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.

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The Thinning of the Veils

It is once again the season where the veils between the earthly and spiritual realms become thin, even transparent. It goes by various names according to the culture you are brought up in, such as Hallows Eve (Halloween), Día De Los Muertos, Samhain, and others. In a commercially-driven culture such as the United States, this time is usually celebrated by watching horror movies, dressing up in various types of costumes, consuming candy and sweets, parties and a general reduction of consciousness (through alcohol, drugs, sex, food, and other forms of addictive sense-gratifying behaviors).

However, for those of us who are interested in becoming ever more awake to why we are here on Earth and what our journey’s purpose is, this is a very potent time of year.  When we go within ourselves to a deep place of awareness, we can meet our spiritual family, helpers and guides and gain valuable information. This is a process that can be facilitated, such as through a cacao or ayahuasca ceremony, but it can be equally powerful and illuminating to simply become very still, quiet down the mind, and ask your guides to be with you for a conversation.

Our current atmosphere within human society is based upon fear. Humans are fed a steady diet of fear stories, images, sounds, and events that masquerade mostly as “news” or “entertainment.” The ultimate goal of all of this is to keep people enslaved in fear mentality and emotional states, in order to control the population and maintain the status quo. The most insidious and effective tool to carry out this purpose is your cell phone. It has become the single most useful tool of mind control available in the world today. And we, complacent humans, gladly consume the fear nearly every time we scroll down the social media feed. Fear has become our constant companion in the 2020s.

Dear Readers, I would like to suggest that during the next few days and nights, while veils are at their thinnest between the realms, you turn off your cell phone and laptop. Get outside where there is any kind of nature, such your garden if you have one, a park or open space in a city, or else into the woods or near a body of water if you can. Light a candle if it is possible to do so, and have some water along. Become still, and ground yourself into the Earth. Call to the four directions, and the four elements of Air, Fire, Water and Earth. Sit quietly or lay upon the ground, and invite your spirit guides to commune with you on your soul level. Do not be afraid of them, and be sure to surround yourself with White Light on all sides, above and below. Only benevolent spirits are welcome in your sacred space. If you aren’t familiar with spirit communication, simply follow these steps and then quietly wait and listen. If you are sincere and open, they will come and be with you. You may ask them questions, or just ask them to share what they wish you to know at this time. Be open to receive and take it all in.  When you at last feel that you are complete in the communion, thank them and bless them for being with you. Stay in the quiet space for as long as you can before returning to your ordinary life.

Dear Readers, the times we are living through and those that lie ahead are extraordinarily challenging. There are many things to worry about and to mourn on so many levels: personal, familial, communal, regional, national and global. The months and years ahead will continue to challenge everything that humans have collectively believed and held to be true. Many belief systems will be exposed as false and harmful, and will crumble and fade. New belief systems will fill those vacuums. This is the time of sorting—what kind of future world will humanity collectively choose? Wherever the majority of consciousness puts its energy, will create that future world.

Those of us who have been incarnated during the past several decades will continue to leave their bodies and the Earth. The ones who are younger, such as the Millennials, Generation Z, and all the new souls being born now are the ones who must choose the future of humanity on Earth. Scientists acknowledge that the Earth’s atmosphere will continue heating for the foreseeable future, which affects all aspects of life on the surface. It’s going to be a bumpy ride. Yet, the future is unwritten. Humans are highly creative. There are many opportunities that exist now and will continue to be discovered, for adapting life to a hotter atmosphere. It’s not all lost yet, and it doesn’t have to be.  The choices that the younger generations make will determine their futures. This is why it is critically important for young people to turn off their phones, become still, and listen to their inner wisdom keepers. The future of humanity literally depends on it.

I wish everyone who reads this post a safe and healthy Hallows Eve, Día de Los Muertos, Samhain, and Thinning of the Veils. Blessings and peace to all.

Elegy for Our Common Identities

September 11, 2021

Today was the 20 year anniversary of the 9-11 attack on the World Trade Center in New York City and Pentagon in Washington, DC.  I, and many other Americans, watched and listened to the event that took place at the 9-11 memorial at Ground Zero in lower Manhattan. For several hours, pairs of people took turns to read the names of every person who was killed by the terrorist attack.

The people who read the names of the dead were all relatives of someone who died. Two by two, they stood somberly and read name after name, in alphabetical order.

Nearly 3,000 people died as a result of that fateful and tragic day. As the names of each one were read, I listened. Musicians played lovely, quiet chamber music to accompany the readings. Many emotions washed over me during the course of the memorial service.  Sorrow was the keynote underlying the entire service. One by one, the readers honored the one they had personally lost. Patterns quickly emerged:  father, brother, cousin, mother, sister, daughter, son. People of all ages honored their loved one, including many children and youth who never had the opportunity to know the one who died personally. And yet, each one spoke similar words of knowing them through the stories, pictures, and family ties they had for the past twenty years. Most of the readers remarked that they wished their beloved could have been alive to see their families grow and mark the milestones of their common lives—graduations, births, marriages, and other significant moments. Some readers choked up and cried as they read their memorial, feeling the loss as acutely as if time stood still. Many spoke of the pain they still felt as they remembered their beloved one every single day. And many ended with the words, we will meet again one day.

Corey Kilgannon for The New York Times

The common threads that were repeated over and over during the course of the four hour ceremony became apparent and important to recognize. A few of these threads include:

The names of the dead read as a reminder of who lives in America. The ancestors of these people came from all parts of the world, and yet they were all together in New York on that fateful day. All races, religions, creeds, and belief systems were represented in those who died.

Everyone who died had someone (or many) who cared about them, and misses them very much to this day. And, the important point that each person was simply a human, living their ordinary life on a clear September morning, when something unforeseeable and utterly horrific happened to them that was completely beyond their control.

This blog post is not the place to discuss the implications of everything that came after 9-11-2001, or of how the world changed forever because of that day. This post is simply my way to honor and remember, along with many others, those whose lives were taken from those whom they loved.

During the livestream, they showed the memorial itself. It is a brilliant representation of the eternal nature of life, death and spirit. A deeply built square fountain and pool of water that continually recycles. Around the perimeter are all the names of those who died carved into the stone rim. There were flowers and flags placed next to everyone’s name. The symbolism is profound as a fitting memorial to the human spirit which can never die, regardless of the destruction of the physical body.

Although today’s memorial service was specifically for the ones who died on 9-11-2001, I also sensed the larger memorial to all of those who have left us through no fault of their own. The pandemic has taken many millions of lives and left millions more behind to grieve. In a real sense, this time on Earth seems to be one of intense grieving and loss. There is a line in the Book of Ecclesiastes in the Christian-Judeo bible that states, “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die … A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.”  This is a time to mourn, to remember all that has happened, and to honor it for the lessons we have learned as the whole of humanity.