Challenging Times

UMS Zoom Discussion- 8/16/20

Challenging Times!!

Facilitator: Lance Lockwood

Discussion Outline

Again dealing with current events relative to racial injustice, coronavirus, and politics.  I am seeing and hearing of folks being in a state of panic and even one of mild depression.

-Panic primarily stemming from stress and fear

-Depression, in this case, stemming from a feeling of hopelessness and despair

It appears that these conditions will be with us for quite a while.

As metaphysicians, we generally believe that we are spiritual being having a human experience.  How can we leverage this knowledge to guide us through these challenging times?  Keep in mind that these are challenges for today, there were challenges in the past, and there will be challenges in the future.

What are your fundamental set of principles, perspectives and practices that will guide you, and help diminish the possibility of falling into these negative mental and emotional states or, that will help you out of these states?

To kick things off, I want to mention four ideas from the teaching of Eckhart Tolle that I believe are relevant to our discussion today:

  1.  We live in two worlds
    1. Form / doing
    1. Being / the transcendent dimension
  • The universe evolves through:
    • Order and disorder
    • Order and chaos
  • The evolution of consciousness goes into disorder or regression before the next level of evolution happens.
  • The evolution of consciousness is inevitable.

So; are things unfolding just as they should, as planned? Or

Is this an opportunity to advance into the next level of evolution, on both the personal and the collective consciousness levels?

How do we put all this into perspective to keep us out of panic and depression or, in my case, just feeling that I are caring around a heavy anchor that I just can’t put down?  This can makes you feel very tire.


Discussion Notes

Thoughts, ideas and remedies shared:

What is it specifically that you are feeling that is hard to manage right now? 

Pandemic limits our ability to move, congregate, it is scary, out of our control, and we have no solutions.  I have issue with the racial tension, and in my case, I am black and in the middle of it.  I do think heavily about politics in this election year. Things I am thinking are not positive.  There are unpleasant things constantly going on in my mind that makes me tired. 

These issues really sound like uncertainty.  There is no certainty from one moment to the next.  If we are striving for certainty, we are striving for something impossible.  Certainty is fantasy.

If there is going to be uncertainty now and in the future how do we put into perspective?

What you are feeling is not unusual and a lot of people are feeling the same.  Try to keep self healthy, and happy. Tomorrow will take care of itself.

As metaphysician, how do we position ourselves to ride this out and position ourselves for the next time?

We are all grieving loss of life as we once knew it.  We are all going through different levels of grief.  Final level is acceptance.  Allow ourselves to feel fully, and not suppress these feelings.

Think about how one can contribute with positive actions.  There will be a rebirth that happens out of this.  What we are going through is impermanent. So, transcend this impermanence through meditation.  Witness what is going on without attachments.  Otherwise, every single day would be difficult to handle.

In Astrological terms – Things are always moving.  Whatever we are in now will not stay this way.  Everything is going to change. 

Eckhart Tolle suggests that we live more in the world of being, as opposed to the world of form/doing. This helps to escape suffering.

Ok, how do we get there?

Racial issues weigh heavily going back to horrible crimes of slavery hundreds of years ago.

We need to come to a place in our own minds and hearts where we can see each person as a spiritual being, and part of the great oneness.

We will then more likely see these actions as horrible inflictions upon ourselves.

Uncertain times can be uncomfortable, and don’t always come with obvious and custom made answers. So, we need to become comfortable with being uncomfortable.

We need to educate ourselves, listen to people’s experiences and look to be a part of the solution.  Pain and uncomfortableness are not for us to run away from or get depressed about. They may be just what we need to spur us into action; to determine where our hearts are, and what our next step should be.

Eckhart Tolle calls this– going through a period of awakening.  Awakening from living in ego and the collective unconscious.  When we start seeing the problems and issues before us, we begin to awaken and rise above.  This is a good thing. From here we can work on solutions which should always be done as a spiritual exercise.

Many of us are worrying about things we can’t fix, can’t control.  Stop worrying about things in the world we can’t control. 

Some of us think more about our spirituality in the benefits of nature.  We may not meditate, but do remember to sit and breathe.  This puts us more at ease.  Think of things that brought us joy. When we feel things that grieve us, we consciously move these feeling from third chakra up to the fourth chakra, the heart, and give it love.

Some people can’t turn things off, and are compelled to do.  We cannot just be.  We then need to understand the duality of our existence; the being, and the doing. Some challenges do require action. However, doing should always be done from a spiritual perspective, in order to stay out of the ego. Instead of demonizing a situation or person, keep a spiritual and positive perspective. Know that this is evolution in action, and that evolution is inevitable, and positive.

In Hinduism, there is an idea of two path of enlightenment:  Meditation, sit on mountain, focus attention etc., another path is devotional labor. No matter what is being done: dishes, digging ditch, everything you do with spirit of devotion as if offering to the Devine.   It is less about ego and more about the being state.

This year, 2020, gave us a lot of focus.  Many have awoken from sleeping on a lot of issues.  We have seen things that were seemingly orderly, turn into disorder and chaos. Because of this awakening, we see many things differently now. That is evolution in action. 

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