Sunday, April 24, 2022

There Is A Future, It Is Worth Fighting For Here and Now

Sophia. Goddess of Wisdom. She is 24 feet tall and stands on a 48 foot pedestal. She was erected in 2000. (A statue of Lenin had previously occupied that spot.) Six years later, in 2006, I stood before her and prayed. I had been flown to Sofia, the Bulgarian city that bears her name, to deliver a briefing on cyber war and terrorism at a NATO conference.
Photo Credit: Matti Blume. 2018. CC BY-SA 4.0

Yes, we are in a war, a real world, a 21st century war, an asymmetric war, you can call it WWIII if that helps you focus (unless you're saving that term for nuclear conflict, which would be understandable). 

It is not a war between East and West, or North and South, no, it is not a war between Light and Dark. (The Darkness has been wrongly accused for millennia, the Darkness is Yin as in Yin and Yang, it has NOTHNG to do with Evil, Evil exists, but it is colorless, like Sarin gas). This is a war between Altruism and Sociopathy. This is a war between Relative Good and Absolute Evil, between Ignorance and Intelligence, between Evolution and Devolution, between Sanity and Madness. 

On one side are the real democrats, small "d" and big "D" Democrats, along with a few former small "r" and big "R" Republicans (shout-out @ProjectLincoln); arrayed on the other side are the operatives, stooges and overlords of Patriarchy and Oligarchy (in numerous flavors, notably Putin mafiya, MAGA, Murdoch, Brazilian, Saudi, Chinese, Iranian, North Korean, etc.). 

Of course, those among you who have fled into Spiritual By-Pass are probably telling whoever will stil listen that you're "uncomfortable" with this "frame" and you're imagining there is some way other than choosing sides and fighting for humanity, for the planet and for the future. 

But you're wrong. There isn't. 

For those with eyes to hear and ears to see, here is some medicine.

The Weight of the World 

Christopher, the "Patron Saint of Travelers,” was a Canaanite. And a giant. 7 feet 5 inches tall. 

According to some legends, he had the head of a dog, which makes sense, because his huge heart was true, a wolf heart, a rescue dog heart.

He served the poor and vulnerable by ferrying them across a deep, wide, dangerous river. Later, he would be martyred. Beheaded by one of the Roman emperors. For following Jesus and Mary on the path of Love. But we only know of him because of a singular event that occurred one stormy night. 

The wind was howling, torrents of rain were falling. Somehow Christopher found an infant seemingly abandoned in the reeds. He just knew he had to carry the baby to the safety of the village across the river. He hoisted the infant up his broad shoulders & waded into the raging river. But with each stride Christopher took, the child got heavier & heavier.

Half away across the river, Christopher's knees buckled. Shaking uncontrollably, he looked up at the child, smiling, silent, it held a dazzling green-blue orb. Christopher realized he was carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. And so, for the sake of all life, he leaned forward. 

The Force itself, Universal Chi, rose up through his legs and groin and coursed along his spine.

He delivered the child and its dazzling blue green orb to the far shore. 

Of course, once he reached the bank, the orb vanished, and the child too. Christopher stood alone in the pouring rain, knowing that in some mysterious way he had saved the world that night.

Russian icon of Saint Christopher. Мученик Христофор. XVII в.
Museum of Rostov Kremlin

Where Bodhisattvas Make Their Stand

The Diamond Sutra was hidden in a cave, on the Silk Road, at the edge of the Gobi Desert, a thousand years ago. In 1900, a monk discovered it and now the seventeen-and-a-half-foot-long scroll rests in the British Library. It is considered the oldest, dated, extant book on the planet.

In "Section 17: No One Attains Transcendental Wisdom," Buddha tells Subhuti that Bodhisattvas should cultivate "this resolved attitude of mind" - "I must liberate all living beings, yet when all have been liberated, verily not any one is liberated." And so it is. 

Without a deep understanding of this Divine Paradox, in all its dimensions, there is no real progress on the path. Fullness and emptiness, success and failure, personal and impersonal, will and surrender, all of these opposites occupy the same space. 

This is where the Bodhisattvas make their stand.

"The Buddha, surrounded by 9 disciples, an imperial court, bodhisattvas, and other celestial beings, instructs his tenth chief disciple, the kneeling Subhutii ..." - A page from the Diamond Sutra, printed in the 9th year of Xiantong Era of the Tang Dynasty, i.e. 868 CE.    

The Holy Power That Sustains

In "I, the Dragon," I wrote about the Thirty-Six. It is one of the Kabbalistic mysteries.

Without the Thirty-Six, our world would rapidly slide into the abyss. The Thirty-Six uplift the collective psyche simply by being themselves, and living their lives. 

Some are beings of recognized greatness, e.g., Ammachi, but others simply toil in obscurity, maybe mopping a hospital floor, or driving a bus. They are mostly unknown to each other, and often unknown even to themselves. But they all radiate a powerful vibration that is woven into a web of empathy and clarity that sustains the world. Their being is doing.

When one of the Thirty-Six perishes, some other being is elevated to take their place. 

I have felt the membrane of the web torn when one of them dies, and I have felt it made whole again when another takes their place. 

Having become increasingly intimate with the reality of the true mystical order behind the veil of this world, and realizing in ever deeper ways what a great Sufi meant when he said that the true secret of the spiritual hierarchy was simply "the expansion of the heart, I have come to understand that there are concentric circles radiating outward from the Thirty-Six, there is a circle of 360, and a circle of 3,600, and a circle of 36,000, maybe a circle of 360,000, I doubt more than a circle of 3,600,000 …

However dire our circumstances are, it is helpful to remember that it could be much worse, and the Thirty-Six and all the circles radiating out from them are vital to the margin of difference between how bad it happens and how much worse it could be ...

What is the difference between one of the Thirty-Six and the rest of humanity?

Regardless of any particular religion (often in spite of it), regardless of gender or ethnicity, the Thirty-Six have "fallen awake," they are truly "woke" psychically, somatically, irrevocably "awake" and in their "wokeness" they exude clarity and compassion on a planetary scale, whether conscious of it or not.

In Isaac Meyer's brilliant 19th Century study,"Qabbalah," there is a powerful illustration of the Sephiroth diagramed in concentric circles. Typically, you will see the Sephiroth diagramed as correlating to different areas of the physical body. But in my view, this alternate depiction is far more insightful. (NOTE: The Sephiroth, like the Koshas and the Chakras in Yoga, are simply a modality with which to partially comprehend the incomprehensible nature of our being, from the terrestrial perspective of incarnated individuals.) All human beings are internally organized in this way. Each Sephiroth is a portal to the Inner, the Beyond & the All-Pervading, just as each human incarnation itself is a portal composed of these ten portals. Each of these portals opens into the different dimension, a different level of vibration.

The only question which of these portals if any are open and how the switch gets flipped on each & every one of them. In the instance of any one of the Thirty-Six, all of these portals are open, and holy power pours through them ceaselessly, whether the individual is aware of this or not.

Table of the Sephiroth in Circles
Isaac Meyer: "Qabbalah, Philosophical Writings of Solomon Ben Yehuda Ibn Gabirol ..." (1888), p. 100 

The Three Deadlines and The Voice

As I wrote in “Secret Engine,” we are hurtling toward three deadlines. 

The 2022 and 2024 elections will determine our fate as a nation. Either we lean hard into the future, into robust multi-racial feminist democracy, or backlash will drive us off the cliff into a fascist abyss.

The decade from 2021 to 2031 will determine our fate as a species. Either we radically, irrevocably turn our civilization greener, or the violence we have done to Gaia will blowback on us and plunge us into an inescapable ecological hell realm. 

To do all this, we must smash the patriarchy, we must break the oligarch strangleholds, i.e. defeat Putin in Russia and the GQP in America. I warned of all of this 25 years ago, and ever since I have been exhorting, framing, articulating, contextualizing, and bearing witness, first in board rooms, and now, all along the barricades.

In both "Wyrds” and “Dragon,” I wrote of the Voice, a mysterious presence that has been with me all my life. It speaks only very rarely but always with profound import. Recently, it spoke again. At 4 a.m.

I had been asking myself hard questions. In the blessedness of the pre-dawn darkness. 

"Does it matter at all that I do what I do? Does it make any difference?" 

The Voice, which had been silent for some years, answered ....

“We needed someone who could hold this container without breaking their heart or losing their mind.”

And so it is and here we are. 

Courage, friends, allies, sisters and brothers, courage. Lean forward.

There is a future. It is greener and kinder. It will arrive suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere.

-- Richard Power

#StandbyUkraine #ClimateEmergency #SmashthePatriarchy #BlackLivesMatter #MeToo #VotingRights 

Judy Chicago - Sophia Place Setting, 1974-1979, The Dinner Party. Brooklyn Museum
 Photo: 2002.10-PS-06_Sophia_Jook_Leung_photo_9294r2.jpg