Commentary by Susan Nidle

October 1, 2001

     Civilization at Work; Platitudes Need No Longer Apply

What is it that causes the human heart to finally open? Does it occur only when our world appears to collapse before our eyes? Do we, then, find the wisdom to reach deep within and excavate the hard-earned understanding, empathic love and compassion that will prompt us to respond from a place of strength rather than of fear?

      Perhaps, in my humble opinion, we are born to experience powerful moments in life when we reach the crossroad and our destiny appears before us. Those crystallized moments occur when we are asked to make crucial choices. Do we doubt this moment and its importance?

      Many of us have been questioning the fabric of reality for quite some time. We have watched as western culture, over the last 100 years, collectively slid into such a reality; a reality in which materialism and a trance-like devotion to values with no spiritual or emotional base permeated a media driven by technology. I am not going to lecture anyone on values; we all know that, in some way or other, we have participated in continuing this reality. We all know that we have benefited from it and its conveniences. It is a house of cards, a pack of lies, a façade and an imitation of life that passed for truth, because it was easier for us to sleepwalk through it than to deny and fight it. At any rate, the fabric of reality has been rent and the tears (and tears) will never allow us to fully return to our former state of "normalcy". It is a 'done deal'.

      So what next? The first step seems to be to acknowledge and understand this tearing. The fabric was so carefully woven together, constructed tightly to keep out any suggestion of what transpired beneath the veil. Media and government are encouraging us to take the next step into revenge and somehow, we forget to examine and question our own motivations. I am not suggesting that we gaze at our bellybuttons for an answer. But the knowledge that millions of others in the world do not share our collective view has got to make us look at our culture from a different angle. We must acknowledge that much has changed, the wheel has turned and we are all inexorably attached to its motion. We cannot be like the British empire of the early 20th century, refusing to look at advancing waves of culture and power in the world. Whether we see clearly or not at all, we are still here, clinging with gravity to this small golf ball that continues to revolve in space.

      Humor has to come into this whole moment, so, over the last two weeks, I have heard, echoing in my head, words from a silly Monty Python song from the "The Meaning of Life". Eric Idle escorts Terry Jones (dressed as an English housewife) and explains reality. Very funny and also close to the bone (for me at least). As I relaxed in my back yard, looking at the swiftly moving clouds above, I mused, and attempted to move beyond images of horror and fear. We are, after all, adrift together on this blue-green chunk, mere tiny dots in a Universe of movement and sound. We need perspective.

      We have arrived at our moment of choice. We signed up to be here, in the midst of plenty, greed, freedom, lies, beauty, courage, nobility, envy…all at this moment in time. Time is the currency of this level, and this IS the time. We are faced with a powerful opportunity. Others all over the world have faced calamities, terrorism, devastation, holocausts, trauma. But this is our moment, our turn, now, in these bodies and in this time, and we must deal with whatever comes through the tunnel at us.

"Is he in heaven, or is he in hell?
That damned elusive Pimpernel."
From the film, 'The Scarlet Pimpernel', recited by Percy (Leslie Howard)

      The mind swirls, faced with dilemmas looming. Yet we are not seeking a scarlet pimpernel. It would be wonderful if the situation were so clear and clean as all that. Things are, in fact, dirty and confused and downright "Neptunian", in the words of my cousin, Marian, an astrologer. If we allow ourselves to sink into the political muck, we may fall prey to the confused mental processes now in control of the planet. Resistance, through emotional and mental stability and truthfulness, is the way to higher ground.

      Whether ideologies espouse God or Country as their models, know in your heart that those who bid you to harm others in the name of those ideals, worship and find ultimate power in their desires and fears. Those who speak of helping and supporting and lifting up their fellow beings may be listening to their heart. But be sure to understand if those whom you choose to follow are walking their talk and not speaking words full of emptiness. Are they helping others in their hearts, or just talking about it with mouthfuls of dust? Are they giving of themselves and not seeking profit and self-aggrandizement?

      Even loving, well-meaning people are confused and fearful lately. It hangs in the air, surrounding us like cheap, heavy perfume, permeating our deepest thoughts. We are people in fear and anger, grinding our teeth nightly in anxiety, our muscles tight, our eyes distant, our heads aching with uncertainty; these people are controllable, malleable. Fear and rage are powerful drugs of control.

      People who stand steadfast in their hearts are stronger and clearer. A friend of mine said, "We all need to get sober". Not that we need to stop imbibing all alcohol - although that would be nice - but that we need to be awake. Literally, "wake-up and smell the coffee".

      I have brought into this commentary many ideas and could expound on them ad nauseum, but to make it short, let me get to the point. The thought that has come back to me repeatedly over the last twelve days goes like this: there is no place of safety. The only safe place is within our own hearts. It does not matter what we think is real or not. Each of us has our own ideas about how this happened and why it happened now. The essential point is that we are in a time of shifting reality and consciousness. Our belief systems and our character are being tested. It is time to grow up and take responsibility for our life and our actions. Forget about what someone taught you, and listen to your heart. Your heart and your inner soul IS connected to God/Goddess/Creator/Jesus/Muhammad/Buddha /Krishna/Great Spirit/The Guys Upstairs/Your Inner Counsel et AL. They are all One. And not one of those Beings is going to tell you to follow an idea or a meaningless symbol. When you consult the inner light, you will be guided to do what is right for your soul's destiny, and your part in this great shift. If you believe you came here with any sort of conscious reason, then you will be drawn to perform your destiny/your dharma if you are listening to your inner voice. Fear may drown out the inner voice. In the words of Frank Herbert in Dune,

"Fear is the mind killer, the little death-"
Replace fear with hope and love-love in action. Do your duty.
Stay awake. More to come as the great mystery unfolds...

With loving compassion,

Susan Nidle

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