Friday, September 02, 2005

Taking New Orleans By Storm

Although it's been decades since I've listened to Led Zeppelin, for the past several days the song "When the Levee Breaks" has been ringing in my head. Clearly, this year is about surrendering to the power of Nature, and especially, about honoring the water element. Water relates to emotion, to our inner life, and brings cleansing and renewal. We've entered the Age of Aquarius, the Water Bearer.

Yet most of us resist looking within until forced, either by external or internal circumstances, to let go of illusory control and make that crucial journey.

Gaia herself has been telling us, through our language, what we need to know now. Last December 26th, the Earth quaked. Now, the inimitable Gulf city where jazz reigned supreme has been engulfed. We can no longer expend energy focusing on the party (Democrat, Republican, or Bourbon Street). Like the Indonesian tsunami, this is a direct hit. We're being called to the core.

In the eye of a hurricane, all is still. Can we make room in our hearts, minds and Palm Pilots for this kind of exploration? There will be no rebirth until we do.

The London-based Guardian Unlimited writes, From the Ruins, An Opportunity for Rebirth. We've just entered the 8th month in the Chinese Year of the Phoenix, a legendary bird symbolic of transformation and regeneration. It's a global opportunity to rise from the alchemical ashes and birth something new. But we must choose it, choose it, choose it--or lose it...

In January, I discussed the spiritual causes and effects of the Asian earthquake and tsunami in my e-newsletter, What Shines. That article is online, here: Watershed. What an observer close to Ground Zero said then applies equally well to Katrina's devastation, because these messages are all pieces of the same planetary puzzle:

"Chennai is considered the spiritual and intellectual capital of India. Every moment of the day there are prayers going on in some place or other. Yet all the prayers failed to appease the fury of Nature. By striking at the very citadel of spirituality, the foundations of faith itself have been shaken. And it has to be a global effort to rebuild this faith--piece by piece. It is going to be an arduous task...but when we are through, the Spirit of the entire human race will have become INVINCIBLE. Not wet by water, nor burnt by fire; not pierced by sword, nor cast away by wind--as described in the Bhagavad Gita.

"Maybe we will never really understand the reason behind all this. But we need to pick up our pieces and rebuild our lives. And while rebuilding, we should make peace our foundation, strength our pillars, virtue our brick and mortar and love our doors to invite our fellow beings into our heart. The more peace and harmony we invite into our lives, the more joy and happiness we will see in our world."

Congressman Dennis Kucinich, who should be in the White House now, expresses with his usual insight and eloquence what the real weapons of mass destruction are: indifference, and prioritizing corporate interests over the common good. Read his call to action: Floor Statement of Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich: The Supplemental for Hurricane Katrina

The president's desultory attitude towards national emergencies seems to suggest that his soul has been co-opted by what novelist Philip Pullman calls "the Specters of Indifference." In the ingenious trilogy, His Dark Materials, Pullman's Specters devour people's souls as soon as they reach puberty--the age when passion (and compassion) become more important than self-centered child's play. After a Specter absorbs an adult's soul, the person becomes a walking zombie, observing even catastrophe with "perfect indifference."

Sound like anyone we know?

We're experts at taking a town (or a country) by storm. Domination and destruction breed more of the same, as Gaia is trying to show us. It's time to stop the madness, heal from the Dominator virus, and come home to ourselves, on every level. We do need to be engulfed--by unconditional love, which millions across the US and around the world have been demonstrating by opening their hearts, homes and wallets to Katrina survivors. As they did after the tsunami. As they did after 9-1-1.

The way out is always in, and through. Poet David Whyte, one of my favorite visionary voices for these times, has a potent piece applicable to now. As you assimilate it, ask yourself, "How can I begin to make the journey home to my true self?"

The Journey

Above the mountains
the great geese turn into
the light again

painting their
black silhouettes
on an open sky.

Sometimes everything
has to be
enscribed across
the heavens

So you can find
the one line
already written
inside you.

Sometimes it takes
a great sky
to find that

first, bright
and indescribable
wedge of freedom
in your own heart.

Sometimes with
the bones of the black
sticks left when the fire
has gone out

someone has written
something new
in the ashes
of your life.

You are not leaving
you are arriving.

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