STOP THE WORLD, I WANT TO GET OFF
“Here, in the melting structures of obsolete systems, is the fluid of possibility. It’s sticky with confusion, it smells like pain, and it stains the past with dyes of remorse. There is no blissy workshop to take to avert the discomfort. There is no formula for success.
Just show up.”
~ Nora Bateson
With all of the issues facing humanity in these times, isn’t maddening to see who is being selected to lead our nations? Isn’t it remarkable that we seem to be putting angry and amazingly ill-equipped people into positions of leadership when what we need to be doing is finding the best people to lead us to a more compassionate and sustainable living conditions for all of humanity?
Sometimes, I just want to withdraw. (Alert: moving to France did not accomplish this goal.) Of course, then I find myself again, remember my inner courage and my inner strength, and engage in the world around me again. We clearly need to encourage the emergence of new ways of understanding living systems, new ways of conducting our politics, and new ways of living our lives. How best to create the space for that emergence to occur?
“There can be no doubt that we are in a change of eras, as systems crumble around us struggling to hold onto their old ways and new ones seek the patterns and practices that will take us into a future that we can feel emerging but not yet describe in words. We are in what systems thinkers would call
a chaos point, a moment where the old systems no longer work
but the new are not mature enough to take over the helm.
Painful on many fronts.”
~ Peter Merry
Of course, we in New Thought realize that it begins and ends within each of us – but simply knowing that is insufficient. We find ourselves in societies in which millions have effectively been left behind in a progressively more complex world of technology and globalization. Where the simpler ways of seeing our societies no longer work, and where we have collectively failed to prepare several generations of young people to fully occupy a more complex cultural environment.
And blame is always off the track, as the great Louise Hay so wisely wrote. We get nowhere by looking for people to blame – we only move forward by doing the deep and troubling work of developing true compassion, and then living that compassion every day with everyone in our thoughts and actions.
“You have to do the work to develop real empathy. There’s a cost to evolving: if you want your soul to cross the line, there’s no way around emotional work. Face that deep pain, and you gain tremendous compassion for yourself. You feel compassion for those who have hurt you
because they were hurt themselves. To really make yourself available
to consciously create a new future, you have to do that work.”
~ Rev. Bruce Sanguin
The SUM curriculum developed by AGNT and its New Thought partners is one way to teach ourselves the skills and processed needed to take New Thought principles into the world in effective ways. Even that, if not done from a deep-seated sense of compassion, will likely bring meager results. It is not just the actions we take, it is the consciousness behind those actions that brings true alignment.
Spiritual growth is always toward a greater sense of personal realization of the immense power we can access from within – and away from the need for personal aggrandizement. Compassion can only exist in a person who is truly humble, truly aware of herself as a vessel for something greater. In a world filled with wounded people we must be a healing presence to have a positive influence.
For me this means allowing myself to feel the frustrations, the seeming hopelessness, of the situation. And then, to consciously create a space of invitation in myself to realize the greater Truth of my being. I am Love – just like you are; just like every person on this plane is. My humility can arise from my recognition of how easy it is to forget this and to slide into fear and negativity. I seek to reimaging clearly a realization of Spirit, the Divine, of God. From there, I am empowered.
“A clear realization of the presence of God dissolves fear . . . the cause is cleared and the
natural healing power is free to do its miraculous work of renewal.”
~ Dr. Carleton Whitehead
Courage, which is essential for one to live in this world, by its very nature exists when fear is present. Our goal is not to wait until we are free of fear, but to act courageously despite danger. Surveying the world today is to see so much fear, so many behaviors driven by that fear – to build walls, exclude differences, hoard wealth, avoid eye contact. Perhaps the reason that inadequate leaders are being elected today is because the wounds are not being healed, the compassion not expressed, the fears not addressed. They represent the natural tendency of human systems to show symptoms when healing is being called forth. My question these days is, “Are the healing agents ready to express in ways that the host body (human society) can heal?”
The deep spiritual Truth is that what is in my experience is mine by right of consciousness. I would have a different set of circumstances if I had a different consciousness. I must stop avoiding and start engaging, armed with the realization of God and a compassionate heart courageously expressed in my life. On that foundation, I build my skillset of being an effective spiritual warrior in this world.
“Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging. Negativism to the pain and ferocity of life is negativism to life.
We are not there until we can say 'yea' to it all.”
~ Joseph Campbell
So, the world will not stop and I will not get off – I will live fully, engage wisely, and love completely to the best of my ability. I will learn to live joyfully in the sorrows of the world.
“In other traditions, good and evil are relative to the position in which you are standing. What is good for one is evil for the other. And you play your part, not withdrawing from the world when you realize
how horrible it is but seeing that this horror is simply the foreground of a wonder:
a mysterium tremendum et fascinans. ‘All life is sorrowful’ is the first Buddhist saying, and so it is.
It wouldn’t be life if there weren’t temporality involved, which is sorrow – loss, loss, loss.
You’ve got to say ‘yes’ to life and see it as magnificent this way.”
~ Joseph Campbell