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Painting by Frank Howell

We are presently witnessing the weakening of a 5000-year old fear-based system (“Babylon”). It is an exploitive, warring, patriarchal, money-based reality (recently disguised as “democracy”) that has painfully dominated planet earth but is now collapsing as a love-based world is emerging. — Robert Roskind

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In the Lakota-Sioux tradition, a person who is grieving is considered most wakan, most holy. There’s a sense that when someone is struck by the sudden lightning of loss, he or she stands on the threshold of the spirit world. The prayers of those who grieve are considered especially strong, and it is proper to ask them for their help.

You might recall what it’s like to be with someone who has grieved deeply. The person has no layer of protection, nothing left to defend. The mystery is looking out through that person’s eyes. For the time being, he or she has accepted the reality of loss and has stopped clinging to the past or grasping at the future. In the groundless openness of sorrow, there is a wholeness of presence and a deep natural wisdom.

― Tara Brach, Author of Radical Acceptance

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The world is at a breaking point. This pandemic has been likened to an x-ray, revealing fractures in the fragile skeleton of the societies we have built.

It is exposing fallacies and falsehoods everywhere: The lie that free markets can deliver healthcare for all; the fiction that unpaid care work is not work; the delusion that we live in a post-racist world; the myth that we are all in the same boat, because while we are all floating on the same sea, it’s clear that some are in superyachts while others are clinging to floating debris. — Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General

Letting go of the unjust world we have created will not come easily. Letting go of our possessions will be easy compared to letting go of our illusions. Some of us would rather die than give up plundering nature and competing for crumbs in a winner-take-all culture.

The next stage involves grief, even for those of us who profess readiness for a new world. The world that is dying is going to take parts of us with it. It will take time to grow and heal those parts in a better form.

Our plans to hold onto as much of our past lives as possible will probably be dashed against the rocks of the new reality. We will either mutate to adapt to the emerging consciousness or we will cycle off this mortal coil. Resistance and denial will continue to make things worse.

I’m reflecting on my own personal losses and stages of grieving, but grieving is common. Everyone grieves, even animals grieve; we usually think it’s a personal experience, but in this case, there is a collective sense of loss.

Now however, we’re grieving at losing not just possessions or a beloved, we’re losing a whole society and all the assumptions that held it together. We can’t avoid a stage of sorrow at losing our social constructs if we’re going to find the creative energies to remake our world for better humans.

The assumptions of our new society will need to be rooted in generosity and a sense of connection to everything. Living simply, guided by forbearance and love is destined to replace our pride of status and possessions. We are mutating as a society, even if each of us will have an individual experience of it.

I don’t think this pandemic is just a little bump in the road. I think it’s a major restructuring of life on our planet. Our task is making the transition for ourselves while contributing to what’s coming in the best way we can.

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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