Is it possible to hold all the grief in the world and not get crushed by it? (Joanna Macy)

To reframe what we’ve generally been told about mental anguish and suffering by the mental illness system is a very important part of healing. Psychiatry makes out that the individual is sick. A much more honest as well as empowering way to view much mental anguish is to see ourselves as part of the web of life. Our despair is telling us something very real and valid. We should listen to it and pay attention and learn. Feeling pain is not a weakness, it is a capacity. We can learn to let it fuel us rather than cripple us. (a collection of links on the subject is included at the end of the post) … [click on title for the rest of the post]

On Staying Sane in a Suicidal Culture (Joanna Macy)

Macy believes nothing short of a radical shift in consciousness is mandatory.

“What I’m witnessing is that this uncertainty is a great liberating gift to the psyche and the spirit,” she said. “It’s walking the razor’s edge of the sacred moment where you don’t know, you can’t count on, and comfort yourself with any sure hope. All you can know is your allegiance to life and your intention to serve it in this moment that we are given. In that sense, this radical uncertainty liberates your creativity and courage.” … [click on title for the rest of the post]

To be alive in this beautiful, self-organizing universe (Joanna Macy)

Bits and pieces from Joanna Macy’s work:

To be alive in this beautiful, self-organizing universe – to participate in the dance of life with senses to perceive it, lungs that breathe it, organs that draw nourishment from it – is a wonder beyond words. Gratitude for the gift of life is the primary wellspring of all religions, the hallmark of the mystic, the source of all true art. Furthermore, it is a privilege to be alive in this time when we can choose to take part in the self-healing of our world … [click on title to read the rest]

We can come home again (Joanna Macy)

In the first movement, our infancy as a species, we felt no separation from the natural world around us. Trees, rocks, and plants surrounded us with a living presence as intimate and pulsing as our own bodies. In that primal intimacy, which anthropologists call “participation mystique,” we were as one with our world as a […]

Transforming Despair (Joanna Macy)

In American culture, we are conditioned to try to keep a smiling face and remain chipper at all costs. A lack of optimism somehow indicates a lack of competence. Feelings of despair are treated reductionistically as a function of personal maladjustment. This doubles the burden individuals carry. Not only do they feel bad about their world, but they feel bad about feeling bad.

Feeling the pain of the world is not a weakness….

This is true-nature: whole, present, interconnected: every human is the experience of true nature all the time

By Jen Peer Rich — True-nature is overdue for normalization. Self-awareness and living a conscious life is often reserved for gurus, teachers and “spiritually enlightened” folks. In our Western culture, it is the norm to put people who wake up to true-nature on a kind of a psychological and spiritual pedestal. This approach is flawed because it maintains an illusory hierarchy of consciousness, an exclusively human mind-trick. We tend to make simple things mysterious. This is exactly what keeps true-nature such a carrot-stick mystery for many.

Courageously move forward (contemplations on healing)

Courageously move forward and into every feeling you ever were unable to feel due to oppressive circumstances. Feel them, let go and be free. Our nervous systems have recorded each and every instance of repression and denial. We have a store of tension from our ancestors as well. This store of repressed emotions, denial, violence etc is stored in our DNA. It is our “karma” …to be transmuted in this lifetime. …