Over a year now, I believe, when we in the United States began to be pulled into a long, continuous story of outrage – every statement, behavior or past exploit by a certain public figure more distasteful than its precedent. Depending upon one’s level of emotional intelligence, or exposure to gentler, more cultured and generally acceptable behaviors, processing these discoveries and events have ranged in response from fear to frustration, from denial to disgust. There are those who’ve chosen to proffer excuse and justification, and those who’ve chosen to condemn and confront. Few, however, consider from whence these emotions and feelings are rising, which may be the media and social conversations to which they are self-exposed – stories that are manufactured, spun in a specific direction, and presented as they are for one purpose only: ratings. (After all, a reality-television-show addicted society must, by logical consequence, produce a reality-television-show environment, including the presidency.)
It is very popular right now to choose sides; I have done so myself, taking sides against what I consider wrong, and for what I consider to be right. I have allowed anger, outrage, fear, and worry to enter and inform my personal experience, even as my personal experience has not changed. To be sure, there is a social momentum taking place, and there are folks who are passionately called to engage with that movement. As in all cases, “boots on the ground” make the difference, verses preaching from the keyboard pulpit. At this point, I can’t say that I am the former, but I have certainly let my feelings known in the past by way of the latter. What is not popular right now, is what many of us intended in the way we were choosing to live our lives prior to all this absurdity: the spiritual journey – to see with the Eye behind the eyes, to hear with the Ear behind the ears, to feel with the Heart behind the heart.
Two roads are diverging in a distant wood, but the wood is not so distant, and perhaps the divergence has already taken place, a remedy for which would be to stop forward momentum on the current path and reestablish one’s bearing. We are constantly presented with a choice: step into the chaos of the story, or tune into the higher frequencies, the higher vibrations, of a moment-by-moment, well-considered life. The moment our momentum into chaos takes a break and we remember we are at choice, we experience the immediacy of clarity, and of the present moment. But the second we go to that next news story, read that next social share by those who are in the momentum of the chaos themselves, we, ourselves, are pulled back into the chaos.
What peace is there in the chaos? If my tune is really the tune of a higher vibration and ascendant consciousness, then how is my participation in the chaos benefiting a global shift? Or have I been faking my spiritual tune, going along with what’s popular within my social circle, acceding to what has been socioculturally habituated or even convenient?
We are constantly being bombarded by the media with the lowest common denominator of human experience, and I can forgivably include myself in the assemblage of seekers, positive thinkers and viewers of higher perspective who, from time to time, eschew the foundations of spiritual practice and philosophical theory for the convenience of the popular conventional conversation – perhaps out of some secretive wish to participate, if even at a level into which I don’t fully buy-in(?) – but again I inquire: what peace is there in the chaos? And, with my understanding of the way of things ascendant, how is my participation in conflict, the standard of which, again, is set by the lowest common denominator, benefitting the planet? Hell, how is it benefitting me?
If stepping into the story means that I am actually doing something physical and measurable to influence the chaos toward my perception of the way things should be, then yes, I guess I could consider myself in the midst of the creative process toward solution, and that would be fabulous. If stepping into the story means that I am only taking on and furthering the low frequency feelings of angst and anxiety, then maybe there is a more productive and beneficial choice; that is our own to determine, and it’s not such an easy one to make.
But you, spiritual seekers, positive thinkers and viewers of broader perspective, this choice (and fortunately, we’re always at choice) of stepping into the chaos of the manufactured story, or tuning into higher frequencies of focus and creative expression to positively and beneficially influence the immediacy of your own experience and elevate the ascendant consciousness from where you are – as you committed to do as the conscious individual which you have held yourself out to be – is ripe for the making. And I’d like to invite you to access what’s available in the immediacy of your own experience – of your own breath – here within the opportunity provided by space, where you can take a moment to consider the two roads diverging in Robert Frost’s yellow wood; and I’d like to submit to you that the wood is yellow because the sun is rising upon the darkness.
Dare to step out of the commonality of herd behavior and collective experience – because if everyone is doing it, it is no longer original thought. And if it’s no longer original thought, then there can be no expectation of change, only a furtherance of the thinking that perpetuates the mess and keeps the problems locked in place – same script, different cast – almost like trying to have a conversation with an echo.
“I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.” – Robert Frost
RJ Starr is a writer, poet and inspirational speaker based in South Florida