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What Good Is a Crisis?

Posted by Roberta Grimes • April 25, 2020 • 41 Comments
Human Nature

Disaster is the mother of good fortune.
There is so much comfort in the usual, a
nd so much risk in anything that’s new,
That our lives plod into the grave without our noticing their passage
Unless some fortunate tragedy blunders in our way.

One of the loveliest things about humankind is our zesty adaptability, our vast creative optimism that can make crises into opportunities. A recent Seek Reality guest is a very successful woman who told us that a dozen years ago her life had seemed to be over. She had been unemployed, in a failed marriage, plagued by health problems, financially bereft, and altogether without hope. To see her now, it is impossible to imagine that she ever has been less than a star! And there are so many stories like hers. As I think back, I realize that lots of our most inspiring Seek Reality guests have shared with us tales of dead-ended lives upon which the guests had built great successes that would not have been possible if some tragedy or other hadn’t cleared their former lives away.

The poem that begins and ends this post has no attribution because it is one of several that apparently I wrote in my teens. By now, I don’t recall most of them. But I loved this one, especially the counter-intuitive wisdom of “salutary calamities” and “the reckless despair of misfortune.” I still recall it more than fifty years later. Of course, no teenager has the depth of understanding nor the breadth of experience to write something like this! I had of late become convinced that I am misremembering having written it. I assumed that instead I must have read it somewhere, but I did a search and found nothing. The only other poem from that time that I recall is even more sophisticated than this one, so I realize that if in fact I wrote them, all those poems must have been channeled. Thomas was gearing me up to undertake the future that he and I had planned.

Covid-19 could be a nothing-burger, or it could be a long-term plague. It still is impossible to know. We do know, however, that the massive worldwide effort being made to address the illness is forcing us out of our established ruts. Just as efficiently as would a serious war or a good-sized meteor hitting the earth, measures being taken to deal with the pandemic are disrupting Western civilization. So now we are living through a hinge in history. A new and much better modern world is seeking to be born from the ashes of the industrial age that is dying now before our eyes. The process of this death and rebirth is likely to vary by country, but here are eight quick U.S. examples of the creative destruction that is now underway:

  • Working from home is a new normal. Our younger daughter and her husband are saving so much commuting and work-kibitzing time that they are getting a lot more done. Our older daughter lives in Seattle, an early hotbed of contagion, so she came to visit for a couple of workweeks in March that seemed to be mostly online meetings. She was surprised to see that her actual location made so little difference; and now many others are making that same discovery. A business-savvy friend is urging people to sell their office towers. She says the future for even the biggest non-factory businesses is going to be much smaller buildings and most employees working off-site.
  • Better alternatives to public schools are going to be a lot more common. Our public education system is a relic of the early-twentieth-century factory age, when workers needed a place to park their children and prepare them for the boredom of becoming factory workers, too. Public schooling is highly restrictive. It enforces a stultifying conformity, and it teaches our cleverest children to hate the whole idea of school. Its demise is long overdue! Many parents had already begun to use more exciting online schooling methods, and now many more are trying them and are becoming comfortable with them.
  • Most post-secondary education will be moving online. Our extraordinarily expensive and increasingly trivialized college system was already dying. Now, as even elite schools are being forced to educate their students online, more and more people are coming to see that much more and better information can be imparted more efficiently and at a fraction of the cost of old-style, four-year, on-site programs. Look for this nation’s second-tier colleges and universities to move toward becoming mostly or entirely online, and expect downward pressure on the absurd prices of even our first-tier institutions.
  • Many churches that have closed temporarily will before long close for good. My husband must be the eighth or ninth most religious Catholic in the United States. Now even he happily heads to his computer on Sunday mornings and attends Mass online. Whatever their denominations might be, very religious people are getting used to the fact that they don’t need to go to a church building every Sunday morning! And less religious but spiritually sincere people are devoting more of their Sunday time to reading and watching YouTubes, to experimenting with prayer and meditation, and to finding other ways that they can seek and relate to God more directly. The manifold positive effects to come as we free more people from fear-based preachers so they can come to know the God of love will contribute to our swelling spiritual transformation! Two thousand years ago Jesus said, “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you” (MT 6:6). Thanks to the present crisis, more Christians than ever are happily heeding the Lord’s call that we free ourselves from religious regimentation and relate more directly to the genuine Godhead.
  • Very big cities are now being seen to be cumbersome, risky, and probably unsustainable. As more people move toward working from home and enjoying ever better alternatives for shopping, socializing, education, and worship, our present felt need to live close together is going to decline by a lot. And the dispersal of communities over the countryside will be an advantage if a big crisis comes, a more deadly pandemic or a meteor strike. In the event of a war, it will be harder for an enemy to subdue a widely dispersed and well-armed U.S. population.
  • The global-government idea is dying, while U.S. federalism is thriving. It is simple common sense that the closer a government is to the people it serves, the more responsive it is going to be. The notion of moving toward a global government made sense fifty years ago, but now it is starting to look as weary and antiquated as a horse and buggy. Even the vaunted European Union has not been aging very well, and U.N. institutions like the World Health Organization are not covering themselves in glory. On the other hand, the fifty U.S. states have done a much better job for their citizens as they have worked to address our health crisis than have any of our bloated federal institutions that are trying to back them up.
  • Support for national borders and immigration controls has been revived. When people coming into your country might be carrying some deadly disease, of course you want to be careful! For every sovereign nation to defend its borders and admit just healthy folks who are not carrying drugs or contraband is being seen by more people as a needed precaution.
  • Our personal lives have been invigorated. I have worked from home for many years so my life hasn’t been much altered by this social-distancing program, but there is something about being made to stay home that makes you soon want to rethink everything! For example, late in March I began to do what is called “intermittent fasting.” Now I eat only between noon and six, and supposedly my body goes into ketosis each night. It’s a healthier way to live, and my clothes are getting loose! Then ten days ago I began to walk for half an hour each morning. Far from tiring me, regular walking seems to be giving me more energy.

Thanks to this fortuitous crisis, we are rapidly coming to see that a lot of our twentieth-century habits were in the process of dying anyway. Some of them were moribund even well before this year began. What our present restrictions have done has been to put a lot of ancient habits and weary institutions into a simultaneous spiral of creative destruction, and to clear away most of the resistance that would otherwise arise to trying fresh ideas. Thanks to our current crisis, we are entering a period of rapid change! The institutions of the twenty-first century already were being put into place, and now we are finding that they work a lot better, they are scalable, and they allow for a new age of personal freedom and opportunity that is unprecedented in living memory. Thanks to the wisdom of America’s forefathers in crafting our founding documents, all these changes are showing themselves to be positive, in the U.S. at least and probably in other developed nations as well.

And they will not be going away! In fact, this hugely disruptive pandemic may come to be seen in long retrospect to have been the dawning of a very much healthier, freer, entirely rethought, and far more glorious modern world.

Disaster is the mother of good fortune.
There is so much comfort in the usual, and so much risk in anything that’s new,
That our lives plod into the grave without our noticing their passage
Unless some fortunate tragedy blunders in our way.

There are many excellent disasters.
Bereavement is a wonderful one, and so is unemployment. Divorce. A major illness.
All salutary calamities for allowing new directions.
All tall, clear-headed moments of life
From which we can get high enough above the trees to see
All those other paths not taken.
And in the reckless despair of misfortune
We can leave our dead, familiar ways
And venture something new.

 

Eagle air show photo credit: Thomas James Caldwell <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/81643710@N00/29368739514″>Air Show</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>
Lady Liberty photo credit: Brian Auer <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/29814800@N00/445626502″>Liberty Close-Up</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>
Lovebird eagles photo credit: marneejill <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/7675787@N06/48226903356″>eagle pair</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>
Eagle face photo credit: howzey <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/10614970@N07/30382071174″>Bald Eagle</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>

Roberta Grimes

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41 thoughts on “What Good Is a Crisis?

  1. an ‘interesting’ time 😉 And time alone will tell what long-term global and national changes this pandemic will eventually bring.

    Undoubtedly there WILL be changes and we must hope they will be good changes. I expect some, perhaps many, will be like the curate’s egg – good in parts. But few, if any, changes will suit everyone and for good or for bad many are likely to be transient ones as a new order becomes established.

    Whether the new is better than the old may be down to personal perspective.

    1. Dear Mac, thank you for so well illustrating a point that I would have made more of, if only there had been space! This is, without doubt, a highly cultural matter. I try to steer clear of topics that are going to interest Americans primarily, but since this nation boxes above its weight on the world stage – and since a lot of international trends seem to get their start here – occasionally I think I see something here that may interest our friends in other countries. This is one such situation. No doubt you, dear Mac, being a citizen of the UK, are going to have quite a different perspective! My hunch is that Australians, who are citizens of another free-spirited New World country that boxes above its relative weight, will have a perspective closest to mine, but it is only in reading your words that I realize how chauvinistic my perspective really is. I am an American. I have never lived anywhere else. And because that is true, here are three of my own biases:

      1) I favor the individual! I am much in favor of
      a) Empowering individuals, and limiting government to a service role;
      b) Assuming that individuals will know best in their own spheres, while governments are more distant and out of touch;
      c) Trusting in individual intuition and ideas to continue to make the world better, while governments are by their nature Luddite and protective of the needs and interests of bureaucrats.

      2) I believe in this nation’s founding principles of personal freedom and responsibility. Ours is actually the worst system on earth except for every other system: it’s not perfect, but the fact that it has proven to be so durable (ours is by far the longest-running and most successful form of government on earth) begins to prove that point. It may look messy, but it feels stable. And it works!

      3) I assume that since guns exist and there is no way to get rid of them all, then everyone who wants the responsibility of gun ownership should be allowed to carry one everywhere, for everyone’s safety. Living in Texas, I love the fact that a lot of the normal people around me are packing. The only mass shootings that happen in the US are in “gun-free zones,” which fact makes my point.

      Of course, people who live in the European countries – or indeed, anywhere else on earth but in the United States! – are likely to find at least one of these positions odd and foreign, and perhaps even all three. For me, it’s just the water in which I swim. And since in all the eight points set forth above, the trend is toward personal freedom and empowerment and a renewal of this nation’s founding principles, I naturally love where this seems to be taking us! If you feel otherwise, well, then that is what this comments section is for….

      1. I really enjoyed reading your post this week. There is much to be learned with these circumstances that were undreamt of less than four months ago. There will be changes some short term and others perhaps with a reshaping of what it means to be a citizen in this potentially very changing world. Thanks as always.

    2. No drastic changes will ever benefit everyone – at least not initially, but I do believe the online classes is a fantastic idea. The educational system has become a rip-off. I know many people who spent half their lives paying back school loans. That just shouldn’t be. On-line classes would reduce the expense of education to a great degree. As time goes on, they would improve more and more, and would eventually be the norm. Students could learn at their own pace to a cerain extent, thus eliminating the constant stress that the school system puts you through.

      1. Dear Lola, online learning does seem to be advancing to a remarkable degree. I agree that college costs are ridiculous at this point, and unsustainable: something had to give, and it appears that without our having to do much about it, the problem is already in the process of being solved. So all is good!

  2. There has definitely been a need for change and I am hopeful this time brings the change we’ve all needed. I am concerned about two things: How this will affect relationships and the education system. First, I am the type of person that needs an outside influence to get me moving and out of my head. In other words, having a reason to leave my house and interact with people is important for me, otherwise, I withdraw and go within too much. I keep myself in check but I know for some people this could cause major depression. Secondly, I am a public school teacher. While I’d be the first to tell you there are many things that need to change, what I miss the most right now is the interaction with my students. Sure, I can send work online, respond and grade, but it seems so impersonal. Many decisions I make are based on watching each individual student and how they interact with the concepts and materials. I have always thought I was good with keeping up with technology for the most part, but I don’t think I can continue to be an online teacher. At least not the way it’s going now. Nonetheless, I know this is an important time for all of mankind. Despite my personal concerns, I am excited to see what is on the other side of this for the good of all.

    1. Dear Vicky, thank you for sharing your concerns with us here! I think that many of us share them. One of my cousins is a public school teacher as well, and she also is concerned about where this is heading, even as she helps to temporarily homeschool her own grandchildren.

      But dear Vicky, there always will be a need for wonderful teachers. Since I read your comment several hours ago, I have been giving the whole matter of future schooling options more concrete thought, and I realize now that this topic is certain to be nuanced in ways that we all will see as positive. Not every parent can or should be a teacher! I think that in the future there will simply be many more options available, with children able to move among them as their needs change. For example:

      1) Public schools will remain the basic schooling version, but they will face more competition so they will have to up their game. Being encouraged to be more creative will probably delight good teachers!

      2) There will be magnet public schools too, especially in urban areas. In the STEM alternatives, in the arts, in languages, in music: there are a number of kinds of elementary and high school curricula that could keep children engaged while also better preparing them for their next stage of schooling.

      3) Charter schools that benefit from a voucher system could also be right for individual children.

      4) Traditional private schools aren’t going to go away.

      5) Homeschooling incorporates a variety of traditions. Most families seem to use a mix of the following:
      a) Prepared online curricula
      b) Museums and tours
      c) Off-site classes in music, art, gymnastics, sports
      d) Day and overnight adventures
      e) Unschooling, which means letting children decide how to spent their time.

      People who are trained as teachers will have more options for being useful to students, it seems to me, and not less.

      Competition and greater flexibility have been proven to be a winning formula in many fields. And what is more important than trying to give the best possible education to each individual child?

  3. I don’t care for the weblog format but in response to just one point I was surprised this past winter finding myself persuaded by the argument favoring the bearing of personal firearms. It came about after I was horrified to see a news video showing two churchgoers being shot and killed in their church in a suburb of Fort Worth, TX

    Thankfully another member acting as a security guard quickly shot and neutralized the shooter, his actions followed by other church members drawing their own weapons and training them on the shooter.

    Had those quick-thinking, alert, caring congregation members not been armed the shooter could have carried out a massacre of the congregation.

    My view changed that day just before 2020 began and I doubt it will return to what I believed earlier. I now support the right of citizens to bear arms, something I never expected I would say.

    1. Dear Mac, thank you so much for saying this! Churches are generally gun-free zones, but at this point most churches in Texas seem to be making a practice of inviting some trained parishioners to concealed-carry. In that case, it clearly made all the difference!

      I can understand that people who live in places where guns are not allowed kind of envision that letting regular folks walk around with guns would mean a lot of shootings, but in fact the opposite is true. Gun culture takes gun safety extremely seriously. People who want to carry guns do regular gun-range training, and as you saw in that Fort Worth church they are always ready. I have lived in Texas for fifteen years, and I have never even heard of an accidental discharge or any kind of innocent gun tragedy. I just feel a whole lot safer, knowing that my husband has guns at the ready at home and whenever I am in public there are good people around who are ready to protect me. It would be better if there were no guns! But since those days are long past, it is best to give the armory advantage to the good guys.

      1. I now understand your approach, Roberta, and I agree with you. Sometimes in life we encounter a situation that changes our outlook completely and that’s what happened to me.

        My winter home state of Arizona allows its citizens to carry concealed weapons without needing a license with certain rules governing openly-carried ones. If I were allowed to carry a gun there I now would – at one time I would totally have rejected that thought.

        1. Dear Mac, will they really not let you carry a gun? Would you need to be a citizen? That seems odd to me!

          1. I’m only ever a guest in the USA.

            Even though I’m a known, long-time visitor and have always complied with its laws I have no rights, only obligations. That’s how it should be and I’m not grumbling. 🙂 Without being a US citizen with ID I can’t legally buy or carry a gun.

            Despite having a US Embassy issued 10 year Visa in my passport I couldn’t even renew the clean Texas driving license I’d held for 7 years. And I can’t obtain an Arizonan one without a Social Security Number and be resident there.

            It’s all down to 9/11 with the totally justified, progressively-tightened homeland security after that fateful date.

    2. The right to bear arms certainly worked out pretty well in the situation in Ft. Worth, as it did in other cases. Five years ago, a similar situation occurred in another Southern state, but since none of the parishoners carried a gun, almost the entire congregation was murdered by a 16 year old male for the simple reason that the congregation was 95% black. If they had been allowed to “bear arms,” the outcome would have been very different. We have to face the fact that there are some very sick and angry people out there, and we have not only the right to protect ourselves from them, but also we have a responsibility to do so.

      1. Here in the UK we have no right to bear arms as you guys do. But criminals can and do obtain guns – price is no object with the huge amount of drug money sloshing around. It’s been claimed that arming our police would encourage criminals to do the same but criminals are already doing it.

        Confronted by a police officer some will use those guns and police officers have nothing to defend themselves. That situation needs to change.

        1. Dear Mac, I do find it incredible that in the UK even the police are not armed! So they have little ability to protect the innocents, and – as you point out – they are sitting ducks themselves. As the saying goes, “When guns are outlawed, only outlaws have guns.” Please stay safe, dear friend, when you are away from the protection of the armed citizens of Arizona!

          1. Thank you for your thoughts, Roberta. 🙂

            In regular UK city situations only specially-trained police officers are allowed to carry firearms when there’s a ‘shout’ for armed back up. At a few locations armed officers carry guns routinely – airports and places such as The Houses of Parliament in London, Downing Street etc. being high-risk areas. Otherwise our beat bobbies have only their staffs and Tasers, the latter often ineffective. 🙁 Your saying is totally apt and I think in time we’ll eventually have armed officers in my tiny country.

            I was slightly shocked when a new, much-younger-than-me (who isn’t!?) Arizonan friend spoke with me this past winter about certain rough areas in the city – largish town! – we both live in there. He told me how he avoids certain districts and his reasons but also that he carries a concealed gun when he does have to go there.

            Those words got through to me, perhaps aided by his mom being a corrections officer in a nearby town – there are lots of gaols in zip codes adjacent to ours.

            It’s a rum world in places…. 🙁

  4. My understanding is that the Chinese character for the word “crisis” is a combination of the characters for “danger” and “opportunity”. Imo that is a very interesting concept, and describes how Roberta is teaching us to see the coronavirus pandemic!

    The Greek word “krisis”, which means exactly what it sounds like, is imo mis-translated in John 5:29, wherein Jesus is talking about the two different kinds of resurrections:

    “And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”

    In addition to “damnation” in the King James version, the word “krisis” is also translated as “judgment” and “condemnation” by other translations.

    Let’s see what happens when we insert the Chinese definition of the word “krisis”:

    “And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of danger and opportunity.”

    Hmmm. The “resurrection of danger and opportunity” almost sounds like reincarnation, doesn’t it?

    Nah, couldn’t be. All the churches know Jesus never would have sanctioned such a blasphemous idea… and of course he wasn’t serious when he said John the Baptist was Elijah…

    1. Dear Duke, thank you for this – it’s beautifully done!

      I agree with you that the cited phrase is a likely reference to reincarnation. I urge people not to read the King James version because it is archaic and sometimes downright scary, and in the NASB – a modern translation – JN 5:29 is: “and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.” Now, since Jesus also tells us in the Gospels that the only judgment is by ourselves, this does pretty strongly suggest that people who haven’t quite hit the mark in this lifetime – and therefore managed to stay in the afterlife, or just “life” – are going to judge themselves to need another go-round here!

      I love your reference to the Chinese character as well – thanks! – I had forgotten about that. It is not often that two so different languages can come together so well in a single meaning!

  5. Duke: This does sound like it could possibly be reincarnation/ The possibilities of both danger and opportunities are a part of almost everyone’s life. As far as reincarnation is concerned, people in the days of Jesus almost always believed in it, but if Jesus said anything about it, you can be sure it was taken out by the translators, as Christianity was built on a one chance and one chance only religion. I’m surprised they left the part about Elijah in the bible.

    1. Dear Lola, there actually are several references to reincarnation in the Gospels. Here is my favorite:

      “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

      Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit”(JN 3:3-8).

      Of course, the Christians try to use the born-again reference to refer to baptism and to our being somehow special because we accepted Jesus as our personal savior; but we know that baptism makes no afterlife difference, and that Jesus never made this kind of distinction. No, this is reincarnation. Anyone who has attended a birth knows that being born of “water and the Spirit” describes it well, and of course after death we are spirit again and we can move as the wind. And all of this remains, even after the Councilors at Nicaea in 325 tell us that they removed everything about reincarnation they could find. Wouldn’t you love to know what else Jesus said about it?

      1. I sure would love to know anything Jesus said about it. Even if they found a written record buried under the sand, that information would not be made public, so it’s a real shame. I did hear that passage you mentioned – always by Christians, but like you said, they interpreted it to mean that you have to “let Christ into your heart and thank him for dying for your sins.” You then become spiritually reborn, according to them. They then went on and said that if you didn’t follow that procedure, you would be hell bound and they claimed that this was said by Jesus himself. I am the worst bible scholar in the world, but I don’t recall anything like that except for “outer darkness” which isn’t their version of hell. I think we touched on this fairly recently, and that you found out that the concept of hell (meaning fire and brimstone) was added many years after Christ was here. Let me know if I’m wrong, but that’s how I remember it.

        1. Yes, dear Lola, the outer darkness – which does exist! – didn’t seem sufficiently awful for the early Church Fathers, so they added perpetual fire and Satan’s pitchfork. I recall reading one priest’s rant delivered around the turn of the 20th century, in which he was insisting that infants be baptized because if they died unbaptized they would burn alive in hell forever – except that they would briefly be allowed a glimpse of the wonderful heaven where the good, baptized children would go, so they could forever know what they were missing. You’ve just gotta love the sadistic ingenuity of Christianity, don’t you?

          1. That priest should be confined in a straightjacket because he is downright crazy! Who could dream up these ridiculous rules? Anyone over the age of 5 would know that it wouldn’t be an infant’s fault if he or she wasn’t baptized. Any baptismal ceremony I went to consisted only of a few Latin words muttered over a peacefully sleeping infant and then pouring water over the sleeping baby’s forehead, causing the child to scream in terror at being awakened from a sound sleep. Let me guess……I bet there was a fee for this short ceremony. Hmmm

  6. Others who teach spiritual matters are coming to see the present crisis in much the same way. I receive a daily email from Fr. Richard Rohr, a Catholic monk who heads The Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Fr. Rohr and his team strive mightily to make sophisticated and deeply learned Catholicism fit with the kind of spirituality that you and I are pursuing directly from the Gospels, without sharing the monks’ burden of religious dogmas. I very much respect their scholarship, and I love watching them try to make it work!

    Their email today is on a topic quite similar to ours. Here are its first two paragraphs:

    Liminal space is an inner state and sometimes an outer situation where we can begin to think and act in new ways. It is where we are betwixt and between, having left one room or stage of life but not yet entered the next. We usually enter liminal space when our former way of being is challenged or changed—perhaps when we lose a job or a loved one, during illness, at the birth of a child, or a major relocation. It is a graced time, but often does not feel “graced” in any way. In such space, we are not certain or in control. This global pandemic we now face is an example of an immense, collective liminal space.

    The very vulnerability and openness of liminal space allows room for something genuinely new to happen. We are empty and receptive—erased tablets waiting for new words. Liminal space is where we are most teachable, often because we are most humbled. Liminality keeps us in an ongoing state of shadowboxing instead of ego-confirmation, struggling with the hidden side of things, and calling so-called normalcy into creative question.

    The day will come when every sincere follower of the Lord Jesus Christ can come together in the joyous certainty that our Lord lives, and all is well.

    1. I’m very impressed with Father Rohr’s writing about liminal space. I realized after reading it that I have been living in liminal space for years and didn’t know it, as I had never heard of it before. I never had any fixed ideas about anything and was always open to change, However, concerning the present world situation, I have to admit I am in deep fear – probably because I am no longer young and carefree. However, he’s right – new ideas and new ways of living often happen after a great tragedy.

      1. Oh my dear Lola, I want so much to help you vanquish every one of your fears. Fear is our only enemy! And its root is in the fear of death, which is something we seem not to realize until after we have conquered it: fear of death is the root of every fear there is. When we have gone deeply enough into the afterlife evidence to become truly certain that we cannot die, then a miracle happens. We no longer fear anything! No, my wonderful friend, we are no longer young (fortunately!). But we are indeed carefree! And the miracle is that we always have been, and we always will be, perfectly safe in everlasting arms.

    2. I went through a Liminal state (although I didn’t have a name for it) of about three years when my Mother passed, my Father was in a horrible accident, I lost my job and three of my best friends died. It was three of the most challenging years of my life emotionally. I reached a place where I had to move forward and leave all of this “baggage” behind, and to so I visualized a little cobblestone bridge crossing a bubbling brook, kind of Thomas Kincade-ish. I felt myself moving across the bridge and all of the anxiety and pain left behind. Now I am on the other side of those feelings, I still have all the wonderful memories, but now I an free to start each day, build new relationships and find new challenges. And, it has made a difference in today’s crisis. I do not have real fear of the virus (I do take precautions) and do sometimes feel frustration, but can still imagine/plan for a bright future. Also I must add finding your work, Roberta, has been a huge blessing helping me grow and find peace with crisis in my life.

      1. Dear Timothy, thank you for your lovey words! Nearly every day now I am getting at least one email that doesn’t even ask a question, but instead it describes when and how someone found a YouTube of mine and then bought a book or found Seek Reality, and the difference that has made in their lives. Each time I read one of those emails I am overwhelmed by the writer’s kindness! And so I feel that way about your comment. Thank you for giving us such a wonderful illustration of liminal space, and thank you for making me feel so joyous about my having been able to help you!

  7. Roberta: Thank you so much for your refreshing perspective! It really gives me pause to consider your poem in such a depressing time when others are suffering, and there is very little that you can do but care for your own family. Thank you again!

    1. Dear David, thank you for saying something so kindly and so positive! It really is an awful time for so many people, but I am relieved to see that a lot of the news suggests of late that the virus is not as awful as it was first thought to be; it’s not a nothing-burger, but it’s not a new version of the bubonic plague, either. It seems to be a serious danger only to the old and to those whose health is compromised, and healthy people under fifty seem to get the illness and by and large not even show symptoms. Can all of this be true? If it does prove to be, then we should be able to open the economy soon and simply protect the vulnerable. And wouldn’t that be wonderful?!

      1. I’m hoping this particular Coronavirus doesn’t turn out to be as dangerous as feared. For many, though, it’s been a killer and it will remain a mortal threat for many more. As always in life getting the balance right is key but only what we learn from this pandemic and its eventual outcome will show if any particular nation’s chosen balance was right.

        I’m hoping for the best but trying to be prepared for something less…..

  8. Hi Roberta,

    Nothing new to add, but just saying a big thank you for your always inspirational blogs.

    Life is good.

  9. Dear Roberta,

    There are many catalysts at work in the midst of this experience we perceive as incarnation. This pandemic is another of them. You may recall that we have expressed optimism about 2020 previously. We still are optimistic.

    Each of us is a node in a wondrous, mysterious web of light that encompasses our existence here, connects us to one another and to our true nature.

    Remember that in the gospel the disciples hauled in a bumper-crop of fish in one small net!

    The joy of the value of the individual is that we each find our power to redefine what we mean by success and, if through this experience we individuals collectively recast the net, who knows what wonders we’ll haul in together.

    1. I do agree, dear Mike, that in part because of the date this simply feels like a different, exalted year out of time. I feel odd even saying that, when we are all supposed to be alarmed about this virus thing; but I can’t help oddly feeling that the danger is less and the opportunity is greater now than it ever has been before. So, yes, let’s all cast that net together!

  10. Dear Roberta. I’m reminded of the old curse, “may you live in interesting times.” I’m heartened that Thomas is more upbeat about things now. Maybe the curse has some silver lining to it. I checked in with my team, which was fun. They gave me, “Angel # 656.” I didn’t understand that one, a bit woo woo for me, but dutifully researched it. My take is that it combines 66, or unconditional love/Christ consciousness with a central 5, or acting in alignment with that higher purpose. (I can see some eyes rolling now, but bear with me.😄) That the 5 also looks like a vortex came to me after the guides gave me a dream about learning to escape a whirlpool not by struggling at the surface, but by staying calm, holding your nose, and letting it bring you down and spit you out into calm, safe waters. Some of this was explained by ‘fishermen.” I feel.
    we are collectively being nudged to stay aligned with love and Spirit, no matter how much things may “suck.” It is part of a plan leading us to spiritual growth. It will be fascinating to see how humans individually and as a whole come out of this maelstrom.🙂

      1. Hi Mac. I know what you mean. A bit goofy, but a fun show and tell of how the guides sometimes operate. They often give info totally unexpected or totally unknown by me, which can sometimes lead to hours of research and blurry eyes (bless their hearts) but when I finally connect the dots the validation is much stronger. I came across a quote, unattributed, that is fairly illustrative of what I think the message was, “Peace, it does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of all that and still be calm in your heart.”

        1. I’m a feet-of-clay Taurean and I expect my helpers would not be tempted to deploy means similar to those you’ve experienced, Scott. 😉 And as I don’t need anything anyway they’d also know I would not countenance any such tomfoolery.

          Maybe, though, I’m just making virtue of necessity… 😉

    1. Dear Scott, thank you for this! I love that you feel you are being told that we are being nudged to stay aligned with love and Spirit, since I feel that way as well. What does not kill us makes us stronger, and over and over again in each of our lives and in the country and in the world we are being given these stressors now, and urged to go with them and let them hasten our spiritual growth and the uplifting of the consciousness vibrations of the world. It will be interesting to see where all of this goes!

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