Photo/Artwork by Will Zero.
It all depends on how you look at it.
I’ve been reading a deeply disturbing and truth-telling book by Carolyn Baker called SACRED DEMISE, a book who’s subtitle says it all: WALKING THE SPIRITUAL PATH OF INDUSTRIAL CIVILIZATION’S COLLAPSE.
Needless to say, she doesn’t mince words about what’s going on in the world: the perfect storm of economic crisis, climate change, peak oil, peak food, peak water, political corruption, and environmental decline. What the Japanese are experiencing now could become all too common, and is already present in many parts of the world. We are not immune here in the West as these pictures of the collapse of Detroit imply. It is already happening. Even here in the good 'ol US of A.
We are witnessing nothing less than the collapse of an entire epoch, outgrowing the organizing principle that has held us together for the last 5000 years, since the beginning of Empire. The fall of Egypt as an empire ruled by a single dictator was a telling omen, and we are watching that movement spread across the Middle East, through struggle and death, hope and eventually healing.
Creation and destruction always happen simultaneously, so what is the other side of this impending picture of doom? How do we navigate these changes and hold our heads high with vision and our hearts filled with hope.
The collapse of an epoch can bring apocalypse. Apocalypse is a word from the Greek meaning “lifting the veil” or “revelation.” Wikipedia defines it as “a disclosure of something hidden from the majority of mankind (sic) in an era dominated by falsehood and misconception.” Our times couldn’t be more ripe for it.
Revelation is a spiritual initiation, an aspect of the dance of Shakti in Her eternal hide and seek, to lure us deeper into the mystery. (Revelation is also one of the characteristics of the planet Uranus, which in previous blog, mentioned it just started a new cycle in Aries).
The silver lining of industrial civilization’s demise is that it’s collapse reveals a far more magnificent reality. The walls we have erected between ourselves and Divine Nature must collapse for us to have the revelation. When we can no longer drive to work (some as much as 2-3 hours per day), we will discover time with our family. When groceries get expensive, we discover back yard gardening. When we can’t go shopping we discover we feel lighter with less. When our ego gets ground down to a layer thin enough for the light get in, we flood with Grace.
Baker says: “Sooner or later collapse will force humans to interact directly with nature.” Our original distortion of Nature is part of our current insanity.
Two weeks ago, I included a letter from a woman in Japan saying they were discovering starlight in the darkness, quiet in the broken roads, community in the sharing of resources. Despite the untold suffering of the Japanese tragedy, something deeper is being revealed.
The Divine cannot collapse. We can only collapse that which stands in our way of receiving it.
If a woman had never heard of birth and went into labor, she would think she was dying, and even if someone told her what was going to happen, she’d say it was impossible. The pain of labor is designed to create an opening that allows something BIG to come through. Bigger than we can believe.
We are all midwives in the process of this miraculous birth of humanity. We are all doing the labor, feeling the pain, breathing through the contractions and reaching for each other’s hands. And we are all being guided by Grace toward something so wonderful and enlightening, we can’t even see it from here. It emerges like Springtime, from the age old partnership between Heaven and Earth in its infinite mystery. It is fertilized by the fallen stalks of the old. But there beneath the rubble, the light is calling of forth. New stalks are arising out of the old.
Facing epoch collapse and apocalypse is the challenge of our global initiation -- a rite of passage that is nothing less than the rebirth of humanity into its next organizing principle, a birth from the limiting love of power to the unlimited power of love.
April 1, 2011