♦ ♦ Massive fires rage in the Amazon for the second year in a row. In fact, the total number of fires in the Amazon in August 2020 may be the most fires recorded in the month of August for the past 10 years, surpassing the fires from August 2019 by as much as 2 percent.
♦ ♦ With the flu season upon us in the Northern Hemisphere, world wide COVID-19 cases approach 32,000,000 and deaths from COVID-19 are about 1,000,000. While there may be some vaccines available by the end of 2020, the broader populations in countries around the world may not have access to vaccines until well into the summer or even the fall of 2021.
♦ ♦ With the passing of Justice Ginsburg in September 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court, most likely, will have a majority of far right-leaning conservatives by year’s end.This will change the face of Democracy in this American Republic for decades to come.
And yet, in this moment – this year of critical turnings – we must not become overwhelmed or hypnotized into inaction. We must not become prisoners of this paralyzing moment in time. With so much going badly in the world, you and I – all human beings – are called upon more than ever to stand with courage and determination in support of integrity, civility, honesty, compassion, decency, truth and care for all Life on Earth and, in whatever ways we can, be proponents of positive change in our families, communities, countries, any and every where we are able. We were sent as caretakers originally and the time is now for us to fulfill our divine role; our destiny.
Christopher Fry states our case clearly in his poem written in 1951 but, possibly, it is even more eerily appropriate in our world today.
A Sleep of Prisoners
The human heart can go the lengths of God…
Dark and cold we may be, but this
Is no winter now. The frozen misery
Of centuries breaks, cracks, begins to move;
The thunder is the thunder of the floes,
The thaw, the flood, the upstart Spring.
Thank God our time is now when wrong
Comes up to face us everywhere,
Never to leave us until we take
The longest stride of soul we ever took.
Affairs are now soul size.
Is exploration into God.
Where are you making for? It takes
So many thousand years to wake,
But will you wake for pity’s sake?
This is us! We know we chose to be alive for this moment and, with that knowledge, we can take heart in our contributions, no matter how inadequate we may feel they are from time to time. We know we can “go the lengths of God” because we understand we are the very hands and feet of God and that we hold the Light for God in our world at a time when some would plunge this world into darkness. We understand this is a mission of and for our souls and that the time is now for our souls to “take the longest stride of soul we ever took.” We know we must “wake” and unite in action in order to bring heart centered love and wholeness back for the benefit of all life on Earth.
And we know, in our hearts, this not only takes courage and strength and health but it also takes unreasonable hope. Yes, hope.
Today, people think of hope as meaning, ‘a feeling of expectation; a desire; an ambition, plan, or pipe dream; or a longing or craving. No wonder so many hold such disdain for the idea of hope nowadays.
But the original meaning of hope is, ‘a feeling of trust; a faith or belief; a conviction;’ all of which are exactly true to what we need right now. We are souls who believe in a Divine Mystery responsible for our creation. We trust this Mystery and know our souls have come to Earth now with the conviction we can be of service to this Mystery in the midst of a Great Evolutionary Stage Change.
“If the measure of a human life is its significance, its ability to have positive effects much larger than itself, then all of us alive now have hit the jackpot. We are the lucky ones who have been born “where the action is,” in a time when we have the potential to make a difference on an evolutionary scale. And we have unprecedented access to, and the ability to draw on, the highest accumulated knowledge and wisdom of all cultures across all ages.
Even deeper than our anxiety, and buried below our unspoken fears, I believe many of us sense this. And many of us also feel what might be described as a radical, defiant, unreasonable hope.
Here, I am not speaking of the commonplace “hope” that rests on denial or rationalization. I am speaking of something more difficult to articulate, yet discernible by one who resonates with the music of the soul. It is a hope born of faith in the process of life itself, in the human spirit, in sacredness – or in an intuited sense that, in spite of everything, reality is whole and holy. However we describe it, most of us have at some point glimpsed a wondrous power beyond the mere observable mechanics of things, and we know it can work miracles. When we keep showing up in the next moment with openness, intelligence, positive expectancy, generosity, the desire to be of benefit, and the courage to throw ourselves into life completely – that is when we participate in miracles. The virtue of hope confers the courage it takes to lean forward into the future. That is what we intuitively choose; we recognize that this positive orientation to life is healthy, whatever the prognosis of experts may be.
With this hope, therefore, we place our intuitive bet on life and the creativity of evolution. When hope is powered by this kind of faith or intuition – our sense of the ultimate wholeness and beauty of things and our own power to meet real challenges – it is actually not irrational at all.
But we must not confuse the ultimate hope we may have in the goodness or rightness of things with the false hope that they will automatically turn out well for us and for our world. A radical, robust hope lies on the other side of despair. It can energize and sustain us, inspire our highest capacities, make us a powerful positive force in the world, and help us to effectively address our inconceivably vast challenges. False hope anesthetizes us, not only against unpalatable truths, but against the direct perception of the challenges necessary to address them creatively and dynamically. (…)
To me the greatest grounds for hope are in the resilience and creativity that have emerged many times before in human history and prehistory when we have been faced with unprecedented challenges. This is a key meeting place between radical hope and realistic forms of conventional hope.”
From A New Republic of the Heart by Terry Patten
Chapter One, page 30 – 33.
Think about that for a moment. As Terry says, “we are the lucky ones” – maybe the very luckiest ones of all – because we raised our hands for this mission and the Divine Mystery said, “Yes.” Need we know more? Can’t we find all the conviction and courage we need to go forward on with that amazing truth at hand? Isn’t this our hope? Isn’t it hope we feel in our hearts when we understand this unfolding of our story; our blessed task with our beautiful and dear friends?
It is up to each one of us to remember our genius and identify our heartbreak and use these gifts of ours to envision setting right what is being made wrong. In that, we will find the path we are able to walk that opens the door for evolutionary emergence to become possible. When we do this with our friends, we support and feed each other and can foster the love and resilience required to keep us healthy and energized and in love with the mission we have chosen for our selves in this lifetime.