The Price of Waking Up –
and Why Most Will Choose to Remain Sleeping
I already know that 99% of you who begin reading this post will quickly lose interest, glaze over and return to whatever piece of gossip or tabloid journalism is currently entertaining you and distracting you from the truths you really don’t want to know or see. The other 1% will enthusiastically respond with a “preach it sistah!” It is for the other 1% that I write this post.
This week, I had a cruel reminder of the price of waking up and why the majority of the population works really hard at defending their right to stay asleep. The answer in short is because if we wake up….we are obligated to do something about the pain, hardship, disorder, violence, fear and hatred in our world. In other words….we become personally responsible for making different choices in our lives. modeling these choices for others and if we are so-called, being a force for positive change.
If we stay asleep, however, we don’t have to do a thing. Instead, we get to remain in the mindless patterns of familiarity that define our lives. We get to remain in the status quo that gives us the illusion of safety and security….only because it is known, not necessarily because it is safe or secure. We don’t have to rock the boat, risk rejection or condemnation, or even respond to another person’s pain. We get to avoid responsibility, falsely believing that it is someone else’s job, or hoping that if we ignore it long enough, it will simply go away. The problem is, it doesn’t go away….and as the Buddhists know:
What you resist will persist.
And the more we resist it, the harder it works to be known, usually by coming out sideways in horrible acts with devastating effects.
This is what happened in the Church (and continues to happen). This is why the sex abuse scandal erupted the way it did. For centuries, the Church looked away as their priests were sexually abusing children and taking advantage of other vulnerable populations, silently hoping it would go away (or worse, priding themselves in their power and their right to have control over others). In this, they have never had to take responsibility for what CAUSED the sex abuse scandal in the first place – the demonization of the body, sexuality, and the Holy Feminine, an institution built of fear, power and control, guided by the Unholy Masculine. And finally…..systems that continue to attract and keep underdeveloped men in the priesthood. The Church needs to wake up…..but they are highly invested in status quo, in their power and wealth and if they actually took responsibility for all that needs to be changed….they risk losing all of this. What they don’t know is that there is so much more to be gained, if they could only risk being Christ-like – putting the authentic teachings of Jesus to work and being the force of change Jesus calls us to be. (Thank God for Pope Francis…he at least is trying!)
What is true of the Church is true of every other institution that has its roots in a patriarchal, hierarchical model, based in fear, power and control. Government. Education. Healthcare. Psychology. Academia. Banking. Corporations. Commerce. Etc. Etc. Etc. The longer they avoid their own disease, their own shadow, the more it will be coming out sideways (hah…we need only look to the presidential election to see evidence of this.). Pretend it’s not there, and then we don’t have to do anything about it…..and change is hard…..and we don’t know how to support change….and change scares us. So, we keep our heads in the sand hoping it will go away on its own or that someone else will clean up the mess.
The longer we look away, however, the larger the pile of debris becomes, and the harder the truth works at being known, being seen and being addressed. As we look away hoping things will go away on their own – our planet is being destroyed, millions of people are living under the constant threat of war, millions are now homeless refugees, people are getting sicker, joblessness and underemployment are at an all-time high, corruption rules our government and corporations, and our children are dying. None of this will change, in fact, it will only continue to get worse the more we choose to stay asleep. And for the 99%, this is what they will continue to choose.
The good news is that it only takes a pebble to start an avalanche. As the power of the 1% has ruled our world, it is THE OTHER 1% who have to power to change it.
You know who you are. Thank you for being awake and thank you for being willing to listen to the voice of your soul – a voice crying out in the wilderness speaking to sand , perhaps….but you are listening. We are listening. The OTHER 1% are awake. We are listening. We are taking personal responsibility and we are working for change. We are the pebble that starts the avalanche….and the time for the avalanche is NOW!