Can you sense it?
If you watch the news or read the comment sections of almost any website, it seems like there is a collective hardening of the heart going on out there. People are fearful, "othering" each other; nations are strengthening their borders; police becoming more militaristic; medical practitioners and healers are declaring war on each other's specialities; the use of extremely powerful, mind-altering drugs (prescription or otherwise) is skyrocketing. Everywhere you look, someone is trying to avoid or gearing up to fight some thing, some threat, some change that they feel in the air.
I think I might know what's going on, or part of what's going on, what it really is that so many are afraid of. At the most basic level, it's change itself.
Change is gonna come, after all, but human nature (social human nature) is such that if change is gonna happen, we want to choose the nature of that change for ourselves, dammit. We - collectively - do not like to be told how it's going to go. We - collectively - are pretty good at telling others (our children, anyone 'beneath us' on the social ladder, oh yeah, and Nature) how We think it should go. But faced with change we don't control, we panic. Worse than that is change we don't understand. That's grounds for Big Panic.
Panic. Pan-ic. Get it?
Ol' Pan is back, instilling fear in the sheep.
Now ol' Pan, he gets a bad rap these last couple thousand years. His image (goat footed and horny) has been usurped; we think that's what the Devil looks like. (Personally, I think the Devil is likely to be better dressed, but I digress). Pan is untamed sexuality, we're told ..
oh no! Not untamed sexuality!
but gee whiz. All of Nature is untamed sexuality. It's there in the robin's morning song, it's there in the rutting of the deer, it's there in the chorus of the frogs on a spring's evening. And do we fear that? Not so much. What we fear is what we've been told untamed sexuality looks like in human experience. Ha, we're so afraid of it that we put it in the devil's domain and gave it the image of a goat footed giant with a hilariously exaggerated hard-on. (We forget, don't we, that the ancients had a sense of humour about these things. What they laughed at scares the willies out of us.)
Now, I'm not saying - exactly - that Pan is what is scaring people these days. I'm merely pointing out that the word panic has to do with how Pan stirs things up, feeling-type things that we're not in control of.
That lack of control, though, that is sort of the point I'm trying to get to. We've reached the limit, as a species (I think), of what we can control. Our habit of thought, our point of view, our belief that the planet is a giant ball of resources, ours for the taking, is being shown to be, well, wrong-headed. So wrong-headed that it's created a mess we can't fix. Uh-oh. We know this, deep down. Scratch the surface of anyone who is fearful, even someone who doesn't believe in man-made climate change or peak oil or the like, and you'll also find someone who is xenophobic. They don't want 'those other folks' coming onto their turf. Not simply because those other folks are brown-skinned or worship another (version of) God. Scratch the surface of that belief and you'll find it all about the fear that there isn't enough to go around.
Enough jobs, enough medical care, enough water, enough farmland, you name it. Pin any of these fearful people down, make them tell you their deepest fears and those fears are about scarcity. No one wants to share because they don't believe there is enough.
Some of them, the religious zealots, don't even want to share God. Protestants vs Catholics battling it out is hilarious, once you think about it, so is Christian vs Muslim or any of the other battles over religion. Like there isn't enough of the Divine to go around! Ha!
mind you, there must be a shortage of it in most people's hearts,
or we wouldn't be in the mess we're in,
now would we?
And what, exactly, are the atheists so afraid of?
So - scarcity. And change. Scaring folk. I get it - I do, I've felt that way, often enough I still do. I'm working on it, but those are scary things to our conditioning and our conditioning is strong.
Then the wind changes direction and I catch this .. fragrance .. what is that fragrance? It's lovely. It's delicate, subtle, but I can smell it anyway, no matter what else is in the air. I can even smell it overtop of the stench of fear. It smells like .. music .. like flutes, and bird song.
(By the way, have you ever noticed that marijuana smells like the armpits of a nervous person? Yet it's the big thing these days, people think it's a magic bullet. I wonder what that's all about ..)
I think that everybody is catching that fragrance (not marijuana, the other one, the lovely one) in one way or another, and it's scaring the willies out of some of them, enticing others. I'm in the enticed group. It's filling my lungs and running through my veins and it's changing me. It's waking me up.
(Way to mix your metaphors Christine, which is it? The smell of flutes and bird song or coffee?)
Most people don't want to wake up. No matter if they're living a nightmare, it's the nightmare they're familiar with, the one they believe in. They call it reality.
But that lovely fragrance, it permeates everything and it changes everything and dammit, I want to know where it's coming from. It seems to be coming from Creation itself, every bit of moss, every (goddamn) snowflake, all the trees, the big frozen river and even the people, yes, it's coming from the pores of the people. Creation is enticing us, waking us up and telling us
Time for what? Ha - don't ask me. Creation is smarter than I am and it ain't sayin' - yet. I bet the answer is going to be something like
because we're all different. Change is different for each of us and there's no way, it just ain't possible, that we're all going to suddenly move in the same direction. Nature/Creation thrives on diversity, after all.
So there you go. I just wrote a whole lot to say I don't know nothing at all. Thanks for coming & hanging out.
Oh wait, don't go yet, I just remembered something. While I was writing this I had a song in my head, "A Change is Gonna Come" so I went to youtube for a version to share at the end of this post. I know I put some kind of 'way out there' music on here sometimes and most of you skip it. But give this one a listen, it's a busker in NY and it is just dynamite.
I bet he'd know what I mean about that fragrance.