There comes a time in one’s wisdom or life’s journey where healing personal wounds is outgrown and replaced by concern for the collective woundedness of humanity and the planet at large. These shared or universal wounds — poverty, pollution, oppression, terrorism, guilt, shame, etc. — are stored in the deepest grooves of the human brain. Over time, they negatively alter our DNA and pass from generation to generation in their groundswell of enmity.
For me, one such collective wound is the guilt felt when I am in a good place and others are not.
Concretely speaking, guilt and even a sense of helplessness can arise when I witness the mental and physical destitution of homeless people living on our urban streets. This humanitarian woe is not going away.
The increase of homelessness and poverty over the last two decades is a testament to the generational nature of these human conditions. Currently, our outdated systems and solutions tend to exacerbate rather than alleviate their presence reminding me of Einstein’s definition of insanity: “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
The good news is we are awakening to the possibility of healing both the planet and our global society from their chronic pains. We already know accomplishing this shift in mass consciousness means shifting our own consciousness — Be the change we wish to see in the world.
Because the skills needed for planetary healing are not yet part of our existing toolkit or mass consciousness, we find ourselves having to trust nature’s alchemy and release our resistance to feeling vulnerable within all of our uncertainty. Only by letting go of our fear-based defences can we learn how to become invulnerable to harm. No small order, but the converse is even more painful.
By keeping our personal armour intact, we block access to our exceptional healing capacity, that is
• our body’s cellular healing wisdom,
• our energy’s ability to move into and dissolve inner blockages,
• our mind’s powerful processing, analyzing and problem-solving,
• our intuition’s guiding truth and imaginative innovation.
In shedding our personal armour, our love, compassion and trust surface and strengthen our invulnerability by dissolving fear-based defensiveness and helping us to break through rather than break down. Becoming insane (defined as not oneself) while navigating a dark night of the soul happens to every human. Equally, becoming invulnerable (impossible to harm or damage) is available to all.
When we experience invulnerability (be beyond harm), we will understand that we first had to experience insanity (an undoing of self). First we get better (more awareness) , then we get worse (insanity/dark night of the soul), then we become different (invulnerable to fear).
This undoing of our old fears is the healing that liberates our inner wellspring of joy. Unmasked is the truth, including our connection to the mystery of our being and to all other beings. I capture some of this universal experience in my poem below.
Unmasking the Truth
Enlightenment is not about seeking the truth.
The truth needs not be sought.
The burdens we carry are the lies we choose to live by.
These ambitions and cravings require unmasking.
Why crave money, when the truth behind money
is an illusion of power; a self-deception of control,
of unrealistically maintaining a secure order?
Truthfully, who knows what order looks like?
When unmasked, money reveals our fear
of being too little or not enough. Fearing abuse,
we default to acting out the abuser or the abused.
Truthfully, empowered people transform themselves.
There is only the inner hero’s journey, the slow
healing process of falling forward into fear,
of dropping away from our attachments.
Truthfully, we are our own white knight.
Freedom from fear is the truth that
each inner hero unmasks.
Ask yourself this, “Am I duty-bound to find the truth?” If so, then it is time to do the duty and the dance of life with equal measures of delight.