Departure: A Double Entendre in Current America

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This month I am sharing about the phase of the Hero’s Adventure known as the Departure. It is a response to the Call to Adventure and must be undertaken mindfully, with good intention in order to bypass Threshold Guardians and Cross the Threshold of Adventure as you embark upon your Quest that only you can fully accomplish!

But as I attend to the news in this unsettling era of American conservatism in the White House, I recognize that “departure” is a word with a double meaning. The first meaning is as described in the above paragraph. The second is darker, more foreboding. A Departure can also be a turning AWAY from everything one has valued or known to be true for themselves. Where this new administration is going–or trying rather forcefully to take us to–is an extreme departure from much of what I value dearly and hold to be true based on the evidence of science and the witness of my heart.

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Climate change; Native American sovereignty rights over reservation and cultural resources; immigration and an open heart for refugees fleeing violence, poverty or corruption; racial and religious equality and freedom of choice including a woman’s choice over her own reproductive rights: suddenly all of these appear imperiled.

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The first sort of departure, acting on the intention to embark upon an Adventure in pursuit of one’s Dream, is positive and it can bear much bounty of a profound, heroic nature for all concerned. The second, a reversal of value-orientations developed over decades or even centuries in our democratic nation, feels ‘negative’ and disheartening to me. I feel disempowered by this second-order form of departure from the course the vast majority of people in my entire country have been pursuing toward achieving our collective American Dream.

So, the first departure, you must hold to, even in times of radical change and upheaval. Never turn back from your Dream!

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As to the second, darker seeming reversal (or any such external sort of reversal of charge threatening to obtrude within your world), do what you can, of course. Step forth, speak out as that becomes available for you, march, sign petitions as an active citizen who does have rights of free expression and whose values DO MATTER!

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Perhaps the collective good will ultimately triumph over the narrow nationalism and bigotry we see paraded about before us daily. The political comedians and newscasters are doing their best to stem the tide. Activism IS bearing fruit and will continue to do so. If that is the departure you are now being called to or in addition to the positive path you are set upon, all the best to you.

But my core message here for you is to not let the Threshold Guardians–any would-be naysayers or fatalistic pessimism itself–deter you from heading out on or continuing forth with YOUR Adventure.  Joseph Campbell would remind us that every successful Hero’s Adventure, both in the pursuing and in the realization of one’s Quest, one’s Dream, profoundly benefits not just the individual but the Universe as a Whole.

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images are from pixabay.com

We need to support one another in our joyful pursuit of our Dreams, perhaps Now more than ever.

I welcome YOUR Comments and Story.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Lessons for Life History?

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Not all stories have ‘better endings’, and some of life’s Shadow Teachers offer but bitter pills to swallow. After a long conversation with my sister, a pastor, yesterday and reading through several current blog posts around the web, I am left with some somber insights about where the recent election and anti-globalism in the world have brought us to from the point of view of lessons from history.

I am considering how American values and priorities are so focused on materiality today.  It occurs to me—and please share your Comments below to offer your own viewpoint—that as a post-World War II set of generations in America, many of us grew up believing in the idea of “progress” AS IF having defeated Hitler’s genocidal ambitions, somehow all of human consciousness had taken a positive and irreversible, ‘quantum’ leap forward as a collective species. So then after that threat was dissolved, presumably we could focus on achieving prosperity, which came to mean seeking material advantages at any cost, including massive debt and, more sadly, bigotry and mean-spirited politics. Of course there have been many instances of genocide since, not boding well for human enlightenment, and the socioeconomic imbalances can cycle around to the very sorts of conditions that gave rise to ‘a Hitler,’ again.

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We are deeply impoverished if materiality is all that we aim for.  As well, social networking, “reality” TV and one-sided news stations magnify such paltry ambitions and selfish partisanship to an unprecedented magnitude, weakening the potential depth of heartfelt human relations or the capacity to sort out factual evidence and polarizing values so as to create artificial realities that fragment Truth like in a teleidoscope.

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I have an inkling, at least for myself, of a strategy to combat mediocrity of experience in this physical materiopolis, to coin a Newspeak word. To counter negative cycles of History, what can I do? Well,  I can examine my own cycles of life experience and ‘fix’ the errors there that have led to unfortunate or unsatisfactory results, Now.  I believe that means—again, for me anyway—discerning and countering HABITS: habits of thought and attitude as well as health related habits. This can lead not only to my own better endings but it can also improve my relations with others in, at least, my world.

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images are from pixabay.com

If many of us would choose to take to heart this opportunity to empower ourselves by overcoming negative habits accrued through our personal life histories, and if this practice of mindful self-improvement were to rise into prominence in the collective consciousness, what then?  Could we bring about a new positive cycle even whilst in the outward throes of darker tendencies playing themselves out?

This is a  more somber perspective than I usually put forth in this blog.  But to me it feels like the lessons of history are calling out now for realism and positive action.