There is an old Chinese blessing that goes, “may you live in interesting times.” However that sentiment seems a little last century or even older. For now we seem to be moving into an incredulous time, a time I would imagine people will look back at and wonder at the depths of our folly. What is happening in Australia is a perfect mirror of our times. The country is burning, a continent is burning, thousands upon thousands of acres of land and Australia’s diverse animal world is being decimated, home and lives lost in a inferno that is biblical in its destruction. And the overall response from the Australian government and leadership is, ‘no probs mate, business as usual!’
I have lived in Australia and I love the country, the flora and fauna, the diversity; but I have watched the environment being taken for granted by generations of white men. The country of endless sunshine has almost no alternative energy generation, and is still mostly driven by coal-fired power stations. Its major rivers are totally polluted. This crisis has been a long time coming! And yet they still resist change!
Time for New Year resolutions; actually I think that is entering the category of too little, too late but the world loves a trier. If I say, ‘no more business as usual’, for myself, what would that mean? Susie and I discussed what we would give up for 2020 and for me it was my self-pity, which in itself is most likely an act of self-pity but also a chronic issue for me and a massive driver of independence. Susie took a slightly higher ground and committed to giving up judgement the best she could. However when they write the history of our environmental catastrophe I doubt they will see the tipping point and my decision to give up self-pity. Maybe the truth is it will not come from any individual because this crisis is only going to be solved when we all come together and bond to find a better way.
Perhaps the biggest obstacle to us achieving this bonding will be our unwillingness to give up our judgements on others, on ourselves, even on governments and political and religious ideals. Every day is always another opportunity to give up a massive number of judgements and yet it has become such an instinctive reaction for many of us; we have had dozens of subconscious judgements before we even have a conscious thought.
We do need to remember that judgement is taking the guilt that is in our mind and trying to externalise it. This mechanism is what made the world for it is just our externalised guilt and our judgements that feed the solidity of this reality. So giving up judgement means embarking on a voyage of self-forgiveness, of learning the lessons, and giving up attack and self-attack. That will start to change the world. We all need to do this bit. For some of us maybe the internal will be enough and beyond that, some of us are called to take different actions to create a better world. But whatever it is it has to be now, no more business as usual!
We commit to changing and who would have guessed that changing would be so difficult? We have worked so hard at making our physical world comfortable, everything is so easy and available, food, transport, entertainment, housing; well it is for many of us who hold the levers of power and money but it has come at a price we must soon pay. Yesterday I watched an ad on TV about children dying of water borne diseases in Africa. They finished by asking for £2.00 and it just seemed such a symptom of the problem. We were hearing that message in the sixties and seventies but little has changed, and the fact we are still hearing it now is a sad reflection on us and on our unwillingness to embrace change that really makes a difference.
Maybe this is just another call to arms for the world we live in. But for me I will wake every morning and for as long as I can look for ways of not doing business as usual. If nothing shows up then in that space is a time for forgiveness and ending judgement and learning to use my mind for extending – extending in love, in kindness, in compassion so that I might be saved from a fiery hell.