An elder and dear friend of mine, Leny Strobel, recently named the importance of embodying beauty as we move towards the inevitable. I use the word "inevitable" in a way that honors "what lives must die" and not necessarily in a way that promotes the "end times" fear that many express. To be certain, modernity's worldview and technologies are capable of destroying life on the largest scale known to recorded history. This is a real possibility and we should do whatever we can to prevent the escalation of this kind of destruction.
At the same time, so much fear of "the apocalypse" comes from, I believe, the modern West's shadow around death, as well as its linear orientation around time. All that lives, dies. But with death there is rebirth. Apocalypse means "to unveil" truer realities. We in the modern West are comfortable with concepts of change, transformation, and innovation. But all of these necessitate a death of the old - a transmutation of energy and form - before the new can be reborn. But because we really don't have true rites of passages in the modern West that support and enact "ego deaths" of our previous identities, we aren't comfortable with biological death.
This is all to say that perhaps the apocalypse "prophets" are pointing to the death-knell of the modern worldview. Perhaps those of us who are stewards of the rebirth (aka "change agents"), those of us who have gone through ego deaths, might assist in whatever capacity we can the other folk and communities who are fearful and in transition. And part of the practice for me (with the support of beloved community) is to grieve deeply for what has and is dying, to listen for the intimations of new life and support it, and to help others grieve and heal so that there is more spaciousness to recognize the new, and to live beautifully.
We must live as fully as possible.
Our adolescent nation has been a source of great inspiration and horrific violence. While intimations of a more connected, generative and ecologically attuned way of living are emerging, we continue to enact violence in a myriad of ways - often unconsciously - across the political spectrum, including those of us who promote being or staying “woke” around important social and political issues.
By virtue of living in the USA I am entangled and at times complicit in the cultural and social dynamics that inform our economic and political worldviews, as well as our actions within and beyond the borders of this country. And I carry with me a sense of co-responsibility for what we create next.
Ultimately my soul wants for your well-being, wants for the planet’s well-being. In my experience, we can be graced with well-being and we can develop well-being. But both involve the gift of loving relationship that supports and bears witness to the healing that enables well-being to flourish. I believe this healing relationship dynamic to be true at the individual and collective levels.
Now more than ever I am determined to love fiercely and tenderly - which begins with this beautiful ensouled body and extends outwards, so to speak, to include more and more beings and environments. This includes the cultural and political “other.” Now more than ever it is important for me to be in relationships that are nourishing and loving - those committed to collective healing and awakening to a vantage point of subtle but profound connectedness. Precious are the relationships and communities that enable this messy and compassionate work towards greater well-being.
Awakening to increasing well-being is not a substitute for other kinds of cultural, civic or political work. Rather it is the foundation for a more robust and sacred engagement with the social and political dynamics at play. And the sacred engagement we have at hand will need to include the expression (and release) of intense emotions, the exploration of a range of coalitions - some unlikely - and the willingness to being open to “the other” both within and outside of ourselves. Demonizing the cultural or political other enacts the same energetic of separation, anger, and domination that ultimately needs to be healed and transmuted.
This is why being a part of loving relationships and community is so critical: They can fortify us with compassion for when we engage the other within and outside of ourselves. Even as these relationships help us heal and awaken they can also paradoxically keep us resilient and creative during times of uncertainty and darkness. Perhaps most profoundly, they enable us to know - in our bones - that Love is greater than fear, even when there is plenty for many of us to be uncertain about, angry at or afraid of.
May we all awaken to greater well-being, with the help of true beloveds. And let this be integral to how we create, resist, and serve as sacred warriors of Love.