So what is this ideology that I blame for our predicament and wish would collapse as soon as possible? Why is it so bad? Why did it proliferate and, therefore, what could bring it crashing down? How can we live creatively and meaningfully by consciously freeing ourselves and each other from that ideology?
Changing times are calling for more radical approaches to social work. COVID-19 is teaching us that resilient social networks are local. After the pandemic broke out in my community, opportunities for resource sharing and communication opened up. Mutual aid support networks emerged, where neighbors post what they need help with, and what they have to offer. I am seeing brilliance, generosity, and creativity. BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) backyard garden projects. Mask making and distribution. Bed and breakfasts converted into shelters. Meals for the unhoused. Most of these organizers are not “social workers,” but perhaps this is an indication of the direction social work should be going.
To step out of the illusion of thinking we exist as a separate self is to recognize—and be born into—our greater identity (whether we call it the Self, Christ, Buddha, etc.), that includes and embraces everything under the sun. The Self—who we actually are—is simultaneously the source and fruit of life itself, enhancing life beyond measure.
CORONATION UNVEILED: A Critique and Cure for Charles Eisenstein’s Fairy Tale Pandemic Essay, By Jack Adam Weber
“Coronation” is a story you’d tell a child before bed time, not to adults who need to wake up.
Recognizing the role of our psyche in all of this isn’t a passive realization, however, but, being a realization that takes place within the psyche itself, simultaneously activates and unlocks the very creative nature of the psyche that we are recognizing. In other words, this realization isn’t abstract, intellectual or theoretical, but rather, is a felt-sense that directly connects us with and helps us access the enormous creative power each of us—knowingly or unknowingly—carries within us. This insight by itself is just the beginning, however, for we are then called to carry and embody our inner realization into the outer world in our own uniquely creative way.
Among other things, we may want to simply sign up to become students of uncertainty, or as the Buddhists say, “When you’re falling, dive.” This will require intention and practice. It does not require us to become news anorexics, but it does require us to temper our projections into the future as we practice staying present. This also gives us an opportunity to observe how attached we are to outcomes.
What is being asked of us now, in the midst of our hardship, is that we open our newly kindled compassion to all living beings, and feel with as much sober honesty as we can muster how they have all been ravaged by the virus of our fevered grasping.
Consciously holding the tension of the opposites within our own awareness without splitting off and identifying with either of the opposites (either optimistic or pessimistic) is an intrinsic super-hero power that we all possess, knowingly or unknowingly. Interestingly, holding the tension of the opposites is experienced as—and symbolized by—a veritable crucifixion of our limited egoic identity. Is this to be genuinely imitating Christ and, as he counseled his followers to do, to be carrying our own cross?
And here we are, wondrous beings, with unique gifts and abilities. We are capable of love and deep compassion, an appreciation of beauty, the creation of great art, music, and poetry. We are aware of our history, of how we came to be here. We have studied the world around us, and been awed by what we have discovered. We can imagine the future and choose how we respond. We find meaning in our lives, a sense of justice, and an inner wisdom. There is much to celebrate about us. The question is: Can we celebrate all that we are, while accepting that our species is here but for a brief flash of cosmic time?
I Felt Despair About Climate Change Until A Brush With Death Changed My Mind, By Alison Spodek Keimowitz
There is no preventing the inevitable, but the delay is precious. It is all we have.