In the past two weeks there have been two active shooter incidents in the U.S. How telling that no hashtags have arisen to decry the madness of it: how telling of our collective exhaustion, our numbing in the face of the incomprehensible, the depths of our disconnection.
What is happening here?
There are so many layers. And it is all simultaneously so hardened by that exhaustion and so tender to the touch, the word, the breath. It is not a time for too much conceptualizing, nor a time to bend tragedy to the service of polemic, which will certainly be coming from the authorities as they start barking about gun control within the coming days. They are as predictable as a soap opera, the politicians. And as shallow in their vision.
It would be great if it were about the guns. That would make it so easy. But it's not. It's about the people wielding the guns and the field that holds the possibility of such behavior in it's folds without attending to rooting it out and transforming the poisoned soil that grew that twisted dream.
It's about alienation from Soul.
I have said for years that America in not a culture, it's a society. This grouping of people here share none of the world-bridging elements that take something from a society to a culture: we walk on the land, we don't live with it. We don't know the stories of this land because we don't treat it as alive or listen to how it tells its stories in birdsong, riversong, windsong. We don'e know the true names of the beings around us - we don't even acknowledge that they're there. We don't make a clothing that tells the story of our connectedness with place and people, of our kinship with the wild. We don't tattoo ourselves with holy lines when we come of age. We don't sing songs at the special moments throughout the year that will court Life to flourish and flaunt its magic to the loving audience that we could be. No initiations for the young. No honor for the old.
The places within us that would be fed by those particular nourishments are starved, and we are going increasingly mad for that starvation. And we are so long and so deep in this famine that we don't even fully understand what's really missing. As a first nations man once said to me "Our people know we are sick and wounded, so we know that we need to work for our healing. You people don't even get that you're sick and wounded so you just carry on without attending to your healing at all, and making everything worse because of it."
This place that so many of us know as home or as the promised land is rich in story and mythos that few of us hold direct relations with, is rich with devastating karma, is rich in creative and visionary possibility alongside staggering casual brutality and banality. The garden that grew America as we know it was watered in blood and tears and buried pain, and it bears poisoned fruit because of it.
Regulation will not heal these wounds. Control will not change the consciousness that gives rise to the behavior. Legislation will not manage the eruptions of violence that so easily finds expression through the glazed stare of so many young men in the grips of madness for being estranged from themselves, others, Nature, Life, and Soul. As with so many things these days, there is so much more being asked of us now. There is so much more screaming for acknowledgment and answer in the maze of this time.
There are far deeper layers of healing and transformation screaming for our attention. And they are not going to stop screaming until they are met or we are destroyed. This compounding madness is a crying out from within the staggeringly wounded and starved heart of our collective life: that's where our attention needs to go if we are truly going to experience anything different in this world.
It's an end game, this moment: we will not continue if we don't genuinely change, and we can only genuinely change if we are willing to sit in deep communion with the generations worth of shattering pain that give rise to - and make it possible to numbly accept - things like active shooters and the myriad other plagues that genuinely bedevil our days right now.
You know there is so much more available to us, right? You feel it in your bones and long for it like you long for sunlight deep in the caverns of winters long hours. That greater possibility is calling for us, calling through us, through you, a siren song not meant to sink our ship but to guide us home to the shore of our true belonging with the world and the essence of Life. That greater possibility is pressing against every dam, surging forth, and inexorably reaching for expression. I know you feel it. You wouldn't be reading my words if you didn't.
So what is your piece of the puzzle? What is your Soul medicine for the turning of this tide? What sacred gift do you carry that can serve the awakening, healing, and liberation of this planet and this human race? Are you in touch with your Soul, with your destiny and your vision? Do you have what you need to fulfill that purpose? How can you align with it even more closely in this holy and precarious moment? What do you need to bring the fullness of your magic to bear on this moment?
Soul is the one who feels the pain of the world because it is a part of the life of the world. Soul is the one who responds with the internal insistence on embodying the destiny written within us. Soul is the one who will suddenly interrupt the grey of status quo days by riveting our attention to a shaft of light that saturates a tiny new flower and makes it the radiant face of the Mother Goddess herself, and Soul is the one who cracks open our attention just long enough for that vision to become a visitation and catalyze the tectonic shift in our Being that brings us into alignment with the truth of who we are and what we are here to be, do, and give through the vessel of our lives.
When that interruption comes, heed it with the whole of your being. Cleave to it as a rope on the face of a mighty cliff, the line from oblivion back into communion with Life and Earth. We could rise to this initiation and make this transition to the better world our hearts know is possible if we chose to let ourselves be guided out of comfortable numbness and into the holy agitation of being possessed by our destiny and our greater vision for Life and the world. And when that Destiny surges forth, restive and uprising, greet it and let it guide you into the fullness of your expression as a part of the awakening, healing, and liberation of the world. Give yourself to the calling in your Soul. That is how we bring our part of the healing of the world alive.
I see the Soul burning within you. Let it blaze to life and make the difference that it's here to make.