Kundalini Splendor

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Monday, October 27, 2008

A Ball of String (Essay) 

There is no question about it. We are all holding our breath, keeping our fingers crossed, praying and doing ceremonies--whatever we can in the hopes that this coming election will turn out right for us and for the world. Many do not seem to realize how extremely serious this moment is. We are now clearly at a turning point in history. We are threatened from all angles--by violence of various kinds (much of which we have created with our own disastrous policies). Our leaders have lied, our public "servants" and economic leaders have betrayed our trust, our environment is threatened (what will we do for water and air when all the oil is drilled and we can no longer breathe or find clean water to drink?), our economy seems to be in ruins. And even now candidates for public office speak manifest lies with a straight face, as if integrity, honesty, and intelligence no longer mattered, as long as you win.

But of course we know all of this already. Perhaps this is a massive wake up call for us and all humanity--telling us that if we don't get back to basic values, if we don't reclaim our innate decency and honesty and forswear greed and winner take all philosophies--we will indeed self-destruct and the world and the globe will simply carry on without us.

As for the economic situation, it could in fact be worse. I was a child during the "Great Depression" and most of us had very little by today's standards. True, our family was better off than many. We had a brand new car (my daddy sold them and we got to keep a "demonstrator" for our family use); we lived in a small but new brick home (which he struggled to pay for); and we had very little cash. But--we ate very well (the farmers from the surrounding area brought in fresh goods of all kinds, which were quite cheap--it was very pure, what is today called "organic" but then was simply "food.") Some folks planted a vegetable garden or raised chickens in the back yard. Clothing was of high quality, much better than much of what is sold now for high prices in our "throwaway" society. I had one "Sunday dress" which I wore for a year until it was time to let the deep hem out one more time for the next year, a few school clothes, that was it. At Christmas each child got one present, which she cherished beyond all measure. But expensive toys were not necessary. Baseball, marbles, playing with dolls and toy trucks, climbing trees--these cost very little. At night families often sat on the porch and watched for falling stars, or listened to Charlie McCarthy or Mortimer Snerd on the radio. When the summer of 1936 arrived with its record breaking temperatures, the uninsulated brick houses became veritable ovens, so many families simply moved the beds into the back yard, or brought out army cots for the kids.

Every family kept a ball of string. When a package arrived, the string was carefully untied and the string was added to the ball, so that when you needed more string, you simply snipped off what you needed.

Now--the odd thing about such a sparce existence was that we didn't think of ourselves as poor. We simply took for granted that this was the way things were--we did not have a surplus of anything, but we had sufficient (some of course were not so lucky--some children got no Christmas presents at all, and some families listened to the radio at night in the dark, in order to avoid running up the electric bill. And some young families starting out had to move back into their parents' homes in order to survive the truly tough times.)

After the depression, I remember reading an article which said that such major economic collapses occur when prices lose touch with real value. Obviously, this has been the case in our society in past decades--prices--particularly of homes-- became hopelessly inflated, almost everyone was riding the roller coaster, and now we have--finally--hit bottom (or near it.) Ouch!

Still, all is not lost. Most of us today can retrench a great deal and still have enough to survive. We can live in smaller quarters, buy fewer electronics, wear our clothes longer. Remember Virginia Woolf who said all you needed to be a writer was a room of one's own? Sometimes a room is all you really need.

(I realize I am over simplifying here and some may suffer inordinately in a dismal economy. Hopefully our society will find a way to help those in deepest need and restore some equity for all.)

But--as I have reflected many times--new spiritual order is building in the midst of chaos, the current crisis is leading to massive inner transformation, and we are--in fact--on our way to a major evolutionary leap. I think this is our hope and the vision to sustain us through the outer crisis. When I was a child reading my way through these difficult years, I never dreamed my life would unfold as it has. Who knows what may happen to any of us at any time? Evolution occurs person by person, psyche by psyche, awakening by awakening. And it is happening now, all over our globe. Kundalini is at its center.

In the meantime, best prepare your ball of string!


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