Once again the world has shifted, a cultural tsunami if you will, this time in the form of a judicial coup upending 50 years of precedent with the overturning of Roe vs. Wade. (See Supreme Court Letter 6/27/22)
I am afraid that this form of political narcissism will not be satisfied with merely using the letter of the law to destroy the spirit of the law. It will likely continue to gut voting rights, empower the super rich, over-turn governmental power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, enslave women and minorities and arm a seditious population with automatic weapons. I do not see the enormous cultural divide ripping our nation into fragments ceasing any time soon.
A New Story
What I do see is that as my own art continues to call forth new forms of mandala, I increasingly feel grounded in a knowing that a new story wants desperately to be born on earth, one of inclusion, equality, justice, reverence for all life and especially for peace. As a species we need a purpose bigger than shop till we drop or amassing fortunes so large we can never spend them in a 100 lifetimes. What is incredible to me is that the power of this new story exceeds anything that those steeped in denial and rage can reverse.
The story of Noah and the Ark is so poignant here. The ark represents the vessel that will carry the new story, the new generations, to the next world, despite the jeers and insult of those olden day equivalents of Q Anon and the Proud Boys.
Even so, my concern over the way this is all heading is anxiety producing. At times I fall into despair, my own health issues aside. I crave an inward knowing that evil does not get to win this one, that we have agency here.
A few weeks ago I awoke out of a dead sleep to hear a voice: “It is time to make a journey. Promise that you will journey soon and ask for help on this issue. Do you promise?
I mumbled in my sleep, “I promise.” But the voice did not go silent. It said once again, as if to press the point home. “PROMISE?”
“I promise,” I said. I had to do it now.
Two days later at dusk I spread out a sheep skin, a blanket and a pillow, gathered my drumming music, a wonderful set of earphones my friend Laura gave me for my birthday, and an eye mask, compliments of Virgin Australia.
I wrote my intention, “What should I do about what is happening in our country today” in my journey book. By that I meant, “What can I do about the way these regressive forces are systematically rolling back our rights, terrifying people, making lives increasingly stressful and difficult?”
I decided to go to what has been called the lower world, the world of elementals.
I picked an entry point I know in a place in nature that it pristine and unspoiled. As the drumming commenced I imagined myself flying down through a hole in the earth where I was joined by my medicine animal.
I climbed on his back and down we went, extremely fast, faster than I’ve ever gone before. Our arrival point was in a primordial jungle/savannah millions of years ago during the age of dinosaurs.
I immediately encountered some extremely large and fierce dinosaurs but not one of them would acknowledge me. Some were actually insulting and one told me to fuck off.
Then I encountered a small mammal like creature the size of a large squirrel. I asked him if he was my teacher for this journey and he said. “Yes.” He asked me what I wanted.
I repeated to him my intention and he laughed.
“See,” he said, “these giant lizards walk around like they own everything and they terrify everyone. But what they don’t know is that they are but a moment away from extinction. Already a meteorite is on the way that will change everything and just like that, with the snap of your fingers, they will all be gone.”
“Over there, you see that creature? He is today a tiny horse, no bigger than a cat. But in a little while he will be as big as a moose and become one of the fastest and most graceful creatures on earth.”
“This is all to say that the lizard-like creatures who terrify everything now are like the creatures in your time that terrify everyone and lay waste to everything they can get their hands on. They have no idea how close to extinction they are.
“If you don’t believe me, ask him!” He points to a native shaman standing motionless with a spear. I approach him and ask, “What do we do about these people who are taking away our rights and terrifying people?”
“Ah yes,” he replies. “They are always doing that and saying horrible nasty things. But what you have to constantly remember is that they will never succeed. They act like the Death Eaters and Dementors in the Harry Potter stories or the Orcs in Lord of the Rings. They will literally suck the life out of you leaving you with nothing but despair. But you already know this: You know they cannot succeed because the consciousness that they continue to promote is an evolutionary dead end.”
“You cannot let them take your life force. And they cannot succeed because they are resisting the flow of the Tao. Your job therefore is to stand firm with the knowledge that no matter what, no matter what the appearances, that conviction deep in your marrow cannot be taken away, unless you allow it.
Do not allow it.
Then he turns to show me a puddle. “Where did it come from?”
I answer: “Raindrops?”
Then he shows me a stream. “Where did the stream come from?”
I answer: “Many puddles?”
Then he shows me a river. “Where did it come from?”
I answer: “Many streams.”
Then he shows me the Amazon. It is so wide I can barely see across and so deep it is unfathomable. “Where did it come from?” he asks.
I answer, “Many rivers?”
Then I’m suddenly in a canoe hurtling down the Amazon and dead ahead there is a falls and I am flying over the falls and in the distance I see the ocean.
“And where did the ocean come from?” asks the shaman’s voice.
I answer: “Many great rivers and billions upon billions of raindrops.
“Each of us is a raindrop,” he says, “but each raindrop, though small of itself, is not nothing. Every raindrop is essential because, joined together with other raindrops, we become mighty rivers flowing to an ocean.”
“The forces of regression cannot stand or succeed. They are like dinosaurs, against the flow of the creation. Their metaphorical meteor is already on its way.”
And that is the vision.
One final thing. “Remember that this insight needs fortification and renewal. Promise that you will return again?”