These are the dark times or perhaps the challenging times of the famous Chinese proverb that says, “May you live in interesting times”. The challenge is to permit the heart to break, to be with those who suffer fully without drowning ourselves. I have been angsting over my next blog; this one, because what can one say about heaven being here when such terrible quakes happen as in Haiti and so many suffer and die? The last thing I intend for this blog is for it to be pollyannish; that is of use to no one.
So where is heaven in all the disaster that we have just witnessed and in that suffering that continues to unfold in further desperation? I think the first step toward finding it and recogizing heaven is here is to know that we are more than just our physical form, we are greater than that. Our isness is eternal; that primordial witness of our lives, loves, wars, disasters and deaths is omiscient and omnipresent. That core us is beyond the blink of an eye that is this life. That part of us knows this is heaven, that part of us orchestrates this heaven so that we may experience the sublime and the excruciating feelings of this life. Challenging times afford each of us the opportunity to know ourselves better. These events also allow us to know ourselves better as one humanity, as the organism of community that we are fast becoming in this rapidly globalizing village. I think of a woman I saw on TV two days ago who was trapped for 6 days in rubble. When a team of US firefighters finally pulled her out she broke into song. My heart sings with her as much as my heart breaks for the children sitting in the streets next to their injured or deceased parent. I pour my prayers and blessings on those who are suffering in Haiti and to those who are helping, thank you to them all for their part in this massive global heart opening event.
It is important to look at this event and see what is going on cosmically and globally. Our world is our reflection of our self. Our immediate personal world reflects our personal, individual suppositions about reality. Our world at large reflects the greater agreements we assume as a community of humans. We carry and sustain immense constructs of what we think our world should be. For example the banking system is a construct, it’s “reality” is only apparent because we all agree to function by it’s authority. National borders are a construct, as are governments, educational systems and of course religions. All these ‘structures’ have formed over thousands of years built on infrastructures of assumptions that were formed and agreed upon thousands of years ago. Assumptions like “God is a jealous god”, “my race is the smartest”, “women should stay in the home”, “my neighbor is my enemy”, “survival of the fittest” all impact with tremendous power the way we interact and live together. I think few would agree that these structures are perfect and true. Many people are left out in the cold, impoverished and unable to create a sustainable lifestyle and this is because of these constructs. I was infuriated to learn that when Haiti revolted after learning about the French revolution and won their freedom they were then subject to reparations for loss of French revenues garnered by the slave industry. It took Haiti 150 years to pay off this massive debt, I wonder why the slaves were unable to make a case for reparations for their slave labor and ill-treatment and instead garner 150 years of reparation payments from France. These are the kinds of constructs that are crumbling right now. We are entering a new time where subjugation of our fellows, theft of each others energy and lifeforce will not be permitted. How can we be in heaven when the comfort of one depends on the suffering of another? We are intimately intertwined as one humanity and each individual’s well being is mutually beneficial, even the ants have figured this out.
I remember vividly while watching on TV the twin towers of the World Trade Center collapse that I felt like everything I thought was real inside me was crumbling and disintegrating. I felt a palpable shattering of the subtle construction of my understanding of my world. In the days after 9/11 in New York City New Yorkers were so soft and sweet. People’s hearts were open. Strangers were chatting with each other. Residents set drinks outside and made cookies for passers by. An opera singer broke into a splendid song one morning in the subway and the entire subway car felt sacred. It didn’t take long though for hearts to harden and for the US to stampede into war. Five years later we witnessed the suffering of New Orleans, then the South Asian Tsunami, then the hurricane in Haiti and ten years later here we are again witnessing terrible suffering.
It is said that if a change in direction is needed God will tickle your nose with a feather, if you are really alert you will immediately pay attention and shift course. If that doesn’t work God will slap your hand with a newspaper, hopefully for most of us that will get our attention and we will make a correction, if that doesn’t work he’ll use a 2 by 4 across your temple, it will probably hurt like hell but who’s going to ignore that. In your dazed recovery ideally you will change your misbehaviour. But if, however, even the 2 by 4 fails to make the point then comes the mac truck barreling down toward you with full force. Even though we are blessed with free will while playing in this realm it is critical that we follow the path of grace chosen by our own souls. Does it sound like I might be blaming someone for the earthquake? I hope not, I am not. I am convinced though that a quantum shift in our relationships to each other and to our world will produce a dramatically different experience of our world for each of us.
Here is an opportunity to allow the heart to break, or at the very least to soften and open. This is perhaps our most important duty right now, holding of anger, fear, jealousy, judgment and other negative energies ripples out into our world in terribly destructive ways. It takes great skill and effort to hold a state that welcomes heaven but heaven will not be perceived unless that disciplined state is nurtured.
I would like to recommend a well-reknowned prescient teacher Tom Kenyon, who offers beautiful and useful information to support us through these difficult times. A most recent article entitled, “Haiti and the Chaotic Node” presents information on how to maintain a good state as we go through these trying times. http://tomkenyon.com/haiti-and-the-chaotic-node