Hope holds us back from moving forward. When we hope things will improve, it allows us to stay in a place where we are apathetic. Paralyzed, even. “The Sun’ll come out tomorrow”… sang Little Annie. She’s right of course. It will – their headline screaming another new obscenity from the lampposts. There is such noise on the wires discussing the superficiality of whether we use Compact Flourescent Bulbs or recycle our ink cartridges – like it matters. Its like lining up all the passengers on the deck of the Titanic and asking them to all blow hard at the iceberg. Will it help? – Technically, yes. Really? – we’re just trying to make ourselves feel better by fooling ourselves we are making a difference. Because the level of change required is so fundamental, that we are simply not prepared to countenance it.
Take a look at Elizabeth Kübler Ross’ ‘Stages of Grieving’, here carefully cut & pasted from Changing Minds.org:
So now let’s try that on for size with the looming crisis we see coming: I’d put most of the world at Stage 1, with a rapidly growing number of people at Stage 2. All hell hit the streets of Europe this week as about half a million people collectively reached Stage 3. Expect a whole lot more of that. Stage 4 is the mad rotation of bald tyres we see happening all around the world at the moment, where the belief that using a block of salt under your arms instead of deodorant or having your sugar served up in non-bleached sachets will save us all. For the most part, it is little more than cynical green-washing by companies who are onto the next big thing. Until we stop consuming, nothing is going to change.
Depression. Stage 5. That sucks. That’s the bit where you stop wriggling. You realize that no matter how many economic bail-out plans are floated, no matter how much the market gurus try to talk up the market, the party is over, and now we have to clean up the mess. And wash the dishes, to pay for the bill, because it turns out the guys we were partying hard with – the coke-head wide boys we admired and thought were (or we wanted to be) our friends – they just stiffed us with the bill and ran off with the girl we fancied.
And that brings us to the point of this missive – ‘Abandon Hope’
Its only when we get to the stage of letting go of the idea that we can continue the ridiculous consumption we have been pursuing and the hamster wheel that we have been on, that we have any chance of turning this boat around. The show is over. We need to accept that.
Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, in a recent interview with the Guardian, offers the following words of comfort:
“Without collective awakening the catastrophe will come,” he warns. “Civilisations have been destroyed many times and this civilisation is no different. It can be destroyed. We can think of time in terms of millions of years and life will resume little by little. The cosmos operates for us very urgently, but geological time is different.”
“It’s like the person who is struck with cancer or Aids and they learn they have been given one year or six months to live. They suffer very much and fight. But if they come to accept that they will die and they prepare to live every day peacefully and they enjoy every moment, the situation may change and the illness may go away. That has happened to many people.”
When we give up and stop wriggling, we can open to the space where we realize that it is all a story in our heads, anyway. It doesn’t exist. All of our civilization is a mental construct – a function of our intellect. We love being clever. This came through this evening from my guru, Ram Das
“Freedom allows you to be wise, but you cannot know wisdom. You must be wisdom.
When my guru wanted to put me down, he called me ‘clever.’ When he wanted to reward me, he would call me ‘simple.’
The intellect is a beautiful servant, but a terrible master.
Intellect is the power tool of our separateness. The intuitive, compassionate heart is the doorway to our unity. “
We need to embrace simplicity, and live more frugally. Build self sufficiency. Start now while you can afford to invest in capital items like solar panels and rain water tanks. The prices are only going to go up. Learn how to grow your own food. Learn to live with less. Swallow the red pill and wake up to the puppet you have become, slave to the whims of the advertising industry. This is all old hat – there is nothing I can add here that you haven’t already read before, so I’ll stop.