Global Time Out: A Way to Regain Our Collective Will to Live?
In New Thought we know that "thought creates." Therefore we cannot deny that we've felt chaos heading steadily towards us for a good long time. The old-school admonishment: "Stop your crying or I'll give you something to cry about," is an uncomfortably apt metaphor. Individuals and societies, across platforms and at every level, have been crying out and accusing, threatening, fighting, blaming and separating at accelerating rates, angrily turning up the volume on our perceptions of injustice and danger, tunneling right into the core of our fear.
In financial markets, this portends a "correction" for the Bull that backed itself into a corner with nowhere to go. In quantum theory, a system overfills with the artifacts of its own damage to the brink of chaos where it encounters two choices: descend into the entropic abyss, or open itself to new information -- a new story -- and ascend by the laws of evolution to a qualitatively higher order of organization than previously existed, one clearly waiting for us to imagine it into being.
Welcome to the No Surprise party! What we are witnessing is exactly what we created. Human morality and ethics, from FacelessBook arguments to international politics, have advanced solely in the direction of more division, kicking up greed and violence in their wake. Ceaselessly. No returning to "our own corners" until the bell rings. No collaboration or compromise. No forgiveness, no heartfelt apologies; no flights into communion with the higher angels of our nature. No mercy.
And now, we have finally manifested Pain that we can really cry about. Ironically, and OF COURSE, pain that is universal does not takes sides or sides of the aisle but threatens everyone democratically. Whether rich or poor, of whatever color (including red or blue), -- if we're old and/or sick, we're entitled to the democracy of mortality!
From a distance, over time we can see how "memes" form. The word meme is a neologism coined by Richard Dawkins. It originated from Dawkins's 1976 book: The Selfish Gene.
"A meme is an idea, behavior, or style that spreads by means of imitation from person to person within a culture—often with the aim of conveying a particular phenomenon, theme, or meaning represented by the meme. A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols, or practices, that can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals, or other imitable phenomena with a mimicked theme. Supporters of the concept regard memes as cultural analogues to genes in that they self-replicate, mutate, and respond to selective pressures.
Memes spread through the behavior that they generate in their hosts. Memes that propagate less prolifically may become extinct, while others may survive, spread, and (for better or for worse) mutate. Memes that replicate most effectively enjoy more success, and some may replicate effectively even when they prove to be detrimental to the welfare of their hosts."
It seems we might have caught a break and, instead of immediate certain destruction, forced ourselves into a Global Time Out, a worldwide ubiquitous pause-point literally sheltering us in place, suddenly isolated, alarmingly undistracted by our egos, power games, treadmill travels, and neighborhood consumer addictions. Even our Sanctuaries of God dare not welcome us inside for fables of comfort, and lullabies. And yet, we still have a decision to make: will we use the Time Out to understand the unequivocal demonstration of our interconnectedness and interdependence as a sacred opportunity to reclaim the Oneness of our human family, acknowledging that our minds and behavior must now radically change and that no one, no nation, no institution is exempt? Or have we finally lost our Collective Will to Live?
Any survivor of serious illness or injury knows what science and medicine are now confirming with quantifiable data: in the case of of commensurate baseline health, quality of care, genetics, and medically identical circumstances, time and time again mortality is determined by a mysterious factor that can only be subjectively hinted at as "life force," or the will to live. New research in the field of epigenetics begins to draw us a map to support linear thought models as to why these phenomena can appear. But no flat map can ever represent the terrain of the Transcendent. It is a tautology -- something that can only be explained by being what it is.
Symptoms like depression, hopelessness, helplessness, loss of identity, victimhood, overwhelm, apathy, fury and psychological paralysis manifest in the Collective, not just AS they do in the individual, but BECAUSE they do in Individuals -- writ large without borders and untempered by safety valves of sane release. Societies, species and civilizations crumble into extinction when, like a single individual who has come to the very end of his or her tether, they lose the will to live, to survive.
The answer is already contained in the question. The solution lies in the problem, itself. So say the scientist and sage. Lately, in this new age when fanatic trumps fact, everyone has a position but no one knows what to do. Now we have backed ourselves into a symbolic global corner along with our brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers across the earth. (The animals are, for a change, not the ones suffering and dying this time. I think they've been karmically excused through our relentless acts of agri-greed, trophy hunting, and clinical cruelty). Climate change already provides a perfectly good scenario for shared destruction... but it lacks the intimate immanence that seems to seduce humans with the hot breath of our personal annihilation.
The Crowning Virus? Our way out isn't out but through. It's not magical thinking to take this Global Time Out to consciously imagine what we really want next. In its simplest expression this begins with clarifying our intention, setting a course, establishing a vision, a mission, and a means to activate it. Our thoughts will result in moments of choice as we take our best guesses at what future is truly required or desired if we ever get out of this hole. This is our right, and response-ability as Individuals to the Collective.
When faced with crisis, while we could fill a book with diverse and distinctive reasons why a person would want to survive, the Will to Live seems to distill into a much simpler compound. Barack Obama's book called it The Audacity of Hope; I call it the Necessity of Hope. When all is said and done, no matter who is Right, who is Other, and who is the Enemy, I believe we are each and all deeply encoded with the instinct to do Better. Hope is the human translation of our infinite potential for transformation that holds us in its grip even when we see no evidence, or display any talent for the truth of it. It is a tautology--does not depend on evidence or demonstration but lives in the Infinite that transects us; it lives in order to live.
Remember the elephant in a room of blindfolded people trying to describe its massive wholeness while touching only one part? As a global society, this crisis presents a terrible and brilliant plan memetically engineered that we might rediscover and reclaim our Collective Will to Live.