Using the Y2K challenge for individual and collective psychospiritual
Things falling apart is a kind of testing and also a kind of
healing. We think that the point is to pass the test or to overcome the
problem, but the truth is that things don't really get solved. They come
together and fall apart again. It's just like that. The healing comes from
letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief,
for misery, for joy. ... The off-center, in-between state is an ideal situation,
a situation in which we don't get caught and we can open our hearts and
minds beyond limit.
-- Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart
Ideally, intentional efforts to grow from Y2K issues would be undertaken
in group settings, where people can help each other move through the challenges,
while weaving community. This prepares people to work together on other
Y2K breakthrough challenges, as well, including the challenges of relationship,
preparedness and survival. (Click
here for notes on the spiritual implications of sharing Y2K information
This path of personal growth and community engagement is exemplified in
personal stories of deepening and transformation
in response to Y2K, in the poem below, and
in the book AWAKENING: The Upside of Y2K.
We have also attempted to sketch out some of the issues involved, in the
following lists. Of course, each of us has our own situation, our own path
of growth, our own sense of what is needed and what works. It is very important
that we trust that. So the material here should be taken in a spirit of
exploration, seeking things that speak to you, that make sense, that make
you go "Yes!" or "That's an interesting thought." Leave
the rest for others.
1) Potentials; issues that could be worked; developable capacities (links
are to examples of people working with those issues)
a) living in uncertainty, ambiguity; letting go of prediction,
b) mindfulness, receptivity, listening, present time focus, responsiveness,
c) fear, despair, dark night of the soul
d) working through denial, facing the shadow
e) acceptance, letting go
f) service, commitment, sacrifice, compassion
g) faith (valid + misplaced?), gratitude, prayer
h) change, letting go of familiar patterns/addictions
i) interconnectedness, wholeness, co-creativity
j) vision, possibility-consciousness, future generations
k) materialism, poverty, back-to-basics
l) pride and arrogance; humility
m) suffering -- as a teacher and a door to transcendence and compassion
n) mythic consciousness
o) nature spirituality, deep ecology, Wicca, indigenous spirituality
p) getting beyond guilt and blame (responsibility includes co-creation and
participation); betrayal and forgiveness
q) life and death; killing; nonviolence
2) Approaches to psychspiritual development
a) Despair and Empowerment
Workshops (Joanna Macy)
b) Meditation (topic reflection, guided meditation, mindfulness, etc.)
c) Group Silence (Quakers)
d) Arny Mindell's Process Worldwork
e) 12-step programs (cf the book My Name is Chellis and I'm Recovering
from Western Civilization)
BOTTOMED-OUT AND FREE AT LAST
All is lost.
What shall we do?
Good question, wrong tone. *
At a time when all is lost
suddenly there is nothing to lose.
Nothing to lose is a place of power,
of possible greatness and breakthrough.
We can do anything.
What then shall we do?
-- tom atlee
* Much thanks to Carolyn Casey for this line, which I now use a lot in my
life. She said someone asked her once "Who do you think you are?!"
She answered: "Good question, wrong tone."