The Scream

I dearly love them, my world change friends. Brilliant, active, moved by concern for planet, society, living beings suffering everywhere – many singing their final farewell songs as they go extinct. We all know this for quite some time now. We know it in our marrow, our soul wailing. We’re earthlings on our way to oblivion, and to waste go all the flowers of civilization on this planet. We all know this, and some of us act in one way or another, and some cry their heart out, and some prepare for civilization’s collapse.

We’re in the loop, getting tons of messages via email, facebook, twitter, gplus, and the media on a daily basis diagnosing the disaster, offering ways to deal with it; some are bleak, others urgent calls, again others slightly more positive. And we could read all day and night about it and still the sounds of alarm and requiems of loss would not end. We could work all day and all of the night and never even come close to responding to the tiniest fractions of the calls to action…

There are a thousand great plans that promise to help. There are a million fantastic, creative voices. Leaders, activists, spiritual and post-metaphysical, atheists and the Pope, women and men all over the planet. We’re all shouting and pointing in a thousand different directions. “Let’s go!” we say, “We need to be on our way! It’s urgent.” And it’s true, isn’t it?! So, “Let’s unite!” — And hundreds of banners are raised in the field and shouts go out to “Rally here! Unite! We’re in this together!”

But what is this that we’re together in?

Scream of NatureStudy more, agree, disagree, doubt the data, trust the largest majority a science has ever mustered, hear the Scream of Nature as Edvard Munch heard it in the beginning of the 1890ies, 125 years ago. All hell has broken loose, between the climate change deniers and accepters, between the activists and not-so-activists, everyone talking and shouting and screaming and crying and wailing, drowning out nature’s scream, fading out the panic rising in the soul with plans and projects and all the well meaning attempts to stop the race towards an unknown abyss. Authentic chaos feeding back to itself ever faster devastating loops just as the climate seems to do.

I know, I know, this is what I need to face – way too long have I avoided seeing the obvious, hearing the sound of this profound chaos, mashing up truths, half-truths, lies and propaganda into a carnage of arguments and feelings. Too long have I thought that if we all would just use this tool or that, align ourselves along these lines or those, all would be well. Too long have I hope for a technological miracle, CO2 and plastic eating bacteria, an Artificial Intelligence whose benign intelligence would solve all this human madness for us, expecting the Singularity when machine’s intelligence surpasses that of humans would fix it all. So now I face it, let’s face it, that even though we do our very, very best that hasn’t stopped the increasing speed of civilisation’s mad dash but rather fueled it. No, it is chaos growing more authentic by the minute, confusion squared, desperation gripping a million throats, constricting my throat, your throat, choking us. Tears well up. We cry oceans.

paul_damato_03There’s nothing I can do, nothing we can do that doesn’t first and foremost feed the chaos, energizing the scream. Hope dies last, they say, but it does die. It dies now. It is perishing right here. Finally I descend into this chaotic hell, where everybody does their best and nothing is accomplished but swelling this madness. It all comes crashing in now that I’ve opened the gates. I washes over me. I break into a million pieces, we break into a trillion pieces, those of us that open their eyes and see, those of us that open their ears and listen — I hear us being broken. We mourn for ourselves. And then the mourning expands to those we don’t care about, those we dislike, the whole mad circus called humanity, and we mourn for our animal friends, the living beings we routinely destroy, all living creatures and what will now never even come alive. We are broken. We break, and mourn… our heart becoming a requiem for all possibilities, creativities, brilliances, for what each and everyone of us could think of and do. I accept.

And then the mourning fades. The sorrow goes and with it the social self, the distortion that has grown on us the last 10.000 years. The distortion we call civilization, seeking power, seeking approval, growing emotional, growing intellectual, acting for our individual good, acting for the good of all; it all fades into the historical background. We’re through.

[To be continued]

The Painful Labor of Emergence

090622-gpeace-wI’ve been having fierce debates with neo-liberal conservatives recently, people that keep up the faith that the climate catastrophe is just ‘leftist propaganda’, that the recent and still going financial-turned-economic disaster is caused by big government, or by Marxists or similar. At the same time a report was published by the United Nations Environment Programme that climate researchers now predict the planet will warm by 3.5 degrees Celsius (6.3 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century even if the world’s leaders fulfill their most ambitious climate pledges (here), which hardly anybody believes they will – unless We The People force them to; and are you willing to bet, say 25% of your year’s salary that We The People will force them? Ah, right, you probably won’t.

In the mean time some wonderfully willing and amazingly well-connected people embark on a journey to change all that; I think it’s a couple of Million world-wide. Good people. Wonderful people. We would all love to hug them. And then we go into the next super-market and buy…. ah well, we didn’t make much money last months so we cannot afford any fancy stuff, we need to buy the cheaper things; not produced sustainably or ecologically.
We would love to do the good thing, but what choice do we have given our income?

130659051_e78c6596a1On another note, but connected – bear with me -,  just a week ago I met an amazing person, a man who remembers being in the crowd around Jesus… got crucified himself. And the way he talks about this in conversations is so very low key, and at the same time with such certainty, that it has made me reconsider some of my base assumptions which doubt reincarnation to contemplating what it would mean if the soul is indeed eternal, coming back again and again to the planet – for whatever may be the reason for this; if indeed it has a reason.
My new friend is not an airy, fairy New Age person – he made his first million by the age of 24 – and he’s also not the slick marketer of any esoteric stuff either. He’s smart, has a very good working intuition, is also quite down to Earth and with an intelligent heart. Can’t just dismiss his stuff off hand. And he reminded me of some very interesting material I unearthed years ago where reincarnation would be the simplest, most plausible explanation (some BBC stuff published years before the archaeological proof of the memory someone had from a previous life; the content of that memory not being recorded anywhere before).

Maybe all this stuff strikes an emotional chord… Almost a year ago one simple question changed my whole relational life – and started me on a deep emotional experiment. In January this year my father died. Recently the other grandfather of my son died. Last weekend a former student from the time I used to be an enlightened teacher, died of cancer – a woman the age of my girlfriend; one of the students I loved for her rebelliousness, for really wanting to know.

What is going on in the world at large and in my own life’s context seems to be about life and death, and on the grand scale it concerns the whole of humankind – and from how I respond emotionally to the active ignorance of much of the elites I take it that I’ve started to take the inactivity and the downright denial – except maybe in some lip-service of no real consequence to ‘doing something about it’ – personal.

budhaIf I still were an enlightened teacher I could easily transcend all of this; “I am not the body, I am not my thoughts and concepts and beliefs; not this, not that; net-neti.” I would simply stay with “Now”. And in a way this still holds true. There is a private way out. It’s effective. Just ask, “Is this true? Can I really know it is true?”, and since an honest answer will always transport you to the transparent Here and Now, the Still Point at the Center of Everything, and since remaining there for a while will let you taste non-dual presence, this private way out still works. I can take it. And so can you. But for whatever reason this isn’t really satisfactory to me anymore – meaning, “I don’t wanna go there, really.” Maybe this whole enlightenment thing is a much too private paradise – utterly real when there, and always good for a shot of transcendent joys. But then, really, I think the dice have fallen and the choice is… “I’m here to incarnate – become and truly be flesh, be fallibly human, be pretty much like many others; probably like you in most respects.”

That is how I keep on arriving time and again on the scene of desperate humanity, of molested humanity, of experiencing-lots-of-atrocities humanity; a bit of an activist, maybe. My contribution are concepts and practices around “collaboration ecology”, teachable experiences around “embodied collective consciousness”, and practical and implementable insights into the “living field“. And over the last couple of years through the Web and its social communities I’ve been embedded in networks and ‘meshworks’ (which I’m very much co-creating at this moment in time with Gaiaspace; that’s a disclosure, I think). And increasingly the most divine question that a friend of mine heard from Gods mouth on Mount Shasta seems to be, “So what?

Humanity at the beginning of the 21st Century is coming to know and understand it’s suffering. Some of this state of affairs has been predicted by many, me included: The financial collapse (caused by, basically, unbridled egotism and greed), the climatological disaster (only we thought it wouldn’t come so fast), societal break-down (the neo-liberal and conservative break-down into myopic pubescence in the US is just one visible sign of that), and I could go on and on singing the apocalyptic blues.

complainThis is the demons we face, the shadows that humanity must incorporate instead of polluting the whole cosmic environment with it.

What have we done to the earth?
What have we done to our fair sister?

Ravaged and plundered
And ripped her
And bit her
Stuck her with knives
In the side of the dawn
And tied her with fences
And dragged her down

(Jim Morrison/The Doors, “When the Music’s over” [I exchanged ‘they’ with ‘we’])

Maybe I’m too much entrenched in German history, the apocalypse we as a people (even though father was in the Resistance) brought upon the people of Europe and the world in World War II. Maybe the tears I cried in the Spanish Synagogue in Prague over the atrocities the Germans committed in Theresienstadt were not mine to cry, and Rabbi Löw’s laughter I heard in my soul when I prayed for forgiveness for my people’s monstrosities at his grave seemed to tell me that much. Maybe also, lying on the ground of one of the major battlegrounds, not being able to stop sobbing for hours has shown me that mourning over our collective murder, pillage, rape, plundering, imprisoning and hurting each other and much of nature is needed.

21fa2We cannot fix this. We cannot undo the damage we’ve done to each other. The European people and nations have massacred the North- and South-American inhabitants, we have enslaved Millions of Africans – to just name some non-Germanic monstrosities that have shaped the world many of us profit from – this is the shadowy past, and its consequences are what we experience today – the sins of our fathers and all the generations that have come before. Are those that profit from a crime and do nothing to stop the criminal behavior not also guilty?
The egotistical, anti-social behavior of our elites that have led to the ecological and societal disaster we witness (and that we all are part of and support by much what we do day to day) has to be faced, and we have to do what is natural when seeing all of that – mourn, and see that what we need is a true metanoia, a change of heart, a change of our core… and mourn, for this true transformation is not something we can make happen. It’s out of our hands. We cannot fix it.

We cannot fix this as we are. We cannot fix this with the systems that have supported the disaster in the first place. We need to simply face our enormous shadow, a shadow that has built up in centuries of denial and turning a blind eye. Yes, maybe, it is overwhelming. Yes, I would also love to squirm out under the weight of it and point a finger at those that are much more guilty, the captains of industry, reckless bankers, compromising politicians, inhumane bureaucracies. And as I said in the very beginning of this blog, there are those that are extremely resistant to any kind of change that would profit any larger group than their clan or political tribe. But those of us who can face this, be assured, that is what we need to do.

We need to forgive before any kind of real healing can happen. And then, having faced how we’ve become as we are as humanity at this day and age, having forgiven ourselves by the powers of our very core-nature, Beauty happens – I know, it happens again and again when I face the shadow, when I’ve mourned the unfixable past, when I’ve felt the loss of so many good, beautiful and true people, when I’ve looked our “fair sister” in the face disfigured by humanity… and she smiles on me.

And then I “hear a very gentle sound” beyond what Jim Morrison could hear, beyond wanting the world, and wanting it Now!

pregnant with EarthThe very gentle sound I hear are the beginnings of a new symphony, an emerging culture that is being born in the midst of humanities mournful and painful labor. And since it is a global being, a world-soul emerging from the womb of our defeat, a humanity like it has never before existed in history, we cannot say anything about it. We can state our hope, we can say that we expect a society that will look much closer to a non-egoic paradise than the most enlightened societies that have ever existed on Earth before. But we can neither hasten this birth nor can we stop the labor.

Knowing this the dark age of ecological disaster, societal challenge and financial-economic debacle all of a sudden doesn’t need anybody fixing it. It needs open hearts and minds doing and being what they’re called to be and do. We need humans courageously facing life as it unfolds in the flesh, in the body, in our societies so that they can lend a hand, an eye, a foot where they see a real need. We need people waking up to their embeddedness in the webs life has been weaving in and around them. We need people to hear the calling to be alive, now, wherever we are, just exactly the way we are – and having faced, and whenever it appears facing again, our individual and collective shadows we open to the incarnating emergent humanity and what it brings.

Woman – or a man’s apocalypse

1985-aug-21Woman is a masculine apocalypse, or can be – actually, she really is.

Once I started to open up to the area of feeling into the world as it is – which obviously means, as I feel it to be – I find that women, and my beloved is the closest woman nearby, know this ‘terrain’ much better. Actually it is almost their home ground. From the very beginning they’re into the games of relationship and seem, in my eyes, much smarter at playing that game: and if it is playing that game to win, woman wins, hands down.

“Anima” – the term C.G. Jung used to designate what I would call soul, or the innermost being – is a female word, it is what animates us, makes us move and be the way we are in the rivers of life.
The first woman a man meets, the first woman I met was Mother, the source of all life – but as a baby I didn’t care about life, I cared about food and kisses and stroking and cuddling and all that. Mother was the source. That is a broken relationship for most of us, because as all women, my mother was limited by, well, her own limits.

Woman is the giver of all good feelings. No, not all – the blessing for a man is to find a whole realm that is not really women’s territory; it’s a man’s world. And I don’t mean soccer, beer and lusting. I mean measuring up occasions, accessing one’s own strengths and courage, and deciding: “I will conquer this.”
I know, conquering is really “out” these days, laying a claim to this, that and the other is really spiritually or philosophically incorrect, using one’s power and might to get what you want is totally out of whack, but it is part of being a man, as is pulling things apart and putting them back together, and being proud of being able to do so.

51c5eeb3c7fab0b7acd6186fb0150936a7a73dc7_mCrossing over in women’s terrain is dangerous, and really, I wouldn’t advise anyone to do so unless his “anima” forces him, and there is really no choice. It is dangerous because, since winning and losing is an important happening for a man, you’re going to lose most of the time. If a man’s mastery is playing the game of heroics in some form or another good enough to be proud of himself, than a woman’s mastery is playing the relationship game in such a way that she ends up in the center of a relational vortex, where being close to her is the prize.

To put it rather bluntly (a masculine ‘thing’ I guess), a women’s game is for closeness to her, and a man’s game is to being the top of the heap. Both places offer a sense of great security.
Ooops. I’m sorry, if I tread on some toes here. Being paradoxical, crying out of nowhere, almost dying because of the feeling’s strength that one encounters, being shaken by a scene on the street, endlessly mulling over how this relates to that… that’s become a major “new” part of me and all of these seem ‘female’. And I’m just beginning to study this first hand (including the f…ing feelings). Doing so I find that the women around me are expertly wielding the little knives and chisels, are in possession of all the tricks and arts that are so very necessary when conflicts arise – and arise they must. So, again, why is it dangerous ‘here’? That’s easy: woman has all the weapons in a conflict, and you don’t (if you don’t want to take back on your male armour etc.)

Well, why I write all this?
I just lost another battle – and in the end got an honorable settlement in which I could put out some claims and be heard. It’s not that women fight better or worse than men, it’s that they fight using different means. And if you have started to develop opening up on feeling levels, which means you cannot really hit the table with a fist any more and play the conflict in the way you know best (loudness, restrained violence, mental fitness, maybe)… you lose.Which means that it’s now up to her to ‘make up’, because that’s what the winner does; eitrher ‘take the cup’ and shit on the loser or draw the loser in and make him/her part of the reconciliation.

nach-klimt-2Apocalypse means revelation. The revelation is, woman is expert in feeling-field, or the feeling connection to relationship and life. Woman is expert in ‘being the womb’, in ‘holding the space’.

So, being a man, this is what I do: I turn a lost battle into a great lesson that then I write about. There is, of course, an interesting feeling dimension to this – a dimension that is typically overrated by woman and underestimated by man. The soul is an apocalyptic teacher, to a man like me…