In the darkest days of winter, we celebrate the rebirth of light. With candles and electric light strings we bring comfort and brightness to the long, cold nights. Light and darkness – they cannot be separated from each other in a world of dualism any more than the positive pole can be separated from the negative pole of a magnet.
Over the past months, the polarization of our nation (and possibly our world) has gone to another extreme. Fear and rage have reached a fever pitch. Many of my friends who belong to minority groups are in panic about the near future for both themselves and their loved ones. Some are even striking out at their friends, blaming them for the horrors to come. Others are completely baffled by the violent response to the election of Donald Trump as the figurehead of the United States of America and the Supreme Commander of the most powerful, or at least the most expensive, armed forces on earth.
So where do we stand as travelers on a spiritual path? How do we move forward from here? Blessed are the peacemakers, but when you are dealing with bigotry and fascism there can be no compromise. Standing firm in our truth, we cannot accept any degree of degradation of and violence against women, immigrants, people of color, different religions, sexual identities or orientation. And in standing firm, we must be careful not to become what we reject. By hating those who hate, we add to hatred, obviously.
In the midst of an emotional storm, we all slip into the simplistic polarization of good versus evil. Then we either attack or try to run from whatever we perceive as evil. This is not necessarily helpful, but it is a physiological survival response that is hardwired into our central nervous system. Unless you have already attained absolute enlightenment, you will experience this. Period.
Don’t add fuel to the fire. Feel your feelings, acknowledge them in their full intensity, but choose your actions carefully. But don’t suppress your feelings, either. If you do, they will come out sideways, and usually at the most inopportune moment. If it helps to write a scathing letter, do so. Just don’t send or post it. Read it out loud with all the emotions behind the words, and then delete, burn, or tear it up. Scream into your pillow or at the stars. They don’t care. They love you anyway. Share your fears with trusted friends, if that helps, but be careful that you don’t catastrophize together.
Allow the storm to pass, and it will. Only if the mind insists on continued drama to maintain the high adrenaline levels it is accustomed to, will the storm persist beyond its natural function. Fear and rage are survival functions that have evolved to help us avoid or get us out of the danger zone. Prolonged beyond the immediate danger, though, they become hazardous to our health.
So when looking at our national and global situation, are we truly in the acute danger zone? – Climate change is real and well under way. It takes a very determined ego to deny that now. We live in an era of mass extinctions. Every day, species are disappearing from the earth forever. Fascist forces are on the rise. In the US we don’t like to call them that, but the use of government functions and forces to support the goals of mega-corporations is called fascism in every other part of the world. And now we let not just a fox, but an army of weasels, into the henhouse in Washington, DC. So things are not looking very promising in the near-term.
So let’s look from afar, not just from an eagle’s view, but rather from a cosmic perspective of the place and time we are living in.
Earth wobbles on a tilting axis as it spins around our ever-moving sun in one of the arms of a galaxy spiraling around a gigantic black hole at its center. The universe itself is expanding, so the galaxy, too, is moving in relationship to other galaxies and nebulas. It takes over 200 million years, give or take a few, for our sun to make one full turn around the galaxy’s axis, and even upon its completion, it is not where it used to be. Even if we could live that long, we would never end up in the same place twice. It is not possible. Our mind likes to use the past as a reference point to project probable outcomes into the future. But in truth, we have never been here before. Where we find ourselves right now is completely new and unprecedented. So we really don’t know, cannot know, how events will unfold. Only fear tells us otherwise.
We can insist on calamity and experience the situation as that. Or we can go with the flow and trust that there are forces at work in this amazing universe that are far beyond human control, and they drive evolution. Life itself is a force beyond our comprehension. Consciousness is not the thinking mind. It is much more than that, and it cannot be controlled by the mind. It is irrepressible and unique in each and every expression, not just the human being. Like energy, it can neither be created nor destroyed. It simply IS, changing its expression and form all the time.
I exist. You exist. One life or a thousand lifetimes exist within the eternity of consciousness like the blink of an eye. Evolution is patient and unstoppable. It is also not a linear process, apparently. Periods of mass extinction have come before, and they were followed by periods of mass proliferation of entirely new life forms. Whatever we are facing, it is not the end.
Armageddon literally means the lifting of the veil. Nothing can remain hidden. No more secrets, all shall be revealed. In that sense, we are right in the middle of Armageddon. Individually and collectively, our light as well as our shadow is being exposed.
What Donald Trump has brought to the surface during his campaign is nothing new. His speeches have not turned loving people into bigots. He has simply given permission for existing bigotry to become openly visible.
In all honesty, each and every one of us has a shadow aspect of our psyche that harbors prejudice and fear of the other. One cannot grow up in this culture without being exposed to this conditioning. Prejudice and bigotry can even be hidden under the guise of low self-esteem. Feeling less deserving of respect and dignity because I am a woman living in a man’s world, that is a form of bigotry. Feeling ashamed or superior because of my gender orientation, skin color, religion or lack thereof, is discrimination. Holding judgment against myself actually is more painful than others judging me. And we all were taught to do it. All of us hold some shame about being too much this, or not enough that.
We all have a shadow. This is part of the human condition while living in our physical world. Fighting the shadow means your thinking self is battling your feeling self. This is exhausting and unsuccessful. Projecting your own shadow onto a group of people who are different from you deflects your own pain but leads in the extreme to genocide and holocaust. One way or another, fighting the shadow turns into war on a personal or global scale. This war has been fought for as long as men have been able to throw sticks and stones at each other. It almost led to man’s self-annihilation. But somehow we managed to turn that page and start an entirely different story.
This new story is one of transformation, not just birthing a new child to the same species. At this point in time we are participating in something akin to the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly. This is not a cognitive achievement. The caterpillar has no conscious control over the process. Instead, it allows the unfolding in complete trust. It carries within its body a chrysalis that is revealed as the caterpillar wriggles out of its old skin. Inside the chrysalis, the caterpillar’s structure turns into stem cell goo. Out of that goo, a new structure forms, miraculously. There was nothing visible in the caterpillar that would suggest wings. And yet, inside the chrysalis, the DNA gets activated to shape a creature of flight and light.
The planet and the human species are entering the chrysalis stage right now. Old structures are dissolving. The old ways of doing things are no longer working. Control is exposed as illusion. Worldly power fights back with all its might. But human might has no influence over cosmic arrangements.
The geomagnetic field of the earth is weakening. This is not a man made problem. It is part of the evolution of earth itself. Without the strength of the geomagnetic field, more solar and cosmic radiation is entering the poles and biosphere. This is an evolutionary challenge: adapt or die. When our spiritual teachers tell us that the energy on the planet is rising, it is not just a metaphor. This is a physical reality, and not one to be feared. On the contrary, this is what we have been waiting for.
This is the energy required for the planet and the human species to go through their metamorphosis into the next higher state of existence. We cannot get there as long as we are fragmented and unaware, fighting the shadow aspects of our psyche or repressing them. We have an urgent invitation now to dance with the shadow.
What does that mean? We acknowledge the darkness as simply an absence of light, not as a force opposing light. The shadow is nothing more than a collection of all the fearful and unloved aspects of ourselves. Understanding and compassion allow us to love what seemed to be unlovable while it was hidden away in shame. Shame turns to rage because it is too painful to bear. Rage turns outward to avoid self-destruction. Bigotry is rage against the outwardly projected shadow.
If we follow shame back to its origin, we arrive at the early days of a little child who came into this world full of unconditional love that was rejected. For their own reasons the parent(s) and community could not accept or even recognize that gift of love. They were unable to reflect the necessary love and emotional nurturing the child required to develop a sense of security and trust in life itself. When security through unconditional love seems unobtainable, control and power provide a poor substitute.
Behind the façade of bigotry there is always a scared little child longing for safety and love. But admitting that makes us much too vulnerable in a world that is built on power, control, and survival of the meanest. We can heal this dilemma by embracing the unloved and scared aspects of ourselves first. When we can do that, we will recognize them in others, as well, and find it in our hearts to love them, too.
Compassion for bigots is not approval of bigotry. It is transformation of shadow into light. By loving all, even those who cannot love themselves, we raise the energy in ourselves and in the world. We can become the first butterfly-humans if we trust that love is the primary force in this universe and all possible others.
Do you have the courage to trust? Then take a deep breath and let go…
About the Author:
Shana Dieterle, PT, CST-D, is a Diplomate Certified CranioSacral Therapist, Physical Therapist and Light Worker practicing in Missoula, MT. She has spent her life studying and consciously experiencing being human through touch, motion, and deep listening. Nature is her source of joy, strength and inspiration. Guiding people back to the Inner Wisdom of their own essence is her vocation. For further information go to www.ShanasHeartofHealing.com