By Judith Gayle | Political Waves
As spring arrives with its colors and smells and delicate light, all calculated to refresh our spirit and renew our senses, I find many folks oblivious to what's happening around them. They're preoccupied; I understand. For many of us, our daily challenges -- some of them completely out of our control -- have overshadowed our ability to process the larger picture of our experience.
There is a lot of 'new' out there in the world -- a new president, a new wave of hopefulness and collective compassion, a new sense of possibility. Old systems, broken down, are being refurbished; old ideas, proven wrong-headed and anachronistic, are being discarded. Still, many of us are caught in the crosshairs of this cusp between old and new; trying to figure out how to proceed, and too often not hitting on all pistons. It's a quandary for those of us who have perfected our skills at successful living in 3D, now to discover ourselves shaky and frazzled.
For any number of reasons, both mundane and transcendent, we find that much of what used to work, doesn't. Creatures of habit, we are having trouble accepting that the way forward is seldom straight ahead in this void space, but sometimes a step back or a lateral move; not clearly defined but fuzzy, requiring baby steps that include a muttered prayer and a leap of faith. Knee deep in alligators, on the lookout for open jaws and sharp teeth, it's difficult to turn our face to the sunshine -- to look up.
With so much of the new upon us, even as so much of the 'old' threatens to swamp our little boats, I'm reminded of one of what some theologians call the hard sayings
of the New Testament: "Let the dead bury the dead."
To another he said, "Come, follow me." But he said, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father." But he said, "Leave the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the Kingdom of God". Another said, "I will follow you, Lord, but first let me first say farewell to those at home." Jesus said to him, " No one who sets his hand to the plough and then looks back is fit for the Kingdom of God." (Luke 9:59-62)
The Christ message has come to define the Piscean Age; Jesus was the avatar that, from beginnings so humble we can't even historically place him, made a global mark on consciousness. Even as he showed respect to the old traditions, he ushered in a new way of thinking -- and broke with the old ways of doing things, building upon them and taking them into another level of awareness. Thousands of years later, we find ourselves readying for a new era and integrating all we know of the last in preparation for another shift.
The concept of the dead attending to themselves speaks to the need for commitment to the path unfolding before us. We are being called to withhold our energy from what is fading, and invest it in what is emerging. Discerning which is which is what has us spun up; earning us worry and sleeplessness and bone-aching weariness. It almost seems easier to scratch whatever has been and begin all over; but that is not the way of our world, the wish of our hearts or this path of transformation.
We have a president that has embraced change and is accomplishing
at a remarkable rate; every couple of days there is a new project or process to announce, and a rebuke to the old way of perceiving ourselves. His rationale, one I commend, is that none of our various problems stand alone, but are part of an energetic whole. It will require renewal of the whole of government in order for the various threads of revised policy to weave together. Obama is examining the fine print, as well -- since that is most often where we will find the weakness that invites in corruption.
The Republican rhetoric has gone semi-hysterical with accusations that Obama is a Socialist, a Communist or a Fascist; sometimes all three at once. While those who are politically astute may respond to those buzz words, I wonder what the average citizen actually thinks. What held resonance in the last century seems not only laughably outdated, but tone deaf to our challenges today.
Prior to his election, Obama was branded a closet Jihadist; at least that's an 'ism we understand. The Chinese are Communists but we deal with them in a very cozy Capitalistic arrangement; how frightened of that word can the average 30-something be? Or the average Wal-Mart shopper, for that matter? Cuba
is no longer the enemy -- must the Right always have one, and must it now be Obama? That feels sadly old and self-defeating to me; especially now when we are called upon by emergency to move forward together.
As the President reconfigures the economy, we have entered into territory that seems startling to us; I think that's because we have short memories. Distress arose in conservative camps because Obama's team determined that the GM CEO should step down, but that wasn't anything new -- the AIG CEO prior to Mr. Liddy, and the heads of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, had all met the same fate just weeks ago.
Decades of deregulation tricked us into thinking that business isn't responsible to the society that fosters it; and so few of us are members of unions any longer that we have forgotten that workers have rights. Some of us -- those who would prefer outright, if temporary, nationalization of these companies -- are thrilled
that there has finally been an 'accountability moment.' Others are terrified
that the market-driven system will cower and dissolve before government interference, and suspect that complete nationalization is on its way.
Obama seems to be trying a bit of this, a tad of that and a lot of the other as he moves to stabilize the country; shorter on ideology than practical experiments
to rescue an economic system that is tangled in all the worlds banks. We too often think it's all about us in this nation -- the flat earth concept
proposed by Thomas Friedman has us all connected, our mutual piggy banks as well. Frankly, we've made enough enemies in the last decade without incurring more.
We're going to have to join the President in experimenting outside of the box if we are to properly assess our situation and our way forward; yes, we -- you and me. We need to meet each challenge with a determination to see things anew, to ferret out the way forward with the help of our intuitive skills and connection to our inner Source. We need some gumption and a specialized feel for what's worthy of our attention.
As we develop our awareness, we will find there is a palpable sense of hopefulness in the new; and a mired tone of stubborn resistance in the old. Indeed, what is old has a feel to it that we may no longer be able to abide. There may be places we want to avoid and people we want to run from, rather than expose ourselves to the painful emotions prompted by old paradigm thought. But this retiring energy signal needs to be put in proper perspective; not trampled in the mud of our judgment, but let go -- released.
Here in the Pea Patch, there are a lot of older folk who live a simple, sustainable life. They are, on the whole, a product of the prior century and the Southern model; many won't be with us much longer. They don't cotton to change of any kind and, from my experience, aren't very teachable. As my son and I were driving into the village the other day, I pointed out a van with emergency lights on the roof. My son told me that was Jan and Bud, who had the lights installed because they are First Responders (local volunteers who show up at emergencies;) he was surprised to see them out. "They're so old that they remember when the Dead Sea was still sick," he said, using a Pea Patch'ism. "Jan and Bud -- and their little black dog, Nigger."
Jacob and the angel wrestle all night, but the angel cannot win. At the break of dawn he gives up and blesses Jacob. He also gives him the honorary name Israel. Jacob Wrestling with the Angel. Rembrandt (1659).
Old. Old energy. Old attitudes that would be shocked that my hackles are raised by their pets name, which they no doubt think 'cute.' Old bias and prejudice that we can no longer afford in this new century. Old paradigm nonsense ... but wait! They volunteer from the goodness of their heart to help the needy? They awaken at all hours to respond to tornados and fires and people crushed in car wrecks, do they? They give unselfishly to their community?
None of us are entirely one thing or another -- we ourselves are not the black/white reflection of our politics. We are all humans moving through an enlightenment experiment, learning from our stuck attitudes and seeing ourselves in others behavior. A young cousin of Rush Limbaugh's wrote an article
that illustrates the gray area of our relationship to one another and ourselves; she speaks for many of us who love one another without agreeing, which sometimes makes coming together both joyful and painful at the same time.
It's not our job to judge Limbaugh, or Jan and Bud for that matter -- to assess their consciousness or forgive them their ignorance or learned behavior; we don't have the big picture. Any of the three might be the very guru that helps us catch a glimpse of our own dysfunctional patterns in their mirror. If we are to cooperate with what is rushing toward us, we simply need to step away from their energy and allow it to fade of its own accord. What we no longer feed with our resistance begins to weaken and dissolve. Besides, it has so little substance, now -- can you feel that?
Like Obama, who perceives the whole of the situation in need of lifting, it is the whole of us of that must come up with this rising tide. In each of our lives we are finding the situations that challenge our thinking and offer opportunity to lift us. Bless them when they come -- and work them through with determination, reminiscent of Jacob wrestling the angel
for a blessing; these issues seldom come without warning, and they offer us an opportunity to heal some portion of our consciousness. We must also know when to let go; allowing our intuition to determine our next move, and give a green light to a new opportunity or endeavor.
It's a time of great consternation, of decisions and discernment -- and those of us who know where we're going have the ability to move forward without dragging the old junk of the fading paradigm with us. The zeitgeist
of the moment is not Communism or racism or any other outgrown 'ism -- it's change. We must allow the dead to bury the dead, leave the old ways to those who still have need of them and lift our vision to see where we're going. When we turn our face to the Sun, the shadows disappear from view.