Whether we admit it or not, we are a world at the crossroads. In just a matter of weeks, our way of life has dramatically shifted.
My employment status as of April 3, 2020, will be an “active associate” who will be furloughed until further notice. The H.R. Manager suggested that I file for unemployment. Being an hourly employee, I only have so much paid time off and since it’s the first quarter, I have not accrued much PTO. In fact, it’s less than forty hours! To make matters a little more precarious, my doctor urged me to stay home over a week ago so I have not been to work since last Monday. I’m mildly concerned but am I kidding myself?
My personal concerns are not as amplified as I thought they would be. Unemployed in America has become commonplace. Since 1981, the year I officially entered the workforce, I have been out of work at least a half dozen times. That’s almost forty years of lay-offs, downsizing, restructuring, and whatever other terms they call it for being jobless. In reality, I have been struggling and fighting to keep above water for more than half of my “employable” life.
This Feels Different
There’s this instinctual feeling I’m getting that is overriding the overlaying attitude of, “I’ve been through this before, I’ll be fine.” This feels different! Do I feel different because my doctor has urged me to stay home and self-quarantine? Am I more hyper-vigilant due to the tribe mentality that seems to seep into everyone’s psyche? Or, am I sensing there’s something deeper going on? I hope I’m wrong but I believe we are at a crossroads as a species on this beautiful planet. There are difficult choices ahead, it seems.
It’s Not Just The Economy
It’s not just the economy and the way we live on our tiny little blue dot. Sure, as I described my personal circumstances above, it would seem that the bulk of my struggles have been around the economy. Although thousands of us would agree, at least in America, we indulge in the idea that nothing matters more. Commerce is the lifeblood of our existence. At least that’s what most of us have been led to believe.
We base everything in our precious lives upon our ability to make money. We must be able to buy the things we want, to support our families, and to fulfill the material dreams we all hope to aspire to. What happens when this way of life that we all have “bought” into evaporates? This begs the question, “There must be something more?” Something beyond the constant gnaw of doubt and the absolute reliance upon unseen market forces that will either make us or break us. That “something” is a “pandemic” of fear that’s exacerbated by the lack of deeper intuition.
A New Myth
The System Is Broken
The collective story that most of us have been living by is over. It’s a tired old story that has led us into the abyss. Symbolically, this is a place of gestation. How befitting that the Spring Equinox is upon the northern hemisphere. (Sow the new ideas in isolation.) Humanity must change and in order for real meaningful changes to take place. First, we must face our fears and begin the journey out of the underworld.
We must go within and begin to decipher the difference between paranoia and raw intuition. If we are to survive as a species, we have got to completely shift our perception of the external world. To achieve this, we must look deeply into our self-perceptions and challenge our beliefs. This task will require us to use all of our senses and alter other senses. Humanity needs to courageously recapitulate itself by breaking down what binds all of us!
Old Myth, New Myth
A creation story told in the oral tradition of the Mayan people of Central America can serve as a potent example. They speak of “first man and first woman” who emerged upon the Earth. Like Adman and Eve of the Old Testament, they both had descended into the underworld. Their journey through the underworld required them to sacrifice their divine nature. The difference between the two stories is distinct. The Mayan first man and woman ultimately reunite with the cosmos as divine beings. Adam and Eve, are punished and can no longer “eat from the tree of knowledge” (where they came from). It’s no wonder we’re stuck!
Finding Our Way
The Mayan story of the first man and first woman holds many keys to escaping the underworld. I have heard the story told by Martin Prechtel , a master storyteller, poet, and musician. The meanings behind every encounter, every being, down to the moment of transcendence stick with me. After nearly twenty years, the story echoes in my psyche. The old myth holds magic. It evokes all of the senses and it shows us the way to a place where we have already arrived! Note: The Mayan story has to be told orally. This is to preserve its power of meaning and to respect the heritage of these amazing people.
The stories we live now have become outdated from the evolutionary perspective. They are retarding the advancement of all of us. This doesn’t mean we need to forget how we got here. What we have forgotten are the stories that alter our perception of reality. We need new stories that will transcend our propensity to get stuck. We have ignored the fluidity of creation and replaced it with data and facts. The challenges that lay ahead are going to require all of us to reach from a deeper well within.