The weight of the world

February 22, 2022, was a day that brought the most extreme cosmic light energies streaming onto our Earth.  Two days later, on February 24, 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine with the intent to destroy its democratic government and take it back into Russian control. Even though the Russian army had been amassing on three sides of Ukraine’s borders, even though American intelligence had warned for weeks that an invasion was imminent–  when they actually started dropping bombs and killing Ukrainians, millions of humans, including me, watched it happen in shock and horror.

One of the biggest shocks was the sheer speed at which this war happened, and how quickly Ukraine unraveled. Within the space of mere days, a land which had been a modern, globally connected country in Eastern Europe, has now been reduced to cities reduced to rubble, humanitarian corridors of escape cut off, people trying to survive without food, water, medicine or heat. As I write this, it’s day 13 of this tragic, senseless war and the UN estimates that two million people have fled Ukraine and become refugees in neighboring European countries, especially Poland. The news shows photos and videos of thousands of mothers, children and infants who sheltered in the subways, bomb shelters, and boarded trains. They left in order to protect their families, said farewell to their husbands, brothers, and fathers, not knowing whether they will ever see them alive again.

Many of us alive today in western countries have never had direct experience of living through war, although many of our grandparents and great grandparents lived or died during the terrible wars of the 20th century. World War II began over 80 years ago in Europe. Since then, sadly many other wars have been fought. However, this new invasion of Ukraine by Russia’s Vladimir Putin is particularly chilling.

The United States has committed horrible invasions of countries during the past seventy years. The government always presented their rationale for these wars as necessary, for the higher good… and war is a complex endeavor as we all know. There are many actors involved and often competing goals. But the bottom line is always power and control of the chessboard that is Earth.  The old paradigm was based on winner take all—all the resources, all the money, and all the control over the most vulnerable populations. No matter who declares victory in the moment, it is always the ordinary people who suffer the brunt of brutality. It has been this way for as long as historians have found evidence for human civilization.

Yet, it is the year 2022, C.E. At this moment, after all that humanity has endured, especially over the past decade and pandemic years, it is nearly inconceivable that we are on the brink of yet another global war that could have more serious repercussions than most of us are willing to seriously entertain.  Plenty of humans are happy to watch films and play video games that portray a post-apocalyptic future world. This is very unfortunate, that many derive pleasure from imagining the worst-case scenario for humanity and life on Earth. But I honestly do not believe that most people have a true grasp of what an actual nuclear war between superpowers would mean for us all.  More than fifty years ago, when the memory of the atomic bombs dropped on Japan at the end of World War II was still fresh in many people’s psyches, the Peace Movement sprang up and became a large, worldwide resistance to nuclear war. Russia and America decided that rather than have a physical war with bombs and soldiers, they would instead have a Cold War. This went on from the 1950s through the dissolution of Soviet Russia in the early 1990s. Many of us stopped worrying about the threat of Russia after that point. There were other, smaller dictators and authoritarian regimes to worry about and control. And now, 30 years later, suddenly the threat of an insane dictator pushing the button again looms over humanity.

Was peace just a dream some of us had?

Dear Readers, I know many, many millions of people are feeling similar to me right now. We are suddenly once again staring into the abyss. We don’t want to destroy the world and blow everything into oblivion. We are exhausted from endless wars and diseases and weather disasters. The onslaught of unspeakable horrors just seems to keep coming at us now. I was never one to believe in that old story of Armageddon and the Apocalypse of John in the Christian bible. I thought it was absurd, and that surely human beings would never let such a thing actually happen. That we were smarter and more compassionate than to allow Earth be destroyed by greed and hunger for world domination. That somehow, the People of Earth would figure it out in time, would do whatever it took to move beyond the barbaric ways of living we’d been playing out all these long centuries of time.

When I see the heartbreak that is happening in Ukraine at this moment, I don’t want to believe that we were wrong. All of us peace-loving lightworkers who incarnated to the planet for this very moment—were we wrong to believe we could save humanity and Gaia from total destruction?  Many of the lightworker community are still out on social media saying, we’re doing good, just keep holding the light, everything is going according to plan.  To which I simply reply, This is the plan?? To keep endlessly consuming, mindlessly scrolling, numbing out and passing out, while watching despots destroy ordinary people’s lives in a literal second? What kind of plan is THAT, dear Lord? 

All I really have left are questions and wonderings. What are we collectively doing to our planet, to each other, to ourselves? What is the point of all this chaos? What will it take for enough human beings to wake up to what is actually happening, to what we are collectively allowing to happen?  I can think of nothing, nothing, nothing more tragic than for the Earth herself to be blown up by insane, idiotic human beings pushing buttons for nuclear warheads to explode. If the humans are actually stupid enough to destroy us all, well that’s one thing. But this planet Earth, our one and only HOME, is so incredibly beautiful and amazing and wonderous. To annihilate her would be completely unforgivable.

Dear Readers, if you only take one thing away from my ranting in this blog post, take this:

Your life can change in an instant. We are nearly out of time to change this world towards a better future without war, without strife, without such human suffering. Maybe it’s not actually possible, but yet even now, in the 11th hour and 58th minute, some of us alive still believe it is possible, despite all evidence to the contrary. It’s pretty clear that there is no benevolent extraterrestrial race that’s going to swoop down here and save us all. If the human race is to be saved from total destruction, it is up to all of us. We would do well to take a hint from Volodymyr Zelensky, who is telling his countrymen and women to never give up the fight for freedom. Freedom and the principle of democracy is never guaranteed, but rather must be vigilantly guarded and, yes, fought to the end to preserve.

A thin line between tyranny and freedom

Today is the one year anniversary of the January 6th insurrection at the US Capitol building. Today, the mood on Capitol Hill is somber and quiet. President Biden and Vice President Harris gave speeches with sharp warnings to Americans, as well as to all those listening around the world. They said plainly that our democracy is fragile and without vigilance and support for the rule of law that governs America, could be lost entirely. The New York Times reported on President Biden’s speech, and gave excerpts.

“The former president of the United States of America has created and spread a web of lies about the 2020 election,” Mr. Biden said, standing in the same National Statuary Hall invaded by throngs of Trump supporters a year ago. “He’s done so because he values power over principle, because he sees his own interest as more important than his country’s interest and America’s interest, and because his bruised ego matters more to him than our democracy or our Constitution. He can’t accept he lost.”

“Without using Mr. Trump’s name, the president assailed the “defeated former president” for trying to rewrite history and for casting the attackers of a year ago as patriots. “Is that what you thought when you looked at the mob ransacking the Capitol, destroying property, literally defecating in the hallways, rifling through the desks of senators and representatives, hunting down members of Congress?” Mr. Biden asked. “Patriots? Not in my view.” “Those who stormed this Capitol and those who instigated and incited and those who called on them to do so held a dagger at the throat of America and American democracy.” 

“With not a single Republican senator in the Senate chamber, Democrats took to the floor after Mr. Biden’s speech to continue assailing Mr. Trump, “the worst president in modern times,” as Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic majority leader, put it. “It was Donald Trump’s big lie that soaked our political landscape in kerosene,” Mr. Schumer said. “It was Donald Trump’s rally on the Mall that struck the match. And then came the fire.” https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/01/06/us/jan-6-capitol-riot/biden-speech-january-6

According to journalist Peter Baker of the New York Times,

 “America has not come together to defend its democracy; it has only split further apart. Lies and disinformation spread by the former president have so permeated the political ecosphere that nearly universal outrage has reverted to separate blue and red realities. Far from shunned for what even his own vice president deemed an unconstitutional attempt to thwart the will of the voters, Mr. Trump remains the undisputed powerhouse of his party — and a viable candidate to reclaim the White House in three years… Rather than a wake-up call highlighting for all the fragility of the American experiment, the violence that besieged Washington turns out to have been one more chapter in the polarizing, partisan, ideological and cultural struggle over truth and consequences in the modern era.

“In fact, no matter how many times Mr. Trump says the 2020 election was stolen, not a shred of evidence has emerged to prove it. Not one independent authority — no judge, no prosecutor, no governor, no election agency, no news media organization — has found any credible indication of fraud on a scale that would have changed the outcome.”

“Today, it has become heresy among conservatives to question Mr. Trump’s legacy…The congressional Republicans who angrily denounced the president after their headquarters was invaded have gone silent or even made the pilgrimage to Mar-a-Lago, all but pretending it never happened. “It’s a pretty sobering lesson about human nature,” said Representative Jamie Raskin of Maryland, a Democrat who led the House managers prosecuting Mr. Trump in a Senate impeachment trial and now serves on the House select committee investigating Jan. 6. “Rejecting the fact that Joe Biden won the 2020 election is now the organizing principle of the G.O.P.,” Raskin said. “That is a terrifying and astonishing new reality that we have to contend with.”

“For many Republicans, even those who privately despise Mr. Trump and agree that Mr. Biden was legitimately elected, Jan. 6 is a topic to avoid. They bristle at the focus on it, seeing it not as a good-faith effort to find out what happened but a partisan weapon to tear them down and distract from the Democrats’ own failed policies.” (NYTimes, Jan 6, 2022)

Dear Readers, I share this long excerpt from the NYTimes article with you all because it is important to understand what the motives are that underpin the GOP’s about-face concerning the January 6th insurrection. Republican lawmakers who were in the chamber that day, whose lives were as equally threatened as their colleagues across the aisle, have decided that the truth of what actually occurred, the violence and loss of life and even threats to their own lives, are no longer what matters in the United States of America. Even without Trump’s Twitter account as his 24-7 bully pulpit active in the world, he is clearly still pulling the strings of his followers, both elected and the electorate.

We are living through extraordinarily pressure-filled times. The tensions in America and around the planet, are as tight as they have ever been, affecting more people than ever before on Earth. Words like truth, facts, science, logic, reason, moral obligation, democracy, no longer have a consensual meaning amongst people. The propaganda machines behind the most powerful governments on Earth have gone above and beyond to create the current extreme atmosphere of fear and mistrust between neighbors, members of communities, lawmakers, and family members. This mistrust, fear and encouragement to report one’s neighbor to the authorities is the stuff of dictatorship movements globally. For those who don’t know that, read the history of fascist regimes during the 20th century. China, Russia, Spain, Italy, Nazi Germany, the list is unfortunately long. They all use the same basic playbook.

When the most popular articles in the January 6th, 2022 New York Times have headlines like, “Does my boyfriend like me?” it proves my point. Will democracy as we have known it have to be eradicated before the people finally wake up?

As we move forward through 2022, 2023, and 2024, I highly encourage, even admonish, every person who still has the autonomy to research and think critically, to do so. The democracy that is still hanging on by a thread in the United States could be wiped out, replaced with a form of government that is truly the stuff of nightmares. Look what happened to Hong Kong over the past year. That and much worse could potentially be the USA’s future. 

Dear Readers, I have wracked my brain and searched through my own heart over the past year, to try to make sense of what has happened in my country. Over the course of my lifetime, I’ve watched as the people of the United States made huge strides toward more freedom and liberty, toward a more perfect union. But the past two decades, and the past five years in particular, have brought us to the brink of losing many of the freedoms that were so diligently fought for. We lost some of our most eloquent voices for freedom and equality of all people. Just a few of the greatest voices include Maya Angelou and bell hooks, Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, John Lewis, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. There are many others who spent their lifetimes reminding humanity of the light that lives inside us all, of the value of love, equity, justice, truth and freedom. Have we collectively become so blindsided by our cell phones and social media and virtual reality games that we no longer remember the real power that resides inside us each and all?

World Savers and New Earth Bringers

There is an ancient story from Jewish mysticism that tells of “36 humble righteous ones” known as the Lamedvavnik (Yiddish: לאַמעדוואָווניק‎). The story says that at any given moment on Earth there are, at a minimum, 36 holy souls who are (without being conscious of it), holding up the world and preventing it from total destruction. For the sake of these 36 hidden saints, God preserves the world even if the rest of humanity has degenerated to the level of total barbarism. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tzadikim_Nistarim

In more recent times, many authors have woven this folklore into their own modern stories of humans wrestling with forces of darkness. There are those who have written of the numerological aspects of the number 36, fascinating in its own granular way. But I prefer to infer a larger meaning of the idea of a relative handful of souls who incarnate on Earth with the express purpose of keeping it aloft and intact. We all know of people in our lives and communities who seem to have a little extra goodness, patience, and compassion than most. They are the ones who offer a smile, a hand, a joke, or perhaps even a hug when life feels unbearable. Humanity has always experienced difficult days, periods of duress and suffering. Fortunately, the Lamedvavnik have always been there to help us push on through.

I just spent the past month reading The Ministry for the Future, by Kim Stanley Robinson. It falls in the genre of Cli-Fi, and “hard science fiction” because Robinson did extensive research into both the very real and dire circumstances humanity is in related to climate disaster, as well as the many solutions being developed by scientists of all stripes across the globe. The result is a sweeping work of the imagination that offers a frighteningly possible world in the coming few decades.

This book took me a while to plow through because it is 563 pages and I’m not a fast reader. It is not a perfect book. After a shocking start and couple hundred pages of fascinating story, somewhere midway through comes a high point (not exactly a climax), after which the story tips dangerously into utopian fiction. I found I had trouble withholding disbelief from that point on, given the enormous scope of this work. However, it is definitely worth the time to read this expansive story of climate catastrophe and the What-If scenarios that Robinson eloquently devises in response.

There are a few main characters in this novel. One is Frank May, whose story of inconceivable trauma is the lynchpin upon which the rest of the story revolves. As he strives to deal with his PTSD life, his thoughts wander.

He pondered what he might do. One person had one-eight-billionth of the power that humanity had. One eight-billionth wasn’t a very big fraction, but then again there were poisons that worked in the parts-per-billion range, so it wasn’t entirely unprecedented for such a small agent to change things. (Robinson, pg. 65)

Frank is caught between his inherent desire to help, to be of service to humanity, and the intensity of the world’s horror. Robinson writes,

He could feel it burning him up: he wanted to kill. Well, he wanted to punish. People had caused the heat wave, and not all people…there were particular people, many still alive, who had worked all their lives to deny climate change, to keep burning carbon, to keep wrecking biomes, to keep driving other species extinct. That evil work had been their lives’ project, and while pursuing that project they had prospered and lived in luxury. They wrecked the world happily, thinking they were supermen, laughing at the weak, crushing them underfoot. (Robinson, pgs. 65-66)

The Ministry for the Future is a sweeping, long look at how climate catastrophe might unfold, while also the personal story of a small group of humans who, like the Lamedvavnik, work to alleviate the worst consequences, to turn the massive ship that is Climate Catastrophe from completely wrecking the planet, the animals, and the people of Earth. It is a story that is at once terrifying, fascinating, and idealistically possible, although admittedly a long shot. But clearly that is what Robinson was going for; offering a possible future for all of us where our planet does come back from the brink, where the majority of humans do wake up in time, and we are able to create a healthier future world for all life. Idealistic? Absolutely. And yet, reading this novel helped me to better imagine how it could all unfold in the coming decades. How we might still survive these extraordinarily painful times. How it cannot possibly be all sunshine and unicorns one fine day. I am not one to go in for dystopian future worldviews, because those scenarios paint such a bleak picture of Earth’s future that there is no hope in them. The future of Earth and of humanity are utterly intertwined. There are many Lamedvavnik, or world-savers, now alive on the planet. More are coming every day. It is an All-Hands-On-Deck moment for humanity. Will we wake up in time? Will we collectively do what must be done in order to move forward into the Light? To realize that the reality is we are all One Body, billions of grains of sand in the ocean of the Godhead, fractalized into uncountable bits?

Dear Readers, I wish you a blessed Winter Solstice and Holy Days of Christmas, Kwanzaa, and the Peace of the Void. Embrace the Light, Shine the Light, Be the Light.

References:

Robinson, K. S. (2020). The Ministry for the Future. New York, NY. Orbit. Hachette Book Group, Inc.

Wikipedia (2021). Tzadikim Nistarim.