If you are worried about:
- travel bans
- hate crimes
- militarized police state
- environmental destruction
- nuclear war
- religious bigotry
- political corruption
…or any of the other innumerable social problems that seem to be overwhelming, consider this: they are all human behavioral strategies to meet an unconsciously unmet need for connection and meaning. They are outward expressions of a nearly universal misunderstanding and denial of the relationships that exist within ourselves, between ourselves and with our physical environment.
Within us, our hearts are always, always, always telling us that we are connected, that our lives have meaning, yet we have been trained by our culture to not listen to those messages. When head and heart operate independently, the isolated intellect can only improvise best guesses at the truth of any relationship, guesses which are often wrong. The secret suspicion arises that the personal self has become a very, very bad mistake that is both incapable and unlovable. Instead of feeling this grief, we are encouraged by our culture to self-medicate the pain of separation with addiction to:
- domination and control
- food, esp. sugar & white flour
- self-martyrdom, rescuer identity
- victimhood identity
- electronic media
These addictions are symptoms of a disease of the spirit, a broken spirit in which head and heart are separated by a vast ocean of pain, a disease in which behavior is no longer authentic, a disease of self-isolation, distrust and abuse of self and others. When we realize, finally, in a crisis such as the mass extinction event in which we find ourselves, that our strategies for meeting our need for connection and meaning do not work, we WAKE UP from our delusion, we become dis-illusioned. This is the meaning of the word “apocalypse,” to reveal. Then we see that resistance and protest to all those social problems are symptoms of the pain, frustration and anger. On the other hand, the protest does not take responsibility for the healing that is needed, the re-unification of minds, hearts and bodies. The giant steps needed now are the ones that heal the divisions within ourselves, our families and communities. They are indeed giant steps, and disillusionment often includes loss, disappointment and discouragement.
However, acceptance of the reality of the situation and courage can be created by two (or three) things: having an orientation to the problem and having peers who are ready and willing to take the first giant step because they have lost their illusions about what’s really important. This initial affirmation of collaborative team work with an albeit loosely defined task creates the security to begin the march towards unshakable, empathic connection. Peers who are not ready cannot be convinced by reasoning to join, although science is beginning to provide evidence to help those who are questioning the status quo. The heart sends more information to the brain than the brain sends to the heart, for example. These rational arguments are no longer needed when the doubters see the results of various cohorts moving off into the distant future, however; they will hurry to catch up; they will be encouraged by tangible, measurable transformation; their hearts will be moved; they will fear being left behind in the hell on earth.
The “rapture” is not an escape from this earth and all its trouble, it is a return to it with understanding, compassion and love.
This return is a healing work in which we first heal ourselves, then pass that healing to others by example, by our actions. Some people have said “love is the revolution,” which is the seed of a very large idea. As John Adams wrote to Thomas Jefferson, the American Revolution began in the minds of the people in the course of 15 years before the war. This time, the war that splits nations will be instead be festivals of reconciliation and cultural fusion, tribal festivals that are already taking place all over the planet.
With tribal support, like a flock of geese providing lift to each other, the enormously intense amount of emotional work that is neither simple nor easy does become easier. With experienced mentors, pitfalls can be avoided. However, we are entirely dependent on our own tenacity and trust when it comes to re-programming the connection between our personal heart and our personal intellect. As we dive in, the work accelerates to include reunion with our physical body. No part of ourselves can be left out. The learning curve is steep. Fortunately, from my own experience I know that once the intention is set to take that journey of reunion, as a serious vow to oneself, the path takes on a life of its own. There is no real turning back, and all the detours that seem to be going nowhere are simply part of the journey.
The journey WILL lead us to solutions to travel bans, hate, poverty, war and all the other forms of violence and separation — solutions that nobody has dreamed of yet, solutions that will make the old strategies obsolete, solutions from minds, hearts and bodies working in unified harmony, solutions that cannot come from our minds alone. Our imaginations cannot hold the vision of something we have never done before, so we must draw the map of the journey by acting as if we have the map, taking each step as it comes and trusting the process. NO, this is not rational, you might say, and that is exactly my point. It is time to get out of our heads and into our hearts, and follow those messages that keep telling us we are connected, we are connected, we are connected far more than we can possibly imagine right now.
I have written a workbook that is an opportunity for self-transformation and freedom from the grip of the culture of separation and conflict which has been programmed into us from birth. The challenging questions are designed to stimulate a lengthy self-examination of unconscious beliefs that block our natural ability to connect and belong with others. See The Work of Love: Re-discovering Connection and Belonging.