I’ve been receiving regular emails from Michael Meade for years. They are invariably timely and relevant topics full of the wisdom of Interbeing.
Today (#166) he spoke of consciously descending into the inner world, walking into the dark with our eyes open, as it were.
We are being taken down, not by choice but by necessity, and in yet another new way, to realize our true condition. As we look around us in every direction, we are witnessing decisions being made (or avoided) about how to prepare for, interact with, prevent or deal with a global pandemic. At the same time we are directly experiencing our consciousness undergoing an accelerating transformation by this phenomenon.
We cannot help but notice and examine this phenomenon as a global encounter with the biological plane of existence, a natural response of the living planet reminding us of our direct and integral connection with the biological world, the biosphere undergoing change in response to human actions. There’s no escape: this is us. Yes, we will have to think and feel our way through, but the way through also requires we discern and consider carefully the message of the crisis.
The virus promises to be (if not already) a profound response to our hubris, already arresting Business As Usual and laying bare the degree to which we take for granted the structures and comforts of modernity. All those systems, from the stock markets to commerce to transportation to the systems of mutual care are all derivatives masking our relationship with the natural world. As the mask of modernity is stripped away, we see our own true face.
The unceasing progress of the virus permeating the population is already testing the health care system and governance. It is already laying bare the income disparities, the vulnerability of large sections of our population to unanticipated costs, the marginal financial safety of millions, the degree to which the social safety net has been shredded, the lact of back-up systems for caring for ourselves in the most basic of ways. And, as well, the deeply damaging selfish and self-absorbed womb of illusion in which so many, most notably more than half the US Senate, live.
There, the denial of a pandemic follows and conforms to the spinning of falsehoods into War, the denial of the financial catastrophe of 2008, the denial of racism and the denial of climate change. Today, all we see from them is desperate bargaining to avoid both economic and psychological depression and to prop up their precious allegiance to exclusion, dominance and scarcity.
The effects of this rolling emergency are already impacting our collective imagination–the deep imagery of what America believes it is and what our relationship is to others beyond our borders, the unseen intimacy of our relations with distant strangers and the basic equality expressed as our vulnerability to disturbances in the biosphere. The dream of separation is dissolving. America as a gated community, as an impregnable suburban sanctuary is disappearing.
We are being dragged to wake up from the mythology of exceptionalism, the mythology that we are not in each other’s care at all times; the mythology of being able to construct a fortress of uniformity in which we can continue endless bargain-shopping, safe from foreign influence; the mythology of continuous expansion. Reactionary forces are tightening their grip on their fantasy that continuing to dance will keep the music playing, that appearance is reality, that saying it’s true will make it true.
Nope. In the immortal words of Guy McPherson, Nature Bats Last. And we are not prepared because we haven’t learned that lesson. This phenomenon has arisen from the depressed immune system of the planet. It is about to expose our deepest flaws, our tenacious grip on the surreality of separation, invulnerability, of superiority, of our belief in false characterizations of Nature, of some assumed mastery in the world. Continued denial of who and what we are will now take us deeper into the Deep Self to wander and sow untold pain until we either die or are transformed.
This is the choice commonly faced by the addict who descends further into darkness until an opportunity for light to enter becomes possible. The virus is an opportunity for us to meet our addictions. But it is so often a near death experience and there’s no guarantee we will emerge any closer to wholeness. Will this be our bottom? Will this be the moment we realize caring for each other and caring for the earth are our only collective imperatives? And that they are the same thing? Will we see any new light at the end of this tunnel?