The Psychological Apocalypse
And the peace that follows
The world as we have known it seems to be discombobulating before our eyes, and understandably people are somewhat freaking out. Modern civilization - specifically American civilization - is feeling more and more like a huge mountain turning into chalk. It always looked so powerful….until now.
So that part is obvious. The issue is, what should we do?
There’s a part in the Bible that, like all parts of the Bible, can be interpreted in many different ways. One has to do with the Apocalypse. To most traditional Christians, the Apocalypse means there’s going to be a huge catastrophic war followed by a thousand years of peace.
But to the mystic, or metaphysical interpreter of the Bible, it can mean something else entirely. The great religious stories are like coded information about the nature of human consciousness, which, when we apply it to our personal lives gives us understanding and power.
The Apocalyptic war is within us. It’s where an old way of doing things meets a new way, when who we were gives way to who we’re becoming, and the world as we have known it before is smashed so a new world can take its place.
It feels like a war, because psychically it is one. The new you is not always embraced or given welcome by the old you. And yet the new you will prevail, because nature favors the furtherance of life. As it says in A Course in Miracles, it’s not up to us what we learn but only whether we learn through joy or through pain.
For some people, getting sober was their Apocalypse. For some, a cancer diagnosis. For still others, a bankruptcy was their Apocalypse, while for others it was learning that their child was on heroin, for others it was the death of a spouse, or a divorce they did not expect. All kinds of events can both reflect and trigger the great war that occurs between a you that won’t cut it anymore and the you you’re going to have to become in order to survive. Yes, the war can be horrific. And yes, on the other side of it there is a hard won, new found peace.
So today, we have two choices. Either the world is going to erupt in one big Apocalypse of some sort, or enough of us are going to take the wisdom we’ve gained from our own individual battles and apply it to the larger situation at hand. You, who gained so much wisdom from having to get sober; you, who gained so much wisdom surviving cancer; you, who gained so much wisdom from getting through that divorce; you, gaining so much wisdom having lost everything and having to start over. If you pool the wisdom you received from having gone through your own Great War, and I pool mine, then together we can embrace the change that inevitably lies ahead for all of us. We needn’t manifest a collective Apocalypse if we learn enough from our individual ones.
So this isn’t a time to be frightened; it’s a time to be wise. It’s a time to think more deeply, and live more deeply, and love more deeply, and connect more deeply to all the people and possibilities that are literally throwing themselves in front of us now. It’s not like new doors aren’t opening, it’s just that they don’t look like the old ones. The old way of doing things is so obviously bankrupt, but once again as it says in A Course in Miracles, some people would rather die than change their minds. We must be willing for the world to change, in which case we can direct the change; or else change will be thrust upon us, and it won’t be pretty.
Recognizing that there was as much we learned from our past failures as from our successes, from our pain as from our joys, and from our trials as from our good times, we see that everything we have been through has prepared us for this time. We have arrived at this moment perhaps scarred, but deeply informed. And we are more prepared than we seem to think we are for giving birth to what needs to happen now.
The world does not need to turn to chalk. The mountain in fact can re-green itself. But only if climbed by what could be seen as a new race of people: the newly humble, the newly courageous, and the newly wise. We should honor ourselves for having survived the wars we’ve been through. Going through those wars has given us a taste for peace, and our knowing what was at stake in our own lives now makes us more capable of creating it on a large scale.
This is a time of gloom in certain ways, but it is also a time of signs and wonders. Something is dying, it’s true, but something incredible is being born as well.
And yes, there is still time.