[Closed] We Want it Darker? or Can we find meaning from the dark?
@natalie & Pacosurfer: I've never been subject to deliberate abuse or trauma at the hands of other people, let alone family, so I have to respect your choice not to reconcile with Trump supporters. But last weekend when I attended a local Lights for Liberty vigil, there were pro-Trump counter protesters across the street - two men and one woman - and I couldn't bring myself to think of them as enemies. They would occasionally yell about "fake news" and "true patriotism," but next to the goodwill, love, and hope that suffused the vigil (which had about 150 attendees, btw), it was obvious that those three Trump supporters were deeply wounded souls, and instead of being vulnerable and acknowledging their wounds, they are drowning themselves in the intoxication of hatred. So what I really want to do with people like that is initiate some sort of detox so that they can exorcise their hatred. For a recovering addict, detox is the most painful part of recovery, yet it is necessary, and the longer an addict puts off detox, the more miserable their life will become. Therein lies the inherently dark components of healing in these times.
As it happens, addiction is an apt metaphor for the current state of global society. We're profoundly estranged from each other as individuals, and so we're addicted to the empty gratifications of growth, consumption, and shiny things. As publications like the Limits to Growth initially found 40+ years ago, this state of affairs will collapse and collapse hard this century. So we know that Kali is coming whether we like it or not, and I'd even say we're already in the detox stage. As Charles Eisenstein writes, we are now in the space between stories and,
That presents a tremendous opportunity and danger, because when normal falls apart the ensuing vacuum draws in formerly unthinkable ideas from the margins. Unthinkable ideas range from rounding up the Muslims in concentration camps, to dismantling the military-industrial complex and closing down overseas military bases...Anything becomes possible with the collapse of dominant institutions. When the animating force behind these new ideas is hate or fear, all manner of fascistic and totalitarian nightmares can ensue, whether enacted by existing powers or those that arise in revolution against them.
So Rowsella, you're correct to point out that instability does not by default have to lead to positive change. In the 3 years since Eisenstein wrote those words, we've come to know the fascistic nightmares that are given space when the old story starts to collapse. But yes, we can tilt the balance towards good (in fact, I think we as individuals can have more influence in times of chaos than in times of stability). And as Jeanne so eloquently pointed out, the evil that's at the helm now is by its nature unstable, and will be relegated again to the margins. As the dissolution of the old story of separation accelerates, there will be more surprises. By living mindfully and with kindness in each of our lives, hopefully one of those surprises will be a mass outpouring of love and compassion.
I think you are actually quite brave. It took a great deal of courage for you to write about your feelings tonight. You were bullied in High School and now must hear one of the biggest bullies of our time spout hate, anger, intolerance, racism, sexism, and a host of other horrible things on a daily basis. To top it off, this bully has the highest position in our nation and demands more power all the time. His presidency is traumatizing over and over again.
You are doing what you can to protect your mental health. Good for you. I cheer you on!
You are able to come here and share your feelings, opening yourself up and baring your soul. You took a big risk. Thank you for trusting enough to take that risk.
Snowflakes are beautiful, each unique unto themselves. When they silently glide down from the sky, they spread a blanket of magic across the land. They glisten when the sun rises, melt to quench a thirsty land and rise up to meet the sky again, transformed. You will rise up again, when the season is right for you to do so. There is no thing as "just a snowflake".
Here is a little story showing that even young people without any power or money can help to bring about positive loving affect on others that helps feed the good inside us and not the evil--this was on my Facebook feed today posted by a young woman I used to work with:
"I typically am not one to post something like this on Facebook but just thought I would share something positive I saw today - As I was driving today I saw a group of young boys riding their bikes. Then I noticed one boy who stopped as his friends continued along. I looked closer and saw an older woman struggling to get to her mailbox in the rain. The young boy didn’t even think twice as he got off his bike, opened the mailbox, and handed the mail to the woman and walked her back inside. He then got back on his bike to catch up to his friends. This young boy gave me a friendly reminder that one little act of kindness can make someone’s day! Way to go kid 😊👏🏼👏🏼 #kindnesscounts #payitforward"
I think it is the collective good that will overwhelm the things like the unholy spectacle of yesterday's hate rally. Understanding that all the men, women and children in that mob/crowd has good lying their hearts as well as the evil (that was chanting)... can we, as neighbors, relatives help inspire the good? Attract the positive energy that we know lies within? It is encouraging to read of people who can no longer keep their status quo as a matter of conscience. Like this former state judge who just left the Republican Party and registered as a Democrat.
Coyote- yes! Those souls are suffering and miserable. They need detox.
my parents are trump supporters and it’s hard to live them but I try to see the young souls and focus on the good qualities.
what we collectively focus on will come to light. I hope that this community can find ways to look for the beauty in the world and when bad thoughts creep in ‘dont Water those seeds’ of fear and anger or despair. When we water the seeds of beauty they will grow; we maybe concerned about the state of things but our energy and our thoughts- if focused on beauty and good will help them come to be.
I am blown away by the level of introspection, honesty, and wisdom that is flowing from the pages of this forum. And articulated so beautifully. I resonate with so much of it. I have many thoughts and emotions swirling around me, yet am unable to adequately express them on paper. I haven’t fully integrated those feelings into the core of my being. I am afraid to. I am numb. I wish that I could cry … I’ve been wishing that for the past week. I want to wash myself and the world clean with my tears. Instead I feel a numbing down, which offers itself as some sort of protection. And I hate it, that lack of being fully present. It’s been my trauma default for most of my long life. It’s an old, childhood friend that I have long outgrown, yet stubbornly refuse to let go of.
I don’t feel very brave right now. Until now, I’ve never fully acknowledged to myself that we have that capacity to be so dark, so soul-less. Until now, a part of me had bought into the lie about us. That we are so good and decent, that “it could never happen here.” Until now, I’ve never fully acknowledged that we have entered that dark underworld. We’ve been there for some time, but we’ve been too intoxicated to notice.
Someone in this community once shared a beautiful letter by Clarissa Pinkola Estés. I’ve gone back to it often, whenever I’ve needed to be comforted or strong or brave. I’m attaching the complete letter to this post, with the hope that it gives you some of what you need right now. I will close with some of my favorite passages:
One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times.
It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good. What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts – adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take “everyone on Earth” to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale. [emphasis mine.]
There will always be times in the midst of “success right around the corner, but as yet still unseen” when you feel discouraged. I too have felt despair many times in my life, but I do not keep a chair for it; I will not entertain it. It is not allowed to eat from my plate.
In my uttermost bones I know something, as do you. It is that there can be no despair when you remember why you came to Earth, who you serve, and who sent you here. The good words we say and the good deeds we do are not ours: They are the words and deeds of the One who brought us here.
I urge you, ask you, gentle you, to please not spend your spirit dry by bewailing these difficult times. Especially do not lose hope. Most particularly because, the fact is – we were made for these times.
Letter To A Young Activist During Troubled Times: with the subtitle, Do Not Lose Heart, We were Made for These Times, ©2001, 2016, by Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D.
Back in the day, I had to go to therapy for some traumatic events. The therapist was not the greatest, consistently inserting religious morals that were not my own beliefs. I'm a big believer that even in hard head scratching moments, there is a reason we've been placed in each event and this situation was definitely one of those instances. He said something on my last visit that resonated so deeply, I carry it with me to this day. I'd like to share.
Let's say you're in a dark box. You can't see anything. If you poke a small pin hole in the box, light comes in. More than you'd imagine. It's science really.
Because let's say you're in a completely bright box and it's pitch black outside of it. If you were to poke a hole in he bright box, the darkness from outside would not darken the inside. It's science.
Light is stronger than darkness. Even the smallest hole of light shining, in will brighten a dark space.
When youre in a dark space, find the pinhole. Make the pinhole. Focus on the light shining in. It's strength is more powerful than all the darkness we encounter.
I use this daily. Days when I can't find the light and I'm feeling like the darkness and hopelessness of our world will swallow me hole. I look for the pinhole.
And when I can't find a pinhole, I make my own damn hole.
Might not be a big gaping door. But it's light and it's light enough so I can see.
In times when we feel like just being here and having a roof over our heads and food in our tummy and the freedom to b*tch about our ridiculous government in the comfort of our homes, while others are dying and suffering and fighting....
Take a breath.
You are doing something.
You are part of the light. You are the pinhole.
Our light guides the ones who CAN shake and move things.
Our light guides the future. Our light is called empathy.
I hope that helps. Xox
Be the pinhole. I like this Perriwinkle10.
I absolutely love this pinhole analogy. It really resonates with me - thank you for sharing Periwinkle10!
I think its also important to remember that I (and many others like myself) that are in our late 30's either grew up with left leaning parents AND/OR we grew up in a time where the country was transitioning to more of an empathetic and loving new wave of adults. A lot of us have children ourselves now and the majority of us are raising our kids with the same mentality. Kindness, patience, love, openness, empathy....
I think a lot of you may feel hopeless in terms of how dark we're getting here.....but remember - these terrible things are coming from the generation before me and my children....which is fading out and aging. We are just now getting to a transition of powerful people who are my age (the "squad" if you will) and we're not tolerating this crap. Less talk. They want action. That is the epitome of my generation and THAT will be what brings in a new age of love. Our children will carry this. They are the light. My light anyways...
Another important factor, is that the 60+ generation that's still running things came from a generation of very black and white fundamentally ruling morals. There was no gray like there is today. Their direction is often based out of fear. Fear of breaking out of the black and white box because they were raised to believe that doing so was a gateway to failure-ungodliness-poverty-etc. Fear turns politics into a muddy and scary mess....and its a mess thats been growing for a long time.
I appreciate everyone here that DID grow up in that generation and managed to break free from the constraints of what was socially acceptable and the mentality that free thinking was bad. YOU GUYS are what made us.....and we're gonna be a mighty force. 🙂
I believe it was Christ who said, “The children will lead them.”
After reading these posts, and seeing how the racism is shaking more people than I thought, I realize I am finally finding my tribe;
I don’t belong on this planet, I’ve always felt that. But now I’m starting to feel there are others, like you all, walking beside me. Of course, being white, I am often blinded by my own privilege.
But seeing it upfront like this, I feel a new civil war coming. But this one won’t be on the fields of Gettysburg but on the pages of social media, and the channels of television.
@perriwinkle10, I just turned 67. I have no idea what in blazes happened to us. Sadly, some of my peers, who were once actively part of the 60’s-70’s protests – Vietnam War, Civil Rights, Women’s Movement, etc. – eventually became the establishment people we were protesting against. Whether they became disillusioned because change wasn’t happening as quickly as they’d hoped, or they became too intoxicated with the almighty $ – I’m not sure what caused it. But it breaks my heart. We made a mess of some big things, and unfortunately it’s now up to the younger generation to fix it. I don’t have children, but I find your generation and those that follow to be incredibly smart, empathetic, and inclusive. And that gives me a lot of hope for our future.
I’ve always been an unconventional, odd duck. And in my advancing age, I have no intention of going quietly!
I'm your generation. I come from a family of Republicans (except my mother). We're Italian, and I think way back when the Republican party was more normal, they tried to help immigrants. Now, my father finally realized Nixon was a liar. But this is funny - I said to my mom, "When you were watching Ronald Reagan in the movies, did you ever think he'd become President?" She said, "I didn't think he'd become President THIS year."
@suspira44, That is funny. Your mother sounds great! My mom never liked Reagan and wouldn't vote for him, and here's her reason why: when mom was a young adult, she went to see Reagan when he was appearing in a live, movie-star showcase at the Hippodrome Theater in Baltimore. He snubbed mom and her friends when they approached him for an autograph. "Who does he think he is?" she would often say. So come the election ... Payback time!
It's funny what will aggravate someone. This doesn't belong here, and it can be removed but my father always refused to give money to a mission - why? Because every time he drove by there, men were outside smoking cigarettes. So he figured if they could afford cigarettes, they didn't need his help. Meanwhile my sister volunteers there and my other sister and I donate.
I think the Text you are referring to is from the book of Isaiah Chapter 11.
“The wolf shall live with the lamb,
the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
and a little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall graze,
their young shall lie down together;
and the lion shall eat straw like the ox (verses 6-7).”
In my opinion it is a reordering of creation. Prior to these verses the Text talks about what we all long for..a new creation.
Under our current circumstances, it makes sense why you never felt as if you belong here.
I know of several psychic schools of thought that posit that as the 20th century progressed, more and more "old souls" were born to help humanity evolve. Now, they claim, the vast majority of children being born today are preternaturally wise. That's a comforting idea, and some of the long term visions on this site make references to wiser, kinder children.
I'm not much a fan of the practice of labelling generations and then classifying each one according to overly broad characteristics. Such a practice seems to breed unhelpful age-based grudges while also obscuring the reality that if we want to improve society, all of us, regardless of age, have to start talking to each other and helping out in our varying capacities. The way I see it, each generation is limited by inherited cultural and temporal biases and has done the best it can under the burden of those blindspots.
Which brings me back to the question; can we find meaning from the darkness, especially now when it seems like we've blundered mightily on a global scale? I've gradually taken on the view that this era is the culmination of tens of thousands of years of cultural trends towards ever greater human control of and separation from nature (the burdens that each generation has had to shoulder). Now that the ugly fruits of those trends are in plain view - ecocide, nuclear warheads, surveillance capitalism - we're at an inflection point where we can change course towards a more mature, life-affirming stage of human history (in Joanna Macy's words, the Great Turning). And perhaps all of the mistakes of the past 100,000 years or so serve a cosmological evolutionary purpose that has led us to the doorstep of maturity as a species. Such an interpretation might sound like cold comfort (or straight up woo woo) for anyone who's currently in the throes of despair. But taking the cosmological view helped lift me up out of my own dark night of the soul and has kept me ticking for the past 2.5 years. That's my take.
I agree. I've heard that as well, that the children coming in are all ready and raring to go to heal the world. I've read where many of them are being labeled as being on the spectrum. They are misunderstood because they are not from this world.
There is a great purging coming. I feel it in my personal life. The toxic masculinity of the President symbolizes much of the pain many of us had growing up. Whether we were bullied or sexually assaulted, the President's actions and words are painful reminders of what many of us women AND men experienced. In fact, two of the guys who hurt me the most in high school are huge Trump and FOX news supporters. And it feels like a constant ripping of those wounds.
@Stardancer...I knew it was something biblical! It's still a wonderful idea...that we are all at peace.
@coyote Wow. I love the cosmological view. Fits the Kali Yuga prophecy that says we are shifting to a more enlightened matriarchal system around to late mid 2020's. The millenials will herald this new age.
This thread just keeps getting better. Perriwinkle10 thank you for the pinhole story. Keeping it close to my heart.
I'm glad that the cosmological perspective resonates with you, Jeanne. I was indeed first introduced to it by researching Hindu cosmology and then reading the works of Joanna Macy and Charles Eisenstein.
In the spring of 2017 I had an NDE, which got me reading about other people's NDEs. That led me to this profound essay written by a young woman who induced a series of NDE-like experiences through meditation after the death of a close friend. She writes that in one of those experiences, she was shown:
a vision of a possible future for humanity on Planet Earth. In this vision, I saw humans behaving very differently than how most of us are accustomed to seeing humans behave in this era. I saw humans of many different types and personalities. They were in a natural area with woods holding hands in a circle and freely celebrating life. Their faces and bodies radiated with love, purity, joy, bliss, peace, innocence, and wisdom, and so did other creatures around them. These people were fully in touch with life. They were not afraid of any part of themselves or the world, nor were they burdened by rigid beliefs or identities of any kind. They were fully evolved and perfectly content living simply and in the now. Though, because of their realized nature as one and the same as the Source and their freedom from identification with form, they had the ability to do and create whatever they wished. They were truly free. They cooperated like cells in a body, for they knew that they were cells in the body of God. They had no doubts that they (and all beings) would continue living after death. In fact, they had brought life and death—Earth and heaven—together, along with all other dualisms, creating a world of perfect wholeness. This is the New Earth.
This is the most fascinating and inspirational articulation I've ever found of what an evolved future for humanity can look like. I continue to be struck by how much this woman's vision aligns with other accounts I've read about in religious texts and modern literature. For example, in one of my favorite novels, The Bone People, by Keri Hulme, the main character has a dream in which she sees a very similar scene. And then of course there is Matthew 6:10 from the Bible:
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done in
earth as it is in heaven
So perhaps the mystics and visionaries among us have always been aware of our true potential and that we have to go through the maturation stages before we ca reach a world "of perfect wholeness." Granted, the world the woman describes above is probably thousands of years off, but I think it's no small matter to be living in the Great Turning and thus be able to take part in the initiation of the New Earth.