Source: Charles Eisenstein
I've gone through some pretty intense periods of despondency. And then also periods, not so much of like optimism and everything is great, but periods where I feel really deeply resourced and capable of addressing our times. Not necessarily with anything grandiose, but the feeling of like I've got what I need to do what I'm here to do. If you're an artist, you don't complain if your canvas is smudged or you don't have quite the set of paints that you'd like. You take what you have and you make the best art that you can.
When I'm in a good place, that's kind of my attitude. I'm like, okay, we got a challenge here. We've got quite a situation and it's time to stop time, if I can say this on-air, it's time to stop fucking around and really get serious about why am I here? And what can I do? What is mine to do?
It all comes from embracing first that we have a purpose here, or that I have a purpose here. But also species-wide, like collectively. And second, asking what is mine to do in these times? So you mentioned materialism and how our culture has been very materialistic and underneath what you were saying (and this is certainly in my work), it's a recognition that what we have seen as practical and realistic nuts and bolts solutions are coming from a conceptual toolset that's not big enough to address the crisis at hand – that we're kind of rearranging the decks on the Titanic.
And that the healing that is necessary, or the revolution that is necessary goes to such a deep level that you can only call it something like spiritual. Which does not mean non-material for me. For me, it means that it broaches the forbidden questions; that it dissolves what we thought was was real; that it questions what we thought was possible; that it questions, who we thought we were; why we thought we were here? These are the questions.
Spiritual doesn't mean, you know, non-material. It doesn't divide reality into two; the material and the spiritual. It is something that plums to those depths. It's those questions like why am I here? And we can ask that collectively. Why is humanity here? Is it to exploit, to maximize our security on this Earth, to dominate other species, to dominate the planet, to conform matter to the image of our own desires? Or is there some other reason why humanity has been given these gifts? I'm not sure if really want me to go so philosophical, but I think that these questions are unavoidable if we're not going to be rearranging the chairs on the Titanic.
This is one reason why many people I talk to, and I have this history of myself, when the big one approaches – the Y2K, the 2012, the financial collapse, Covid even, there's a part of me that's like yeah baby, bring it on because I want out of here. I want to be liberated from the structures that have confined us: the social structures, the economic structures, the psychological structures. And so Covid comes along and along with a lot of despair, a lot of suffering, not just the suffering of people who have been sick and have died, and their families. That's there too. But also the suffering of people being locked down and masked and confined and you know, losing their jobs, losing their businesses; the tens of millions of children who are facing hunger because of all this in the world, stunted children, starving children. This is massive suffering.
And there's also maybe part of us, certainly a part of me that finds some hope in this because we were stuck. And now, there's no guarantee that we will become unstuck, but there's a possibility. So much has changed, it suggests to us that wow, maybe more could change. This reality that we thought was fixed is malleable to our will after all.