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Finding Balance In An Uneven Landscape
By Judith Gayle | Political Waves
"I can't go back to yesterday -- because I was a different person then."
--Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
For the last thirty years, I have said that I exist with 'a foot in both worlds.' Early on, I found that the majority of folks I discussed this with had no understanding of what that meant; the explanation itself was the recruiting pitch that separated the potential Lightworkers from those who had chosen more mundane paths. You might say that some of us discovered mutual interest in metaphysical principle and alternative spiritual practice; to my way of thinking, we'd found one another again. We were Family; we gathered.

This ability to live in both the density and expectation of 3D and still exist in the ethereal possibilities, taking cues as they're given and keeping the awareness of the larger landscape always forefront in your mind, is a bit of a wire-walk. You learn to keep a sharp ear out for the absurd, which often informs you; you notice what others don't. You have possession of the understanding that everyone is part of you and you them, but participating in group mind becomes impossible. And because your concept of the world is larger than many around you, you do not value many of those things that drive humankind so ruthlessly -- they're pleasant, some of them, even recommended but hardly required. This creates you far from the center of the herd; but not at the edge as a straggler. You're a different drummer, walking a parallel path and witnessing everything around you; providing service wherever you can.

If you've been doing your homework, you should have a foot in both worlds now, yourself; it's necessary if we are to gracefully shift the paradigm. I suspect you are able to intuit your new skill even if you have no actual idea what that other world offers you; this current reality is dissolving at a rapid pace in favor of another, the rock-solid concepts we've counted on are pared down to a scattering of pebbles and the project of reconstruction that absorbs so many of us is loaded with vague new possibilities and discoveries just outside of our vision. If you don't feel that deep in your bones, see it flicker by in your peripheral vision, hear the ripe, hollow thunk of it in every news article and conversation, let me point out a few examples to help you get your sea legs.

The natural world is giving us some hints of how unusual is this period. Eric has a dramatic picture of the 29-degree Cancer eclipse on his blog, the caption revealing it to be "the longest total solar eclipse of this century, lasting as much as 6 minutes and 39 seconds in some places. It is said that it would not be surpassed in duration until June 13, 2132." It comes along to punctuate the rising tide of structural wobble, social upheaval and weather pattern change that became undeniable well before the Christmas tsunami of 2004 stopped us all in our tracks; it comes along to push us more deeply into ourselves and all that must be discovered there.

And here's something of a jaw dropper -- New Zealand recently suffered the most massive earthquake of the century, one that literally moved Southern NZ 12 inches closer to Australia. Remarkably, little damage was done in the magnitude 7.8 because the area wasn't well populated. The government issued this remark: "The country is deforming all the time because of being on the plate boundary, but this has done it in a few seconds, rather than waiting hundreds of years." Shift happens, eh?

As well, I'm encouraged with the return of the solar flares; they've been disturbingly absent for almost two years. When a traditional norm disappears, one has to ponder the ramifications. Here in the Patch, for instance, we've had July nights that were downright cold; unheard of. It's not that I want everything to remain the same, but in the natural world there is always a consequence to these kinds of events because they influence cycles that come next. If we are to cooperate with our environment, we need to chart these events. It's not business-as-usual with the Earth Mother -- or with her children, either. And that's where we might think, "Curiouser and curiouser," as we assess our changing reality.

I'm sure many of you are aware of my frustration with the Republicans for obstructing progressive movement; that's more than the sum of its parts because it feels so unnecessary to me. Reports on the rationale for their behaviors -- that they must protect this nation from changes that will remake it as European or worse -- are punctuated by loss of dignity and reason, as in this amazing clip from Glenn Beck; and fumbles like this one from Minnesota Representative Michelle Bachmann, who seems to have stepped through the Looking Glass some time ago and like the Red Queen, serves her constituency by telling them "six impossible things before breakfast." What is most remarkable of all is that there are loyal supporters that truly believe these people to be the leaders of tomorrow; that all of us will awaken at some point and acknowledge that their repressive 'truthiness' is the absolute defining principle of American consciousness. It makes me sad for them because the world has changed but they haven't; and it doesn't serve our nation to have an opposition party in shambles. We need checks and balances in this political system, but until a conservative steps up with something besides a template for 20th century solutions, we will be forced to deal with them as representatives of yesterday -- and yesterday's already been archived in the history books under "what not to do."

The problem seems to be recognition of the new landscape. It appears to be slowly, but surely, dawning on the Republicans that Obama won, the Liberals have a mandate and the nation is in such dire straits that change is happening with or without them; they continue to suck up more oxygen than they deserve due to media that wants to exploit the tit/tat partisan infighting for profit. In terms of stepping through the Looking Glass, news seem to be determined to frame most arguments as did Jim Watkins in his comedic piece, 10 Reasons Not To Support Health Care Reform: "Just about everybody is against health care reform, except for the 85% of Americans who polls show are for it." Yet even conservative pundits admit that the nation has moved Left and is not likely swinging back soon.

Perhaps that explains their outrageous behavior, as Republicans are ill prepared to play any part in recovery; that is not how they define their job. Although they've distanced from Bush as best they can, they're like criminals that are sorry to get caught but not sorry they did the deed. In their perfect world, fossil fuels would still be America's future and Wall Street would continue giving them plenty of big payoffs when they spun the wheel. That's so last century, don't you think? MSNBC's Rachel Maddow recently gave Pat Buchanan a history lesson much to the delight of those of us interested in diversity and truth-telling; Pat had delivered a prototypical Old White Guy (and heavily racist) rant about who made this nation what it is, and Rachel brought him up to speed. "You're playing with fire," said Ms. Maddow. "You're living in the 1950s."

This is a revealing glimpse that what drives Republican philosophy is simply inadequate to the zeitgeist of this century and the challenges facing the world we live in; it always seemed an anomaly to me that Bush arrived synonymously with the new century -- as if some Fated Hand had pulled an e-brake on the aspirations of millions. It encouraged the Buchanans and the Cheneys and the Roves to think they'd finally arrived at the top of the food chain and there they would remain, having finally achieved the pure power of corruption and cronyism.

Yet as we gather speed from that regressive period, we are changing at a rate that goes largely unnoticed; I suspect not to leaders of the opposition party, but mostly invisible to the average citizen, lost in his/her daily concerns. There is so much angst and strum over the mundane problems we face that we miss the larger picture. There are as many cracks in the old national egg of yesteryear as those that took out Humpty Dumpty; and all the King's horses, yadda.

Consider the 'cap and trade' aspect of the Energy bill that is on the table in Congress; many progressives have decried its being watered down as it passes through committees until it no longer has the impact that we not only desire but need so desperately; Jon Stewart illustrated that here. But Steven Chu, our Nobel Prize-winning Energy Secretary says that this bill puts carbon at the center of the debate. Should this bill pass, limited as it is, all new projects must take carbon emission into consideration and that will spark research and development for green technology, like it or not. Perhaps the progressive cracks in the old hard shell of 20th century governance have more depth than we appreciate.

While the health care debate seems to be falling prey to the stalling techniques of the RNC and making the public increasingly nervous, there is very little hedging on the fact that health care in this nation is broken; how to fix it is now the question, not if ... or why we must. That's a sea change of huge proportions. Those who say we should just wait for things to look rosier are shouted down, and Obama is willing to go the distance on this project. With economy a make-it-or-break-it problem, stabilizing finance without changing the projections for escalating health care costs would be a step forward to fall into yet another giant hole. 85% of Americans want reform; you can't argue with that for long.

In a move that has made liberals everywhere deliriously happy, Obama has refused to further fund the F-22 fighter jet; this is a serious blow to the military-industrial complex. The plane that served us best in the Cold War, designed for the nation-to-nation wars that look less likely in the future, has been religiously funded despite its drawbacks -- like, having problems flying in the rain. Oh, snap! Probably should have noticed that earlier! The Senate is on board with the plan, and Obama has threatened to veto any bill that the House slips funding into, as they are quietly wont to do. This is a pragmatic decision, of course; no break-through in the larger prospects of the American War Machine. But it's an important first step and one that is echoing across the nation as a signal that the good times are over.

Our attitude is changed; not changing, as some suppose. The nation has changed direction; it's a slower progression because it's being fought tooth and nail by obstructionists. As example, add a few sleeper issues that break down into special interest areas -- like the war on drugs, and gay rights; uneven spots on the landscape that are no longer mountains but increasingly turning to molehills. Patience is the virtue we need right now; and if we remember that we have a foot in both worlds, this one quickly fading while the other is becoming more and more solid we will find the encouragement we need.

In that other world, compassion is the rule, not the exception; separation isn't a concept at play. In that place/space hope isn't something we cling to; it is just grease to keep the skids of fulfilled desire moving along. If the tumult in this nation was viewed through that reality, we would all be striving for the same thing. Let's say that some portion of this nation had experienced a tsunami like the one that took place in Indonesia; who deserves health care would be moot. With Bush and his failed FEMA crew a dimming memory, finding shelter for those dispossessed would be a priority that bypassed political memes; making sure children felt safe and families were assisted would not be given a second thought. We would cooperate with one another to provide whatever was necessary for such an emergency.

Well, we've had a global tsunami of a different order here on planet Terra; one that is financial, social, psychological and psychic. The wind is still blowing, the water is still rising and it ain't over yet. In order to survive it, we must let go of old strategies that victimized some while rewarding others in favor of creating a new order of things that will serve all of us. Everything we see around us is flimsier today than it was yesterday; every old concept configured in authoritarianism and punishment is weakened and that's because we, ourselves, are changing. Day by day, we come closer to glimpsing that new possibility that is hiding just out of sight. Everything depends, now, on where we put our attention. What we attend will grow; and it falls to each of us to bring the power of our growing insight and opening hearts to the creation of a new way of being on the planet.

Dark secrets that have been hiding are pouring out around us. Harsh words are being spoken and unconscionable meanness can be found in headline after headline. Our balance in this quickly changing and uneven new territory is required now more than ever. It seems a fine progression to me that the man from Hope brought us to the end of this century and the man who speaks for hope is the one who stands in the deadly mire of Washington politics, trying to herd cats and soothe nerves even as he reconfigures much of what has been too solid to move until now. And now the hope for this new century is, rightly, back where it belongs -- in each of us. Nobody can -- or should -- do this for us; rising up into a finer vibration is a community effort. Remember, hope only greases the skids for what is already there, and that's the world that we can realize as we focus on solutions rather than problems.

We aren't who we were; the nation isn't as it was and, gratefully, there's no going back. We're making something new. And, as the White Rabbit told the King, "Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop." In this new space we're in that seems as good a set of directions as any. We have a long way to go, but we're well begun. We're family on this planet, gathered in a great experiment and it's coming along nicely. With a foot in both worlds, you can't lose your balance now, no matter how rocky the terrain; and should you be prompted to murmur, "Curiouser and curiouser," I wouldn't be shocked to see your foot right next to mine, in the finer reality that's coming into view.

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