I've often speculated about the "after" - about the end times - with fear and curiosity. The fear and curiosity are still there, and I think we sense the "after" is almost upon us, far sooner than we anticipated. We also are sensing that there might be something we can do individually and collectively to save ourselves, too, "if only our leaders would guide us, make the right choices, do something!!" For most of the world's leaders, though, their desire for power blinded them to what's happening in the first place. And blind people can't lead us out of this. The desire for power actually robs one of the power to act skillfully, with foresight and wisdom. Don't look to the leaders.
So what do we do? It's like trying to remember a dream when you've just awoken: you sense the answer is there, but it's beyond your grasp, and the inability to find the answer is causing even greater anxiety and fear.
Denial, bargaining, anger, depression, despair. Acceptance.
I'm old enough to remember a pre-plastics world, so the massive acceleration has happened just in my lifetime. And, I am part of the acceleration: in collusion with it still, enabling it, creating death just by breathing and existing as a Homo sapiens. And, seemingly no way to unplug from the matrix, the web of life and death we exist in. We are, all of us, trapped in this web we've collectively spun. And we sense that She, Kali, is coming along the web, so close now, to strike the final blows, to bring death and consume us. We are afraid. We're all gonna die; there's no escaping that truth.
We forget that Kali doesn't just consume us, full stop. She always makes something new from us. Energy can neither be created nor destroyed in an enclosed system - and it wends towards chaos and entropy, towards Kali. The energy that makes you you has always existed and will always exist; it just gets recycled into different forms. The sadhana is letting go of our fear of Her, knowing that She - the process of recycling and reconstruction - is not "evil" but rather, a necessary and righteous form of non-enabling LOVE. She is the Mother that literally cleans the house, Jai Maa! She makes space for something new to be born from Her. This is how it all works, has always worked.
I'm at acceptance stage now. Dinosaurs, after all, became birds! What will we humans become, if we are so fortunate to evolve, to be recycled and reconstructed into something...else? Because I know this, and accept it, I am not afraid of it happening any longer - nor of our extinction. Because humans are an invasive species. (I am very sad we are taking so many others out along with us, though.)
Invasive species, my scientist daughter tells me, are here all around us, the fallout of globalization, and she also tells me perhaps the only thing to do is try to work with them vs. trying to eradicate them; see their strengths, and their weaknesses, and use them judiciously and wisely for the subtle means of sustaining and making space for sustained life.
So, maybe the thing we do is to not run away in fear or resist what's happening, or rail in agony and despair fighting to hold on to the destructive web we've spun, but to embrace the process of evolution/dissolution we are all experiencing, to actively work for that evolution/dissolution to happen. First, honestly admitting to ourselves we are Kali Herself, in all her destructive, annihilating power. We are, for the most part, a globalized destructive, invasive species that destroys life and brings about death (and even the most diligent, empathic, hardcore vegan amongst us is an invasive species; we don't get a pass because we "don't eat meat or dairy.")
For you to live, something living has to suffer, and die. You are Kali, too. Can we make the death, the suffering we create, the havoc we wreak, into a means of creating space for something new?
Perhaps the answer lies in using our cleverness and intelligence to evolve ourselves - if we are very very lucky - into something that works with the planet, with Her, not fearfully against. Not controlling the outcomes, the resources, working for the production of "goods." any longer (imho we don't consume "goods" - we consume "bads".) The answer will not be coming up with new gadgets that will save us or make our lives more easy, but might lie in utilizing our species' great skill at evolution in a new way, a way we've never tried universally before, but only individually: a mass awakening, the evolution of our collective consciousness. With this consciousness evolution we might find a willingness to accept our dissolution to make space for something new. I'm not talking about the individual awakening that has been advocated by the ancient spiritual teachers, but a collective awakening, so that we can make space for the species that might come after us, and so those species might be able to exist more skillfully and wisely. So that life might go on.
Suffering is perhaps the best way of instigating individual enlightenment. Our collective suffering, which looms right in front of us, which is happening right now for many of us, may hold the key to a universal awakening into something more, perhaps a new species of sapiens, if we are very, very lucky. I sense that is our only possibility now. And, if our species is not fortunate enough to evolve into something else, but does go extinct as so many are going extinct right now, and as every single "human" species has gone extinct before us, than, well, I take solace in knowing our dissolution, the recycling of our energy, will make room for something else to live. Because that's how it's always worked here on our beautiful little blue planet - and I suspect elsewhere in this vast universe, because we are not alone.
And so, I think the dream I am trying to remember to save us is this: the samadhi, the moksha, the "Self-remembrance" as Gurdjieff called it, of as many of our dying species as is collectively possible. Right now. So that when the end comes, we might suffer less, so that we are loving and wise, and less afraid, at least. It means letting go of selfishness and fear, letting go of clinging to limited, diminishing identities that make the other "other."
There are no others.
If we remember what we ARE, what we have always been - ONE with each other and our mother, the Earth - maybe we will be able to be our most wise and skillful when the blows begin to rain down in earnest. So what comes "after" is not only violence and death and chaos, but a slim potential for awakened evolution to another species: a sapiens that will be more skillful, better adapted to life as part of a wetter, hotter planet. A species no longer separate from and trying to sustain hegemony over the planet, but one symbiotic within a new, strange biosphere, the new web of life we ourselves have spun through our greed, hubris and blindness.
If we are to continue as a new species (and it's a big "if") we will certainly know our place as simply, humbly a part of the All, a part of Her. Simultaneously, what our energy becomes will know we are beyond insignificance and One with All. One with Her, our Mother, our planet. That gives me solace, too.
Homo sapiens forgot this; we don't know about Oneness any more. All most of us sense is narrow, individuated otherness. Separation. And, that's why we are afraid of Her, of Her embrace. Don't be afraid. This is supposed to happen, because it is happening. Embrace what is happening, fearlessly and lovingly, and wake up.
Get ready to be recycled, and become something new and strange and beautiful.
Michelle Ryan - Nov 2018