Guest Writer for Wake Up World
I have to admit I’m not a “feel good” kind of spiritual teacher. If you come to my part of the conversation only for soft consoling words of comfort or pats on the back, you might as well stop reading now. I’m the kind of spiritualist that asks you to step into the abyss… with compassion, but shaking things up is clearly part of my masculine purpose and the heavy warrior archetypes I carry.
It’s interesting that – more often than not – whenever I talk about what seems to happening in the realm of collapse, the conversation inevitably turns to the apocalyptic. When I talk collapse, people seem to hear “the end of the world.” Andrew Harvey says it’s rooted to a deep shadow fear of death that comes up for people. However, collapse is not necessarily the end of the world, although depending on which of several possibilities in this perfect storm of economics, ecology, and energy, it is one possibility. But rather than talk about what we can do about it, the conversations seem to usually go to the “end of the world” scenario. It’s much easier for people to deny it when they frame it in that context.
My background with the Apocalypse was Southern Baptist, so I’m no stranger to the co-opted term used by mythic Christianity to scare the bejesus into us and to control us. I say co-opted because the original meaning is from the Greek (ironic, ain’t it? See the next paragraph) meaning “lifting of the veil” or “revelation:” a disclosure of something hidden from the majority of mankind in an era dominated by falsehood and perception, i.e., the veil is to be be lifted. This term has come to mean, in common usage, the end of the world, but originally meant the end of an age. The lifting of the veil is happening all around us. As I said before, everything is transparent: The patriarchal powers that want to dominate us, the greed of Wall Street and consumerism, the politics of the right and the left who are becoming indistinguishable because we’ve opened our eyes, the idea that what’s important can be measured by GNP instead of happiness ratios, the loss of our indigenous souls who once loved the planet…. the veil is lifting.
I agree there’s no way to tell if an impending collapse will happen suddenly or over a long period of time, and, whether it’s slow or fast, it appears to largely depend on who you’re talking to. Ask the people of Greece whether their “collapse” was sudden and unexpected or a slow decline that everyone could see coming. Another irony is that even the people who caused it and could see it coming were powerless to stop it in their greed and quest for power and control as they run out of ways to keep the system afloat and resort to pure theft. Hence, we once again see the lifting of the veil. While everyone can see the problems that caused the economy to crash in late 2008, nothing has been changed except to further exacerbate the problem by not fixing the obvious problems, the continuing loss of jobs, record foreclosures, and the continuation of the greatest transfer of wealth ever to the very people who caused it, and who are now losing control. The veil is lifting.
Those of us who see behind the curtain threaten the infinite growth monetary paradigm money machine at all levels and are morphing into what looks like one of the leading edges of consciousness. But we’re not just sitting around talking about it. We have far to many Caesars who are willing to fiddle while Rome burns.The thing about collapse is that it can no longer be talked about in future tense. It’s happening all around us: government, politics, nations, economics, populations, climate change, weather, earthquakes, water shortages, peak everything, health care, employment… you name it…
- There are more hungry people in the world than the combined populations of the US, Canada, and the European Union.
- Hunger kills more people than AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined.
- 925 million people do not have enough to eat and 98 percent of them live in developing countries. (Source: FAO news release, 14 September 2010)
- Women make up a little over half of the world’s population, but they account for over 60 percent of the world’s hungry. (Source: Strengthening efforts to eradicate hunger…, ECOSOC, 2007)
- 10.9 million children under five die in developing countries each year. Malnutrition and hunger-related diseases cause 60 percent of the deaths. (Source: The State of the World’s Children, UNICEF, 2007)
- 3.575 million people die each year from water-related disease.
I believe, based on several years of study and observation, that we are coming to the end of an age, and by definition, the beginning of a new one. So, the question begs to be asked: The veil is lifting, and what are each of us doing about it?
… and if I hear “things are perfect just as they are” one more time, I’m going to lose my cookies! What a new age load of spiritual bypass that allows one to disconnect from the suffering in the world. If things were perfect, why would we want to change anything, why would we value cognitive dissonance, why would we pick up a child who wanders into the street?
- Don’t wish for perfect health. In perfect health, there is greed and wanting. So an ancient said, ” Make good medicine from the suffering of sickness.”
- Don’t hope for life without problems. An easy life results in a judgmental and lazy ind. So an ancient once said, “Accept the anxieties and difficulties of this life”.
- Don’t expect your practice to be clear of obstacles. Without hindrances the mind that seeks enlightenment may be burnt out. So an ancient once said, “Attain deliverance in disturbances”. Zen Master Kyong Ho [ 1849-1912], in Thousand Peaks.
It’s amazing that some of us continue to confuse the celestial realm with the manifest realm. While it’s true that things are perfect just as there in the celestial realm, the manifest realm – the one we physically live in – needs a lot of work! Sometimes we’re just too intellectual for our own good. It’s time for us to stop talking and theorizing about consciousness and to be conscious. To take what we’ve learned from the map and put into practice so we can see the rocks and trees, actually jumping in and seeing what’s happening in our own interior and the exterior world. That we pay attention to what’s happening in the physical world in front of us, what’s happening in the breakdown of all of the systems and the inevitable collapse of cultures that comes with it.
I’m among those who think we’ve already passed the tipping point, that we are in collapse, so for me, the question is now “how do we prepare the new systems to fill the void caused by the failure of the old systems?” And they are failing. It’s one more reason why it’s important for us to move beyond the competency of intellectualism into the consciousness of community, building new systems that support new ways of living our lives. And the first thing we must absolutely do is to get out of denial about what’s happening, whether it’s slow or fast.
The lifting of the veil is our opportunity to end 5,000 years of patriarchal rule and to be more fully human. The veil is lifting. Don’t turn away. Occupy your heart.
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About the author
US-based Gary Stamper is the nationally acclaimed creator and facilitator of the Integral Warrior men’s workshop series and the author of “Awakening the new Masculine: The Path of the Integral Warrior.” He holds a PhD in shamanic psychospiritual studies, is an ordained Shamanic Minister, a Certified Level II Reiki Practitioner and a Certified Shamanic Breathworkâ„¢ facilitator. He also has a certificate in “Generating Transformative Change in Human Systems” from Seattle’s Pacific Integral and is the founder and administrator of the new website and forum Collapsing into Consciousness.
He currently lives in Western North Carolina.