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Art by Denis Sarazhin

Symptoms invite us to reconsider our maps, revisit the terrain, revision our journeys, and reconsider our purposes. Finding that the map we have been using is no longer adequate is always disconcerting, even anxiety provoking, but it is the beginning of a process by which we come to a better map, a different terrain, a more considered life. ~ James Hollis ~

If you want to go your individual way it is the way you make for yourself, which is never prescribed, which you do not know in advance, and which simply comes into being of itself when you put one foot in front of the other. If you always do the next thing that needs to be done, you will go most safely and surefootedly along the path prescribed by your unconscious.
~ C.G.Jung

“My grandmother once gave me a tip:
In difficult times, you move forward in small steps.
Do what you have to do, but little by little.
Don’t think about the future, or what may happen tomorrow.
Wash the dishes.
Remove the dust.
Write a letter.
Make a soup.
You see?
You are advancing step by step.
Take a step and stop.
Rest a little.
Praise yourself.
Take another step.
Then another.
You won’t notice, but your steps will grow more and more.
And the time will come when you can think about the future without crying.” ~ Elena Mikhalkova ❤

This will not be easy. There will be upheaval, grief, uncertainty. Individually and collectively, we will search for our stable center, for some true sense of direction.

We have failed badly, coming within a hair’s breadth of destroying the fundaments of life on Earth. This “feedback event” is saying one thing — pay attention, don’t be so careless, don’t be so self centered. Like a schoolchild who misbehaved, we sit in the corner having our time out and contemplating our sins.

But our “consequences” are just beginning if we can’t identify what in our thinking has created this moment. If the punishment equals the crime, the consequences will be more than a slap on the wrist. Our suffering and grief will be real and deep, an unexpected travail that has caught us in mid dream. We are brought up short, suddenly aware the world we have worked so hard to create was always an adolescent dream.

Now we are asked to look more closely, more lovingly, more realistically. The dream we constructed and inhabited has gone “poof” and disappeared. Our way of life along with thousands of lives continues to evaporate. We are disoriented, frightened.

Now is the time to go slow, to look inside, to feel things out. Now is the time to establish what is real and what isn’t, what is essential and what isn’t. We have lived so long with non essentials we hardly know anymore which is which. Suddenly we’re back in school, trying to get oriented as to how we might live in the world. All the givens have changed.

We won’t be able to retrieve our old life with its privileged value system and hidden crimes. We all have a comeuppance due for having let ourselves drift in that current. More is asked of us now. Vision, for one thing. We have been stupefied by a lifestyle that seemed ordained by God. We didn’t notice its foundations were resting on sand. We have a lot of rethinking to do.

The dimensions of the issues facing us won’t be solved in a trice. The solutions are more than technical. We will need to pull back, go slow, take it step by step, feel our way forward. We will need to think of the vulnerable ones, the weak and sensitive ones. They also have a right to live and love. They also contribute to the world soul.

The market is not the only thing of value in the world. Just because you don’t fuel that particular engine doesn’t make you a useless entity deserving of death.

We act according to our vision of things. There is an outrageous myopia abroad in the world. Nothing will change if that doesn’t.

Behind the words we think, write and speak, a larger vision must take hold. Human beings will soon show if they’re up to the task. Cross your fingers.

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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