Hope vs. Despair
I believe that Awakening comes before Transformation. My personal experience would suggest that Transformation happens through SUSTAINED Awakening. My deep question over the course of my life has been “How to create or recognize the fertile soil needed to facilitate this awakened state for personal growth, my own and others’ on the many levels possible within the wide open field of human potentiality?” My journey of Awakening and walking the path of consciousness and striving to remain on this path, has both haunted and inspired me. This little piece of writing is for myself and others who desire to step out of the vicious cycle or loop of either Hope or Despair.
I purchased a book recently by the title Active Hope by Joanna Macy & Chris Johnstone. While the book has so much merit, I personally believe that hope, active or false or otherwise “authentic”, is NOT an antidote to despair.
In the book by Franceen Neufeld “Suffering Eyes- A Chronicle of Awakening“, the appeal is not to Hope but to Awakening your relationship with All of life with Hope the possible consequence .
The Journey of Awakening, is what ignites Compassion. Calvin Neufeld speaks of compassion in this way in the Afterword of this book Suffering Eyes:
Compassion that has limits or compassion that is selective, is not compassion but just an abstraction. The real thing is total. “Your suffering is my suffering, your peace, my peace.” Compassion is not a command to “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Compassion is the INABILITY to do to others as you would NOT have done to you because your pain IS my pain because I SEE YOU.
Tommy Rosen, about the subject of Addiction in his third Conference “Beyond Recovery 2.0” (2014) speaks of one possible definition of addiction… ANYTHING that causes you to look away, has the potential to become an addiction. A turning away rather than a turning towards with open eyes and an open heart and a commitment to being an agent for change.
Robert Masters in his book “The Way of the Lover-The Awakening & Embodiment of The Full Human” includes a chapter on hope: Hope is Nostalgia For the Future. This is some of what he has to say:
Hope is no more than despair taking a crash course in positive thinking. Uproot hope and you will have also uprooted despair; pain may still be present but it will no longer merely be something to flee or fix (at least not fix necessarily directly or with immediate results…my words), but rather the periphery of an intensity through which we must pass. (for the purpose of Using that newfound strength in vulnerability to affect lasting change for the betterment of oneself and the world…my words)
Hope is bravely smiling doubt. Its promises only seduce us into postponing now, a storybook romance with later.
Hope doesn’t see, and hope doesn’t free. There is no hope for hope. Who really needs its misguided reading of the past, and its misguided loyalty to the future?
Hope murders ecstasy, by ADDICTING us to possibility. Where hope ends, we begin. When the lights are left on, there’s no need to grope for hope.
In conclusion, apart from tending to the many irons in my own Fire of Life, I am looking to continue to be an agent for Change and Transformation for the Awakening process in Others and for Furthering that process in Myself…to model responsible, conscious living to the degree I am able, moment to moment, looking at what is in front of me, examining and healing any of my own Control Patterns (a term of Aletha Solter’s , see “Aware Parenting”) left-over from childhood that in adulthood have, over time, transmuted (as they often do if not consciously brought to light… mind you, this being an on-going, life-long journey of self-examination for all), into addictions or destructive habits or behaviours of one kind or another. Carolyn Myss surmises that as we are not born conscious, we all carry the addict archetype, addictions running rampant in our current world to an alarming degree and on a constant up-swing. Tommy Rosen even suggests that the COMPULSION to look away IS the ultimate addiction whatever form it takes. Thus the act of facing what’s in front of us head on, is an invitation to awakening (my words).
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, is a book that I am studying daily as one of the many means of support I am availing myself of in this current period of my life.
As my daughter’s Home Birth Doctor always said in times of need, “Carry On Bravely!” This is what I am doing in my most challenging and even best moments, for it is in our best moments also within which we tend to go unconscious.