Pre-apocalyptic angst

I read somewhere the other day, that for many these are ‘pre-apocalyptic times’.

As several fellow practitioners shared at the Body-Centred Practitioners Network Gathering this November, I too am witnessing a lot more anxiety-ridden individuals coming to me. This is also true in my role as an acupuncturist at the Brighton Community Acupuncture Clinic, pay-as-you-can-afford practice, which attracts many who are vulnerable to financial hardship and consequently psychological distress.

Throughout my 30 years-plus career, till this year, I would say an 25% of clients were coming for anxiety and depression. Since about 9 months ago that has jumped to a phenomenal two-thirds of all my new clients. So a ‘pre-apocalyptic’ time is indeed what many are perceiving; and some would say with good reason too.

How that is impacting on me is that it confirms my version of reality, which says it is  ‘all is not well’ and possibly ‘going to pot’. As a veteran of the 70s counter-culture I am definitely of the opinion that things are coming home to roost. Greed, exploitation and indifference inevitably also lead to the ‘dark side’.

I do though agree that the most radical and ‘revolutionary’ thing we can do right now is this thing called spiritual therapy and psychological healing. For me, it is an absolutely integral part of life, to have someone/s to go to for support, to lend an ear, be there for you, give you some insight and assistance to access your inner resources.

It is no coincidence I call what I do, this particular synthesis of humanistic, body-centered, and spiritual courses, trainings and apprenticeships, Integral Core Therapy.

What we do in our life, including what we term ‘work’, must be integral to the rest of our life, to what we love and to who we are. The older I get and the longer I work with people, the more connected and integrated my ‘work’ feels to the rest of my outer worldly and inner spiritual life. That is how I always intended it to be, so I’m gladdened this is the case.

‘Being with’ your integral self

It is only really possible to receive comfort and healing in life from others or spirit if you have worked through the egoic personality’s unconscious reactivity to events and challenges. You need to get through the rage, panic, hate and other existential emotional responses to be able to feel the love there is both within and without you. Hence why in Integral Core Therapy there’s a progressive integration to working with the physical-vital, the emotional-psychological and integral-spiritual levels, with each building on the others.

‘Being with’ your integral self, your spirit in effect, is the essence of the work I do on myself and with others. This ‘being with’, ‘standing with’, ‘living with’ is what’s at the core of it all, what truly makes a difference to life, well-being and meaning. It’s what brings to all of us what we truly need and long for. Nothing else can offer to you what your authentic core reality does.

EGOISM vs ALTRUISM

The world is witnessing a showdown; between egocentric narcissists on the one hand and communal altruists on the other. This is going to get ever-more intense the closer we get to an environmental and climatic crisis point. Our instincts will simply push us towards ever greater confrontation with those who we deem to oppose us. Our intelligence will prompt us to confront the elites and opportunists who have been controlling, dominating, manipulating, seducing and bullying us, the masses, throughout human history. Those who do have heart feelings know that those who seem compelled to be in command, are bringing the entire world to its knees; for what they do is done solely in their self-interest, regardless on the impact upon the rest of humanity and the planet.

So next time you turn on the news and see yet another break-down of a political or financial system, don’t despair. It is simply the status-quo falling apart due to the short-sighted avaricious financial psychopathy we have come to normalise as the ‘business world’. The elites who have been in positions of power for as long as we can remember are paradoxically creating the resultant ever-growing chaos we are witnessing. Whether this is intentioanl or not, either way it will rsult in such unpleasant conditions that many will be forced to act by necessity. If we are to have any chance to wake up and break out of this dominance-submission financial politics of ‘neo-liberal capitalism’ people will have to wake up and stand up for the value most of us share: mutual inter-dependancy and respect of others’ needs. In other words the age-old spiritual and humanistic maxim: do onto others as you would have them do unto you.

No socio-economic system is inherently good or evil, it is simply how you run it and who runs it. So a Stalin-type psychopath could take any society, however socialistic and communal and turn it into a nightmare. In fact that is precisely what’s happening with most Western democratic free-market economies. These are neither free nor democratic; they are in the hands of plutocratic oligarchs that use them for their own ends and no one elses. Today is little different to the days when warlords and barons ran the country with feudal impunity and brutality.

The ones amongst us with a ‘psychopathic-user’ personality cannot but make life a living nightmare for the rest, for it lacks the emotional capacity and conscience to care about others. For these individuals, others don’t exist as sentient beings with feelings and needs; they are seen only as objects for their use and gratification. No wonder they treat everyone with contempt and disregard, for they have yet to figure out that the needs and reality of others are as real or important as their own.

The rub is that, even though only a tiny fraction of the population suffers from ‘narcissistic’ and/or ‘psychopathic’ personality disorders, most of us do possess these tendencies to some degree. According to most spiritual modalities this is what makes us, to a lesser or greater extent, ego-centric and self-serving. I tend to agree with this perspective as it implies that we are not born ‘nasty’ but turn that way due to experiences in this life. However a purely psychological perspective in what makes some people so toxic to others won’t solve the problem. Society as a whole needs to get together and deal with this phenomenon, just as we have tried to do with slavery, child abuse and domestic violence.

It is time for humanity to move beyond the cult of predatory atomistic egotism. It is an evolutionary cul-de-sac which is threatening to destroy everything we hold dear. If we don’t act soon then we may well have to make way for the dolphins or whichever species picks up the evolutionary baton towards sentient self-realisation. The ‘third chimp’ with its grandiosity complex, (homo sapiens) which is hardly further along than its primate cousins, is about to embark on a trajectory that will either lead it to its utter demise or to a quantum leap of cognition. If we are sapiens (wise) at all, we need to wisen-up pretty fast and find a whole new paradigm to live by, or it will be too late for us sooner than later.

So let’s face it, either we change our culture or as a species we are done for. We gotta wake up and shake off our material-consumerist and spiritual-bypass lifestyles. Occupy, identify, rectify, beautify, sanctify, it doesn’t matter what exactly you choose to do, as long as you do something, anything!

Altruism or hell-on-earth, those are our only options for the future and that should be the motto for a new social paradigm. The good news is that all the altruism we need is within our soul, waiting to be tapped into. All the love and compassion, kindness and consideration, benevolence and conscience dwell within our core, our heart. I have a sense that our genes will make some new psycho-spiritual quality available that will enable us to take the next step; for as they say ‘evolve or die’.

For me, the most important thing we can do right now is participate in a global revolution of consciousness. For sure it has been tried before and looking at the world now, little seems to have worked. And yet, that does not mean we stop trying. That is all we can do – keep going, keep on truckin’, keep on loving, and doing whatever it takes to protect, nurture, support and nourish others, ourselves and all life.

We better, otherwise we are history; and what a waste of incredible human potential that would be. This is no time to give up now and just get on with our own little worlds. This is the opportunity humanity has been waiting for: a time when together we make a collective socio-political, ecological, psychological and spiritual quantum leap. We have what it takes. It is waiting for us to embrace our authentic, altruistic heart-centered nature. As the song says…’come on, come on, come on, love’s the only thing that we have’.