Remember when you freaked out because your Mom washed your lucky shirt just before the big game? You swore at her, maybe said you wished you had a different mother. Of course it wasn’t about the shirt at all, you were afraid of losing the game. Your mom knew that, and loved you anyway. Maybe she even pointed it out to you, helping you to become more self aware.
Visionary Fiction is like that. Its heroines and heroes are a little more aware of what’s going on around and within them than you are, at least by the end of the book. By reading about them, you learn to follow their examples. You learn to step back from the little ego and understand the larger issue. This can be a great benefit when things in your life, or the world in general, are not going as planned.
Like that time you were supposed to give an oral report in front of the whole class but you got laryngitis and couldn’t do it. Mr. Turner suspected you were faking, but the school nurse verified you had a temperature, so you didn’t have to feel guilty about it, because you really were sick. Of course, when you went back to school a week later Mr. Turner made you give the report anyway, as you had feared he would. Maybe if you had read more Visionary Fiction you would have learned that the harshest criticism or ridicule cannot touch the true self, and you wouldn’t have spent that week of your life in miserable trepidation.
Illness is a protestation. It’s the body’s way of expressing things the psyche isn’t allowed to. When we can’t openly acknowledge or admit our fears, our sorrow, our anger, they are consigned to the body. That sore throat is the inner you shouting at your mean boss, that stream of mucus is a flood of suppressed tears, that congested chest is despair internalized.
When I was in grade school my big sister left for college. I loved her adoringly, I spent hours with her every day. When she left it felt like a part of me had been cut out. I had never experienced that kind of emotional pain. My psyche didn’t know what to do with it, had no mechanism to express it, to even admit its existence to my conscious mind. If I had read more VF, I might have learned that we are souls sheathed within mental, emotional, and physical bodies. I might have been able to remove myself from that energetic pattern. Maybe, having read of a VF hero’s journey, I would have been empowered to simply speak the truth, to tell my sister how much I loved her and missed her. But I hadn’t; I wasn’t aware of the dynamics of the human vehicle. What I was aware of was that it was not really okay to talk about it, and certainly not okay to cry about it, so it was left to my physical body to express it. The body is very accommodating.
‘Okay,’ it said, ‘here’s what it’s like to have a part of you cut out.’ Two weeks after she left I had my appendix removed.
Pandemic as energetic release
The same thing is happening now, on a global scale. The Human psyche is not mature. It’s facing something it doesn’t remember facing before. It’s scared and doesn’t have a conscious mechanism for handling that fear. I’m not talking about the virus, although, yes we’re scared about that. The pandemic is real, it’s really happening, and really scary, but we’ve seen viruses before, we’ve all been sick before, in fact we get sick every time we’re facing something we can’t tolerate but don’t know how to stop: bad weather, the behavior of others in our lives, or our own self-destructive patterns. The virus, like any illness, is a manifestation of our deeper fears:
What if the fires don’t stop burning? What if the flood waters never recede? What if the corporations steal all the resources? What if the socialists take all my money? What if the authoritarians take away my rights? What if all the cute animals go extinct and we’re left with snakes, rats and roaches for pets?
The body of Humanity is just as accommodating as our individual bodies. It has manifested an illness out of our collective psychic pain. ‘Okay,’ it says, ‘here’s what it’s like to have your income in doubt, here’s what it’s like when the store shelves are empty, here’s what it’s like when you no longer have the right to assemble.’
All in all, I take this collective freak out as a good sign. It shows we’re releasing something. But this is not a painless process. Some of us are going to die from it. How do we handle that? Ironically, even as our pain manifests itself before our eyes, some of us deny responsibility for our share of the global disease. We in the West hoard toilet paper, proving how terrified we are of touching our own poo, because that might force us to realize first hand that we are the source of the foul pollution that surrounds us.
Eventually the spasm of fear will pass. Recovery will happen. Of course, having my appendix cut out did not move my sister back into the house (although she did come and visit me in the hospital). We will come out of this with exactly the same problems we went into it with, plus a new scar. But maybe we will be more grateful for what we have, maybe we’ll be more willing to work together to save ourselves from even greater pains.
So while you’re self-isolating, think on that. And read a bit of VF. Step back from the individual ego, and shift into the eternal I. Identify with that which never dies. Be reminded that the world, too, breathes in and out. Be patient. Sit back, relax, let someone tell you a story.
Once there was a species on the verge of extinction. They slipped into the void. Then the Light came and they were Illuminated…