Leave It Behind
Remember a former job: once you’ve left it, you don’t continue doing the same work. There’s no place for you there, so that work is left behind in the old office or workplace, and someone else would take up those tasks that only indispensable you could perform correctly, efficiently. Not now. Now the position is removed, the office is closed. In the new post-lockdown, post-BLM upheaval, post-reflection after all this, old former ways of life will simply no longer be there.
As we prepare for unusual change, what is no longer necessary is self-dismantling, and soon it may just fall away, fading out. (Kind of like our experience during lockdown - who remembered what day it was?)
Tear gas mixes with deadly droplets, and still, all together, the peaceful protesters stand and sing.
This week, protests, military/police intervention, combined with the strong effects of all the Covid-19 lockdowns. We are in a dream and nightmare where the signs and symbols shift meaning and valence according to the view of the group mind. As histories repeat themselves, condensed and compressed into the NOW of historic moments, this has been a week to be decoded and remembered.
What exactly was the turning point? At what juncture, which event, which crossroads, made it all so clear to us? Will humanity survive? Or is this combined madness, plague, fear and stress the end of an era foretold by the wise? The elders saw this, the mystics could see it. My Sufi friend Shamcher saw it but still chose to work toward good, against the turning tides.
I see the power of this compression of history and want to believe it is possible to change everything, almost magically, because of the compression, like coal into diamond. All history convenes here and now, plays out in the actions and symbols known to us in the Western World, and when we change it, break it up (break up the stolen diamond), we touch it and it becomes something far greater - it opens and shows us its origin, its mechanism - a transposition of energies from time’s vault. So those who know (and those who don’t know but foolishly dare) can find a shard of this broken diamond of history, can reframe it, redo it, give it new facets, shape or setting. And throw that cruel slave-seller statue into the sea, now and forever.
Through the diamond shards, we communicate to one another and observe each other in action. We are dismantling all the past systems and seeming power sources. They are being remade in another direction, in a new way, for a living future. A miracle on every 34th Street: “Yes, Virginia, there really is a future.” And it is up to us to make it in the image we want it to be. This isn’t easy due to the flying debris coming at us in every direction. But don’t be distracted. Take it slowly. We can make life more than what we have at present. Justice and compassion.
Let’s do this! It is a ritual transformation of the whole mechanism. An upgrade to an entirely new operating system. Most of the old apps and programs won’t run on this one - in fact the hardware will also need to be seriously updated or scrapped. This new system needs to be lean, direct, easy. If the shift asks for too much energy, scrap that way of asking. Slow down. Look for a direct way. This cannot be complicated.
Since we are each a microcosm of all the changes that are in this world today, what we feel tells us what is happening. If we can manage ourselves and not permit the chaos to overwhelm and take us down, then we will be able to work through this transformation. We look into our hearts and see that we are ourselves fragments of diamond, and also that coal becoming diamond, all at different stages. All simultaneous. Some of us are still coal, burning off with heat, light, pollution, giving off black smoke. Some are in the process of compression, from coal to diamond, some are diamond shards.
Removing time from the overview, it is one active being in the living process of transformation, all stages simultaneously active. The Diamond Sutra (or is it The Diamond Cutter?) outlines this view and what it means. Did you gain anything? Nothing. Can the Buddha be recognized by the special marks? All questions are preposterous. All answers are beyond mind. ‘Thus shall ye see this fleeting world….’ And still we work to save all beings. Yet when all beings have been saved, no beings have been saved.
They are all compressed further until the diamond itself is so finely cut, so fully transparent that it no longer exists. Yet even if it does or doesn’t exist, it is still here, we are it and we are in it. It is in us and we strive for freedom, equality and justice, in a world of inequality and suppression.
It feels like the old way of life has come to its final wall - will the West itself be torn down with the tearing down of its wall? A fulfillment of prophecy perhaps, but like all fairy tales it comes with a side door that leads to a whole other trajectory of events. Something that not even the prophets could have envisioned. Now there is nowhere to go but up, and there is no ladder to take us up there. At least, no ladder we can see with our eyes. The prophets and predictions took us up to this point and no further.
Now we create what is to be, and there is no outer directive for us. We listen very carefully to our own inner mind. We watch our dreams and follow intuitions. We hold the keys - they always told us this. But these words are not comforting. The reality is that we now have to use the keys. The problem wasn’t ever actually finding the keys. The problem is finding which key fits into which door. My key fits into my own locked door - but dammit if I can find it with all the noise from protests, gunshots, and 24/7 news. Plus the coughing.
I’m beginning to pick up, seeing the how the signs and signals of connection reveal themselves as poetic heat-points on the matrix. Resonant layers. Bandanas and facemasks that demonstrators wore to foil facial recognition became commonplace on the streets as personal protection from transmission of Covid-19. Then when we are all wearing masks, the protest movement’s close contact required them even more. In many descriptions of Covid-19, patients often described feeling a weight on the chest and the desperate inability to breathe. Then George Floyd is crushed and choked, and his words, “I can’t breathe,” are now spoken, quoted and cried out in all the protests. And on the anniversary of Tiannamen Square, police vehicles in the US drive into crowds.
A new reality emerges, shedding outmoded 20th century inequities and cruelties. We cry for a more just system, a fair way to live. The protests show us that we do not ever want to go back to what had been considered normal before the lockdown. People everywhere overcame their fear of Covid-19 to stand together and make it known that social justice must be embedded in all our hearts, activities and institutions. This is a necessity for all. For if we are one, and the suffering of one is felt by all, then … well, you know, you get it.
We are turning at this crossroads, while the rush of so many people standing together outside in the streets has overtaken all the public health cries for space and distance. The climate strikes and marches went online when Covid-19 began, but the anger over police, systemic racism and injustice overtook everyone in a wave of greater intensity.
People are gathering together like never before throughout the Western world, the outcry is heard and resounds. It is no longer a question of whether this will turn the tide, but when. Meanwhile, the rickety old structure seems to still be in place while it is being dismantled from the inside and the outside.
We feel this on the level of our own innermost structure, in our dreams and our lives. Can we direct our dreams and our lives toward a positive outcome? The fight for rights will open a new way for everyone and everything. I only hope we have enough time to make the changes we all need. The collective is much more than those of us who agree, it is all of us - past and future, in this life and many others. The cause of suffering is not only the outside person or group we blame it on, it is embedded in ourselves. Time to clean up the act, begin each day anew, do no harm, stand for what we believe and fight harder than we ever have before, for truth. Didn’t they say ‘the truth will set you free’?
This week’s images: Hierarchy of Needs charts from a friend on Facebook, Diamond Sutra and Future Hand from my shelves at home.
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