An Opportunity to Find our Quiet Awareness?
An appropriate way to open this short essay is with a quote from a poem. In this case, an extract from Rudyard Kipling’s If –
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating…
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it…
Two things in particular pop out to me from this poem. One is the act of, as we say, ‘holding one’s own.’ And the other, is the act of allowance and allowing others to be who they are. In this current period of escalating disquiet and unease, it is becoming easier for any one of us to lose the grip on our centre – and to also ‘lose it’ with others. There is a rising dissonance in social relations, and this aspect is likely to become fraught with increasing tension. Humans are relational by nature – as social beings – and we naturally form a range of external entanglements. It is these entanglements, both physical and energetic, that are liable to feel the strain as social alliances become a site of discord. The point here, as Kipling says, is that we must ‘keep our heads.’
Modern life already provides enough stimulation for the average person. Now, social and cultural conditions are liable to be entering a period of over-stimulation – in terms of information, mis-information, and social anxiety. There is little doubt that many societies and communities are going to experience further tensions in their social relations and alliances. The current situation around the ‘health security’ issue is going to be expressed through the people as much as it is through our institutions of power and the media. Each person is not only going to be making their own decisions and making up their own minds – they are also going to be exposed to other people’s decisions and opinions. And these may clash; especially so if some people decide to forcefully project their opinions onto others. Yet if people start to squabble amongst themselves, then they are inadvertently taking the focus away from the real issues. Social tension and disturbances are a form of social distraction from what are the real issues. And the real issues are about needing to distinguish between what are necessary truths and what are deliberate lies. At this time, great energies of discord are at the human frontier. It is crucial that each person employ their critical thinking rather than jumping into unconscious action. In these times, we need to transcend our polarities and manufactured differences.
It is also likely that during this period, and beyond, there is going to be simultaneously a rising distrust in orthodox institutions. Many people may begin questioning everything – from themselves, to their friends, communities, their faith, and the cultural and social institutions that they once trusted to tell them the truth and to protect them. Many may feel at this time an urgency to choose; whilst others may also experience dissonance for not wanting, or knowing how, to choose at all. Aspects of the human condition are going to come to the fore and be in the spotlight, perhaps unlike any time before. As social beings, people exist within a great tapestry of external entanglements that also tug and sway at them – more than they realize. Also, many of these entanglements are energetic and emotional, and they affect us personally. We react instantaneously to external nudges whether it be a word, a look, a ‘feel.’ Many of us may become more sensitive now to such impacts as a feeling of social anxiety, distrust, uncertainty, and general doubt and insecurity begin to rise. It will be vital not to allow situations and circumstances, no matter how unexpected, to take us away from ourselves. It is a time to bring it all back and gather it in, and to not be so willing to throw oneself ‘back out,’ so to speak. The more a person moves away from their centre of gravity – the more they are dispersed and engaged in external entanglements – then the less grounded a person is. It is time now to find our individual foundations and to build strong upon them – they shall be needed.
With critical observation, a person should be able to sense when someone, or something, continues to bring their energy down, and to act upon this observation. Every person has the capacity to break free from this. We should trust ourselves now, and act from this knowing. It is no longer beneficial to be clinging to outdated energy attachments or relations. What served us once may no longer be of constructive benefit. It is time to choose our relations as we choose our alliances. What worked once may well not work for now. If anything, it is a time to realize, and choose, those relations that feed and continue to raise our energies. It may be a time to be closer to family and friends – especially those with whom there is a shared positive resonance. As we become more conscious about our relations, so should we choose to be in contact with those who empower us and strengthen our well-being. We each need to know exactly where we are, and not just physically but, importantly, energetically, emotionally, and psychologically. By allowing ourselves, we also allow other people. By not judging ourselves, we are non-judgmental also for others. We need to feel into and to sense where we each are in relation to this current transition that is upon us. It will benefit each person to know that which feels heavy and outdated. It is an opportunity for slowing down our participation in less meaningful endeavors and to redirect to those pursuits that provide a sense of balance and calm.
It is time for quietness to be redefined as not boredom but peacefulness.
Humanity has entered a disruptive phase of its collective life and various waves of disturbance will be manifesting across societies and cultures. We can call this a time of transition, as many do. The question is – a transition to what? Until this question is answered, we shall experience different forces at play vying for their agendas and preferred outcomes. These contesting forces are going to be providing many impacts and stimulation, as well as creating more confusion and friction between people. These are times when potential entanglements can pull people in and, before it can be realized, we find ourselves reacting with emotion and energy that drains us. We have always been encouraged to take an active part in our lives, and to not be afraid to ‘jump in.’ Yet these are generalizations and cannot be applied to all occasions and all circumstances. We need to observe the context in any given situation. Some people may believe that they need stimulus and excitement; yet more often than not this is just a condition we have become used to. There are always times when we need to step back, and to find a place or moment of quiet awareness. And to breathe deeply. To relax some of the entanglements that tie us up.
Take a look at what is going on around you. External forces/people/organizations are telling us to choose one thing over another; one category over another; one belief over another. We are being pushed to accept a narrative by dismissing others. And each time we make such choices, we are limiting ourselves in the creation of a customized bubble that surrounds us. And this is a dangerous time to be living within bubbles. The more we build our bubbles, the more we create separations in our lives. We create separations from those things we have excluded from our ‘customized’ world. Modern life has somehow taken a road of division and separation rather than unity. The life experience has become compartmentalized. It is similar to the process of brainwashing where the subject is programmed to compartmentalize their mind – but now this is upon a global scale. Human society is being driven into compartmentalized units by such topics as race, sexuality, religion, ideals, beliefs, and much more. Yet these, at their core, are just mental positions. Some people refer to these as ‘identities.’ These are the items we learn to identify with – I am ‘this’ type of person who ‘believes’ in ‘this’ and not ‘that.’ It is as if we are a child in a pick-and-mix sweet shop, filling our bags with our preferred sweets. The more we travel down this path, the more we narrow the parameters for our life experience. And the longer we have these additions fixed onto our life experience, the more rigid and heavy becomes our life.
Travelling a full life is perhaps more about travelling light. Whilst some things are accumulated during the life experience, other things should be allowed to fall away. And at all times, we should each seek those moments to find a place for quiet awareness – and to breathe deeply.
If we take time to breathe, we shall find that what makes a life experience flow smoother is not burdening ourselves with heavy energetic entanglements but rather with embodying conscious conciliation. By actively seeking positive resolution, we allow things to move on rather than clinging to us. Our bubbles become porous instead of a thick viscous membrane that allows no new things in or no old things out. In these times of increasing uncertainty, there is no space for unconsciously attaching to external identities, categories, or manipulated agendas. Rather the contrary – we need to be fluid, observant, and in a good personal space. And then from this space we can consciously choose conciliation rather than being drawn into conflicts that are not ours. If I would say anything, it would be this: don’t be afraid of the quiet moments. Do not run from being alone with yourself. Breathe deeply and do it frequently. And take time to seek those opportunities for a space of quiet awareness. Become the observer. And keep your customized life bubbles porous. And pilgrim – buen camino.