We are in crisis. Some media people are trying to tell us that. This isn't "chicken little" time. The sky really is falling.
Good time for a total eclipse.
I assume anyone reading these posts is well aware of the danger we're in here in the U.S., very aware of the collapses of all our political institutions, that Steve Bannon's determination to collapse the society and bring about chaos (as a strategy for what, I don't understand), is the winning dynamic in the destructive result of November's election
"Our nation is going to go through great peril," said conservative Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) yesterday, if Trump doesn't figure out what it is to be president. We know he won't. He can't. He is not a mentally stable human being.
I've been around 68 years now and my generation has witnessed a lot of upheaval, political violence, state violence and repression, freedom struggles, passionate movements for justice and basic human rights. But nothing like this. The moment is unprecedented and deeply, deeply troubling.
My question for a long time has been, as the crisis descends, how will we do? What kind of human beings will we be? Will this bring out the best or worst? Well, history keeps showing us, the answer is - both. And those of us who still dream of a different way of being have to stay steady, do our inner work, stay grounded, and build community where we are. We need to engage this moment as mature adults, as people with deep faith (whatever that faith is), with a deep spirituality that understands moments like this always come - of upheaval, of tumultuous change, of leaps from one era to another.
Meanwhile, the eclipse. It feels auspicious, doesn't it? And yet even this moment reveals the pathologies of our culture. It has become a major media event, commercialized and hyped in every possible way, one that has a feel of ominousness and even threat to so many local communities preparing for it as if for a natural disaster. As a culture, we don't even know how to go out and look at a gorgeous celestial event - that will last all of 2 1/2 minutes!! - with simple joy and some human camaraderie. Near Madras OR, I learned that they have brought in two refrigerated buses - for the bodies. Yes, the bodies. They are anticipating deaths.
Everything these days seems to go to extremes, right? That's a sign of a very troubled culture.
Now, my brush here is broad. I hope to enjoy the eclipse with thousands of others out in the Great Plains. I know that millions of people want this to be a moment of joy and wonder, while they also long for justice and peace in the workings of the nation. And we need them all, all of us, to really step forward now - not to try to revert to a past that no longer exists, but to embrace change with some balance, with understanding, with the ability to let go what must be let go if we are to move through the crisis time with compassion and just basic human decency.
This moment is auspicious for more than one reason - in both darkness and light, as the skies on Monday will show us in fact and in metaphor. It is auspicious for terrifying reasons, and for the best of all reasons, and we have to decide how we are going to embrace the moment, live into it, become real prophets, "spiritual warriors," as Margaret Wheatley calls those who make this decision.
So, when I get back to this blog week after next, I will share how we are thinking about this and how it impacts the mission for the work I do. I want to get out into communities and for us to really do some work together. So stay tuned. Enjoy the show on Monday. Remember who you are - who you REALLY are.
~ Margaret Swedish
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