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Fin-de-siècle, Like You Wouldn’t Believe, Part 3

(Fin-de-Siècle . . . )

Millennial Thermometer I don’t wish to judge the efficaciousness of one Path over another. Any path will work that leads to a more intimate awareness of who you are and aren’t. At least, provisionally. I’m more interested in people’s reactions to the Paths they choose. Reactions of cluelessness, indifference, engagement, despondency, enthusiasm, euphoria, and smug or humble attainment stretch out along a continuum. I see this as a thermometer—a useful tool to gauge the level of dishonesty, authenticity, and general dislocation in the years to come.

As we get closer to the end of the Millennium, I suspect the severity of these reactions will greatly intensify. Will we be ready? Ready for what? Our computers telling us it’s 1900? Planes dropping from the sky? Our friends demanding we follow them into the desert? Being ready for what’s coming is more a matter of attitude than preparation. Maybe attitude isn’t exactly the right word. Sounds a bit too assertive to be of much help as we hit the brick walls up ahead. I’m thinking more along the lines of an accommodating disposition. Not weak, as in anything goes. Or oblivious to terror that abounds. But one that’s aware of our habitual inclination to repeatedly ignore, repeatedly suppress, repeatedly misinterpret a simple mess and turn it into a much bigger one.

Whooooa! I bet that’ll rattle somebody’s cage! There are so many well-meaning people and organizations out there obsessed with cramming their program for survival down our throats. Caught in the belief their particular preparations will make all the difference, they can’t imagine any other way of getting through. Is it just a matter of getting right with the Lord? Their Lord? Or heading off to the mountain hideaway? “Don’t forget to stock up on freeze-dried lima beans! No, wait! I mean, freeze-dried Tofu. And throw in some Gingko extract! No, I mean, St. John’s Wort! Yeah! That’s it! The stuff that makes you happy, happy.”

Well, any of these can sound true enough. It doesn’t much depend on the facts. It’s more a matter of where you’re coming from and where you’re hoping to go next. In terms of reliable preparation, none of these programs come with a guarantee they’ll float your boat. I mean, just think about it. When was the last time Reality appeared on your doorstep in predictable chunks?

Expectations for a Better Plan Am I offering a better plan? Nope. Not exactly. The only thing I’m offering is the possibility of getting free of always expecting to be offered a better plan. That desperate expectation. That burning desire to create the perfect situation.

The dissatisfaction that wants to live in a realm devoid of all things detrimental fuels the insanities that cripple our interior and external worlds. It causes school Principals, desiring to teach children trust and respect, to herd them through metal detectors and tape their every heartbeat with hidden surveillance cameras. It causes disciples to ignore the Outright Intensity in their own being while seeking the imagined Brilliance of Highest Perfect Enlightenment.

Forcing experience through a filter to judge whether things are made better sets up barriers to progress upon the Path. Whenever we’re overwhelmed by Outright Intensity in a way we perceive as negative, we lump it into the categories of Attachment, Ignorance, or Bondage—terms we use to define being trapped, fooled, or enslaved. But sometimes honestly seeing our attachments is the best way to clarify our motives for wanting to be free.

What caused this recent flurry of Outright Intensity that allowed some to be freed of old habits while driving others to cling to patterns of defense? Was it the Solar Eclipse? The Ending of a Millennium? The approach of an Apocalypse?

I’ll bet that this Outright Intensity is the result of simple, but growing awareness that time is running out. In exactly what way, will differ with different people at different junctures. But the sense of impending doom is spreading. The fear that we are about to be swallowed by forces too powerful to stop is driving people to prepare for the worst. As apprehension grows, the experience of Outright Intensity becomes a powerful motivator. In some it produces an over-whelming sense of claustrophobic dread, potentially driving them to denial, censorship, and support for unmitigated fascism. In others, the very same experience becomes a liberating opportunity, one in which to finally explore and honestly accept who they really are. Why the difference? Good question. There is probably both a comprehensive and a simple explanation. At the moment, complexity escapes me, so I’ll give you the simple version: Some wish to remain in hiding, while others are ready to be revealed.

Unfortunately, Delusion is Delusion. Left unexposed, it eventually topples our world. It makes no difference whether we live in a Gated Community or not. By Gated Community, I mean both that which houses the fearful and filthy Rich, and the Community of Defensive Constructs to which we cling in hopes of staying the advent of revelation. Trying to live in either will cost you a bundle and give less security than living under a bridge. So what should you do? Give up? Double your efforts? Again, you’re the best judge of that for yourself.

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