Monday, August 10, 2020

In Gratitude to the Storm

The Calm After the Storm, August 4, 2020    AC
When a force of nature happens to us, there's no question who is boss, who is calling the shots.  Try as we might, the force of nature is mightier than man.  That's the bad news; the good news is the same, but seen from a different perspective.  To know that nature is boss is ancient wisdom; to think we are superior beings to all other aspects of life on earth is a hallmark of patriarchal madness.

Respect for nature is respect for something grander than ourselves; if we forget that, nature has ways of correcting our mistakes.  There's no arguing with the storm.  Isaias swept through the northeast this week hitting many states unaccustomed to tropical storm fury.  This storm was a wind event for many communities in CT and Wow; they call the wind Mariah!  The force and the howling were top notch thrilling, but the number of trees toppled, the power lines they snapped and the subsequent widespread power outage experienced by people throughout the state makes me take special notice of how delicate our way of life is.  

Our infrastructure is fragile; there are things that could strengthen our infrastructure and cultural practices, if we had the collective, global will, to make them happen.  Ask the great climate activist, Greta Thunberg; we could turn things around to sustainable co-existence with our planet and fellow beings if there were those in leadership who would make those changes happen and if all of us acted individually to change our life styles.  Since patriarchy has taught us that the earth is for the taking, subdue and conquer it; we're in this very real pickle with nature.

How do we grow a global will to cease and desist the abuse of natural resources? I can start by cleaning up my personal beliefs and extending the change in my perspective to the collective beliefs I hold.  How is this nightmare, this contemporary madness which is held up by the projected beliefs of so many people, brought to a good conclusion, not dystopia?   Jung predicted that the survival of human kind was in the healing of the human psyche, personally and collectively.  We must banish the ancient demons created by patriarchs to cower the soul's independence and claim our own connections to a divinity far greater and kinder than ourselves.

We can learn from our ancient ancestors to see ourselves as part of nature.  The more we respect our physical existence and our spiritual existence, the two halves that make us whole, the more we can respect nature and turn our horrible habits that are unsustainable, to good habits that enhance individual wellbeing and collective wellbeing - humans, animals, Earth.  

But that's not patriarchal mentality, which is a tycoon mentality, a cigar chomping, mucho, macho mentality.  Look at world leaders; who stands out to you as self-important and cruel?  Before we can get back to a relationship with our surroundings that isn't greedy and self-serving, and worst of all, lacking in human compassion, we need to rid ourselves personally of the notions that blind us to our part in it all.  As a joke I remember from my childhood says: "Remember, in an avalanche, no one snowflake feels responsible".

But everyone is responsible to the degree that they are able, to connect with the spiritual truths we're here to learn: We are all One and Love Is The Answer.  Patriarchal religions and patriarchal regimes are not very loving,  Patriarchies promote the brutality of might makes right, so systems of physical and psychological control exist under the auspices of legitimate  "government" and "religious" institutions through which we are all governed and educated and brainwashed. 

The good news is that, as spiritual beings connected to our true spiritual guidance through dreaming, we are our own spiritual authorities.  I say that thinking of Jesus telling the pharisees off, the religious leaders of his day.  By whose authority the patriarchs ask him, do you say these things about God?  Jesus answers, by my own.  To be connected to our spiritual existence that is co-existing with us in the physical is to have no need of organized religion of any stripe.

Especially any religion governed solely by old patriarchs, mostly old white patriarchs, like the Vatican, the Catholic Church, for example.  In the 21st century, in America, women are still denied ordination to Roman Catholic priesthood; and it's not like we haven't been asking for ordination for centuries.  Even today, with all our technology and science, our collective psyche around the world allows for this prohibition to exist and persist.  A vast percentage of "Christendom" around the globe is Roman Catholic. People continue to support this avenue of patriarchal rule, to allow that teaching to fill the pathways to our soul with obstacles.  Religion is guilt with different holidays, is another joke I enjoy sharing.  

The beliefs promulgated by "churches" have long continued to inculcate self-hating beliefs in our psyches. For instance, the doctrine of original sin: Fancy believing that the Divine makes arbitrary lines in the sand that require brutality and banishment to enforce and are more important than love and forgiveness!  Imagine believing that of the two genders, the one that actually gives birth to us, is seen as lesser, inferior and to blame for all our moral problems! She who must be controlled.  Patriarchies promote this misogynist mythology; we get taught it so young that many adhere to it blindly. Who is Eve or Pandora to you?

What does religion give us?  A certainty of safety after death? A reason to love ourselves, others and the Divine?  Dreaming gives us that without demanding that we march to another's rules.  Some of the rules Catholicism teaches are down right awful, as are those in the other two big patriarchal religions, Islam and Judaism.  I remember when it was a mortal sin to eat meat on Fridays?  Not a mortal sin to eat meat, that might have done us all more good, but a mortal sin to eat meat on Fridays.  One would go to Hell if one did that and didn't confess to a priest and do the proper penance.  Then, the Vatican decided that the mortal sin of eating meat on Friday was to be treated as a venial sin now.  My question was, what happens to everybody already in Hell for eating meat on Friday?  Do they make an announcement in Hell; "Ok, everybody here for eating meat on Friday line up on the left, you're getting out."

Ridiculous.  Look to the way religion treats women, look to how we see God as the Father or Son only; no women allowed in the divine boys club.  No Mother Goddess; how is that possible?  Patriarchal religions justify all kinds of control over women and peoples not wielding the patriarchal power at the moment.  Slavery, a tool of patriarchy, is experienced both by women and men of races subjugated by the ruling patriarchs.  Witness the contemporary global "sex trade" or women's lack of rights in regimes like Saudi Arabia, where, even today, women are imprisoned and tortured for demanding autonomy.  

White patriarchal supremacist racial hatred fuels intolerance, injustice and violence in countries like the USA where Americans are being called to choose how to treat each other and to decide what kind of a society we are to be.  In the 21st century, we must demand justice for citizens regardless of their pigmentation or cultural background. Racism is a disease of the soul, as well as a disease of the society, a weapon promulgated for thousands of years of patriarchy. The brutality that past white patriarchal societies inflicted on black and brown peoples is beyond belief, but more unbelievable is it's persistence in power today.   We have a  government that wants to roll back the rights that Blacks, Latinos, and Women have earned these past decades with our blood, sweat and tears. First degree patriarchs are installed in our highest offices trying to suppress the growth of the last fifty years in gender and race relations.  

Americans have a small window of opportunity, this upcoming presedential election, to restore this train wreck of a collective reality to a track where we can build the good and dissolve the evil. Personally, culturally and collectively, we are responsible for the reality our existence is on this planet.   We need a very different way of doing things; we need saner beliefs about ourselves, each other and the "afterlife."  I put afterlife in quotes because it's more accurate, if you're connected to the spiritual aspect of your life through dreaming, meditation or other positive avenues, to say that you experience it now, parallel to your own life. It's the AlsoLife, the Right Beside Me Life. if I choose to develop my inner life, the one I find in dreaming, meditation and mindfulness, and see it as important to me as anything in my waking life.  The inner life is the one I'm going to inhabit when I die.  Here is important, but not to the exclusion of there. It's not either or; it's Both And.

I'm very grateful that the hardships I endured during Isaiah were both relatively brief and easily remedied this time.  I'm also grateful for the lessons the storm brought about what's really important.  Sometimes the lessons aren't available due to the devastation of a storm or other natural event; sometimes they are fatal.  Not this time, but how can we learn to be more responsible citizens of this planet?  

Gratitude to the spirit behind nature for what she gives and using her gifts responsibly would go a long way to changing some of the things we so desperately need to change.  Also, electing leaders we can be grateful for instead of subject to; ones who lead not by coercion and deceit but with heart and soul.  Leaders of both genders and all cultures and backgrounds that represent we the diverse people, and who govern in collective and responsible ways.  

We are born spiritual as well as physical beings; we are all body and soul.  Each of us can go within through our dreaming, with gratitude to the organic spirituality we're born with, to find the connections we always have to the divine.  May your dreams comfort you and help you grow.  May we learn to be co-habitants with all life on earth.  May we save our own day, individually and collectively.  May we find joy in living every dimension of our existence on earth.  May patriarchy fall from the weight of it's own falsehood.  May love rule in collaboration and never by force.  May we dream a better reality for ourselves and our future generations.  May we have hope and practice kindness.  May we dream strong.