Anyaa and I just spent an amazing two days with mystic and spiritual teacher Andrew Harvey, author of The Hope, one of my favorite books this year.
Andrew is one of those teachers who is not all light and love. Don't get me wrong, he is light and love, but he's also a no-bullshit kind of teacher who understands, like Ken Wilber, that true transformation doesn't happen through new age platitudes like The Secret, avoiding negative thoughts, and not facing one's fears. Andrew takes people apart so they can be put back together again with new perspectives and awareness by being "in your face, disturbing you, terrifying you, until you radically awaken to who and what you really are." David Deida is also one of those teachers. Andrew is simply one of the most authentic teachers around.
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Andrew believes, and Anyaa and I agree with him, that everything is collapsing; That we have passed the point where what passes for civilization can be "fixed." It's too far gone. He also believes that the whole concept of collapse is a necessary event for the new human to be born, for humanity to move to the next level, a more evolved human. I've shared this belief for a long time, and history shows us how major shifts in consciousness take place, and it ain't by wishful thinking. It happens by getting down in the muck and doing the work, and we're about to see a lot of muck, in ways that we can't even begin to imagine.
Harvey talks about the Five Shadows of Collapse, shadows we need to face and come to terms with, or we're just spiritually masturbating to make ourselves feel good and dull us out through light polarization and Spiritual Puffery.
The first Shadow is disbelief of the immensity of what is happening on the planet and how bad it will be, perhaps even beyond our comprehension to understand. All true change comes from standing in the fire, not from feel-good pats on the back or the saccharin "sweet path of stress reduction and egoic comfort."
The second shadow is Denial: The more ugly things get, the more I deny what I see and feel can be real. My denial allows me to detach from the suffering of others because it's not touching me....yet.
That leads us the the third Shadow: Dread. Immense dread. You cannot believe in "the oneness of all" and ignore what is already happening to millions of others. Collapse isn't a future event for 4 billion people on the planet. it's already happening, and it reveals the true nature of humans: all of us. We've ignored the warnings of 50 years and we've chosen to ignore them. It's all of our responsibility, and we've done it because of the dread we feel about losing our comfortable lifestyles.
The fourth shadow then becomes Radical Disillusion with human nature: The systemic explosion of horror on every level. We are profoundly paralyzed by our own lack of substance. We've almost run out of fantasy and our schizophrenia has turned into psychosis. A mysticism that doesn't embrace the darkside of God is not real, and it's not sustainable.
The fifth shadow is the Death Wish - collectively and individually. The desire not to be here at all. I've heard over and over from people that id things get as bad as I think they'll get, that they don't want to be here at all. They'll just kill themselves. Collectively, we're already committing suicide, and individually we've each contributed - by our lifestyles, our belief in infinite growth on a finite planet, and our total consumptive mindsets. We have to own that we are doing this.We don't realize how our inner suicide claims our lives, and that we need to befriend that inner suicide.
Once we face and own our shadows around collapse, there are five things we must do to navigate these times so that the new human can be birthed :