I recently attended an inspiring week-end put on by the Wrekin Trust at the wonderful Hawkwood College. Why did I feel drawn to Co-creating in Momentous Times? Because I see powerful parallels between individual spiritual emergence and global spiritual emergence. The awakening of consciousness can at times speed up and tip over into crisis. The emergence becomes an emergency. Having been through such a process, I know how terrifying it can be. As we move into global spiritual emergency, we are being offered a wonderful opportunity for transformation. As we move to a whole new level of consciousness, we need to trust the process, to surrender to it and not be overcome by fear. Here are a few reflections following the week-end, with thanks to Janice Dolley, of the Wrekin Trust, Jude Currivan, whose material I draw on in places, and the whole team.
We worked with the elements of fire and water. An Egyptian fruit seller, supporting a family of eight, is told by the authorities that he can no longer sell in the street. He pours petrol all over his body and sets light to himself. Fire. The element of fire sparked the Egyptian revolution and the whole domino effect of uprisings across North Africa.
In Japan, a tsunami leaves 13,500 dead, nearly 17,000 missing, half a million homeless. Water. A society that has become homogenized, a society where a million young men, known as ‘hikikomori’, have simply withdrawn, retired to their rooms, refusing to engage with society on its terms, is engulfed by water. A poignant, moving email from a survivor in Sendai does the rounds and warms hearts the globe over. She writes:
Things here in Sendai have been rather surreal. But I am very blessed to have wonderful friends who are helping me a lot. Since my shack is even more worthy of that name, I am now staying at a friend’s home. We share supplies like water, food and a kerosene heater. We sleep lined up in one room, eat by candlelight, share stories. It is warm, friendly, and beautiful. ... If someone has water running in their home, they put out a sign so people can come to fill up their jugs and buckets. ... I come back to my shack to check on it each day, now to send this e-mail since the electricity is on, and I find food and water left in my entranceway. I have no idea from whom, but it is there. Old men in green hats go from door to door checking to see if everyone is OK. People talk to complete strangers asking if they need help. ...
Somehow at this time I realize from direct experience that there is indeed an enormous Cosmic evolutionary step that is occurring all over the world right at this moment. And somehow as I experience the events happening now in Japan, I can feel my heart opening very wide. My brother asked me if I felt so small because of all that is happening. I don’t. Rather, I feel as part of something happening that much larger than myself. This wave of birthing (worldwide) is hard, and yet magnificent.
They share water, they share fire. That night I dream of both. I dream of a people living by the sea, from the sea, their simple canoes are their fishing vessels, their transport; a people gradually becoming extinct. I’m shown the scene fast-forwarding and I see their numbers dwindling to the last handful. In another dream there is a fire. At first it’s only very small and no-one pays attention. Then it spreads, huge flames engulfing the second and third floors of a building. In the bar opposite, still nobody pays any attention. When I ask the bar tender if he has called the fire brigade he looks at me blankly. The people in the bar seem to be a metaphor for the ways in which we numb ourselves, distract ourselves, are lulled by sensory pleasure and craving, a metaphor for those not ready, not willing, not able to wake up. I urge, repeatedly, ‘What can we do? We must do something!’ Yet ultimately, not having the equipment to tackle the fire, and as there is no sense of anyone in danger in the building, all we can do is edge carefully past to safety. There is a sense of not being able to reach, of not being able to alert those in the bar, the vast numbed mass of humanity. Fire.
The phoenix rising from the ashes is often used as a symbol for spiritual emergency. Whether at the individual level or the global level, spiritual emergency is a death and a rebirth, a rising out of the ashes. As our friend in Japan says, ‘this wave of birthing... is hard, and yet magnificent’. The state of global emergency we have entered brings dangers and it brings blessings, opportunities.
If you have felt things intensifying, in your own life, or in the news, if you have felt things speeding up, if you have felt things polarising into them and us, good versus evil, then you have felt the vibes of the global spiritual emergence and emergency. If you have been clearing out clutter like never before, if you have started growing your own food for the first time ever, you are responding to the call. The call to prepare, the call to be ready; what for, we do not know. The call seems to be to simplify our lives, to get back to basics, to open our hearts. And, for me, to take responsibility for raising my energy vibration as much as I possibly can each and every day. The birthing of spiritual emergence and emergency is ‘hard, and yet magnificent’. It offers healing, awakening, a whole new level of consciousness. It requires great trust and even greater surrender. How can we know that we’ll be OK? How can we know that we’ll get through whatever the shift entails, whatever these momentous times bring? We can take our lead from those who’ve been through spiritual emergency personally. From those who have, through the bliss and the nightmare, come to know at a visceral level, in Julian of Norwich’s words, that ‘all will be well, all will be well and all manner of things will be well’.
Fear? What Fear?
What this global transition calls for, above all, is to let go of fear. Those living in the harsh regimes of North Africa have bravely chosen to let go of fear, to rise up against oppression. In spiritual crisis, at the personal, individual level, the greatest and most frequent fear is of dying. We feel as if we won’t survive. And on one level that’s true. We don’t. The old me, the old you, the old ways, do not survive. At the global level too, the single greatest fear we need to let go of is that of dying. Is dying OK? Not wishing to sound flippant, ask anybody who’s been through a near-death experience and they will tell you. Most are bitterly disappointed to have to come back to earth. We are so attached to our physical bodies, to our thoughts, our emotions, our personalities and personas. Are we ready to stop seeing death from a limited, egoic perspective? Spiritual emergence and emergency does involve loss, it does involve great pain, and global spiritual emergency does involve death. ‘This wave of birthing... is hard, and yet magnificent.’
Where before we’ve worked at an individual level, healing our wounds, now we’re being called to work at the collective level, healing our collective wounds. In Japan a whole society is being given the opportunity to heal its wounds, to open its heart, the Universal Heart. As we make the shift from the personal, so we realize that our individual wound is mirrored in the collective wound. The micro is also the macro. So, for instance, in Ireland, as the rapid economic growth of the late 1990s allowed greedy developers and bankers to cash in, so a nation strove to compensate for the starvation of the potato famine. Truly, we can understand a whole generation’s need never to go hungry again. For the first time ever, thanks largely to the technology of the worldwide web, we are experiencing ourselves as one whole, as deeply inter-connected. In the run up to the momentous cosmic alignment of 21 December 2012, the whole world will be watching London, attention fixed on the Olympics. If ‘all the world’s a stage’, London, at this pivotal juncture in time, will be the stage of all the world. Let us welcome the world with open arms and open hearts.
© Catherine G Lucas 2011