Navigating Through the Invisibility of the Stricken
Remember how so few Americans responded to New Orleans’ residents in their honest-to-gosh hours (and hours, and hours) of need after Katrina? Well, that look-the-other-way behavior haunts this nation still as Americans continue to lose their houses and their jobs. What, you don’t believe in the concept of victimhood? Most of us no longer do (!) -- we’ve already got way too much on our own plates, and no one’s jumping in to help us. Still, we’re once again ignoring financially stricken neighbors, making them invisible… Are we sure that’s the way to go? It’s best we reconsider: we could be next.
by Donald Croft Brickner
The initial tidal wave of economic freefall and downward spiral of Phase 1 of the Great Leveling has begun to kick in full force here in America, and it’s spreading quickly beyond our borders.
There are more figurative towering waves heading in, too -- and only a fraction of those will have any direct ties to the abrupt debilitating losses of once-seemingly-steady personal finances that so many of us now are experiencing as losses, and are almost sure to continue to experience as ponderous tribulations down the road.
Not everyone in the United States has been some seedy, greedy SOB, after all.
By the time our next president is seated -- likely Barack Obama, at this writing (it’s loosely three weeks before election day on this sunny afternoon) -- the face of our heretofore powerful, influential nation already will have been recalibrated beyond recognition, even in historical terms. We’re not going to cease to exist, nor even fail to have ongoing global influence -- but the changes we’ve already seen intruding upon us will not be undone.
Meanwhile, many more crises are headed our way -- while we tentatively waddle into the fray like so many go-away-you’re-bothering-me turtles.
Bottom line: Believing that we live in a world of strict physicality is about to come crashing to (an unduly) bitter end. It’ll likely be years before we come to realize we hadn’t really lost all that damned much -- but that will be then, and this is now.
President Obama, however, won’t even take the oath until early next year, and by then, the various dam walls that had been built with the (mostly well-meaning)
intentions of protecting us from whatever ills might face us economically, will have themselves crumbled -- some having been torn away from their moorings.
As stated in previous essays, what’s coming (and in part has already arrived) is a first-ever, one-time event, brought on in large part by us, by way of a cynical and unhealthy national psychology (actually, an all-but-enforced absence of a healthy psychology), coupled with a disparate set of incomplete and ill-considered (but nevertheless implemented) world views … i.e., how we see ourselves in relation to the universe around us. Leading this absence-of-psychological-health parade is the substantial Jungianesque shadow pathology of Self-Fulfilling Prophecy.
It’s a well-documented phenomenon that doesn’t simply apply to self-destructive behavior, but to external influences that induce self-fulfilling destructive behavior.
Regardless, suffice it to be said that none of what’s slamming into us throughout the balance of this year (and, of course, carrying over into the next) is part of any kind of doomsday scenario. Rather, it might best be perceived as a crawling and clawing category six hurricane -- a loud, swirling and deadly giant, the likes of which those or us alive today have never experienced before on such a scale.
It’s going to be a killer storm, yes -- but that’s all it’s going to be.
* * * * *
This storm will figuratively huff and puff and threaten to blow even the concept of our “front doors” down -- only it won’t do it! That’s not its purpose, nor even why we’re putting ourselves through this. As a species, btw, masochism is a hard sell.
We really are all in this together. If such a cliché annoys you, step around it.
Humanity has become miserable -- period. It desperately wants and needs a new living script. The old one can’t be fixed. So, our present-day stinker of a story arc is now in the process of being discarded. By us.
Even by the ones of us who don’t have a clue about what’s going on, which is an extrapolation of a lot of tenable suspicions we won’t even begin to get into now.
God, who by loving intent never directly intervenes in our melodramas, will likely observe all of this, one posits -- which is a guess, not an extrapolation -- and feel every painful ripple of our experiential sorrows … you know, from Afar.
There’s some evidence for that. If we live in a tenably loving universe, and it had been created by some Godly Intelligence -- what other definable source created what so obviously and vividly has been a complicated and intelligent creation? -- then such a Godly Intelligence loves us, in Its fashion. That’s an exercise in logic.
There’s so much left to be said on that topic: now just isn’t the time for it. This is our pitfall, no matter how you cut it, and so we alone (by our likely intentions) are responsible for cleaning it up.
And so forth.
* * * * *
No matter: the economic damages still mounting may well be massive, and once seemingly safe refuges could be obliterated – yet this storm will inevitably pass.
What comes out the other side will be left entirely up to us. Widespread humility will be returned to us, in what now seems a certainty -- come hell, or high water.
We can opt for beautiful -- and realistically, for the first time in a very long while, actually expect it to manifest. There may be no song and dance involved.
Up to us. Only, we’re a good four to six years away from being able to achieve it by all indications -- which include the meaningful processing of our immediately-in-play addictions (like compulsive money-making), and a refusing-to-go-away-quietly-in-the-night insistence that something horrid/wonderful will occur in 2012.
The New Age… If only it weren’t so facile, glib and free with its ontological leaps.
* * * * *
It’s time to roll up some shirtsleeves, and place our hands directly on the wounds of not just ourselves and our loved ones, but on those of our stricken neighbors.
In all likelihood that will become a primary theme that drives The Great Leveling.
Only for now, we’re probably not going to help out. We’re still too selfish and full of denial as a culture.
For some time to come, the wounded will remain invisible to most of us -- just as the wounded are quickly coming to realize they already are.
Most of us have no idea yet how terrible that space is to inhabit.
Never mind the disheveling and the pain -- the jaws of the wounded are hanging open in disbelief now. Whatever became, they ask, of the America they loved?
* * * * *
Many of the already-stricken families and individuals live in neighborhoods still determinedly blind to their plight. But that’s unlikely to continue for much longer.
Many of the as-yet-untouched still hold the misguided conviction that anyone, anywhere, can lift themselves up by their bootstraps, any time. So, the selfish remain selfish -- and in so doing, they will have the farthest to fall when leveled. They will have steadfastly refused to prepare. Thus, when they do get hit: splat.
There’s no ally-ally-in-free cards to be disseminated to hardly anybody during these hard times.
* * * * *
The stricken are discovering the white bread façades of the worlds they thought they’d inhabited have now been stripped clean away.
Worse, most are sure to be experiencing the first-time shock of social invisibility.
There’s no experience quite like it in its spirit-crushing impact. To feel so alone in the face of truly tragic circumstances has to be felt to be appreciated. It can take every inch of hope and fight out of the individuals so afflicted. A lonely death, by comparison, is readily more welcomed.
Such individuals are justifiably terrified -- or, as John McCain awkwardly (and surely unintentionally) put it during the presidential candidates’ so-called town hall debate recently: the then-immediate 800-plus point tumble on Wall Street preceding that debate made people whose futures depended on forced 401(k) stock investments, “a little afraid.” Forced, because such investments became the only way people had to invest in while working for the overwhelming majority of U.S. companies, which had all long since done away with insured pensions.
One suspects that was all done in part to help artificially buoy up Wall Street with stable and untouched investments, and thus make a serious recession unlikely.
Correction: Bloody stupid rabbits.
The questions asked to both Obama and McCain during their widely televised debate reflected frightful changes in the landscape of personal finances -- which still far more accurately represents the relative health of this economy than the investment world ever did.
What a muther bleeping mess.
* * * * *
People can always adapt to harsh and unanticipated sudden downturns on a physical level. It’s the psychological adaptation -- most notably in a materialistic and deeply cynical culture that foresees no need for psychological health in the first place (what’s the point?; we live in a random, uncaring universe) -- that will demand the most attention, time, and sweetness of mending.
For the time being, though, such attentions are unlikely to be forthcoming except in dribbles … and after a far-too-short period of time, those too will be withdrawn.
From the Invisibility of the Stricken side of the fence -- where I’ve been living for a very long time now, which is what you get when you find yourself trapped in the first wave of any mounting societal calamity -- there are self-healing options.
But they require a committed investment in one’s own psychological stability (i.e., emotional stability), for starters. If you think your losses absolutely justify one of the most appropriate times in your life to go tie on the bender-of-all-benders, it is not. But: if you must, just do it once, only once -- and boot it out of your system.
Then we all need to start to get it together. Our drives to stay alive will assist us.
So will time. If there’s a lot of us now who aren’t going to work today, what’s the hurry?
But one must begin to think of creatively realistic alternatives -- and take action.
* * * * *
None of us are mere biological robots -- and this is a critical foundational issue to be applied to our current no-other-choice circumstances: we must develop more valid world views about who we really are, and what we’re actually doing in this Intelligently-designed (and necessarily at-best secondary) construct physical reality.
That statement won’t be defended here. It’s my conviction that after experiencing x-number of crises while ever-on-the-lookout for undeniable synchronicities (and “minor” miracles) -- that such a conclusion is the only one to be taken seriously. Is it tenable that randomness is the lone operative in our universe, or that it alone impacts the lives we lead? Seriously? If you’re living in The Matrix of your choice (with all of the self-afflicted cloaks-and-daggers that go along with it), you’re sure to be Backing The Wrong Horse.
And it doesn’t end there.
There isn’t a philosophical or religious system of beliefs anywhere on the planet at this time that’s “got it” even 50 percent correct -- so that’s an inhibiting factor, right out of the starting gate. It’s no longer going to be enough to insist that all religions and philosophies have valid truths to live by -- because more than half of those beliefs are simply not entirely (nor more likely, even partially) true.
Where did the “50 percent” come from? Well, OK -- come up with another figure.
Is it really likely that it was God who burned down your church after a lightning strike, or had your house blown away in a tornado? God didn’t do that. It’s time to get real.
But, to go all the way to the opposite (and undefendable) conclusion that we live at the discretion of “wrathful” random elements in a strictly chaotic universe is equally invalid. That world view is predominantly the one that’s dragged us all here -- and it’s the world view that’s largely taught in every university on Earth.
Universities and seminaries! Grr-r-r!!
There is one truth that must be experienced: Unseen Support is always, always, available to us in times of great need, which needn’t involve personal loss alone -- and it’s really real. If one hasn’t yet experienced the wonder and awe of such a loving-by-design-and-intention occurrence -- like “finding” a loose $20 bill when it’s really needed -- then one simply hasn’t been paying close enough attention.
We’re talking meaningful or corrective synchronicities here. To flat out deny the validity of such synchronicities (without demanding that $20 bills be involved) is usually just an intellectualized ontological-leap-in-reverse – “intellectualized,” as in denying valid subjective input, or the marvels of an expanded world view.
To try to deny one’s emotional instincts and still arrive at the truth has by now -- maybe even particularly now -- proven itself to be, at best, highly limiting, if not actually impossible to pull off.
Unless one is putting one’s self through the wringer to the exclusion of any and all available interventions (and one isn’t bucking for some comeuppance), the absolute worst almost never happens … unless it’s the passing on of the consciousness of a loved one, which is part of the grandeur of living life. Loss, strangely enough, can be expansive and uplifting, as the pain associated with it evolves into new plateaus of understanding.
At the core of heartaches related to that level of loss is an underpinning of love.
One recognizes it when he or she unexpectedly arrives there.
* * * * *
This is not to suggest that one can pray themselves out of their scary melodrama -- even when prayer is an effective option as a tool. Would you take a wrench to repair your computer when it’s showing symptoms of crashing? No. Wrong tool.
A genuine faith in the ultimate goodness of this universe is going to be one of the keys to Backing the Right Horse in the years ahead -- and most pointedly, now, when, in the face of terrible material loss, one discovers oneself not only standing alone -- but being ignored, even curtly dismissed, by our frustratingly blind (and likely still fast asleep) fellow countrymen.
Not to be flippant, but they know not what they do -- and the rest of us all mostly already understand that.
Just go ahead and have yourself a good, long cry alone when you find yourself thrown into such startling and unexpected distress -- to hell with acting macho, which in narrow limits has its time and place -- and be with yourself, communing with your grief.
Look: If our tears weren’t meant to flow now and again, we wouldn’t have them in such ready reserves.
* * * * *
The invisibility one may experience now won’t last. It can’t. The Great Leveling is going to knock the stuffings out of just about everybody during the years ahead, so today’s stricken will have loads of empathetic (and probably weepy) company in relatively short order … at bloody long last.
When the rest of America’s blind awaken -- and most of them will – one might be advised to reach out to them and, in one’s own words, pass along one’s hard-learned experiences.
Today’s “truth” always gravitates, all on its own, to yet greater truths. It’ll be “learn as you go” during this roller coaster ride on The Great Leveling -- and the growth process implanted within the phenomenon is sure to remain with us long after it’s left us naked in its wake.
Evolving as a humanity -- that’s apparently all there is to this. That’s the gig here. And there are no hard fast rules to follow.
But one suspects it’s also the way things are supposed to unfold and, in their fashion, become manifest in this extraordinarily purposeful and dynamic illusion.
We just kind of, sort of forgot all of that stuff, while trying to shove gobs of money down our pockets -- as if that pointless effort actually meant something.
How inane has that single act proven itself to be just over the last month or two?
See if we don’t come to agree here. This “hurricane” will one day blow itself out, and what we opt to do with ourselves after that is, what -- anything we want.
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The Great Leveling