We are now in a news cycle where we can't go a week without world tragedies and/or catastrophes (human created at this point). It's enough to drive most people to the edge--and we are seeing that if we aren't experiencing it. However, we have always lived in uneasy times--it's part of the human condition. Anne Lamott articulates that point here.
Many people are running scared, pointing fingers, and blaming others for what they see on the news. This is one way to deal with the situation.
Sometimes the perpetrators of the horrific events are revealed and other times it is a systemic overhaul that is leaving people in a state of shock and panic.
Carl Jung said, "There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious."
What does this look like from a systemic or global perspective? We are currently seeing that played out. I don't want to sound callous and so far removed that I am not acknowledging the loss of lives. I am deeply grieved for what is playing out in our world. There are times when I am simply catatonic in my state of grief and tears. It's not okay, and I am just one person seeking to make sense of what I am experiencing and seeking justice.
In my tradition (based on Bible and theology of Emanuel Swedenborg), we believe that heaven and hell are occurring now--with each of us. Heaven and hell are states of being as well as a "place" in the afterlife.
I'm paraphrasing from the theological tradition: When a person is choosing to confirm a heavenly way of being, thinking, or doing--old ways, beliefs and any association with the hells (yes, it's true) need to be reconciled, removed, healed, and so on. A person cannot live from a heavenly way with hell still attached. What happens is a person encounters a form of chaos, a period of not knowing which way is up because their state of being is literally changing. The graphic I chose to illustrate this point is spot on...we are pulling back a veil.
…in order to be receptive of heaven’s life, we should by all means
live in the world and be involved in its duties and business.
Am I able to guarantee any kind of certainty? Nope. All I can say is that I will walk with you through the uncertainty. What we are experiencing will shake us, cause us grief, and try to remove hope from our very existence. As both world and other faith leaders would say (and I agree), we cannot give in.
I must admit that I have been in deep need of seeking out God in the past few weeks and there have been moments where this heavenly presence is palpable and at other times it has felt like the wilderness.
"My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never be lost. No one will ever snatch them from my hand. Abba God, who gave them to me, is greater than any one, and no one can steal them from Abba God.” ~John 10: 27-29
I am also a person of prayer and will share this offering from Marianne Williamson:
There is so much
danger in the world today.
There is so much insanity,
so much darkness and fear.
Our human resources are not enough to counter the evil on our streets
and in our minds.
Dear God, Please send a miracle.
Into every country and every home,
into every mind and every heart,
may the power of Your spirit
now trigger the light,
activate our holiness,
remind us of the truth within.
May a great love now encompass us,
a deep peace give us solace.
For Lord, we live in fearful times,
and we long for a new world.
We surrender what is,
to the bonfire of Your genius.
Refine this metal. Refashion our creations. Remind us of the eternal truths.
Return to us our native grace.
Take back what we have kept
and thus condemned.
For You are mighty, Lord,
and can do what we cannot.
May the world be reborn.
Help us forgive and leave
the past behind us,
the future to be directed by You.
Hallelujah, for You have the power.
Praise and thanksgiving,
as You use it to save us,
to heal us,
to lift us from the past.
And we accept.
Thank You very much.
Williamson, Marianne (2013-01-30). Illuminata: Thoughts, Prayers, Rites of Passage (p. 207).
Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.