earth…our global physical, mental, emotional and spiritual community, is possible as well.
All major religions lean toward the adage that…with faith…all things are possible. Why not just take the leap? There is nothing to lose but the pillars of strength, direction and possibility awaiting to guide us over the abyss!
What do you think?
How do you cope?
What practices have had the most significant impact for you?
Take good care. Blessed Be.