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Photo by Zen Warriors, Iceland

Just as we open and heal the body by sensing its rhythms and touching it with a deep and kind attention, so we can open and heal other dimensions of our being. The heart and the feelings go through a similar process of healing through the offering of our attention to their rhythms, nature, and needs. Most often, opening the heart begins by opening to a lifetime’s accumulation of unacknowledged sorrow, both our personal sorrows and the universal sorrows of warfare, hunger, old age, illness, and death. At times we may experience this sorrow physically, as contractions and barriers around our heart, but more often we feel the depth of our wounds, our abandonment, our pain, as unshed tears. The Buddhists describe this as an ocean of human tears larger than the four great oceans. — Jack Kornfield

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Everyone has complexes, there is nothing to be ashamed of in that; it would in fact be highly suspicious if we found someone who had no complexes, for these are the fires of the psyche. ~Carl Jung, ETH Lecture 1May1935, Pages 203.

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“Whatever is rejected from the self, appears in the world as an event.” — Carl Gustav Jung

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The illusions of separation are Ironically produced in and through relationships… To ideas to each other, to ecology, to time, to everything.

We are currently witnessing these illusions in meltdown. They are disintegrating, shattering, vaporizing in every direction.

There isn’t a single thing that can be said that is not going to be attacked or amplified… Or both.

Maybe this is what it takes.

Keeping human warmth through this is critical. — Nora Bateson

There is always grief implied in living, but some cultures carry more wounds than others. Our Western culture has deep wounds and sorrow built into it because of its divorce from nature and emphasis on material accumulation. Trying to live a connected, meaningful life in such a society puts you in conflict with yourself.

If you’re going to survive you will most likely have to imagine yourself assaulted by inimical forces, forces that not only don’t care about your welfare but want to use your energies to enrich themselves. You learn to be wary. You develop your own tooth-and-claw habits. It’s called “being practical.”

American society is one of the least generous and most rapacious societies on the planet. It’s a first world nation, endowed with prodigious natural resources, so to my mind it has no excuse for its exploitative and niggardly social consciousness. Surviving in such a culture is ridiculously hard compared to other first world societies, but it’s considered normal. Well traveled Americans, educated in how the rest of the world lives, are rare. Their voices are lost in the cacophony of received wisdom promoting American capitalism and its imagined superiority.

We are privileged to see the end days of this system. The natural world can no longer support being raped year in and year out. As the great emergency approaches, we are forced to rethink the fundamentals of our system, to spot its fatally flawed assumptions and correct them.

If we can grow into a vision of our place in a web of life where everything belongs and is somehow connected to everything else, we humans can at last find room for our humanity. I hope to live to see that project get going in American society.

Regardless, whether I live that long or not, that time is coming. The human race is beginning to feel the challenge to grow and become more kind and connected. Living as a tool of the system is becoming unviable. We’re going to be forced to think and judge for ourselves instead of just accepting what we’re told.

The old vision of things is dying and a new, more inclusive vision is being born. I believe that on the other side of collapse there is a rebirth coming, one in which individuals can live more naturally their human birthright.

I agree with Nora Bateson that now is the time to stay warm and kind.

Written by

I occasionally write fiction and also about creativity, loving, language learning and travel. I’m a longtime painter and reader.

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