It’s the awareness, the full experience . . . of how you are stuck, that makes you recover.— Frederick S. Perls
He not busy being born is busy dying.— Bob Dylan
The day after Election Day is like a painfully sobering hangover for many of us in America. “The belief that 2020 would be decisively different from 2016 turns out to have been based on a very human but ultimately very foolish triumph of hope over experience,” says Martin Kettle in a Guardian column.
We remain a very divided people. Perhaps we could start to come to grips with our personal responsibility for the healing of our divisions, instead of co-dependently believing that Big Hero Daddy in the White House will fix everything for us.
It seems to have always been like this, this outward focus on the responsibility of others, never ourselves. It may continue to be like this for some time to come, and yet I can see signs of change, such as the awareness that wearing a mask is a contribution to the general well-being, an awareness that is being forced upon us by circumstances. The crush of environmental and economic disasters, the collapse of the American Empire will continue regardless of who is President or whatever Congress or the Supreme Court decides. Government authority figures are reactive, slow-moving dinosaurs struggling for survival in a rapidly changing world, clinging to the illusion of power.
The government-military-industrial-media-banking complex — in fact, the entire global “elite” — are but the froth on a tidal wave of relentless cultural evolution which they are literally powerless to alter. They do not create the culture, the culture has created them.
Yes, all those laws and orders have the power to drastically change the details of our daily lives, yet they are the end-product of deeply hidden cultural assumptions, ideas we have inherited from a long line of ancestors and imperceptibly modified in each passing generation. In 1972, Ruth Bader Ginsburg argued before the Tenth District Court, “We’re not asking you to change the country. That’s already happened, without any court’s permission. We’re asking you to protect the right of the country to change.” (at the climax of the movie, On The Basis of Sex)
If we focus our attention on the long-term wave of cultural change, we might see that we are in an upward spiral of knowledge and abilities that will establish something like a U. S. Department of Peace, promote the healthy growth and development of children worldwide, prosperity and safety for adults, cooperative learning and problem-solving. Such genius is flowering among our youngsters that sometime in the future we will look back at the current state of humanity, and we will wonder why and how we were saved from extinction.
We are no longer victims. We are empowered to take responsibility for our role in shaping the culture in which we live. We are gifted with the opportunity to subvert the domination system with the power of visions of a better future. We can imagine ourselves being creative and fearless in genuine relationships with other people. We can escape from the fantasies about how dangerous other people are — how they need to be controlled, dominated, or even eliminated — there is no struggle, there is only surrender to a wonderful sense of belonging.
We are living the myth of the hero’s journey. It is incredibly real and incredibly challenging, yet if we roll over into victim thinking, we remain stuck, the source of dis-ease, dis-harmony, and backsliding into immaturity. There is a rebirth in progress: the house of rigid, hierarchical, authoritarian, institutional, and male-dominated structures is being replaced by flexible, horizontal, nurturing, familial, and female-guided networks. We are being reborn.
The media is focused on the drama and fear of power struggles. The evolution of which I speak is not a power struggle, it has no single leader, and it’s occurring in small group conversations. The ship of fear and control is slowly being abandoned. We are about to witness a cultural leap into a greatly expanded fearlessness, and the media will soon lose its influence through gossip.
In that day-to-day struggle for change, we have been at war with ourselves, we have been deathly ill with interpersonal and systemic violence inflicted on ourselves. Our vain attempts to be secure have left us exhausted, empty of resources, and questioning. Healers will tell you that releasing stuck energy is the final step to catharsis and the restoration of health. The time is ripe for genuine weeping, empathy for ourselves and others, and a radical shift in our strategies for achieving security, health, and growth. Rugged individualism has lost its virtue. Compassionate community is the more believable, trustworthy focus of our efforts.
Has this election resulted in more compassionate community? That is the real question.