When reading our world, where's the balance between hope and truth about what we see?
I used to just write down whatever visions I got when I did a timeline meditation. The visions of the future that came were grim and unnerving. A psychiatrist friend, a woman who has devoted her life to healing people's psyches, grimaced back in 2015 when she found my website, "Oh Jeanne, these are awful. Just awful!"
I thought, well, that's what my students and I were seeing and we had the accuracy to back it up.
But then a friend Brian who meditates two hours a day and has what I'd call is an emotionally-balanced view of the world, got me to focus some effort into looking for positive visions of the future.
At the 2017 Solstice reading we did that as a group. We looked for positive views of the future.. Now I'm seeing that so many of these positive visions are coming true. We saw the "Me Too" movement before it took off, for example.
So we now do both. We look for the positive in one meditation, then another meditation on whatever we see.
Natalie has also been so helpful with her sobering view of you-know-who, when she feels that some predictions are too optimistic.
Here's the thing: It's tricky when we are trying to find the future. The world you experience is the one you perceive, whether it's the world you are in now or the one in the future. Perceptions vary. So realities vary.
We need a balance.
When I read Natalie's recent two posts, I thought of Winston Churchill who early on saw Adolph Hitler as a threat to all of Europe, not just Germany. (If you haven't seen The Darkest Hour, it is a good movie about what happened, although with some Hollywood embellishments.)
Churchill saw who Hitler was early on and did not pink cloud the prevailing hope that Hitler would confine his dictatorship to Germany. Later when Churchill proved right and Hitler had taken over Europe and was advancing towards Britain, it was Churchill who mustered the courage and the hope to stand up to the monster and defeat him.
So any thoughts? This is tough stuff.
Thanks for the shout out Jeanne. I have lots of thoughts on this - it may help if I jot notes and organize my thoughts first - but here goes. One of the things I've always been very interested in is why seemingly good people do or cover up or ignore evil deeds. I can list countless examples but here's a few. Listening to a podcast yesterday where the guest was Julie Lindhaut who wrote a book about her nazi grandparents. She claimed her grandmother was very loving to her, but never renounced her ideology and never accepted blame for any war crimes her or her husband committed. My own grandmother fawns over Putin and speaks glowingly of Stalin and yet also claims to be a humanitarian. My father and step mother pretend that I am lying when I speak about the abuse I went through, what's important to them is that we look good to others, so things need to be rosied up for the world.
I personally have never been able to ignore reality like this or to keep my mouth shut (it hasn't endeared me to my relatives - but I don't care). I've always cared very little for the good opinion of others, in my mind a person's good opinion is worthless if they're a moral coward so why bother wanting to have it.
I am currently trying to read several books at once on subjects like this, and it strikes me that humanity simply is this way. Most of us are too afraid to really see what we need to see, we are cocooned in our communities and the comforting myths we are told to ever really look beyond that. There's also an element of ego and of identifying personally with certain people and ideologies. Trump supporters are emotionally attached to their leader, shattering that illusion would almost kill them physically. The same goes for any followers of a dictatorial leader and philosophy. Usually the victims of these monsters see clearly what the supporters don't. The Jews knew early on that Hitler was no good, and the African American community in this country has a better understanding of America and what it really is than most run of the mill white people walking around.
Maybe the reason I see it is because as a woman I've suffered abuse and misogyny in my family and I am hyper aware of the little ways that women can be belittled by our societies.
It takes a lot of courage to stand apart from the crowd and see reality as it is. Shattering illusions and myths is hard - especially when we get no support from others. What makes the world extremely dangerous is the indifference of others to the plight of the oppressed. If everyone was like my sister in law and cared nothing for strangers we would live in an extremely frightening and violent world.
I have great hope in knowing that many many people have stood up in recent years and continue to do so. There are enough of us to fight the evil we see, but only if work together and realize that collectively we can illuminate and help solve the world's ills.
This reminds me a lot of the writings of James Baldwin. I think he saw American society for what it was and his history is very interesting. When I read his work I always feel like he got it right and that society would largely never live up to it or listen. I wonder what he would say about Trump now.
What makes the world extremely dangerous is the indifference of others to the plight of the oppressed.--Natalie
Natalie, I resonate with everything you wrote and thank you for the clarity.
The issues you've raised are complex and I need time to respond. For now -- my first thought, although you'd stimulated many thoughts, is my vision of long ago that the people who would come to me for readings and to this website were empaths from another much more highly evolved dimension or tribe.
Those people, the empaths, come from a place where everyone feels everyone else's feelings, a place where we all understand that we are all one. So we understand that when we harm another, we'd be harming ourselves.
We've been hearing the Golden Rule all our lives - "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." In one sense, I infer that we take care of others because they are us.
But in spite of the Golden Rule being echoed everywhere, here on earth, the empaths, like you, like many of the people who have joined this community, are scattered about in a collective of people who don't all know we are all one and and have shut their boundaries to others. That's makes our lives lonely. We may even feel like freaks at times.
When I was a child of eight, I was sitting in bed one evening listening to the radio when they announced a house fire had happened and a woman lost her whole family of five. I jumped out of bed and ran to my parents crying this tragedy to them that I felt throughout my whole body.
At first my parents were alarmed, but then they soon realized I was referring to someone we didn't know. Suddenly it was of no concern and they changed their expressions and said, "Oh, honey, that's just someone in the news."
I never forgot that moment. It was the beginning of feeling different from even my parents who essentially said we should wall ourselves off to the plights of people we don't know.
The border wall that Trump insists we need is a metaphor for closing our psyches to the suffering of others.
Thankfully there are empaths, millions of them, and perhaps if you are reading this post, you are one of them. Our nature to feel each other's feelings, including each others' pain, helps the whole collective to stay awake and connected to each other. It helps us keep alive the fight for everyone.
As for how to see our world and its future without succumbing to negative visions, and at the same time, how to look for the hope without ignoring the dark that we see, I'd like to continue discussing how we do this.
Tonight I will hold the Read the Future night, asking people to see the light or positive visions as well as the regular visions that come to us. Perhaps more insight to this question will arise.
Jeanne, this Forum topic seems like the perfect spot to post this:
“Still, what I want in my life
is to be willing
to be dazzled—
to cast aside the weight of facts
and maybe even
to float a little
above this difficult world.
I want to believe I am looking
into the white fire of a great mystery.
I want to believe that the imperfections are nothing—
that the light is everything—that it is more than the sum
of each flawed blossom rising and falling. And I do.”
And now, heartfelt gratitude for Mary Oliver, the poet I've probably quoted more than any other, and whose work will continue to be a source of joy and inspiration.
This is my first time posting here, even though I seek solace at this site every morning. . . I feel compelled to write because Jeanne's vision that all the visitors to this site are empaths who "come from a place where everyone feels everyone else's feelings" rings so true to me. I feel like you just explained my entire existence. For as long as I can remember, I've felt like an "alien", 'homesick' for a some other home (a kinder more loving home); (and I always resonated with Jesus' claim that he was 'not of this world.') The closest I've ever come to feeling understood is the character of Deanna Troi on Star Trek Next Generation - that was the first time I even heard of 'empaths' and I thought I must be Betazoid 🙂 Often, I find being an empath incredibly isolating and hard to explain; people can think we're over sensitive or weak. It also leaves me at a total loss when others don't seem capable of empathy or even understanding and I wonder why I'm even here at all. I'm sometimes wrecked by other people's tragedies because I feel them so deeply. Obviously there are also upsides, I think we're caring, and sensitive to others' feelings, often anticipating or reading other's minds, we love deeply and are fierce advocates of love, forgiveness and humanitarianism. I guess I just want to say thank you for this site and for everyone's openness and optimism and thoughtful insights, I find it uplifting and hopeful. This website has helped me see I'm not alone, and that we do have a purpose here.
Welcome Meliamal and thank you for posting. Like you and Jeanne and so many others I've always felt isolated and alone in my family. I have never felt understood by any of them or loved enough either. To this day (and especially as a child) I have felt like I was carrying the burden of their problems on my shoulders - they're emotional states were always on my mind - but no one ever noticed that I was suffering. I am jaded and cynical now, and sick of dealing with people's sh**. When I was 16 and had a part time job at a grocery store I decided to sponsor a child in Honduras. I used to befriend homeless people until my mother forced me to stop. Yesterday on my way home from work a homeless black man asked me for money, when I said I didn't have cash he asked if I could buy him something to eat. I said sure and he led me into a cvs where he proceeded to buy $25 worth of candy. I felt so conflicted afterwards - why did I do this? Why on earth does he need so much candy? That was $25 that I could've put to better use etc.... I'm not sure I did a good deed, even though I meant to, I could tell he had obviously psychological issues and I just wish there was a better way for me to help him. Empathy is a tough quality to have because it leaves you open to manipulation and abuse (as I've found out enough times). But not having empathy is even worse because then you cannot really experience and enjoy life and you inspire no love in others. I believe that you get what you put out - so if you put out nothing but negativity, cruelty and hate you will get that back to you. Donald Trump is a case in point - he is one of the most miserable human beings on the planet. No one really loves him unconditionally, no one likes him. His relationships are all transactional, including with his children, he is completely alone in this world with no one who really cares for him.
We are all so very happy that this site has brought you comfort, solace, and connection and we are delighted that you have joined in and we can get to know you, as you will all of us.
We have so many lovely people here, many of us with the very same feelings, experiences, and yearnings for connection and understanding as we help one another day by day through often challenging times.
There are so many topics, so many ideas, espressions of hope and dreams of a better future, a deeper and more meaningful world of compassion, love, and peace with all of us working together to build a community of understanding and acceptance.
We are so happy to have you here with all of us.
Love, light, and healing prayers,
Meliaamal, welcome to our community, we welcome you with open arms and thank you for your beautiful words.
Michele, I always read your words carefully, slowly, like a meditation that I can take in, like heart energy, and warm myself.
Natalie, I have felt that pain of loneliness so often, feeling different, surrounded by energies where I felt I was too sensitive.
So many lessons right now coming at me every day. That desire to go higher is with me. Can I do it? Will I fall back?
CDeanne, thank you for posting Mary Oliver and the announcement of her death yesterday at age 83. You posted her most precious of all lines.
Mary Oliver was an empath, like so many of you. She found comfort in nature after a hard childhood. She wandered around the Provincetown dunes and fields and found solace there and peered into life's mysteries there.
I read one of her poems at my mother's funeral 15 years ago. It was the only solace I could find at that time.
In the poem, the poet (Oliver) is out walking by a pond and comes upon a Great Blue Heron who had been wading in the water, then, surprised by her approach, the giant bird leaps into the air and flies off into the blue.
How many times have I had this happen to me and shocked and delighted me at how these large and top heavy birds just hurl themselves soundlessly into the sky?
Yet Oliver turns the event into something so profound.
She sees from this commonplace event that ascension must be possible for us too, if such a heavy clumsy thing as this bird could take off like that from the muck and become enfolded into fresh blue air.
For Oliver it was proof that we can all ascend.
And I feel it too. We can ascend. We will. And we won't have to wait for death to do it.
It's going to happen right here in our country, person by person. It will happen in you, and in me. The empaths help lead the way.
With all of our thin skin and the pain we have endured and the love we feel for others in our collective, we will push through this pain and rise up like that big grey bird. We have the loving hearts and the empathy and the will to save others and our precious planet to push through.
Jeanne, I love what you've said about Mary Oliver, and how beautifully you've shared her heron poem. Thank you! When I was writing my dissertation on the inherent advantages of the archetype Orphan, as well as real orphan-ness (including feeling separate from/very different from family), I often turned to Oliver's poetry. The finishing lines of Heron Rises From the Dark, Summer Pond never cease to knock me out!
this trailing of the long legs in the water,
this opening up of the heavy body
into a new life: see how the sudden
gray-blue sheets of her wings
strive toward the wind; see how the clasp of nothing
takes her in.