Today I would like to share with you a few excerpts from “Understanding the Crises of the Heart”, chapter 19 of my first book, “Awakening the Universal Heart”, as I find them particularly relevant to our world situation today and in tune with the recommendations that follow.
The Signicance of Crisis
“A time of crisis is also a time of opening up, when thinking that was consigned to the fringes moves to centre stage. When things fall apart, the appetite for new ways of seeing is palpable.”
~ Paul Kingsnorth ~
What many of our crises today are also helping bring home to us is how inextricably interconnected our planet has become…
The ‘Shock-gift’ of Crises
While different crises work in different ways and affect us in different areas of our lives, the one common denominator they all possess is that they shock us. This shock wakes us up – and if it is severe, we may be woken up in a big way. Because their reverberations always affect us at a deep level, crises will inevitabley cause us to ask ourselves new questions about the meaning of our lives and what is important for us.
The spiritual teacher Gurdjieff always welcomed crises:
“Given man’s tendency to be unconscious, the only way he will wake up is if he experiences a shock greater than the sum of his own inertia.”
This is so true. By hitting us in areas where we are vulnerable, crises often make us more aware of new possibilities.
Crises serve as potential gate openers. They can galvanise resources inside us that we never knew we possessed, and in so doing, they can often take us right to the edge of what we feel is possible. Edges are precarious places; they are zones where death and rebirth occur and thus where transformation into new worlds may take place, as the edge of one world is always a doorway into a new one.
Crises as Illuminators of the Shadow
As we have seen, one of the ways that our emerging new culture is coming into expression is by casting its Shadow in front of it. It is throwing up everything tht is most inhuman and unworkable about ourselves and about our society, in order that we can see these sides of ourselves and of our world exactly for what they are, so that hopefully we may be inspired to make certain radical changes. I think this is why we are confronting so menay crises in so many different areas today.
Some crises signal their prescence well in advance and seem to have an early warning system built into them. If we are sensitive to it and can pick up the signals in time, we can perhaps make the necessary adjustments and cancel out the need for them to happen at all.
And on that note, my dear friends: Take Heart… feed yourself on some of the spiritual nourishment from the following offerings by John Reed, Steve Taylor and myself.
A Book Recommendation
Climate Change; The Path to a Sustainable Future
I would like to introduce you to a new book by my old friend John Reed. It is his third book that explores the theme of what he calls ‘elegant simplicity’.
It is short and beautifully and poetically written. Its main thesis is that transitioning to an inevitable post-carbon world is not necessarily the misfortune so many fear. He suggests that alternative technologies – sun, wind and wave power – while certainly very important, are not the only way through our crises, and that if we have the courage to confront our ecological catastrophes head on and experience their consequences, it can have the effect of forcing us radically to change our lifestyles.
In this way, we may begin to curb our endless desire to wish to consume and begin living in ways which are less aggressive and ego-centred and more human-being and planet friendly.
It was written before Russia invaded Ukraine – a crime not only against Ukraine, but also against humanity and the planet – which has only served to escalate all those necessities which John speaks about and makes his words all the more urgent.
I could not put this book down and have a whole notebook full of gems which I took from it. John is truly a visionary thinker. If you are concerned with the state of the world and are concerned with what you can personally do to make a difference, I really suggest you consider getting a copy for yourself.
Crisis and Transformation
Online Webinar with Steve Taylor and Myself
Tuesday evening, 1 November, 2022
19:00 – 21:00 UTC / 20:00 – 22:00 CET
Sign up for this webinar on Eventbrite LINK!!
My dear friend Steve Taylor and I (together again!) will be hosting an evening webinar on a theme that we believe is very relevant to what is happening in the world today, namely on how we can use crises as a trigger to effect transformations in our lives.
The Chinese define crisis as a ‘dangerous opportunity’ and I like that concept. The thing to understand about crises – which often come out of the blue and hit us when least expected – is that to our ego selves they are always seen as ‘bad’ – but to a deeper part of our being, we realise that they have come along purposefully to shake us up or wake us up in some way so we can start to see the world from a different perspective. Many crises revolve around the theme of loss, often of something precious to us or something we realise was precious now we no longer have it.
The Tibetan Master Dwaj Khul has this to say about crisis:
“Man has a habit of crisis. They serve to test the purpose, purity, motive and intent of the soul. Crises foster compassion and understanding, for the pain and inner conflict they engender is never forgotten. Especially, they draw upon the resources of the heart.”
Dr Steve Taylor is a poet, professor and author of ten books on Transformation.
We always enjoy doing webinars together… We’re a good team! .
Serge Beddington Behrens
Soul Guide & Transpersonal Psychotherapist