This post is an excerpt from the book Age of Actualization: A Handbook for Growing Elder Cultureby David “Lucky” Goff. Click here to read Part 1.
Once upon a time there was a person who was born into this unbelievable world at this incredible time. He, or she, found that the challenge of being alive— during this difficult and unbelievable age — grew as time passed. The complexity of this time assured increasing change. As one of the people of this age, he or she wonders. It seems as if we all are confronted by an awesome tangle of conditions.
This world is grieving. The land is aching, so is the sky. There is no place, or group of people, to which one can go. Community consolation is hard to find. There is no hiding. The people have lost their trust for one another. The future looms like a stranger at the door.
There is great uncertainty in the air. All of the ways, even the old ones, are bridges failing under the weight of collective doubt. The cool, fresh, healing waters are becoming more precious, as chemicals, climate change and population pressure push them. A stiffness and formality covers things. Life is retreating. Footprints and trash are everywhere.
There are beacons of light, shining forth, lending the world a kind of mysterious and precious glow. There is hope, it resides in the recesses, and seems to have a life at the periphery, in the backwaters. But there is a terrible groaning that seems to be coming from all directions. The wild is dying off. Some kind of pervasive despair blankets the globe.
There are a few with more than enough and there are many more with not enough. This has always been so, but it has never been so out of balance. Humankind has yet to find a way to deal with such inequality. And it is growing.
The people are angry, grieving and confused. Fuses are short. We are caught in some kind of twisted fear. We know who is responsible. We want to hold them accountable. But we can’t escape from awareness that we ourselves are culpable.
Denial is also rampant. There seems to be a positive patina that coats everything like a demented tide. The hurting goes on and on. It is met with stony silence. Hopelessness infects the taste and nutrition of our food, as unexpressed grief eats at us.
Life has lost some of its mystery. And on and on, goes the mechanical recitations of the ideological masses.
There is a sense of expectation rising —sometimes it envisions apocalypse, ruin and demise and sometimes scenarios of a hoped-for transition (where a blazing futures come into sight). It seems that the wise talk mystifyingly about both. 2012, Y2K, The End of the World, The Harmonic Convergence, the Rapture — they all keep returning in new guises. And always there is great uncertainty. Sustainability — of Life, of the future, of childish innocence, of the longing for completion, of the actualization of potential, of the struggle to love, of the human experiment — is in doubt.
This might be too great a question to ask, but the times seem to be calling for it. So, the dilemma is — given this world, and this time of uncertainty — what is the form of consciousness that best serves the times?