Endlessly it drones on... economic times are tough and predicted to get worse before they get better. There's no doubt that many of us have felt the financial pinch and some have felt the dagger. Yet, others, who've experience no drastic changes at all, are wondering what all the bellyaching is about.
But, regardless of the moment you currently find yourself in, the world's wake-up call is loudly gonging throughout the planet. All those prophetic signs on street corners held by bleary-eyed messengers were right, "The end is near."
Not the end of life... but have no doubt about it, it will be the end of life as we know it. And in my view, that's not such a bad thing. In fact, I think it's the best piece of news I've heard in a long time. From my vantage point, in this life as we now know it, we've created some pretty sorry messes. And now our collective neglect and procrastination in dealing with our economic over-indulgence, blind-eye to corporate corruption, not-my-problem attitude toward drugs and violence, have elevated the warning signs to an eminent crisis.
It's beyond most of us to know how to fix the world's state of economy, plagues, poverty, hunger, or political conflicts. We have a hard enough time attending to our own lives. Yet there is a real cause-effect connection between our individual life situations and those of humanity at large. We are each a microcosm in the macrocosm of the world. "As within, so without," the second Hermetic Principle, Correspondence, tells us that the world's condition is reflected in the inner world we call our individual lives. That the anger we feel toward another is a scaled equivalent to the war waged between one country and another.
From an energy perspective, a macrocosm like war is the accumulation of individual warring (angry) energies. Each angry thought we have adds to this collective energy. Gandhi said, "Be the change you wish to see in the world." He was working from the Principle of Correspondence. Stop the war in your own heart and you'll lessen the collective power of war in the world.
Science aligns with the Hermetic philosophy as shown in the otherworldly beauty of fractals. A fractal is generally a geometric shape that can be divided into parts, each of which is a miniature copy of the whole, appearing similar at all levels of magnification.
One of the most famous fractals is named for the Polish mathematician, Benoit Mandelbrot, commonly viewed as the Father of Fractal Geometry. If you look at a Mandelbrot fractal, you can see that the entire image is duplicated around its perimeter in smaller versions. If you click here, you'll see a sequence of close-ups demonstrating how the pattern repeats itself - arguably into infinity.
So, what on Earth has all this fractal business got to do with the economic tough times we're facing? Plenty. The pattern of the world's condition begins in the patterns of our own behavior and beliefs. As long as we continue to hang on to the attitudes and actions that created our current predicament, we'll continue to experience turmoil.
Turmoil, chaos, uncertainty, change... these are all signals of an old way of being passing away and a new way being birthed. Like any birth, there is pain and joy. First the pain - then the joy. The degree of pain we experience is completely proportional to our level of resistance to the necessary shift. And the degree of joy we experience flows from our willingness to let go and move forward.
Many of us had it quite good in the passing world of consumerism. We bought what we wanted, when we wanted. When our infatuation with a new possession wore off, we simply got a newer, bigger, better one. Bigger houses; more powerful cars; more expensive wardrobes. Gadgets overflowed every Victorian armoire drawer and three-car garage.
We didn't pay much attention to our gluttonous use of the world's resources; especially in wealth-crazed countries like the US. As far as we were concerned oil and trees and water and air were abundant and eternal. We were entitled, selfish, and ignorant. And for some, like the media-flogged bank CEOs that continue to spend lavishly while begging the US government for bail-out funds, it appears that entitlement will die slowly.
Today, that arrogant and wasteful way of life is coming to an end and we're feeling the pain - like an Economic Detox. But on the heels of that pain, if we choose to see it, is a renewed sense of abundance for what is truly meaningful: love, relationships, community, responsibility. We can create a new relationship with our environment; one that honors our resources and considers our legacy to future generations with each decision we make. We can create a new relationship to one another; one that honors differences and embraces common ground.
Pain is always caused by resistance to what is. It's time we wake up and recognize the unconscious path we've blindly trod. We would do well to return to our human and spiritual roots; be truly grateful for the soul-breathing basics of life.
Everyone I speak with feels some kind of disconnect from their lives. Something's missing. Most think it's their awareness of their life's purpose. I believe it's something even more fundamental than that. I think we've forgotten our interdependent connection to life itself. We're not not here to be the users and consumers we've been; we're divine caretakers and holy benefactors.
Gratitude comes from being of service to a worthy cause, not from grabbing everything in our path. If we release what is necessarily passing away, the pain will stop and we'll awaken to an opportunity to reconnect to our souls and each other. We are not in destructive times, as the news would have us believe, we are half way down the birth canal and real life, the one we were meant to live, is about to begin.