I did a little exercise in shifting my perspective today as I contemplated the recent chaos on Wall Street.
My first thoughts:
The stock market is revealing itself to me as the epitome of separation, scarcity, and fear. There is nothing of “community” in the market; nothing of “we’re in this together.” It is nothing but, “I’ll get mine… as much as possible… and fuck the rest of you.” It is individualistic to the core. No longer is it a group of people investing in a common interest that they believe will benefit both them and the community. It is a gambler’s den for the very rich. I know for certain what Jesus would do.
Then I tried an imaginary shift in perspective:
The stock market is a playground for frightened children. They are bonking each other over the head with their toys, throwing sand in each other’s eyes, grabbing and shoving, crying and screaming. (I mean, look at the “floor” of the exchange!) What do I do? See them as they are – dear little children who need love and attention. I really am not in a position to physically give it to them, but I can at least envision it. I can see them each being held by a cosmic being who is soothing their hurts, comforting their fears, and assuring them of love.
I imagine a world in which the old story of separation, materialism, and isolation had faded into the far distant past, nothing more than an ancient myth of a primitive time.
A child emerges from the womb with little trace of trauma, simply an entry into another realm among the many realms of existence. The child is nurtured, held, carried, kissed and cuddled by all and sundry of the community – at work and play, which aren’t all that different at all. Never for a moment was the child taught that life was fearful. Every sight and sound and taste was welcomed as a gift from a world of which the child was a part and which was, in turn, a part of the child.
This intricate and intimate belonging has been a part of humanity for so many generations that the wonders accomplished in the fields of what the old story called, “science,” and, “technology,” would be unbelievable to eyes conditioned to the world we currently see. No longer seeking to control, master, or subdue the cosmos, humans now co-create life in cooperation with the Quantum Field of all Being. Heretofore hidden understandings of the “way things work,” are no longer secrets to be painstakingly ferreted out but simply seen, acknowledged, and cooperated with.
(The setting of a fantasy novel, perhaps? I’ll keep playing with it.)
Do you have the patience to wait till your mud settles and the water is clear?
Can you remain unmoving till the right action arises by itself?
The Tao Te Ching, Chapter 15 – trans. Stephen Mitchell
The governor of California has asked all people over the age of 65 to remain at home for the next month, at least. Whee! I have often longed to sink deeply into my “hermit” persona, but have struggled against long-ingrained habits that keep me pulled out and stirred up. Now I am being ordered, commanded to be that which I truly am deep inside. Nancy will make the occasional trip out for supplies and will take great care – gloves, soap, and whatever disinfectants might someday reappear on the shelves.
The isolation will be harder for many. I am on the far end of the “hermit/extrovert” continuum, but I would cautiously suggest that a bit of the “hermit” might be good for everyone. You might consider using some of this unexpected, admittedly uncomfortable time to explore the introvert shadow side of your life. Physical isolation is only one part of the process. The chaos enters through all sorts of cracks, some of which you might consider closing. Otherwise, just as the mud barely begins to settle, the media stick comes along and gives it a good strong stir and you have to start all over.
These are the cracks I’m caulking up a bit:
1. Heavily censored “news” – Nancy is checking my email each day and passing on to me only personal correspondence and the occasional bill (which I send right back to her quickly!) Nancy has agreed to inform me only of news which requires action on my part – like: they’re coming to take me away…
2. I do not go into town. (Well, the governor commanded…what can I do?)
3. I go “on-line” only to post my writing or do research. (The “research” aspect is fraught with peril and can be a slippery slope. I research only non-current information and take an on-line course in Quantum Living. Nancy helps keep me honest here.)
I have seldom, perhaps to be honest, never, remained quiet long enough for the mud to truly settle. How can I possibly know what a clear view of the magnificent Universe that I believe awaits actually looks like? It sounds insane, but a part of me thinks it would be good if this crisis lasted long enough for us to cease “holding on” and waiting for things to go back to normal, so that we might discover a new “normal” that is less frantic, less distracting, less materialistic, and far more satisfying.
I have often romanticized the sacrifices of WWII England… well not romanticized exactly, but wondered at with some sense of awe. Now, on a smaller scale we are forced into similar situations. (No bombers flying overhead, thank goodness!) We’re not having rationing – yet. If people keep hoarding medical supplies, rationing might still be in the future. And this is world-wide. There is no national enemy we can vilify, merely a tiny virus which has no respect for boundaries, nations, classes, wealth, or fame. It’s almost as if the aliens have landed – the event that most people thought would be the only possible thing that could get us to pull together.