“The Sky is Falling!” … or is it?
Once upon a time there lived a storybook character named Chicken Little, who said the sky was falling—this is about as cheerful as most of the news we’re subjected to nowadays, and if it appeared as tomorrow’s newspaper headlines, it probably wouldn’t even raise many eyebrows in comparison. (It’d make a nice National Enquirer headline!) In gathering material for this lesson I was soon saturated with one piece of “bad news” after another—certainly no shortage of negative environmental factors to be found, and I began to wonder how I could ever present both the good and the bad sides of the story without sounding like a “doomsday prophet”! Yet, reality is made up of both sides. So, before going any further with our discussion on ecology, let me clarify what my intentions are in opening our Pandora’s box of world problems. I’d much rather be the bearer of good news, so my purpose in this lesson is a dual one: to admit our mistakes honestly and still count our blessings, the good news being that we’re finally discovering the limited scope and potential of self consciousness, and evolving to an awareness of the broader scope and potential of our collective (or universal) consciousness, i.e., what we do to others, we do to ourselves. We are creating our mutual destiny daily, and what we create also depends upon the strength of our will to live. Since negative attitudes are self-fulfilling and self-defeating, please keep your chin up when reading this lesson. Its purpose is also not to attempt to predict future events, climates, or cataclysms, but to evaluate our world as it is and could be. The question is not so much whether the sky is falling, it is whether we will let ourselves fall. If we give up hope, and throw in our cards early in the game, we give up our destiny as well. My purpose in writing this lesson is to present the rose in all its beauty and to smell its sweet fragrance, but to watch out for the thorns. I hope the lesson will inspire you and challenge you to discover, and create, a beautiful future for all of us.
When we see the reality of what is happening to all of us, the total picture can’t help but stir up many mixed emotions. Few of us enjoy speculating on potential destruction/devastation of our planet. We want to be positive and cheerful, and would almost rather not hear the bad news at all, but there’s also a difference between the bad news given by the broadcaster with little emotion and the bad news that comes with suggestions as to how changes can be made and how we can help ourselves—the latter news is motivated by a desire to help humanity. We can listen and learn from Hamaker, for example, and should get over our resistance to confronting reality. Not only does it keep us ignorant, but avoidance of the truth does nothing to change the situation. When we have a flat tire, we know that we’ll have to fix it—a temper tantrum or flood of tears might fit the mood of the occasion, but they won’t fix the tire. It’s the same with world problems. When we’re faced with the complexity and seriousness of our total world reality, the tendency is to become overwhelmed at first. This is only natural. After grudgingly adding up all the environmental factors involved, in our minds, we can’t see our earth’s state of health without an overwhelming sense of urgency that so much needs to be done—like looking at stacks of dirty dishes the morning after a party, only we have a lot more to clean up on earth. Where to begin? What can “just one” person do? Well, it becomes apparent what “just one” person can do if we look at the world around us—we’re already doing it now, every day, all together at every moment, and the continual combined impact of all human action/interaction at once on the globe is no small matter. What “just one” person can do (and does) amounts to a lot since we’re all doing it at the same time, and it adds up even more quickly when everyone is doing it constantly.
Our collective energy is just as capable of healing as it is of destroying. Once we imagine what we can do with this incredible healing power if our collective energy is used in a positive way, we have but to realize our fullest potential by living it. Unity and harmony will bring a new dimension of growth to our collective human energy. If we could but see the heights our spirits will reach when we build together, we would shun the depths our spirits sank to with pettiness, violence, and destruction. We would outgrow these primitive rituals—we have no use for them in our quest for a better world.
We must pass through the “crisis point”, and bypass the emotional traps that keep us from changing what we dislike, by misdirecting and draining our energy: anger, blame (of self and others), revenge, guilt, self-pity, fear, confusion, delusion, anxiety, wishful thinking, depression, apathy, and inertia. All of these traps can become obsessive; they immobilize us; and, in fact, we often confuse the emotions themselves with actual action. Strong emotions drain us physically as well as mentally, giving the impression that we’ve expended a lot of energy (we have, but it was misguided and wasted). Emotions do not act—we act—our feelings are incapable of acting on their own (aside from their mental effects). We often resort to them because they offer immediate “satisfaction”, an outlet or channel for our feelings—they become harmful when used in excess or to harm others. What is needed is action, after the reaction, not more expenditure of energy in the reaction itself. All time spent wondering “what if?” and “why?” is better used doing something or changing something, or even watching your garden grow or simply smiling at someone.
If we try to submerge negative images into our subconscious minds, we’ll never be able to bury them deep enough as long as they exist. Just as with the Pandora’s box, as long as the problems remain unsolved, keeping the lid shut won’t make them go away. Ostriches have devised an ingenious way of dealing with “scary things they’d rather not see”—if the enemy approaches, they merely bury their heads in the ground—unfortunately, what we don’t see or don’t know can also hurt us. If we avoid looking at our problems, because we don’t want to see the “enemy”, how will we know our enemy? We need to know the enemy in order to keep one step ahead of its grasp. Refusing to look at the world as it really is, is like our avoiding mirrors when we have a pimple—we’d rather wait until it goes away. Is that what we’re planning on doing with our world problems?
Once upon a time there was a happy ending for every story, and like breathless children listening to a fairy tale, we anticipate the book’s final moment of magic and salvation in just the nick of time. Are we lured by the thrill of danger that comes with our defiance of Nature, and thereby daring our life source to react to our defiance? Well be sadly disappointed when we discover that the knight isn’t coming on his horse to carry us off to safety at the last minute, and it’s time we realized that the horse has been waiting for us all along in an empty pasture, for it is we ourselves that are meant to be the heroes in this story. We’ve been writing this one all together, all our lives, and it’s about time we paused for a moment to read the chapter on psychic numbing. We get “tired” of bad news, try to harden ourselves, desensitize ourselves so as to feel less pain, to feel less vulnerable. This is understandable considering the harsh realities we face at times, but it is also a type of psychic defense mechanism we’ve adopted to deal with our environment—we try to “adjust” our reality to our own particular tolerance level. Whereas we find the ostrich’s defense mechanism ludicrous, our amusement should fade when we realize we’re doing exactly the same thing with our numbing mechanisms.
Sensitivity is our best defense against numbing apathy— the less we close our eyes to truth, the more we see. Sensitivity can also help us deal with insensitivity around us—we can imagine how little an insensitive person feels because we know how much we feel, as sensitive persons. People of the strongest character, courage, honor, clarity of perception, vision, and greatest physical strength, are often the most sensitive persons around. The more sensitive you are, the more you experience in life.
A bird can’t fly until it jumps out of the nest. As we busy ourselves in our nests, rearranging furniture and curling up in front of the fire for a cozy nap, we sometimes hear the distant rumblings of change on the horizon. The thought of jumping from our nest disturbs us, but if we want to feel the freedom of spirit possible in our lives, we’ll have to take a chance someday. The light of a new dawn is breaking on the horizon. It’s a good day for learning to fly.