A new José Stevens Article

Brutish Change: The Silver Lining

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We have been discussing the theme of massive change and this article continues to uncover the opportunities available, even if they seem to come through the back door or in very unusual ways.

These are times when people are faced with the whole concept of fake news, not knowing what to believe anymore. With the highest officials of the land blatantly lying to discredit their opposition, to further their own agenda, or to distract from their more nefarious dealings, they are laying the groundwork for people to question everything that they thought was true. Now on the surface this can be seen as very destructive and damaging to the psyche of the nation and in fact it is those things. We seem to be living in an upside down world where everyday people and even celebrities are entertaining seemingly crazy ideas such as people reverting to the notion that the world is flat, that climate change is a hoax, that the USA never went to the moon, that the holocaust never took place and on and on. Many of these ideas evolve into outrageous conspiracy theories and almost any crazy thing can be entertained by masses of people due to a number of factors 1. Lack of adequate education  2. instant messaging of social media sites and 3. destabilization of society. One could easily decide that the population is losing its mind and decompensating into insanity and there is some truth to this. These are dangerous ideas because they can lead to total loss of values, loss of ethical behavior, and any semblance of civilized behavior. We have seen perfectly civilized people deteriorate into savages on any number of occasions in human history. It can happen again. That is the negative potential.

I was a child during the 1950’s, a time that for all appearances all was innocent and positive in the United States. With hindsight we now know that there was a thin veneer of pleasantness and that the reality was alcoholism, child abuse, spousal abuse, serious racial discrimination, drug abuse, nuclear proliferation and a dark underbelly to the times. All this was revealed in time and we were able to change in some very positive ways. It would be safe to say that there is always a dark underbelly and yet if these dysfunctions are addressed much can be accomplished.

Even though we are now facing dangerous trends there is a silver lining that may help us at this momentous time of change. When people question reality, truth can find its way through the cracks. Let us take for example the wild notion that the earth is really flat, a return to beliefs of the middle ages. We might ask, “How can anyone in their right mind go back to that belief?” With scientific research and discovery we abandoned that notion and embraced the new doctrine that the world is round. Yet perhaps there is room for various levels of truth. To a farmer plowing a field or a driver on a freeway the world may appear fairly flat. This is a limited perspective but it is a practical notion for everyday activity, especially for baby souls. To the farmer or driver the world is only theoretically round but they don’t actually experience it visually. So there is room for their belief as long as it includes the notion that in the larger context it is also round, a notion that is more acceptable to young and mature souls. Now by questioning the doctrine of roundness we pave the way for the possibility that there is an even higher truth, that the world is a construct and actually is put together in our minds, a notion that old souls are more inclined to hold. This does not negate the fact that on one level it is visually flat, and on the next level up it is round to accommodate the phenomenon of seasons, gravity, circumnavigating the globe in air travel and so on. Yet saying the world is in fact only round is still limited. In the end after all the craziness, we may be actually paving the way for an even higher truth, that the physical universe has physical attributes but in the end it is purely in the mind, projected outwards in various ways according to our needs of the moment. Maybe it is all these things simultaneously. So a higher truth can come out of questioning our assumptions. Granted the average person is not ready for these greater abstractions but future generations may look at today’s assumptions as rather quaint.

We are in a time when the most basic assumptions are being called into question. Out of these questions brilliant minds will find a way through the rigidity and discover all manner of truths we never thought possible. That is how we evolve. The old order is eroding down with regularity and there are certain time periods, like now, when it comes crashing down all together.  By witnessing the ugliness, the brutishness of this administration, great positive change will come about, never mind the minority baby souls that want to be blindly led by hard line thugs. Their temporary feelings of safety are so tentative, so fragile, so insecure.

Perhaps by questioning and denying climate change we will find out more than ever about how it is actually proceeding. Already we are discovering the extent to which many corporations are taking it seriously and have already married their fortunes to sustainable practices. This is where the future money is. There is no turning this trend back. Perhaps by trying squeeze the life out of the EPA we will discover how essential it really is and will build a world around its core mission. All is not as it seems or appears.

Sometimes things are not how we think they should be either. For example, who would have thought that because of its attempts to make gun laws more stringent the Obama administration saw the greatest gun buying spree this nation has ever seen? Now with a pro gun administration, younger souls have relaxed and guns sales are way down. What many mature and older souls don’t quite understand is that as long as there are significant numbers of younger souls in the population not everything can be accomplished through legislation or force. Education and peer pressure is sometimes the better and more effective approach. Anything that reduces the irrational fears in the population is needed. LGBT rights will probably not be accomplished as much through legislation as by education and exposure to the public at large in a positive way. Angry attempts to force change on a fearful public will almost always meet with terrific resistance because of the fundamental underlying problem, irrational fear.  Yes, there were many positive civil rights gains through legislation in the 1960’s and 70’s. But it did not cure the basic problem of racism because that is based on fear. Today we can question just how far we have come in race relations. Women’s voting rights were accomplished more through education than violent protest and the list of changes accomplished in this way is long.

For many of you these are not politically correct ideas. In fact, because of long held beliefs about fairness and justice, they may make some of you angry. However an understanding of soul age here is a must if we are ever going to get to a just society. No matter how much we legislate, younger souls are always going to find loopholes and ways around compliance as long as they are afraid and rigid. The only way through is to lower the fear levels and that requires exposure and re-educating the youth. Let the old hard liners die off through attrition. They are the dinosaurs and it is not worth trying to convert them. Unfortunately they are now in positions of authority and legislating their own insane laws however this is not sustainable and they will be swept away because it is not what the younger people actually want.

Now let us turn our attention to a hard core truth that is not going to go away. Our world is rapidly being taking over by automation, artificial intelligence, and robotics. Many jobs that create slaves out of people are being lost forever. We think we need these jobs because according to our economy, that is the only way for many people to survive and they desperately want them. This creates the insanity of people  actually wanting such jobs as coal mining where they undergo horrific conditions and early death. Anyone can get use to anything and people do get attached to nasty jobs that hurt them just as people get used to being in prison and feel safer there than in the open society. One hundred years from now people will think of these jobs as horrendous and unconscionable, pure slavery. Fortunately they are going away. So what will people do for a living?

There is no question that people need work, they need to apply themselves to problem solving and using their bodies to get things done. That need is not going to go away. People will always work no matter what because we are work oriented creatures. Surfing, rock climbing, gardening and a host of activities are work and people do these things for free and they always will . What we are facing is a fundamental change so great that most of us can barely imagine it, a world where people do not work for money, but simply for satisfaction. From this point of view capitalism as we know it is doomed. What happens when all our needs are met by robotics? That day is coming and coming faster than anybody thinks. All truck drivers, all laborers in every arena are at risk. These jobs are gong extinct. There are better things to do with peoples’ time and creativity and talent than to drive a truck or dig trenches or pick vegetables and so on. Say good-bye to all –isms and all –ocracies because none are right for the future. We will have to come up with something never done before , never conceived of before except perhaps in the minds of science fiction writers. The future looks more like Star Trek than anything we have seen in the past.

How will we distribute wealth and opportunity in a fair and equal way? Who will own what? Will there be ownership of anything? Will there be an economy? Will there be haves and have nots? Will everyone be share holders in everything? You can sense the nature of the challenges. Anything we are attached to because we have simply grown used to it and it has always been that way, is going away. Will there be countries or nations or borders? How will we be educated? How will we handle rule breakers and prisons? How will we determine how much to blend our biological organisms with genetic modifications, with implants, with artificial intelligence, with enhancements, and such? What will we become? Who will be able to live? Who will make the decisions about all these things? Those of you that are older like me had better be prepared to reincarnate into a world that is completely alien to anything you or I have experienced before. Those just being born better be prepared to adapt to unimaginable changes during their lives because it is inevitable. Nothing has prepared us for the changes we are going to be asked to make. Better make friends with change now.

Meanwhile opportunity is everywhere. What do people do while the storm rages outside? They mend clothes, they read, they write, think, pray, meditate. In short they prepare for the future. They don’t just wring their hands and moan about the weather. The storm rages all around. Put on your thinking cap. Dream big.

 

 

José Stevens

José Stevens PhD is an international lecturer, corporate team builder and organizational coach, consultant and trainer. A psychologist, licensed clinical social worker and author of more than twenty books and numerous articles, he is also co-editor for A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism and a board member of the Society for Shamanic Practitioners. He is the founder, with his wife Lena, of the Power Path School of Shamanism and The Center for Shamanic Education and Exchange, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating youth in indigenous cultures. He has completed a ten-year apprenticeship with a Huichol Maracame in Mexico and has studied with the Shipibos of the Amazon and the Paqos of the Andes for the last thirty years.