Written for general and rural audiences, the following piece by Wolf nonetheless communicates some fundamental Anima principles, such as taking responsibility for our part in co-creating our reality and our world! It serves as a reminder of the price we will pay if we cling to the norms and rules of a society running headlong towards “distraction and destruction,” but it also applies to every unhealthful thing that we individually stick with, when we know that to honor ourselves and our needs means to make a scary and radical change. Consider sharing this piece with others, especially with folks you might sometimes have a harder time communicating your ideas to. -Kiva
There’s an expression popular in the Old West and elsewhere, about not “changing horses in midstream,” and that may be good advice when riding across a river with a herd of overexcited mustangs. Then again, if that same otherwise well-loved horse is determined to paddle headlong towards the perilous edge of a 300 feet tall waterfall, it might not be such a bad idea to hop off and crawl aboard a mount with more savvy and sense. And in a way, we’re always “midstream” in both life and history, but that’s no reason at all not to try and make a needed change.
“But I’ve put so much time and money in already,” some might say, “I’d be wasting my investment, my hours, my vote, or the years I’ve spent with so-and-so.” I’ve heard this excuse used to explain pouring more money into fixing a lemon of a car that’s had one expensive part break after another, used to rationalize continuing to support an elected official when they’re obviously blowing it, to justify continuing to stay in an unhappy marriage after decades of mutually administered misery, and to rationalize remaining at a job that kills one’s spirit and prevents them from ever trying to do the kinds of things they would really love to be doing. This is akin to a frustrated cook repeatedly adding valuable ingredients or spices to a hopelessly botched recipe in vain hopes of salvaging it, when it might be cheaper and more effective to start over from scratch!
The direction of our society and even our species may very well be towards some undelineated yet very real precipice. But like that cowboy in the old saying, we too have an option – even a calling – to get the heck off and find the best means for getting back to the solid shore. In this effort, it is crucial that we not stick with what we’ve known if any aspect of what we’ve known proves wrong, that we seek a direction quite possible different from that of both the madly panicking and the too-well behaved herds.
I don’t want you’ve been told, but we can’t let little things like fear, relative powerlessness, busy schedules, depressed moods, massive federal laws and ponderous regulations, world court decisions or politicians machinations, family disapproval or habitual hesitancy, slick-bottomed lawyers or invasive agencies get in the way of our work to stop the unbearable, right clear wrongs, heal what needs healing and redirect a culture going ever further astray. If there is anything we don’t like about the way things are going, then we have a responsibility to do what we can to alter it.
If we don’t each make a shift, before long we will still be celebrating the 4th of July, but patriotism will have come to stand for obedience rather than great efforts in behalf of human liberty. We may have reached the point of relative safety from certain kinds of terrorism, but only at the cost of subjecting ourselves to a terrifyingly omnipotent and manipulative system, with our every act monitored, evaluated and either rewarded or penalized. Citizen owned firearms will most likely be tightly regulated or completely banned, while agencies of oppression, street criminals and outright thugs will carry more advanced weaponry than ever. The government might make us somewhat safer from outside threats, but at the same time there will be little of the Constitution left to protect us from that government. We’ll be able to vote electronically from home, but big money and slanted media will still decide elections. All races will be able to be elected to high positions in the government, but they will be just as subject to the established power brokers, funders and lobbyists. A majority of the jobs in this country could be federally created, funded or subsidized and directed from the top. Women will have an easier time breaking into careers, but most won’t enjoy their soulless jobs anymore than men do. Well paying positions will be lost to overseas labor pools, and an ever greater percentage of our food will be imported. More of that food may make its way into stores, but who knows what chemicals will be in it, and what American farmers can grow will be controlled by official departments and corporations owning the patents to not only seeds but genes. Zoos will develop ever more realistic enclosures for their captive animals, but outside their walls there’s likely to be darn little wildlife and habitat left.
Unless we do something about it, in the near future there may still be natural, undeveloped places to test our mettle and strengthen our skills, but it’s likely that visitors will be required to show I.D., buy permits, avoid any hunting or gathering of wild foods, stay on the designated trails and promise to not stay past dark. Salmon could fill a few currently empty rivers and streams again, but if so it’s likely they will be the tasteless, heartless, farmed variety. Cosmetic surgery could reach new extremes, and scientists may be able to easily manufacture replaceable body parts, but people probably still won’t like their bodies. Herbs and other forms of self and community healing will be over regulated or made illegal, while the multinational pharmaceutical companies make ever more money on our misfortune and suffering.
What’s more, the video screen will surely feature thousands of stations, yet with still very few programs worth watching. Every tale ever written will be available on the internet, but hardly anyone will voluntarily choose to read a book when they can be playing video games instead. Rural cultures will be starved or gentrified, with urban areas increasingly becoming hectic and unlivable. Even if we can afford to fly to exotic countries for vacations, destination countries will increasingly look all the same. There may be new technologies developed so we don’t have to depend on expensive oil and gas anymore, but it will be the same profiteering international oil and gas companies that own them, and the average person will still have a heck of a hard time paying for the needed energy.
A major disempowering misconception is that the President, legislature, global corporate heads, think tank weenies, media pundits and so called experts really put our interests first, that they have any clue as to what’s best for us, that even know where they are going or will take us the way we need to go. Another is the claim that jumping off into unknown, unplumbed and admittedly fast moving waters is somehow more treacherous or dangerous than keeping our feet in familiar stirrups, closing our eyes and holding on! The biggest lie of all may be that we are supposedly unable or unequipped to decide for ourselves, or that we need anyone’s permission to make the necessary radical switch. Not only is it our right and responsibility to pick the horse we ride at any given moment, but we also have feet and hands of our own. From the time we are little, we can walk, and we can swim… and we can all make out the roar of the falls, the nearer we get to the rim.
(A future Anima Correspondence Course will be on the topic of change and choice. Please copy, forward and post this piece freely)